This is a crucial new piece of evidence to help us better understand how ocean island volcanoes work.
She said: “We have discovered that hot spot volcanoes filter their melts to become highly eruptible at the base of the Earth’s crust, situated several kilometres below the volcano,” she said.
“The close monitoring of volcanoes can indicate when magma reaches the base of the crust, where this filtering processes reaches the ‘tipping point’ that leads to eruption.
“Our results support the notion that detection of magma at the crust-mantle boundary could indicate an upcoming eruption.
“This new information takes us one step closer to improving the monitoring of volcanic unrest, which aims to protect lives, infrastructure and crops.”