Erupção do vulcão Kilauea no Havaí pode aumentar intensidade

Rios de lava do vulcão Kilauea, no Havaí Direito de imagem BBC World Service
Image caption O vulcão Kilauea despeja lava no oceano Pacífico

Hawaii's Kilauea volcano attracts two million tourists every year, who photograph its spectacular lava rivers.

But scientists have discovered explosive eruptions have been far more common through Kilauea's history.

If that behaviour returns, it could have implications for Hawaii's economy.

Reportagem: Jonathan Amos

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There's no doubting Kilauea's beauty. Its frequent lava flows running down to the ocean's edge are a big attraction.

But scientists say their latest research indicates that explosive eruptions of ash and rock have been far more common in the past than the gentle, photogenic outflows seen today.

By studying the charred remains of plants caught up in historic blasts, they've established that Kilauea's more violent mode has dominated the last 2,500 years.

A classic example was 1790, when the volcano hurled rock and ash at island inhabitants, killing many hundreds of people. The event remains the most lethal known eruption in America.

Scientists say it's not possible to predict if this violent behaviour will return but should it come back, large parts of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park would be off-limits for a long time.

Scientists say there should be ample warning of a change in behaviour so it's not something local people should worry about just now.

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no doubting (sem dúvida, não se questiona se - algo - é verdadeiro) no questioning of the truthfulness (of something)

lava flows (fluxo de lava, o deslocamento contínuo da lava na forma de um rio) continuos movement of lava in the form of a river

gentle(suave) mild and soft

outflows (derramamento) outpour

the charred remains (os destroços queimados, matéria reduzida a carvão e cinzas após ter sido queimada) matter reduced to charcoal after being burnt

violent mode (comortamento marcado por uma grande força e intensidade) behaviour marked by great force and intensity

lethal (letal, mortal) deadly

to predict (predizer, prever, dizer que algo vai acontecer antes que aconteça) to say something will happen before it does

off-limits(fora do limite, área em que não se deve entrar, de acesso limitado) area not to be entered of limited access

warning (aviso, alerta, mensagem indicando perigo iminente) message indicating impending danger