Involcan e ITER se desplazan a Filipinas para fortalecer la vigilancia del volcán Taal

volcán Taal (Filipinas), uno de los 16 volcanes de la Década declarado por las Naciones Unidas y la IAVCEI a raíz del Decenio para la Reducción de los Riesgos Naturales.

El volcán ha entrado en erupción violentamente varias veces y se encuentra a unos 50 kilómetros de Manila, capital de Filipinas.

El Cabildo de Tenerife desplazó una expedición de científicos del Instituto Volcanológico de Canarias (INVOLCAN) y del Instituto Tecnológico y de Energías Renovables (ITER), ambas entidades dependientes de la Corporación insular, a Filipinas durante la segunda quincena de marzo para materializar trabajos de colaboración científica con el Instituto Nacional de Ciencias Geológicas (NIGS) de la Universidad de Filipinas en Diliman, con la finalidad de continuar fortaleciendo el programa de vigilancia del volcán Taal. Estos trabajos de colaboración científica se desarrollan gracias a los proyectos “Fortalecimiento del sistema de alerta temprana volcánica en Filipinas mediante metodologías geoquímicas innovadoras”, cofinanciado por la Agencia Española de Cooperación Internacional para el Desarrollo (AECID), y “Tenerife Volcano Disaster Assistance Team” cofinanciado por el Programa Tenerife Innova 2016-2021 que coordina el área Tenerife 2030 del Cabildo.

El consejero del área Tenerife 2030, Antonio García Marichal, señala que “las actividades de I+D que realiza este equipo volcanológico en el exterior encajan perfectamente con la estrategia Tenerife 2030 dado que las mismas contribuyen a la continua formación del personal que conforma este equipo científico al materializarse en sistemas volcánicos más activos que los que tenemos en Canarias. Por otro lado, el desarrollo de estas actividades de I+D en el exterior contribuye al fortalecimiento de Tenerife como una isla abierta al exterior; uno de los tres pilares establecidos por el Presidente del Cabildo Insular para contribuir al desarrollo de Tenerife”.

En esta nueva expedición científica del Involcan-ITER en Filipinas se realizaron tareas de mantenimiento y calibración de la única estación geoquímica instrumental permanente para la monitorización en modo continuo del flujo difuso de dióxido de carbono (CO2) existente en el volcán Taal. Esta estación fue instalada por los científicos del Involcan-ITER a principios del 2016 para fortalecer el programa de vigilancia volcánica del Taal, uno de los 16 volcanes de la Década. Además, el equipo científico del Involcan-ITER-NIGS llevó a cabo una nueva campaña científica sobre emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) en la laguna cratérica del volcán Taal para evaluar las posibles variaciones espacio-temporales del flujo difuso de dióxido de carbono (CO2) en la laguna cráterica del volcán Taal, y estimar la tasa de emisión de dióxido de carbono (CO2) a la atmósfera por este sistema volcánico con la finalidad de comparar los resultados con los observados en años anteriores.

Los resultados preliminares de esta reciente campaña científica reflejan que la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2) a la atmósfera por la laguna cratérica del volcán Taal ha alcanzado las aproximadamente 1.700 toneladas diarias. Este registro es relativamente mayor que la emisión que se considera normal para este sistema volcánico, del orden de las 500 toneladas diarias, y relativamente superior al valor medio observado desde mediados de octubre de 2011 sobre la emisión difusa de dióxido de carbono (CO2); del orden de las 600 toneladas diarias.

La monitorización de este parámetro geoquímico, de interés para la vigilancia volcánica, ya fue en su día de una gran utilidad para fortalecer el sistema de alerta ante posibles fenómenos volcanológicos adversos, dado que como consecuencia como consecuencia del registro de un incremento muy significativo en la emisión difusa dióxido de carbono (CO2), de aproximadamente 500 a 4.700 toneladas, se elevó el nivel de alerta en el volcán Taal a finales de marzo de 2011.

Algunos de los resultados obtenidos durante esta reciente campaña ya han sido enviados para su comunicación y divulgación científica en el próximo congreso internacional que organiza la Asociación Internacional de Volcanología y Química del Interior de la Tierra (IAVCEI) y que tendrá lugar en Portland (Oregon, EE. UU. de América) del 14 al 18 de agosto de 2017.

Otra de las principales actividades desarrolladas en el marco de este proyecto de cooperación es la capacitación de los investigadores del NIGS de la Universidad de Filipinas en Diliman sobre el uso y la aplicación de técnicas geoquímicas para la monitorización de la actividad volcánica que contribuyan a la reducción del riesgo volcánico en Filipinas.

El volcán Taal se encuentra a unos 50 kilómetros de Manila, capital de Filipinas y ha entrado en erupción violentamente varias veces causando la pérdida de vidas humanas. Debido a su proximidad a áreas pobladas y a su historial eruptivo el volcán Taal, junto con otros 15 volcanes activos entre los que se encuentra el Teide, fue designado como uno de los 16 Volcanes de la Década por las Naciones Unidas y IAVCEI con la finalidad de promover estudios destinados la prevención de futuros desastres naturales relacionados con el fenómeno volcánico.


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