Volcano “super eruption” would come with little warning, scientists say

A Supervolcano
July 2016SUPERVOLCANO A new study has determined that super-eruptions -volcanic events so large they spew out hundreds of cubic kilometers of magma and ash -typically give only one year’s warning before they erupt, a prospect which would leave humanity little time to prepare for the worldwide devastation produced by such an eruption.The 2010 eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland disrupted air traffic and coated much of Northern Europe with volcanic ash, while the eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington State in May of 1980, which was the deadliest and most economically costly volcano blast in U.S. history, covering 11 states with ash and killing approximately 57 people.
But neither of these disasters comes close to the power and devastation of what geologists refer to as super-eruptions volcanic explosions that register highest on the Volcanic Explosivity Index and send up between 100 and 1000 cubic kilometers of ejecta into the atmosphere.
Scientists have long tried to pinpoint when and where the next supervolcano will erupt. Now, researchers at Vanderbilt University and the University of Chicago have used microscopic analysis of quartz crystals to conclude that the decompression process which releases gas bubbles prior to an eruption begins less than a year before the actual event.
“Super-eruptions have been described as the ultimate geologic hazard,” say the study’s authors, whose research is published in the scientific journal Plos One. “And in many ways, understanding the potential hazards associated with super-eruptions is the ultimate geologic exercise, in which we are pressed to learn as much as possible from the geologic record of past super-eruptions.”
Researchers looked at quartz collected from the Bishop Tuff rock formation in eastern California, created by a super-eruption 760,000 years ago, and found that the telltale rims which form on quartz crystals in the lead-up to an eruption had developed in just the days and months before the explosive event. “More than 70 per cent of rim growth times are less than 1 year,” say the study’s authors.
The closest thing to a such an event in recent history was the Mount Tambora eruption in Indonesia in 1815, which ejected approximately 180 cubic kilometres of material in just a few days and precipitated what was called the “Year without a summer” in 1816 – a volcanic winter that plummeted global temperatures and caused massive famine and civil unrest for the decade to follow. The last true super-eruption occurred 26,000 years ago in the Taupo Volcanic Zone in New Zealand, preceded by the Toba super-eruption in Sumatra some 75,000 years ago.
Historically, North America has seen super-eruptions at the Yellowstone Caldera in the state of Wyoming and in Canada at what’s known as the Blake River Megacaldera on the border between Ontario and Quebec. Why is a super-eruption so devastating? Volcanic ash is the main problem, as billions of tonnes of particulate travel through the air, making breathing difficult, blocking out the Sun and covering everything in sight for thousands of kilometres around. The ash from a super-eruption would contaminate lakes and rivers and make much of the region close to the volcanic site uninhabitable, while sulfur compounds in the ash which reflect sunlight would bring about a volcanic winter and threaten agricultural production worldwide.
The chances of a super-eruption occurring in the near future are slim, however, as geologists have not seen the telltale signs of significant magma buildup underneath any of the known supervolcano sites around the world. “As far as we can determine, none of these places currently house the type of melt-rich, giant magma body needed to produce a super-eruption,” says Guilherme Gualda, professor of earth and environment sciences at Vanderbilt University and co-author of the new study. “However, they are places where super-eruptions have happened in the past so are more likely to happen in the future.”  –Cantech Letters
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When will she blow? Iceland’s vicious Katla volcano rumbles

Katla
July 2016ICELAND Two earthquakes of magnitude 3.2 occurred in the Katla caldera in Mýrdalsjökull glacier around 4:00 AM this morning. Ten smaller earthquakes followed. Katla is one of Iceland’s largest volcanoes, and with twenty eruptions being documented since the year 930, Katla remains on of the country’s most active volcanoes.
Scientists at the University of Iceland Institute of Earth Sciences (IES) and the Icelandic Met Office have been monitoring activity at Katla lately, but small glacial river floods have been observed in recent weeks in the Múlakvísl river that flows from underneath the glacial cap. The floods are caused by Katla’s geothermal hot spots under the Mýrdalsjökull glacier in South Iceland. “This seems to be an annual occurrence, but we still have a reason to closely monitor the situation,” says Dr. Páll Einarsson, geophysicist at the IES.
“The last large eruption in Katla was in 1918, but in the meantime there have been three events that indicate volcanic activity underneath the glacier. First in 1995, then in 1999 and most recently in 2011 when a glacial flood in Múlakvísl River took out a bridge on the main road,” says Dr. Einarsson. “All of these incidents share some similarities, there were earthquakes, rumbles, and glacial floods. There are signs that suggest that small volcanic eruptions did take place underneath the glacier but they were not large enough to break through the icecap. The icecap is fairly thick and only a large eruption would manage to break to the surface.”
Katla has not erupted for some time and some locals believe the volcano is long overdue. Dr. Einarsson points out that volcanoes do typically not erupt at a certain intervals and any talk of Katla being overdue is misleading. “Katla seemed to be fairly predictable for the past three hundred years, but it erupted twice a century, typically in the 20s and 60s,” Dr. Einarsson says, but the volcano erupted in 1625, 1660, 1721, 1755, 1823, 1860 og 1918. “This perceived predictability led people to expect a large eruption in around 1960, but we’re still waiting for it. Volcanoes are unpredictable,” he adds.
How bad would it be?
How bad will it be if Katla erupts? The Katla eruption in 1918 produced an enormous ash cloud and five times as much ash as the 2010 Eyjafjallajökull eruption that halted air traffic in the North-Atlantic and across Europe. Such a large eruption is likely to disrupt air traffic and cause destruction of property and local infrastructure.
In addition to an ash cloud, large eruptions in Katla are accompanied by enormous floods when melted snow and glacial water, mixed with mud and pieces of ice, break out from underneath the icecap and flow to sea. In the last large eruption in 1918, the Southern coast was extended by 5 km by the laharic flood deposits. The most likely path of such a flood is to the South across Mýrdalssandur area, an unpopulated area east of the town Vík in Mýrdalur.  –Iceland Monitor

Sapientia by Alvin Conway

Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Magma Plume activity, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

Powerful 6.1 magnitude earthquake hits Australia’s southern coast

Australia EQ
July 2016 AUSTRALIAA 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck off Australia’s southern coast, according to Geoscience Australia. The quake hit just before 7.00 pm local time on Monday about 1700 km off the coast of Queenstown in Tasmania. It was reported that the earthquake was ‘potentially tsunamigenic,’ but as it turns out the quakes posed no tsunami risk.
Initial information suggested the quake had a depth of 15 km but the US Geological Survey put the quake at a depth of 10 km. It comes after another huge earthquake struck Western Australia three weeks ago.
That quake hit near Norseman in WA’s Goldfields region, and was felt as far away as Esperance on the state’s south east coast. While there were no reports of damage, people in high rise buildings in as far away as Perth experienced some of the aftershocks. There have been more than 30 earthquakes reported near Norseman in the past month.  –Daily Mail
Posted in Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Strange high tides & freak waves, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Tsunami | 1 Comment

Earthquake swarm continues in South Bay near Hollister, CA – NC rattled by second tremor

EQ CA
July 2016 NORTHERN CALIFORNIAAn earthquake swarm is continuing to rattle the South Bay near Hollister. In the past four days, more than 39 tremors have hit the area on a section of the San Andreas system known as the Calaveras Fault. Between Sunday night and Monday afternoon, 39 quakes greater than 1.0 have occurred and 20 more than 2.0, seven over 3.0, one 4.1 and one 4.2, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.
The first struck Sunday night at 10:26 a.m., 12 miles southeast of Hollister, and had a preliminary magnitude of 3.3. Over 260 people reported the incident to the USGS. The largest quake recorded on Monday gave a gentle shake at 2:27 a.m., 12 miles northeast of Hollister, and had a preliminary magnitude of 3.8.  –SF Gate

EQ North Carolina

Second earthquake in 3 days rattle parts of North Carolina: WILKESBORO, N.C. (WNCN) — An earthquake shook parts of North Carolina near the Virginia border in Wilkes County on Saturday night. The 2.4 magnitude quake hit around 9:50 p.m. and was at a depth of 5.1 kilometers, according to the US Geological Survey.
The quake on Saturday night happened just two days after 1.9 magnitude earthquake struck Thursday at Plumtree, N.C. in Avery County — about 60 miles west-southwest of the Saturday quake. The Saturday night quake was right along US 421 and was closest to Millers Creek, N.C. — which was 3 miles from the center. There were no reports of damage. The quake was also about 4 miles west of Wilkesboro and north of W. Kerr Scott Lake.  –WNCN
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Four earthquakes strike Big Island – Tropical Storm Darby expected to weaken

Big Island
July 2016 HAWAIIFour earthquakes hit Hawaii Island on Friday and late Thursday, three in the area of Kilauea Volcano. A fourth quake, at magnitude-4.3, struck the island at 9:16 p.m. Friday. The epicenter was 1.9 miles west-southwest of Honalo, a bit north of Kealakekua Bay, at a depth of 7 miles. The first, with a magnitude of 2.5, hit 3.7 miles southwest of Volcano at a depth of 1.9 miles. It happened at 5:30 p.m. Thursday. The second, magnitude-2.7, had an epicenter 9 miles southeast of Volcano. It struck at 11:18 a.m. Friday at a depth of 3.3 miles.
The third, magnitude-3, struck at 12:14 p.m. 6 miles southeast of Leilani Estates, in the ocean south of Cape Kumukahi. The depth of the epicenter was 20 miles. Meanwhile, the 61G lava flow extending southeast of Puu Oo remained active today, with the leading edge about a half-mile from the ocean. The lava lake at Halemaumau Crater continued to circulate and intermittently spatter, according to the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.  –Star Advertiser
Tropical Storm Darby to weaken: Hawaii emergency officials say no severe damage or injuries have been reported from a tropical storm churning off the coast. Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokeswoman Mary Zanakis said Sunday that the entire state is under a tropical storm warning except the Big Island, which got hit Saturday. That means strong wind and heavy rain are imminent.
She says Tropical Storm Darby, which is about 40 miles south of Honolulu, has toppled some trees and caused some localized flooding. Several shelters have opened statewide for residents who may need them. Surf could be up to 12 feet high on the east side of Maui and be powerful on the other islands, too. The storm is forecast to weaken Monday.  –Herald Courier  
Posted in Climate unraveling, Cloudburst storms with flashflooding, Cyclone or Hurricane, Deluge from torrential rains, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Extreme Weather Event, Gale-force winds and gusts, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Record rainfall, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

Santa Clarita area fire grows to more than 22,000 acres, as temperatures soar

Ca Fire SC
July 2016 CALIFORNIA The brush fire raging in the rugged mountains in the Santa Clarita Valley grew to more than 22,000 acres overnight as firefighters struggle to gain control of the wildfire amid a brutal heat wave. The Sand fire roared primarily through uninhabited areas near the 14 Freeway much of Saturday, fueled by high winds and hillsides carpeted with tinder-like chaparral. The blaze, first reported at 2 p.m. Friday, grew to nearly 5,500 acres by Saturday morning, then exploded by late evening as the winds began to shift, pushing flames closer to homes in a Santa Clarita neighborhood that abuts the Angeles National Forest, fire officials said.
Mandatory evacuations were still in place Sunday for about 1,500 residents in parts of Sand and Placerita canyons, as well as for others along Little Tujunga Canyon road. Earlier, fire officials said that some Sand Canyon residents would be allowed to return home at 1 p.m. but that decision was later rescinded as winds began to shift again. New evacuation orders were issued for residents who live along Agua Dulce, Crown Valley and Soledad Canyon roads and all of Bootlegger Canyon. So far, 18 structures have been destroyed and another damaged in the Bear Divide and Sand Canyon areas, according to the Los Angeles County Fire Department. One fatality has been reported, but it is not yet clear if it is fire-related.
Assisted by fixed-wing aircraft and water-dropping helicopters, more than 1,600 firefighters continue to battle to get ahead of the blaze. But the fire remains only 10% contained. Decades without a major fire and years of drought left the valley primed for a fast-moving fire that was fueled by “excessive heat, low humidity, extreme dry fuels that have not burned for several decades,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Michael Antonovich said during a news conference Saturday. “Five years ago, if we had a similar fire, we would have probably caught [it] at the ridge,” Los Angeles County Fire Department chief Daryl L. Osby said during the news conference.
A man’s body was found inside a car on Iron Canyon Road in the fire zone Saturday evening. Sheriff’s homicide detectives are investigating the death. National Weather Service meteorologist Robbie Munroe said Sunday is expected to bring two forms of respite: cooler temperatures and more moisture. While Saturday’s temperatures sweltered into the 100s in the San Fernando, San Gabriel and Santa Clarita valleys — peaking at 108 degrees near the fire — Munroe said conditions would cool off by about 10 degrees Sunday, returning to a more typical July heat.
“Yesterday was the last day of the heat wave,” he said, adding that humidity percentages near the fire would hover in the teens Sunday but get as high as 40% by the evening. As offshore winds pick up Sunday afternoon, Munroe said, the fire will likely burn to the northeast. “It will be gusty at times,” he said, “which will not be helpful for firefighters.” Fire officials said wind gusts could reach up 20 mph. At a Denny’s in the Sand Canyon area early Sunday, residents swapped stories about the blaze. A woman said her husband had seen a burned horse carcass during his morning walk, and a man described the scene as looking like Armageddon.  –L.A. Times
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Drought, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Electric power disruption & grid failure, Environmental Threat, Extreme Weather Event, Hazardous chemical exposure, Health guideliness issued, Heatwave, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human Migration, Infrastructure collapse, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration, Wildfires | 2 Comments

‘Earthquake’ reported off the Florida coast may have been a Navy test

Florida Navy Test
July 2016FLORIDA Remember all that social media buzz over the weekend about an earthquake off the coast of Daytona Beach? Never mind. It appears the “earthquake” detected on Saturday by seismographs as far away as Venezuela and across the United States and Caribbean was triggered by a man made explosion designed to test the seaworthiness of a new U.S. Navy vessel.
A similar 3.7 magnitude “earthquake” was reported by the U.S. Geological Survey on June 10, 156 nautical miles east-northeast of Ormond-by-the-Sea. That was the same day the Navy reported conducting a shock trial on the USS Jackson, headquartered at Mayport for testing. Shock trials test a ship’s ability to withstand the effects of underwater explosions and remain seaworthy. On Saturday, the Geological Survey again reported a 3.7 magnitude “earthquake” around 4 p.m. about 168 nautical miles east-northeast of Daytona Beach Shores.
The Navy had notified the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Fisheries Service that another shock trial was going to be conducted between July 16 and July 20, depending on the weather. Asked about the reported earthquake on Monday, Dale Eng, a public information officer for the Navy’s Sea Systems Command in Washington, said the Navy is working on a statement it expects to release this week.
Seismographs as far away as Minnesota, Texas and Oklahoma, as well as along the coast of Florida, Georgia and North Carolina, registered the event on Saturday, said Bruce Presgrave, a geophysicist and shift supervisor at the Geological Survey’s National Earthquake Information Center in California. Upon seeing the photo Monday of the June 10 shock trail on the News-Journal’s website Presgrave said, “That’s a smoking gun, isn’t it?” Presgrave planned to contact the Navy to learn more about the charges used in the shock trials as part of the agency’s ongoing investigation.
A large underwater explosion “would almost certainly be detected as an earthquake,” he said. Sound travels particularly well in a layer of ocean water known as the SOFAR channel, short for Sound Fixing and Ranging Channel, he said, adding that it “lets sound waves travel a long way away, a lot farther than we would expect.” Because the shock trials happen underwater, the SOFAR channel would be a “very good amplifier,” producing the strong signals seen along the coast on Saturday, Presgrave said. “Even at the sea floor, they would help put a good bit of energy into the ground.” The detection inland would indicate it’s “a pretty big explosion.”
A permit from the Fisheries Service for Navy maneuvers between 2013 and 2018 stated explosions to conduct shock trials on vessels east of Jacksonville could include a 10,000-pound charge and a 40,000-pound charge. The USS Jackson, commissioned last December, is one of the Navy’s new Independence class of littoral combat ships, which will conduct anti-submarine, surface and mine countermeasure operations around the globe, the Navy has reported. They’re “designed to defeat threats in coastal waters where increasingly capable submarines, mines and swarming small craft operate.” A statement from Jackson’s manufacturer, Austal USA, on July 4 said two shock trials had taken place and one other was planned. The company warned its investors that additional modifications were determined necessary after the initial shock trials, requiring a “downward adjustment” to the company’s planned revenue.  –News Journal
Posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Infrastructure collapse, New weapons of war, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration | 8 Comments