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Research finds link between CO2, big volcano eruptions



By Tyler Wilkins


Dr. Mattia Pistone a Volcanologists from the University of Georgia and two Swiss universities found a link between carbon dioxide and the volume of gas trapped in magma, which could help predict the intensity and magnitude of a volcanic eruption. Higher levels of CO2, they found, lead to an increase in the total volume of gas in magma, which may result in violent, explosive eruptions.

The new findings could one day lead to better early-warning systems for people who live in the vicinity of volcanoes, though the study’s lead author, Mattia Pistone, cautioned that much additional work is needed for such a practical application.

Pistone, an assistant professor of geology in the Franklin College of Arts and Sciences at UGA, worked with Luca Caricchi from the University of Geneva and Peter Ulmer from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology to determine the role that gas geochemistry plays in the volume of gas stored in magma by simulating what happens in magma chambers prior to volcanic eruptions.

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