La Palma volcano – They reveal that there was acid rain in the eruption of Cumbre Vieja – CVBJ

01/06/2022 at 22:44 CET


Little by little we are learning more details about the eruption of the La Palma volcano. During the 85 days that the Cumbre Vieja was active there were two separate episodes of acid rain that affected the Canarian pine forest already the upper parts of the Cumbre Vieja ridge in the second.

It is the first time that this phenomenon has been observed in the Canary Islands and now biologists from the Institute of Natural Products and Agrobiology (IPNA) They are working in the postuptive field to find out the consequences it has had on the biodiversity.

The volcanic eruption of the island of The Palm involved the emission of gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide (SO2). The latter is the one that in high concentrations has generated acid rain in specific points of the palm tree orography.

About a kilometer north of the volcanic edifice is lto Burnt Mountain, and it is in the pine forest that occupies it where the first episode of precipitation with high concentrations of sulfur was detected, which affected the pine trees by drying the ends of their leaves, but not the base of these.

The other acid rain episode it happened several kilometers south of the volcanic cone, in the upper parts of the Cumbre Vieja ridge.

Cumbre Vieja volcano, La Palma. | Miguel Calero placeholder image

Effects of acid rain

The effects of acid rain should not be confused with those that causes photosynthesis under suboptimal conditions due to the presence of harmful gases, although the result is similar, an apparently dry or “scorched” pine forest.

Manuel Nogales, a biologist at the IPNA and delegate to the Canary Islands of the Higher Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), is one of the scientists currently studying the affection caused by the volcano.

“The pines have exceeded all expectations we had & rdquor ;, Nogales explains in statements to ., since it has always been said that the Canary Island pine resists fires, but in this case they have been able to realize that “what it resists is volcanoes & rdquor ;.

Three weeks after the end of the eruption in Cumbre Vieja, dated December 13, the pines are already beginning to show green shoots just 300 meters from the volcanic building, which shows the strength of this species that learned to live with the volcanic reality of the Canary Islands.

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