Between the two Japanese volcanoes found underground communications

For the first time in history, scientists have found evidence that a radical change of the volcano in southern Japan were a direct result of the eruption of another volcano 22 kilometers away. The observations of these two volcanoes - Ira and Kirishima - have shown that they were connected by a single source of subsurface magma to Kirishima eruption in 2011.

Between the two Japanese volcanoes found underground communications

The Japanese city of Kagoshima Kirishima and are right on the edge of the caldera, Ira, one of the most active and dangerous volcanoes and carefully controlled in the south of Japan. Determining how these interact volcanoes, it will be important to understand whether the eruption of one influence the activity of a remote volcano or raise the threat of a new powerful eruption event.

Scientists from the School of Marine and Atmospheric Science at the University of Miami and Florida International University analyzed data on strain 32 permanent GPS stations in the region and identified the existence of a common reservoir of magma, which connected the two volcanoes. Before the eruption of Kirishima, which is located in a densely populated region of Kagoshima, Aira caldera ceased to swell, and experts considered it a sign that the volcano calmed down. However, the opposite occurs: a magma chamber inside Ira temporarily blown away, and Kirishima magma erupted immediately after the activity stopped in Kirishima.

"We have seen a radical change in the behavior of Ira before and after the eruption of its neighbor Kirishima," says Elodie Botland, lead author of the study. "The only way to explain this interaction - this is the link between the two volcanic systems at depth."

To determine the extent to which associated magmatic systems, it will be important to assess the danger of eruption. If a lot of underground magma, can provoke the other one eruption volcano? Until now, little evidence was. Predicting volcanic eruptions in populated areas - the most important task.