Mount Pectu is an active Stratovolcano and is the highest mountain in the Changbai and Bekdudugan ranges, located on the Chinese-North Korean border. Koreans provide a mythological attribute to the volcano and its caldera lake, believing that it is the spiritual home of their country and that the mountain plays an important cultural role in the Korean states, which are mentioned in both of their national songs and It is depicted in the national symbol of North Korea. A large crater, called Paradise Lake, is in Caldera atop a mountain formed by the “Millennium” eruption of 946, which sent nearly 30 cubic miles of sky into one of the largest and most violent eruptions in the past 5,000. Years.
The volcano had been quiet since its last major eruption until 2002, when for several years there were a series of small earthquakes caused by seismic activity within the volcano.
Although it was silenced again after 2005, brief activity worried North Korean officials and forced them to set aside their policy of isolation and privacy.
They reached neighboring countries, including China, and contacted top scientists from Western countries and sought technical assistance to study the volcano.
The outreach led to a rare collaboration between a team of North Korean experts led by Ri Kyong-Song of the Earthquake Administration in Pyongyang in 2013 and a team of Western scientists led by James Hammond of the University of London.
Despite Kim Jong-un’s ongoing bitterness with the West, the North Korean government included a team of international scientists, including experts from Britain and the US to North Korea, to allow local experts to study the observer and a Help assess the risk of corrosion.
The results of the study were published in the journal Science Advances in April 2016 and may be bad news for future Kim and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The data collected by experts showed that Mount Pateku was still active and could burst.
But scientists said they would like to return to North Korea to conduct more detailed studies to improve their ability to predict when and how volcanoes may erupt.
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According to the US Geological Survey (USGS) seismologist Kayla Iacovina, who was the co-author of the 2016 study, data collected during two years of monitoring Mount Pectu indicated the presence of partially molten magma in the volcano .
This indicated to the researchers that the volcano was still active and could erupt in the future.
Ms Iacinoino said: “This confirms the idea that the volcano is quite active.
“But how much does it erupt? This is a great question. “
Seismologist Stephen Grand at the University of Texas at Austin told National Geographic, “I think the risk of a devastating explosion here is very real.”
The data that Mr. Hammond and his team collected was solid, said seismologist George Zandt of the University of Arizona and the results, though not particularly surprising, are non-informative nonetheless.
Scientists said that it was too soon to determine if the eruption was certain to happen in the future, but sent a warning on the possibility.
Ms Econino said: “It can certainly affect things like international trade routes and commercial airline traffic to a minimum.”