Earthquakes used to predict volcanoes in Southern Chile

As an analysis of records in southern Chile shows, many volcanic eruptions have occurred the year following a major earthquake. It has been said that these major earthquakes can affect volcanoes up to five hundred kilometers (500km) away from the epicenter. According to Sebastian Watt of Oxford’s Department of Earth Sciences, seismic waves radiating from the earthquakes hypocenter can cause the stirring or shaking of molten rock (magma) beneath the volcano and this action may set off an eruption. Due to the time it takes for pressure to build up in a volcano and the time it take for magma to rise to the surface; it may take months from the time of the seismic activity to the time of an eruption . In 1835 Charles Darwin first speculated that there may be a link between earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. On February 20, 1835, Darwin witnessed a seismic event and by combining his own observations with those of many local people, Darwin attempted to reconstruct the event to understand why it had occurred. Darwin found that three volcanoes had erupted along the Chilean coast at about the same time as the earthquake.
Sebastian Watt working on this premises examined the records of seismic activity and volcanic activity in southern Chile for the previous 150 years, Sebastian discovered that volcanic activity increased for about one year after the very largest earthquakes in the area, both dormant and active volcanoes within five-hundred km (500km) were affected. The great Chilean earthquakes in 1906 and 1960 were each followed by volcanic activity in more than five (5) volcanoes. This was a significant change as the average eruption rate was one (1) per year .Sebastian felt this was important to help predict volcanic activity in to be able to save lives and property.

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