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Volcano Formerly Thought Extinct, May Be Waking Up

The Bolshaya Udina volcano, in the far eastern corner of Russia, was thought to be extinct until 2017, when increased seismic activity was detected under it. Now, according to scientists, it is possible it can erupt at any moment.

Ivan Koulakov, a geophysicist from Russia's A.A. Trofimuk Institute of Petroleum Geology and Geophysics who led a study into the volcano, believes it should be reclassified as active.

Between 1999 and September 2017, about 100 weak seismic events were detected beneath the volcano, which stands at 9,590 feet above sea level. An "anomalous increase" in seismicity, however, began in October 2017. Between October 2017 and February 2019, about 2,400 seismic events were recorded. February saw an earthquake of 4.3 magnitude occur under Udina -- the strongest seismic event ever to occur in the area.

Bolshaya Udina shares structural characteristics with another formerly extinct volcano in the region, the Bezymianny, which erupted dramatically in 1956, Koulakov told CNN.

There is around a 50% chance that Bolshaya Udina will erupt, he said.

"Or it could just release the energy smoothly over a few months, or it may just disappear without any eruption," he said.

Time will tell. via-CNN

Image Credit: kuhnmi/Wikimedia Commons


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