Scientists record sleeping volcano activity in Andes

(Image Source: Technology Reproduction / Innovation)

Environmental monitoring satellites have recently recorded topographic deformations in a central Andean region. The data suggest what may be a future volcanic activity near the Uturuncu volcano - extinct more than 270, 000 years ago.

The site comprises the volcanic province known as Altiplano-Puna, part of an active volcanic arch in central South America - spanning locations in Peru, southwest Bolivia, Chile and northwest Argentina. The region currently has several boilers formed after past eruptions.

According to a study published in the journal Science, data from Envisat and ERS satellites show an unusual elevation at the site. According to the scientists, the terrain in the region mentioned has been rising approximately 1 centimeter per year for the past 20 years.

The records also showed that the area surrounding the site sinks about 2 millimeters per year, suggesting that the elevation is related to drainage of the border regions. Due to the assumed format - that of a wide-brimmed hat - the phenomenon was named “Sombrero Elevation”. However, the study reveals no estimate of a possible awakening from Uturuncu.

Source: Technological Innovation