PHREATOMAGMATIC ERUPTION (PE)

  • Recently, the Philippines increased the alert level on Taal Volcano to level 3 on a five-level scale after a Phreatomagmatic Eruption (PE) occurred that generated a dark grayish plume, one kilometer high.
  • Alert Level 3 means there is magmatic unrest, or movement of magma that may further drive succeeding eruptions.

Important points:

  • Situated on the island of Luzon, 50 km from Manila, Philippines.
  • The Philippines is situated at the boundaries of two tectonic plates – the Philippines Sea Plate and the Eurasian plate – thus susceptible to earthquakes and volcanism.
  • Taal is one of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines due to its location on the Pacific “Ring of Fire” – a zone of intense seismic activity.
  • Phreatomagmatic Eruption: An eruption resulting from the interaction of new magma or lava with water and can be very explosive. The water can be from groundwater, hydrothermal systems, surface runoff, a lake or the sea.
  • Icelandic, Hawaiian, Strombolian, Vulcanian, Pelean and Plinian.
  • Possible hazards of pyroclastic density currents (clouds of hot gas, ash, and other volcanic debris) and volcanic tsunami.
  • Complex Volcano: It is classified as a “complex” volcano by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS).
  • A complex volcano, also called a compound volcano, is defined as one that doesn’t have just one main vent or cone but several eruption points. Another such example is Mount Vesuvius on the west coast of Italy.
  • Unpredictable: Taal has erupted more than 30 times in the last few centuries, the most recent was in 2020.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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