Volcanologists want to put sensors directly into an Underground Magma Chamber

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This Science magazine news article discusses how a magma field was accidentally drilled into and how they plan to make a more permanent magma observatory.
This is a great opportunity for a lot of direct new information about what is going on in magma chambers. Up till now, observations haveIn May, the Krafla Magma Testbed (KMT) received financing from the International Continental Scientific Drilling Program, which said the project was one of its top priorities for the decade. With that support, along with several million dollars in funding from Iceland and other European science agencies, the project this month entered its preparation phase. It will prove out the technologies needed to hold the well open despite the corrosion that comes with superheated water, take geophysical soundings of the magma chamber, and model how the chamber will behave once penetrated. The first borehole, costing as much as $25 million, could begin as soon as 2023. been indirect.

Getting a sample will also reveal the true nature of the magma chamber. Most scientists reject the cartoonish view of magma chambers as hellish underground lakes. “We think of these systems as a mush”—small amounts of liquid between crystallized grains—“rather than a liquid balloon,” says Marie Edmonds, a petrologist at the University of Cambridge.


But Krafla, which last erupted in 1984, may be an exception. The glassy bits from the 2009 drilling campaign hinted that the magma was not only liquid, but also circulating, interacting with melt lower down. “That’s the most shocking thing from what little we’ve gleaned so far,” Eichelberger says. But little is known about the magma chamber’s size or how long it has persisted—questions KMT can help answer.

KMT intends to collect multiple samples over time and embed sensors in and near the magma to measure heat, pressure, and even chemistry despite temperatures of more than 1000°C. “The technical challenges are formidable,” says Wendy Bohrson, a volcanologist at the Colorado School of Mines. KMT’s drilling partners are testing flexible couplings that can allow the steel liner of the well to expand and contract with extreme heat. And others are developing innovative electronics to withstand the heat and pressure, which could someday be used on Venus.
 
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Astronuc
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temperatures of more than 1000°C.
Steel (melting temperature like 1375°C) will flow, or in the case of a bore casing, will collapse. They'd need something like an alloy of Ta or W, or cermet composite.
 
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Very dangerous. Because we are so curious about what is underneath our feet, we are going to risk destabilising the earth even further. Think about the Magna Chamber as a balloon. Prick into the "wall" of it and see what will come spewing out under "what" kind of pressure? That's why I am already against gas "fracking". See what is happening with volcanos! We have already enough earthquakes.
 
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Baluncore
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Think about the Magna Chamber as a balloon.
Welcome to PF.
Your argument seems to be based on fear and misunderstanding, not science and engineering.

The balloon is a very poor analogy of a magma chamber. It completely ignores the weight of the material above the magma chamber. The tension in the skin of a balloon is not present in the surface of the magma chamber.

Drilling into a magma chamber does NOT raise the risk of eruption or earthquake. Indeed, it would probably reduce the risk since, if anything it could very slightly reduce the hydrostatic pressure within the chamber, by venting gas.

It is quite likely that the drill would fail due to the heat before it reached any magma that might flow up the borehole. At best, gasses could be vented in quantities controlled by the valves at the borehole cap.
 
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My balloon example was more or less to create an image of a contained quantity under pressure. I agree it will be highly unlikely that they can "drill" into this mass.
 
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Steel (melting temperature like 1375°C) will flow, or in the case of a bore casing, will collapse. They'd need something like an alloy of Ta or W, or cermet composite.
Most logical thing to look for is whatever tools are being used to handle molten glass. Lava is a silicate melt much like glass, just a bit dirtier.
 
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Astronuc
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Most logical thing to look for is whatever tools are being used to handle molten glass. Lava is a silicate melt much like glass, just a bit dirtier.

Application of Molybdenum in the Glass Industry​

https://www.refractorymetal.org/application-of-molybdenum-in-the-glass-industry/
The melting temperature of the glass is mostly between 1100 and 1700℃, which is usually the working temperature of the melting zone and the forehearth. Obviously, molybdenum, tungsten, and B60 tungsten-molybdenum alloy are the most suitable materials for direct use in glass industrial electrodes, stirring rod cores, and protective covers. Because tungsten is expensive and difficult to process, its application is limited, so molybdenum is the most commonly used material in the glass industry.
https://www.refractorymetal.org/influence-of-molybdenum-electrodes-on-the-quality-of-glass-products/
 

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