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Island Becomes Open-Air Lab for Tech-Savvy Volcanologists

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Scientists take geophysical measurements on the Canary Island of La Palma, Spain

Some of the Canary Islands are still growing due to magma accumulating underneath and, as is happening in La Palma, by forming lava peninsulas beyond the coastline.

Credit: Taner Orribo/AP Photo

Volcanologists are using cutting-edge technologies to study a rare volcanic eruption on La Palma, one of Spain's Canary Islands.

The European Union's Copernicus satellite program generates high-resolution imagery and maps of La Palma to monitor quake-induced deformations, supporting near-real-time tracking of lava flows and ash accumulation.

Spanish research vessels are studying the eruption's effects on the marine ecosystem as lava extends beyond the coast.

Meanwhile, the Canary Islands' Involcan volcanology institute provides daily reports to guide La Palma civil protection authorities' decisions on whether to evacuate or issue lockdowns amid rising toxic gas levels, based on analyzing terabytes of data from automatic detectors at strategic sites, as well as samples collected in the field.

From Associated Press
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