Volcano for Monday

Philippines’ Mayon Volcano to explode ‘within days’ – alert status has been moved from three to four, which means that an eruption is imminent. Five is when the volcano is actually erupting. Expect to see some pretty pictures of the full fury of the Earth unleashed soon, I’d say.

“Audible booming and rumbling sounds were first reported in the eastern flank of the volcano” Sunday afternoon, and 1,942 volcanic earthquakes were detected by the institute’s seismic network in the 24 hours to 7 a.m. local time on Monday (6 p.m. ET on Sunday), the institute said.

Yikes. Mayon is a stratovolcano, like Mount St. Helens, which means it will tend to have eruptions of the explodey variety since its magma is viscous and doesn’t allow gases to escape very effectively.

I’m kind of curious what the sulfur dioxide output it looking like for Mayon. The most recent PHIVOLCS report (from January 20) has it at 1051 tons per day. Sulfur dioxide often degasses out of magma, so a sudden jump in sulfur dioxide output is a sign that there’s a lot of fresh magma coming in to the area. Apparently its previous output was around 350-500 tons per day which makes 1051 a pretty significant jump.

For comparison, the last time Mount Pinatubo blew up (in 1991), the sulfur dioxide output went from 500 tons per day to 5000 tons per day.

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