Phivolcs investigating change in eruption appearance on Mayon
LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines – The 52nd eruption on Mayon volcano appears to be a bizarre, yet ultimately interesting occurrence for scientists at the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
According to Mariton Bornas, chief of the Volcano Monitoring and Eruption Prediction Division, Mayon volcano released whitish plumes that are not as tall as the usual plumes from the volcano, leading them to investigate the cause for the difference with an aerial survey.
Said Bornas, "“Mayon is on a strombolian type of eruption and is ejecting so many pyroclastic flows. The eruption temperature is very high. If we compare the past eruptions of Mayon, the plumes are darker, greyish, and taller but today we’re wondering why it is a bit whiter and lower maybe because of water." said.
On Tuesday, January 30, Phivolcs scientists led by Bornas conducted the aerial survey with a Philippine Air Force helicopter to check on the restive volcano and the volume of volcanic debris in various gullies around it.
The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) gave a military chopper permission to fly within the limited fly zone area to allow Phivolcs scientists to check the volcano’s condition.
Lieutenant Colonel. Ulysses S. Mancao, group commander of the Tactical Operations Group 5 of the Philippine Air Force, said that to avoid ashfall, the pilots flew 5 nautical miles away from the crater, from the southeast to the northwest sides of the volcano.
“We fly within the fly zone area, 5 nautical miles away from the crater. This is the first time we conducted an aerial survey after the volcano erupted. We took advantage of the situation while the volcano is open, free from thick clouds to let our Phivolcs scientists to check the state of volcano restiveness,” Mancao added.
Bornas meanwhile said that if Mayon volcano's activity will not change, the eruption will take about two weeks to a month.
The most interesting volcano
Ed Laguerta, Phivolcs resident volcanologist chief in Bicol said that the inflation of Mayon's edifice is sustained despite of ejected materials from previous eruptions, meaning the magma is continuously recharging.
“As long as the Philippine trench is active, Mount Mayon will continue to replenish magma as the volcano sits on the trench,” he said.
Undersecretary Renato Solidum, Phivolcs director, added the Philippines is a laboratory of volcanoes.
Out of 300 volcanoes, 24 are mostly active, but Mount Mayon remains "the most interesting volcano that we have." – Rappler.com