Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Rumors about the Volcano

View of Mt. Hayes from Deep Creek, in the Highlands near the Inland Traverse Path
Someone in Skegness sent in a "scientific article" to the Putney Times last week claiming that massive Mount Hayes may explode "just like Tambora" within the next few weeks. 

The geology departments at Putney University and at the School of Oceanography in Victoria Harbor have looked into the situation, mostly by checking the two tiltmeters that were installed on the mountain's upper slopes in 2012. Tiltmeters measure the slightest variation in ground movement or swelling, that may preclude a volcanic eruption. These have been used to some advantage on the Kilauea volcano on the island of Hawaii.

The gases and steam output at the 8,500-foot-high crater have also been carefully analyzed in the last six months, as have the geothermal spring water at two locations on the mountain's lower slope. 

Since 2012, Mt. Hayes has indeed risen a little over 2 centimeters, according to one of the tiltmeters. However, there has been no noticeable change of gas and steam output or chemistry, nor any changes in chemistry or geothermal temperature of mountainside springs.

Our Skegness resident wishes to remain anonymous, probably for good reason. She allegedly heard a message coming from the mountain while she bathed one night at Blair Hot Springs. "I heard a deep voice," she said. "It told me to beware and prepare - the volcano will soon change everything!" The "voice" then gave a detailed account of the kind of eruption, which included a big explosion at the summit, lava flowing all the way to the ocean, a huge ash cloud darkening the sky, and a "volcanic winter" on New Island. 

The small port-town of Skegness rests at the base of Mt. Hayes, on Putney Bay, and would be especially vulnerable.

The official response from our resident volcanologists: "We see no immediate threat from the volcano. Remain calm and carry on."


Another view of Mt. Hayes during the wildflower season - early spring. This is from Lake Riga, near Bunbay.