Scientists fear new super-volcano may be forming in Bolivia

 
October 20, 2011BOLIVIA - Should anyone ever decide to make a show called “CSI: Geology,” a group of scientists studying a mysterious and rapidly inflating South American volcano have got the perfect storyline. Uturuncu is a nearly 20,000-foot-high (6,000 meters) volcano in southwest Bolivia. Scientists recently discovered the volcano is inflating with astonishing speed. “I call this ‘volcano forensics,’ because we’re using so many different techniques to understand this phenomenon,” said Oregon State University professor Shan de Silva, a volcanologist on the research team. Researchers realized about five years ago that the area below and around Uturuncu is steadily rising — blowing up like a giant balloon under a wide disc of land some 43 miles (70 kilometers) across. Satellite data revealed the region was inflating by 1 to 2 centimeters (less than an inch) per year and had been doing so for at least 20 years, when satellite observations began. “It’s one of the fastest uplifting volcanic areas on Earth,” de Silva told OurAmazingPlanet. “What we’re trying to do is understand why there is this rapid inflation, and from there we’ll try to understand what it’s going to lead to.” The peak is perched like a party hat at the center of the inflating area. “It’s very circular. It’s like a big bull’s-eye,” said Jonathan Perkins, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who recently presented work on the mountain at this year’s Geological Society of America meeting  in Minneapolis. Scientists figured out from the inflation rate that the pocket of magma beneath the volcano was growing by about 27 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) per second. “That’s about 10 times faster than the standard rate of magma chamber growth you see for large volcanic systems,” Perkins told OurAmazingPlanet. “It’s not a volcano that we think is going to erupt at any moment, but it certainly is interesting, because the area was thought to be essentially dead,” de Silva said. Uturuncu is surrounded by one of the most dense concentrations of super-volcanoes on the planet, all of which fell silent some 1 million years ago.
Super-volcanoes get their name because they erupt with such power that they typically spew out 1,000 times more material, in sheer volume, than a volcano like Mount St. Helens. Modern human civilization has never witnessed such an event. The planet’s most recent super-volcanic eruption happened about 74,000 years ago in Indonesia. These eruptions are thought to have not only a local and regional impact, but potentially a global impact,” de Silva said. Uturuncu itself is in the same class as Mount St. Helens in Washington State, but its aggressive rise could indicate that a new super-volcano is on the way, or not? De Silva said it appears that local volcanoes hoard magma for about 300,000 years before they blow — and Uturuncu last erupted about 300,000 years ago. “So that’s why it’s important to know how long this has been going on,” he said. If this is a super-volcano, it could be one of the largest on the planet. –Our Amazing Planet
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27 Responses to Scientists fear new super-volcano may be forming in Bolivia

  1. Fillade says:

    Hello Alvin, could you post a simple plate boundry outline locating the new volcano.

    Fillade

  2. Rita says:

    Hawaii is in the midst of a major earthquake cluster right now!

    • I’ve been watching Hawaii and I’ve also been watching Puerto Rico. And then there’s Sierraville CA. So much activity going on.

      Maranatha

    • J Guffey says:

      Just saw all these. With everything else that’s going on with volcanos and quakes, it becoming more evident we need to take Alvin’s advice and “Fasten our seat belts”.
      MAG UTC DATE-TIME DEPTH
      MAP 2.3 2011/10/20 02:14:31 19.844 -155.546 14.8 24 km ( 15 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.0 2011/10/20 01:48:54 19.880 -155.548 17.6 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.2 2011/10/20 01:42:19 19.895 -155.554 17.2 19 km ( 12 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.3 2011/10/20 01:29:13 19.881 -155.547 17.0 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.5 2011/10/20 01:24:05 19.875 -155.537 17.9 22 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.1 2011/10/20 01:22:20 19.890 -155.545 17.6 20 km ( 12 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.7 2011/10/20 01:11:01 19.863 -155.533 17.0 23 km ( 14 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.1 2011/10/20 01:04:37 19.880 -155.545 18.0 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 3.3 2011/10/20 00:59:00 19.884 -155.539 19.5 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.4 2011/10/20 00:57:03 19.855 -155.542 14.8 23 km ( 14 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.6 2011/10/20 00:48:01 19.881 -155.541 16.7 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.4 2011/10/20 00:45:56 19.845 -155.546 14.7 24 km ( 15 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.8 2011/10/20 00:45:17 19.879 -155.545 15.2 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.1 2011/10/20 00:33:40 19.886 -155.548 18.1 20 km ( 12 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 1.7 2011/10/20 00:31:52 19.858 -155.527 16.2 24 km ( 15 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.0 2011/10/20 00:30:47 19.838 -155.408 16.7 23 km ( 14 mi) S of Paauilo, HI
      MAP 2.5 2011/10/20 00:27:44 19.878 -155.536 18.6 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.4 2011/10/20 00:25:25 19.874 -155.547 16.3 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 3.1 2011/10/20 00:21:04 19.871 -155.543 15.7 22 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 2.0 2011/10/20 00:18:11 19.865 -155.522 16.9 24 km ( 15 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 1.9 2011/10/20 00:16:15 19.883 -155.541 17.8 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 3.6 2011/10/20 00:12:34 19.882 -155.533 16.6 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI
      MAP 4.5 2011/10/20 00:10:04 19.883 -155.532 18.8 21 km ( 13 mi) SE of Waimea, HI

  3. nickk0 says:

    I have never associated Bolivia, with volcanoes, (unlike Chile), but this one is right next door to Chile :

    http://maps.google.com/maps?gcx=c&q=Uturuncu&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hl=en&sa=N&tab=wl

    – Nick

  4. MIKR says:

    Oh..this is not so good, for those situated even sort of close..its so hard to determine whether a new developing story and SUPER VOLCANO is suppose to mean anything, when no MSM care to discuss this..
    Well in your words Alvin..”blessings in Christ”,
    Our power is certainly infinite..fear not..always keep beliving..this site travels http://WWW..We all know our 6 senses work fine
    I pray We all stay strong in prayer and in true stregth of Humanity We will prevail..
    I pray that Humanity starts to help each other in certain communities before SHTF
    I apologize for that but you know…
    I feel We are not being fooled by Paid Officials anymore and hormonious human effect will happen..
    I know and feel this site is meant to have an International effect..I feel this quite often reading posts here,
    So it seems approopoo to wish all of GODS people best wishes and HALLEJUAHS
    pass it on..
    B;esings in Christ and The Almighty….

  5. Susan D. says:

    Was looking at the USGS web site . . . if the “ring of fire” was a “connect the dots” puzzle, well, it looks like all the dots are nearly connected now. There is so much acitivity. it is amazing! Will it continue to be this way, releasing energy along and within the ring? Or is it building to something more major?

  6. Internet Providings says:

    So when is something….anything, going to happen? Something that will WAKE up the world, and make people realize the seriousness of the situation. We keep seeing this potential warning signs, but nothing ever follows.

    I sometimes wonder if anything is going to happen.

  7. Eva Korcz says:

    Hi Alvin, I have just received your book and am slowly plowing through it. I have a couple of questions as I live in the UK and wondered what you foresee happening here. We have the odd earth quake, but have pretty much avoided any geological disaster, unless there is a major solar flare that cripples our electric grids which would probably leave our nuclear power plants in meltdown. The UK has typically avoided disasters and just watched from afar as mother earth does its worst. I would really appreciate an opinion.

    • Glad you got a copy Eva. Please excuse the slow response; I’m playing catch-up with the multitude of comments. Geologically, there are faults in the UK and some extinct volcanoes in the northern isles but perhaps the challenges would come from the geology around the UK: Iceland’s deadly volcanic fields; new volcanism in central Europe or the deadly volcanoes in Italy; particularly Campi Flegrei. There are also some risks of inundation by high tides and tsunami threats from other potential cataclysms. Of course, we don’t know the exact details of what events will trigger what, some of it is watching and observing. Since inherent risks to the country is low in many respects- that gives the inhabitants of the UK a unique vantage point to react to what’s happening to the rest of the world and taking the necessary precautions ahead of time to mitigate potential collateral risks.

      peace and blessings,
      Alvin

  8. Bundy says:

    And Italy is swarming as well.

  9. Evo says:

    I never heard about this one before. Going by the expansion rate above, it grows by 86400 cubic meters a day!
    “It’s not a volcano that we think is going to erupt at any moment, but it certainly is interesting, because the area was thought to be essentially dead,” de Silva said.
    “Interesting”, is certainly one description. Worrying might be another.

  10. Harry K says:

    the perfect circular symmetry worries me. It (to me)speaks of much pressure and depth like a water hose will make a round hole due to pressure. Lack of this pressure would mean lack of circularity. Tell me i am mistaken, please ,because this is a scary picture.

  11. major says:

    As its in the Southern Hemisphere doesnt that mean all the volcanic ejecta would stay circulating in the Southen Hemisphere?? Hence no global winter so to speak?? What would be the effect on Anarctica??

  12. Jennifer says:

    Alvin,

    Do you think it is possible that this new growth Super Volcano may be about to blow, or possibly another super volcano? Could it be causing the spread of the sea floor which may be also causing the “Hums” people are hearing across the globe? We have never heard what a super volcano eruption sounds like, have we? Furthermore would it not take many MANY years to build and possibly be hearing these sounds resonate in the atmosphere by means of possible echo(from deep in ocean bed)? Could that noise also be so loud that the marine life with sensitivity would be confused and possibly venture to places where they shouldn’t because of the confusion, hence lead to mass die outs as the others follow? Just putting some thoughts out there and trying to figure out the die outs and noise’s as it seems they may indeed be related. Methane driven, perhaps? lol HELP! ;-)

    Thanks so much!! Also, if it is answered in your book then just let me know which page to look at. I am not even half way through it. Again, THANK YOU!! xoxox

    Jenn

    • Slabs of earth, including faults are always under some type of immense pressure. The grinding noise can create a resonate frequency in crystalline like rock if there is pressurized friction. Scientists also recently discovered that earthquakes generate tremendous amounts of flash heat: http://news.brown.edu/pressreleases/2011/10/quakes

      Everything is accelerating in terms of change and we don’t know when any of the super-volcanoes will erupt- Boliva included. Whatever the trigger events are, tectonic plate movements, surface dome collapse, temperature anomaly, seismic event, ect- is something we’re still learning about. Sea-floor spreading, increases in volcanism, seismic activity, tectonic plate movements are all driven by internal planetary thermal mechanisms as I also suspect magnetic field reversal is also part of this process of geological instability the planet experiences when this cyclical process occurs. The noise is only an issue to animals who navigate by means of sonar or magnetic field orientation. Volcanism releases gases, raises temperatures in the ocean and creates acidic and some cases hypoxic environments and that is what I feel is behind marine kills.

      peace and blessings,
      Alvin

  13. virginia thurlby says:

    Yes Hawaii is rocking and rolling… Mauna Kea !!

  14. Traci says:

    Hi,
    Concerning the Yellowstone Supervolcano, how far would the ash possibly go?
    I live at least a 1000 to 1500 miles away.

    • That depends on how bad the eruption would be. If it’s a VEI 8 eruption, the strongest there is- most of America would likely be buried in ash up to at least one meter in depth (3 feet) with the NE and Midwest getting hit the worst and the NW, the least impacted. All of this would probably happen in about 4 to 5 days and it would grow worst over time. Here’s the most important imformation for anyone concerning surviving a perperipheral eruption of Yellowstone. To be out of harm’s way completely- you want to move below the 30 degree line of latitude- which puts you around Mexico. Why? Watch this video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bPmDg5gEXHA

      You have to get into the zone of the Tropical Easterlies of oposing wind direction. The ash from such an eruption would get into the upper statosphere and circle the globe.

  15. artsy777 says:

    I think the best thing to do here is get ready for the soul to transition. Either through disease, war, or natural disasters many of us will not be here in a handful of years.
    BTW something is starting in Bolivia
    22-NOV-2011 18:48:15 -15.34 -65.11 MAG 6.6 533.3 CENTRAL BOLIVIA

  16. Fillade says:

    Hello Alvin, Is there any projected data of ash fallout from this supervolacno exploding, it’s spread and coverage.

    Fillade

  17. Steve Waddell says:

    If you do the math, the total accumulated magma over 20 years is only 0.11 cubic miles. That’s a lot but it scarcely qualifies as a super volcano even if it all erupted which is highly unlikely. This would only be a VEI 6 at best (think Mt. Pinatuba) and more likely a VEI 5 (Mt. St. Helens)

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