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Massive Mount Paektu Volcano Could Explode in North Korea in Future
Mount Paektu volcano located in the border region between China and North Korea is dormant at present, but an international team of scientists investigating the Sacred Mountain says the mysterious, violent and dangerous volcano could blow anytime in future. Over the last few years, local seismologists have noticed shaking activity in the Mount Paektu region.
North Korean authorities have invited seismologists from China and United Kingdom to explore the region. North Korean research team has been helping them with the current project to explore Mount Paektu.
Few centuries ago, the volcano is learnt to have exploded with a fury unmatched by the largest eruptions in recorded human history. It hurled crackling rocks and ash as far away as Japan. But despite such kind of violent outburst, Mount Paektu remains largely unexplored.
Such is the mystery that a few outside the region are even aware that the volcano exists or when the 9,000-foot-tall (2,740-meter-tall) peak might throw up lava again. In Chinese, the volcano is called as Changbai.
But scientists involved with the exploration project have now been shifting layers of Earth in their mission to find crucial clues about the possibility of future eruptions. The project has also been possible since the researchers, who have been armed with an array of seismometers, have been provided unprecedented access to North Korea.
A study detailing the mission has appeared today in Science Advances and it describes Mount Paektu’s subsurface anatomy.
Kayla Iacovino of the U.S. Geological Survey and coauthor of the study says, “Is there magma down there? Is there melt that could potentially lead to an eruption? All the stuff that’s driving volcanic eruptions lives in the subsurface”.
Scientists informed the major difference between Mount Paektu and other volcanoes on our planet is that the North Korea volcano is not located where tectonic plates collide. It is located at the centre of a plate, at least 620 miles or 1,000 kilometers away from the big subduction zone that created the Japanese islands. Simply put, Mount Paektu should not really have been there, says Iacovino, adding that is one of the mysteries around the volcano.