Geologists warned Wednesday that Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano could soon experience explosive eruptions from its summit and launch large rocks and ash into the air.
The threat of explosive activity will rise as lava drains from the summit of Kilauea, one of the most active volcanoes in the world, and explosions will be possible in the coming weeks if the lava dips below the groundwater table, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) said.
If lava drops below the groundwater level, it could heat up the water and create steam. The steam could build in pressure as rocks fall and form a dam within the volcano’s walls and “cause steam-driven explosions” with “very little warning,” the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) told the Honolulu Star-Advertiser.
The volcano could then eject “ballistic rocks” of lava up to several feet in diameter, the USGS said. It may also send pebbles shooting into the air several miles away.
“Debris expelled during such explosions could impact the area surrounding Halemaʻumaʻu and the Kīlauea summit,” the HVO told the Star-Advertiser.
There could also be potential for ash and sulfur dioxide emissions. Ash can cause eye and breathing irritation, reduce visibility and interfere with electrical lines, the Los Angeles Times reported. – READ MORE[give_form id=”79809″] [contentcards url=”http://www.foxnews.com/science/2018/05/10/hawaiis-kilauea-volcano-could-be-ready-to-blow-scientists-say.html” target=”_blank”]