Volcano Watch: ‘We could be sitting on a Mendip volcano’ says Somerset expert

Posted on December 4, 2011


Does a great and terrible fate await us if drilling starts below the Mendip hills to extract gas?

A Mendip hills expert says it might. Nigel Taylor, caver, wildlife and nature campaigner, explosives expert and Mendip district councillor, has carried out a study of the Mendip Hills and has discovered that there is a volcanic plug that could be holding back a river of lava ready to erupt if disturbed.

“It may sound ridiculous,” said Mr Taylor, “but it is no more ridiculous than drilling deep into the earth’s crust and setting off explosions to release trapped gas without knowing all of the potential consequences.

“We could be sitting on a Mendip volcano.”

Mr Taylor says that Moons Hill Quarry, which is situated at the heart of the Mendip Plateau near Stoke St Michael, is a massive Silurian Volcanic plug of Basalt rock.

He said: “The rain falling onto the Mendips soaks down, and are superheated on their journey to the Roman Baths at Bath by volcanic activity deep in the earth’s surface under that volcanic plug, long thought extinct.”


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