A breathing volcano sounds like something out of an ancient myth, but this animation of Mount Etna is very much the realdeal.
The incredible visualization from NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows how the ground surrounding the volcano pulses and morphs as a result of changes in the volume of a shallow chamber about 5 kilometers (3 miles) below sea level.
The data from the animation was picked up by radar interferometry on the European Space Agency’s ERS-1 and ERS-2 satellites. This technique is so sensitive, it can detect ground deformation within 2.8 centimeters (1.1 inches).
MountEtna, located on the island of Sicily, is one of Europes tallest active volcanoes at over 3,350meters (10,990 feet). Whileon the whole its activity is fairly contained, its not without its temper tantrums. For example, in 1928 a particularly heavy flow of lava led to the near-total destruction of a town called Mascali.
The colored bar in the upper left corner of the video details how much the ground is falling in centimeters. Keep your eyes peeled for the red and yellow notches in the bottom right bar too. Each of these signify a volcanic eruption, withmoderate eruption activity shown in yellow and strong ones shown in red.
Wonder Of Science