Saudi Gazette/Okaz report that Saudi geologists are becoming increasingly concerned about the seismic activity in the Al-Ais region of the country. According to this story, magma has moved from 8 km below the surface to 4 km, indicating a dangerous situation. The violence of accompanying earthquakes is increasing as well.
It is impossible, of course, to tell what will happen. Predictions about volcanic activity are very rough and become rougher the longer the time between eruptions. It’s possible that things will just quiet down and go back to as they were. It’s equally possible, though, that the activity will continue and a volcano will erupt in Saudi Arabia’s northwest. One marginally good thing is that the immediate area is not heavily populated: villages can reasonably be evacuated.
Saudi volcanoes, though, are of a particular type. Rather than the thick, sticky lava produced by volcanoes like Vesuvius or Mt. Saint Helen’s, they produce very fluid lava, more along the lines of that seen at Mauna Loa. These produce masses of lava that quickly flow over wide expanses. Look at any of the satellite photos of western Saudi Arabia and you can readily see the black lava fields spread over vast areas of the country.
Tremors continue to shake Al-Eis region
Muhammad Talib Al-Ahmadi
MADINA – Successive tremors hit Harrat Ash-Shaqqah in Al-Eis region late Tuesday and continued until Wednesday morning. Residents of Hadmah, Al-Qarrassah, Al-Maramiyah, Milh, Massadir, Al-Qassabah, Al-Nuwaissifah, As-Souq Al-Qadeem and Al-’Uyaynah villages felt the tremors which registered 3.9 on the Richter scale. The intensity of the tremors was the strongest since the beginning of the seismic activity in the region last week.
Saleh Al-Muhawis, Director General of the Civil Defense in Madina Region, said magma (molten rocks below the surface) was pushed by some force from a de pth of 8 km to a depth of 4 km below the surface.
This, according to geologists, is considered a dangerous indication. Al-Muhawis said geologists are of the view that if the force can push the molten rocks to 4 km below the surface, it can push it a further 4 km towards the surface resulting in an explosion and a volcanic eruption.