SAN SALVADOR – A volcano eruption typically results from rising temperatures in the Earth’s mantle, but Salvadoran volcanologist Carlos Demetrio Escobar told EFE that earthquakes also have the potential to spur eruptions.
He said that the enormous energy released by a seismic event could amplify the pressure inside the volcano’s magma chamber, where molten rock accumulates.
A series of seismic movements may also cause a volcanic eruption but, according to Escobar, in most cases, temblors around a volcanic ridge are more likely an indication that a dormant volcano is becoming active again.
To be classified as active, a volcano must have erupted within the last 500 years and retain the capacity to erupt again.
There are more than 20 volcanoes in El Salvador, but only six of them are categorized as active and the most recent eruption was in December 2013.
Though El Salvador has a high incidence of seismic activity, Escobar acknowledged that there is no record of a volcanic eruption caused by an earthquake.
He pointed out that El Salvador is located on the Pacific Ocean Ring of Fire, one of the most active volcanic areas in the world.
While it’s not possible to forecast a volcanic eruption “because nature does not follows statistics,” Escobar said that when a volcano’s rumbles become more frequent and the volume of gases and the magma temperature increase, “it is probable that there will be an eruption.”