Geophysicist Dr Wouter Shellart (Wouter Schellart) developed the first dynamic model to explain the mystery of the largest and most fascinating volcano in Europe, Mount Etna, located on the island of Sicily (Italy).
Results of the study Dr. Shellarta presented in the form of liquid dynamic models provide an alternative explanation for the existence of Mount Etna, its geological environment and evolution, as well as volcanism in the surrounding region.
His theory suggests that Mount Etna is not a direct result of plate boundaries, but - due to decompression melting of upper mantle material flowing around the nearby edge of the slab, which is slowly lowered into the earth’s mantle.
"The most pronounced process of volcanism on Earth occurs at plate boundaries in places where tectonic plates move apart (eg Iceland) and in places where tectonic plates are connected and one plate is located below the other, plunging into the mantle (eg, in the Pacific Ring of Fire Ocean), "- said Dr. Shellart. "As a rule, the volcanoes are formed directly above the recessed plate."
However, a geophysicist added that some volcanism, respectively called interplate volcanism are not the cause of interaction subplate borders, the birth of their more controversial.
"The chemical composition of the volcanic rocks of Mount Etna and other volcanic rocks in Sicily and in the surrounding seas indicate that they are interplate origin. Also interesting is the fact that the volcanic rocks are located within a few hundred kilometers from the area Kalabrianskoy folds, where African plate is located under the Eurasian plate "- said Dr. Shellart.
"This suggests that the volcanic rocks in some way relate to the area Kalabrianskoy folds."
"The new model folds and mantle flow confirms this, showing that the African plate in the confluence zone Kalabrianskoy folds generated flow around the southern edge of the submerged plate" - he added. "The upper flow is generated by decompression melting of upper mantle material and this lava brought to the surface in Sicily, forming Mount Etna and the nearby volcanic rocks" - said Dr. Shellart.
Up to now there is a lot of explanations for the appearance of Mount Etna and the surrounding volcanic rocks, but none of them explain exactly synchronize the emergence and dynamics of the activity.
"That’s why Mount Etna has remained a mystery for so long" - said Dr. Shellart.
"The new research provides a dynamic explanation and solves the problem" - concluded Shellart. Etna - one of the most active volcanoes in the world and is in an almost constant state of activity. The latest ash explosion occurred in August of this year, raising a cloud of ash to a height of 800 meters above the rim of the funnel.
Original: Sciencedaily Translation: M. Potter