Since she was young, she was fascinated by volcanoes. She imagined what it would be like to be able to study explosions around the world, following in the footsteps of many other women who have excelled in this matter, across the planet, and decided to devote her life to it. . Tenerife Carmen Solana, for a few days, using the vacation period at the University of Portsmouth (United Kingdom), where she teaches classes as a doctor in volcanology, traveled to La Palma, where Cumbre Vieja, from the mountain Everything related was studied. On September 19, lava began to erupt, which keeps the residents of Isla Bonita in suspense, with devastating effects on homes and farms.
The famous scientist speaks on this aspect in a conversation with DIARIO DE AVISOS. And, he acknowledges that despite the interest it generates from the perspective of data analysis and documentation for future research, it has been “difficult to see the consequences” that the phenomenon is creating on the livelihoods of so many. “There are colleagues from other countries who told me that it was a long time before they had seen an explosion with so much destruction of homes in Europe,” he declared, although in other enclaves beyond our continent, such as the Hawaiian Islands, events did occur. have happened. Aggressive, with particular affection on real estate.
Solana is a member of the team of international collaborators from the Canary Islands Volcanology Institute (INVOLCAN), and says that once the seismic swarm that the magmatic movement brought with it subsided in depth, predicting a possible eruption, they found themselves in the body of the organism. Provided for: “I warned Nemesio”, director of the organization. Thus, when the volcano erupted in the Cabeza de Veca area (El Paso), he took a plane to Spain. Already on the 20th I was working on the ground and he details, “The observations I made were mainly from the point of view of the eruption: lava fountains came out and I took notes and notes that I have not processed yet ” The next day, he confirms that “I collected data on the speed, height and width of the fronts”, in the same way as if these were “getting solid and slowing down or if they could continue”.
For the development of his work, he points out that the help given to him by Drone Services Canarias, the company “which is collaborating with us and has allowed us to [con las imágenes aéreas que han obtenido] See if there are specific accumulations that can form new flows” Or, conversely, hot rocks only flow in one direction. At this point, it refers to the collapse of one of the symbols of this natural phenomenon: in the parish of the Todoc neighborhood, Los Llanos de Ariadne. “It was quite dramatic,” he admits, as the case taken out by Cambre Vieja moves at a very slow, almost painful pace. In fact, it makes it possible for a person to “run away”; Its peak is about 500 meters per hour. However, he clarifies that this does not mean that there is no risk involved, to the extent that one can be seen, at a certain moment, surrounded by lava, trapped and without escape.
Last Thursday afternoon, Carmen Solana left the island on the last ferry. However, the United Kingdom continues to closely monitor the volcano’s development using measurement instruments deployed throughout the island and video clips provided by the drone company on a daily basis. One of the most outstanding episodes of the entire chronology, in the opinion of volcanologists, is the arrival of lava in the ocean. Previously, there were those who speculated that the union of matter at high temperature and salt water would occur in the first days, but the truth is that for this to happen it had to come out in great quantities, “with movements of great flows”. , or that “a channel is formed that carries all the lava in the same direction”; something that happened later, the night of Tuesday, September 28, on the eve of the festival in honor of San Miguel Archangel, the patron of the palm trees. By 11:00 am, the appointment was given.
Based on aerial images, Solana, who studied geology and later earned a doctorate in volcanism, claimed that “we suspect there are some lava tubes” from involcanoes. In recent nights, “it has been possible to see lava emanating from emission centers, but at first glance it does not appear to be moving.” This, he explains, is due to the fact that it automatically moves through the tubes until it reaches the head of the spruce, which in turn makes it conducive to high speeds. , because it maintains its low viscosity when heated. . On the other hand, the matter that is coming out now has come from the deep rooms of the volcano and is more liquid. In this sense, island scientists point to the fact that “there are petrologists within the Involcan team, who look at the composition of the lava” and have been able to calculate the depth from which the magma comes.
Carmen Solana, who has studied the eruptions of Etna (Italy), Hawaii and has extensive knowledge of the volcanic events of Vesuvius, “lava seems to be common” in Cumbre Vieja, within a single occurrence of these features, “both behavior According to morphology”. Of course, this assumes that other places where it is taking samples have more experience with these phenomena, so this is an important opportunity for the Canarian scientific community, which for the first time is all about the volcano. collects data.
It should be remembered that the previous one was Teneguia, also on La Palma in 1971. Tagaro’s eruption at El Hierro (2011) was underwater, and therefore its progress could not be observed in such detail. Nevertheless, Tenerife volcanologists explain that “physical volcanology is complex, because we do not have eyes beneath the ground.”
“I saw Mount Teide and wanted to know how to reduce the effects of eruptions”
“Being from Tenerife, I was always curious about volcanoes; I wanted to know what happened in the explosion”, Carmen Solana confessed to DIARIO. For him, living in the Canary Islands was always a privilege, given his interests: “It was what fascinated me to get up and watch the tide from anywhere on the island.”
He was trained in geology and then, when he was facing the way to his doctoral thesis, he says he saw it quite clearly: it had to be about volcanoes. In particular, it was about the “lava fields of Tenerife”, delving into his creation.
And there he realized that he had to devote his life not only to studying how these events occur, but also “to see what we can do to reduce the effects of the eruptions” and reduce the population. cause less potential damage. Resident properties.
Asked about the debate arising with the eruption about the suitability of construction in certain areas, she explains that it is because of the islanders’ “lack of experience” with these events, which has led to a “false feeling”. . the protection. “
Likewise, it trusts that better decisions will be made for the future and takes into account that in a period of 50 years it cannot be ruled out that another volcano may erupt, as in La Palma. has already been seen. , brings fraud.
“Wannabe troublemaker. Pop culture fanatic. Zombie nerd. Lifelong bacon advocate. Alcohol enthusiast. Tv junkie.”