Eruptive storms: what they are and how they are formed

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Eruptive storms: what they are and how they are formed

An eruptive storm is a meteorological phenomenon connected to the formation of lightning in an eruptive column. A very incredible nature show in which nature power show itself in all the shades. In 1982 the phenomenon occurred during the Galunggung eruption in Indonesia.

Another famous image of the phenomenon was photographed by Carlos Gutierrez in Chile above the Chaitén volcano. A study published in the journal Science indicates that electrical charges are generated when rock fragments, ash and ice particles in an eruptive column collide, creating static electricity.

In a study from the Eyjafjallajökull and Grímsvötn eruptions, scientists found that both samples possessed a natural radioactivity above the background level, but that radioisotopes were an unlikely source of self-charging in the Eyjafjallajökull plume.

Eruptive storms: what they are and how they are formed

Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV), in an interview with researcher Stefano Corradini said: "The differences concern the mechanisms that cause this storm.

Behind the weather storms, there is a great instability that depends on the contrast between masses of air of different temperatures. This leads to the formation of convective motions and the generation of lightning. In the case of volcanic storms, on the other hand, this instability is created by the volcanic activity itself.

Phenomena of this type have occurred over time on various volcanoes, think of the recent eruption of the Taal volcano, in the Philippines, where photos of lightning strikes during the eruption went around the world, or that of the Indonesian volcano Anak Krakatau, in 2018.

In the latter case, the eruption caused a storm which lasted six days: a very rare phenomenon, not only for volcanic thunderstorms. and the absence of volcanic ash alone. There can be both cloud and cloud lightning, called intra cloud, and cloud lightning, known as cloud to ground. As you can guess, this second category is the riskiest one as lightning strikes the ground and can hit humans. "