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New mud volcanoes form in Trinidad and Tobago

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Six new mud volcanoes were spotted in southern Trinidad and Tobago on Monday, January 20, 2020. Geologist and researcher Xavier Moonan took to social media to share the new formations in Los Iros, as further geological activity was also discovered.

According to Moonan, the new cones all occur along the trace of the August 2018 earthquake fault rupture, which totally offset the roads along RE Trace.

"Oil sheen and strong sent of hydrocarbons accompany the mudflow," he noted.

Mud samples were also collected for further studies.

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Image credit: Xavier Moonan

mud-volcano-south-trinidad-jan-20-2020

Image credit: Xavier Moonan

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Image credit: Xavier Moonan

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Image credit: Xavier Moonan

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Image credit: Xavier Moonan

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​​Image credit: Xavier Moonan

In September and October 2019, the Piparo Mud Volcano showed a resurgence of activity, inflicting panic among citizens. Scientists feared over possibilities of another catastrophic eruption, similar to the 1997 explosion which damaged over 33 homes.

A mud volcano, also called mud dome, is a landform made by the explosion of mud or slurries, water, and gases. 

Such volcanoes are not true igneous as they do not create lava and are not driven by magmatic activity. The craters are usually shallow and may emit mud intermittently. These explosions consistently rebuild the cones, which are eroded easily.

Mud volcanoes may range in size, from 1 to 2 m (3 to 6 feet) high to 700 m (2 296) and about 10 km (6 miles) wide. 

Featured image credit: Xavier Moonan

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