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Peru Volcano Eruption Prediction Points To 2014 Chile Earthquake, But Is This Bad Science?

Peru volcano eruption predictions have worried some Peruvians in the past, but should anyone be worried that Chile’s earthquake is pointing to a coming 2014 eruption?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, California earthquake predictions claim the geology of Los Angeles could potentially lead to the “big one,” although some are worried about an offshore earthquake that generates a large tsunami. The tremors being felt along the West Coast have also generated fears that a Yellowstone national park volcano eruption may generate a supervolcano large enough to wipe out the United States.

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The recent Chile earthquake measured at 8.2 magnitude, and there were warnings issued for Peru which shares a border. Even the aftershocks that were hundreds of miles away were in the 4.0 to 5.0 magnitude range.

Mike Simons, a seismologist at the United States Geological Survey, claims that Chile earthquake predictions are not accurate, but he does feel the “big one” is coming down the road:

“Could be tomorrow, could be in 50 years; we do not know when it’s going to occur. But the key point here is that this magnitude-8.2 is not the large earthquake that we were expecting for this area. We’re actually still expecting potentially an even larger earthquake. This is the one remaining gap that hasn’t had an earthquake in the last 140 years. We know these two plates come together at about 6, 7 centimeters a year, and if you multiply that by 140 years then the plates should have moved about 11 meters along the fault, and you can make an estimate of the size of earthquake we expect here.”

While geological instability can certainly affect volcanoes, it’s also claimed the opposite is true. For example, last summer Peru’s volcanic activity was said to have caused various earthquakes in the region. Although scientists claimed the earthquakes “did not indicate that the volcano will erupt,” they also admitted that years of earthquake activity may “produce an eruption.”

Peru’s volcano eruption in 2014 did have some forewarning, with the nation’s geological and mining agency noticing a buildup of lava in recent weeks. They successfully predicted in the short term that residents should be prepared to flee if the volcano sparked to life. But in recent months, a Peruvian research team from the Institut de Recherche pour le Developpement (IRD) has been attempting to determine if Peru’s volcano eruption predictions can be made more accurate.

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The team has been attempting to simulate the hydrothermal systems underneath volcanoes with computer models:

“The majority of active volcanoes have an internal hydrothermal system. These systems develop from the infiltration of rainwater that acidifies, heats up, boils and is partly vaporized as it comes into contact with the magma. Changes in volcanic activity are reflected in the variations of movement and volume of these liquids or gases. Sometimes during an eruption, magma breaks up in contact with the hydrothermal system causing an explosive type eruption. Hydrothermal activity such as this may also contribute to destabilizing the volcanic edifice in the long term, by altering the rocks…. This study will help other scientists locate the hydrothermal activity beneath the volcanoes and to characterize the permanent boiling in their belly. The results will also contribute to better monitoring of the volcanoes and better management of eruption events.”

Back in the United States, teams have also been monitoring Yellowstone national park using underground radar scans. While they can’t say if there’s any immediate danger or not, they can successfully monitor for a pressure build up and give a short term prediction.

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Volcano Eruptions And Earthquake Predictions Are Hoaxes?

Unfortunately, the black art of predicting earthquakes and volcanoes can also be used to scare people. Back in 2012, South America was spooked when supposed Russian “scientists” predicted a Peru earthquake that would supposedly be felt even in the United States with the aftershocks. Unfortunately, these so-called earthquake predictions were culled by “decoding” alien messages supposedly left at Machu Picchu, Chavin de Huantar, and the Nazca lines.

Hernando Tavera, head of Peru’s National Geophysical Institute, recalls how this idea was spread through social media and scared many:

“They are interpreting messages that have allegedly been left by alien civilizations, but these interpretations are completely subjective. Their claims have no scientific basis. Predicting an earthquake is on the same level as seeing something in a crystal ball.”

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In the end, anyone claiming the 2014 Chile earthquake may trigger a catastrophic volcanic eruption in Peru or anywhere else in South America is essentially making a guess at best, or just trying to get media attention at worst. Do you think Peru’s volcano eruption problems can ever be accurately predicted?