Monster: Scientists find missing link in Yellowstone plumbing- supervolcano contains enough magma to fill the Grand Canyon

Yellowstone
April 2015YELLOWSTONEYellowstone National Park is the home of one of the world’s largest volcanoes, one that is quiescent for the moment but is capable of erupting with catastrophic violence at a scale never before witnessed by human beings. In a big eruption, Yellowstone would eject 1,000 times as much material as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. This would be a disaster felt on a global scale, which is why scientists are looking at this thing closely. On Thursday, a team from the University of Utah published a study, in the journal Science that for the first time offers a complete diagram of the plumbing of the Yellowstone volcanic system.
The new report fills in a missing link of the system. It describes a large reservoir of hot rock, mostly solid but with some melted rock in the mix, that lies beneath a shallow, already-documented magma chamber.  The newly discovered reservoir is 4.5 times larger than the chamber above it. There’s enough magma there to fill the Grand Canyon nearly 14 times. The reservoir is on top of a long plume of magma that emerges from deep within the Earth’s mantle. This system has been in place for roughly 17 million years, with the main change being the movement of the North American tectonic plate, creeping at the rate of roughly an inch a year toward the southwest. A trail of remnant calderas can be detected across Idaho, Oregon and Nevada, looking like a string of beads, marking the migration of the tectonic plate. A similar phenomenon is seen in the Hawaiian Islands as the Pacific plate moves over a hot spot, stringing out volcanoes, old to new, dormant to active.
“This is like a giant conduit. It starts down at 1,000 kilometers. It’s a pipe that starts down in the Earth,” said Robert Smith, emeritus professor of geophysics at the University of Utah and a co-author of the new paper. The lead author is his colleague Hsin-Hua Huang. This new picture doesn’t change, fundamentally, the risk assessment of Yellowstone, but it will help scientists understand the mechanics of the volcano. Risk assessment is tricky for low-probability, high-consequence events like volcanic eruptions. The big Yellowstone eruptions occur on time scales of many hundreds of thousands of years. Smith said the repeat time for a caldera explosion at Yellowstone is roughly 700,000 years. But the smaller eruptions, with lava flowing over the surface, are more frequent. There have been at least 50 such smaller eruptions since the caldera exploded 640,000 years ago. The most recent was about 70,000 years ago.
This is a volcano that can erupt either in a big way or a truly colossal and catastrophic way. The big eruptions can send lava flowing over a big portion of the park; the really huge ones can form a giant crater, or caldera. The last time Yellowstone had a calderic eruption was 640,000 years ago, and the misshapen hole it created was about 25 miles by 37 miles across. Geological processes don’t follow clocks. These are chaotic systems, with strain building unpredictably as distant faults break and the geological stresses shift here and there. Bottom line: Yellowstone is unpredictable. There’s no sign at all that this old volcano is going to erupt anytime soon, either in a big way or a huge, show-stopper way. But neither is there any evidence that it’s running out of steam. –Washington Post CNN
Filed October 2014
The unpredictable nature of volcanoes: 2014 Japan’s Mt. Ontake, and 2015 Chile’s Calbuco Volcano both erupted without warning. We have to understand this is the nature of a good percentage of volcanic systems on this planet. Supervolcanoes maybe even more unpredictable, and it’s anybody’s guess what a supervolcano will do because no one has ever witnessed one of these systems going off, or  has ever survived and eruption to live to talk or write about it. -TEP
Posted in Black Swan Event, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Extinction Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Magma Plume activity, Magnetic pole migration, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | 1 Comment

52: Calbuco Volcano erupts in Chile – volcano erupts with no warning after 42 years of silence

Colbuco Volcano
April 2015CHILE The Calbuco volcano erupted Wednesday for the first time in more than 42 years, billowing a huge ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile. Authorities ordered the evacuation of the 1,500 inhabitants of the nearby town of Ensenada, along with residents of two smaller communities. The National Mining and Geology Service issued a high alert, barring access to the area around the volcano, which lies near the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, a little more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Chile’s capital, Santiago. “For us it was a surprise,” said Alejandro Verges, regional emergency director of the Los Lagos region where the eruption took place. He said Calbuco wasn’t under any special form of observation. Authorities said a large amount of ash was observed but no hot rocks or lava had been seen by late in the day.
 The Education Ministry canceled school in communities near the volcano and at least three flights to Puerto Montt were canceled. The 6,500 foot (2,000-meter) Calbuco last erupted in 1972 and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanoes. Villarica, one of South America’s most active volcanoes, erupted in southern Chile last month, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes and forcing authorities to evacuate thousands of people. The 9,000 foot (2,847-meter) volcano sits above the small city of Pucon. Tourists flock there for outdoor activities, including hiking around the volcano. “This is clearly a much larger eruption than the one we saw with the Villarica some weeks ago and therefore we need to take bigger and faster measures,” Interior and Security Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said. He said that the government was sending water in case resources get contaminated by ash and that police and military officers had been deployed to ensure safety and help with evacuations. –ABC
Posted in Black Swan Event, Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earth's core dynamics, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Infrastructure collapse, Lava flow, Magnetic pole migration, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | 6 Comments

51: Nevado de Ruiz volcano shaken by earthquake swarm, ash emissions

Navado del Ruiz
April 2015 COLOMBIA Nevado del Ruiz – Activity at the volcano has increased during the past week. Accompanied by elevated seismic activity, ash emissions have been occurring since 14 April. The strongest phase of activity was on 19 April, when ash plumes rose to estimated 900 meters above the summit. The Ingeominas volcano observatory in Manizales reported a change in seismicity detected since 12 April, when an increase in volcanic-tectonic (rock-fracturing) signals was detected, signs of pressurization and possible magma intrusion at depth.
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): The volcano has been very active recently. Vulcanian-type explosions have been frequent (2-8 per day) and often relatively large. On 15 April, at least 8 explosions occurred, the largest of which produced ash plumes that rose to 15,000 ft (4.5 km altitude), i.e. 3.5 km above the volcano’s summit.
Aso (Kyushu, Japan): Mild strombolian activity with low-level ash emissions continue from the Nakadake crater. –Volcano Discovery
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, Harmonic tremor swarm, High-risk potential hazard zone, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

New eruption at Turrialba produced ash column reaching more than 6,500 feet

Costa Rica Volcano 2
April 2015COSTA RICA Costa Rica’s Turrialba volcano erupted again Tuesday afternoon, producing a column of ash, gas, and water vapor that reached some 6,500 feet over the volcano’s crater, according to the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Costa Rica (OVSICORI). The eruption began at 4:04 p.m. and continued for 22 minutes, according to OVSICORI. Constant seismic activity has been recorded at the volcano since Saturday, and local residents have reported a strong smell of sulfur for the last several days.
San Jose’s Tobias Bolanos Airport announced a partial closure of the airport Tuesday evening due to potential ashfall, but was back to normal operation by Wednesday morning. An eruption of similar magnitude most recently occurred on Tuesday, April 7th. One of Costa Rica’s most well-known volcanologists, Gino Gonzalez of the National Seismological Network (RSN), said in December that Turrialba could remain active and belching ash for as long as two years.  –Inside Costa Rica
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Magnetic pole migration, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

Avian flu crisis grows for poultry producers throughout USA

Bird Flu US
April 2015 HEALTHPoultry producers in several states are bracing for more losses as a highly pathogenic strain of avian influenza forced producers to kill millions of chickens and turkeys in the USA in recent weeks. On Tuesday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture confirmed that turkeys at four more commercial facilities–three in Minnesota and one in South Dakota–were confirmed to be infected with the fast moving H5N2 virus. The agency estimated that more than 390,000 turkeys between the plant would be lost to the disease or have to be euthanized as a precaution to prevent spread of the virus. The latest cases come one day after USDA officials announced that H5N2 was found at a chicken laying facility in Osceola County, Iowa. Some 3.8 million layer hens at the farm affiliated with Sonstegard Foods Company will be euthanized to try to prevent the spread of the disease, according to the company.
The USDA had initially estimated that 5.3 million hens were affected. But the company has since confirmed that it was operating below capacity at the time avian flu was detected at its Iowa farm, said USDA spokeswoman Joelle Hayden. “We went to great lengths to prevent our birds from contracting AI (avian influenza), but despite best efforts we now confirm many of our birds are testing positive for AI,” the South Dakota-based Sonstegard Foods said in a statement. Meanwhile, mega turkey producer Hormel Food Corp. confirmed that avian flu is causing significant supply chain problems in its Jennie-O Turkey Store segment as 17 turkey flocks owned or processed by the company have been hit by avian flu. In addition to losing turkeys, those affected facilities are also quarantined, so they can undergo thorough cleanings. Hormel CEO Jeffrey Ettinger warned investors on Monday that the avian flu problem will likely result in company falling on the lower-end of its projected earnings target of $2.50 to $2.60 per share.
“While Jennie-O Turkey Store has delivered strong financial performance so far in the first half, tight meat supplies and operational challenges will pressure earnings in the back half of our fiscal year,” Ettinger said. He added that company believes it will maintain its earnings target “on the assumption that farm outbreak occurrences will decline as the weather improves, but expect turkey supply challenges to push our full year earnings toward the lower end of this range.” Until Monday’s announcement that the Iowa facility was stricken, Minnesota—the nation’s biggest turkey producer and home to Hormel—had been the hardest hit with the virus hitting more than two dozen turkey flocks. Already, turkey growers in the state have lost more 2 million turkeys, since the H5N2 strain was first confirmed in early March in Pope County. –USA Today
contribution Niebo
Posted in Disease outbreak, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Ecology overturn, Emerging disease threat, Environmental Threat, Health guideliness issued, High-risk potential hazard zone, Mass animal deaths, New virus reported, Pestilence Watch, Prophecies referenced, Quarantine, Time - Event Acceleration | 2 Comments

‘Like the end of the world’ – Beijing blanketed in red dust

China Dustorm
April 2015 BEIJINGBeijing was covered in a thick blanket of dust on Tuesday and Wednesday in one of the worst sandstorms the city has seen in more than a decade. As the evening set in, residents rushed to get home from work in the dust, as visibility continued to drop and traffic came to a standstill. It followed a yellow alert from China’s weather bureau, which warned that visibility would drop below 1,000 meters and air quality would deteriorate. The country has a four-tiered, color-coded system for weather events: red, orange, yellow and blue. Although in terms of scale, the sandstorm wasn’t of the highest level, it is believed to have been the worst in Beijing in 13 years.
In some areas, the pollution was recorded at a hazardous level of so-called particulate matter, which can enter the lungs and worsen respiratory and heart problems, and even contribute to deaths. The dust storm mixed together a toxic brew of pollution, given that China has some of the worst air quality of anywhere on Earth, and dust particles, making the air even less breathable than normal. The concentration of dangerous particulate matter, known as PM10, hit 1,000 micrograms per cubic meter at one point, well above safe levels.
Authorities advised residents to remain inside and secure outdoor items that could go flying in high winds. The government also recommended wearing face masks and goggles to avoid injury and respiratory issues. “It’s very dirty, I feel like it is the end of the world,” said one internet user of the scene, according to the South China Morning Post. While another mused: “It feels like we are living in a desert. I wonder how we can survive such bad weather.” –Mashable
Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Climate unraveling, Desertification, Drought, Dust Storm, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Ecology overturn, Environmental Threat, Gale-force winds and gusts, Hazardous chemical exposure, Health guideliness issued, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration | 1 Comment

The Extinction Protocol – the human crossroads

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Congo’s ticking time-bomb – one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world

Congo Volcano
April 2015 CONGO A time bomb is ticking in eastern Congo. Mount Nyiragongo, an active volcano, could erupt at any moment. The ever-present threat is forcing two uneasy neighbors – DRC and Rwanda – to cooperate with one another. The crater of Mount Nyiragongo contains the largest and most voluminous lava lake in the world, measuring a staggering ten million cubic meters. Celestin Kasereka, who works for the volcanological observatory in Goma, eastern Democratic Republic of Congo, considers Mount Nyiragongo to be one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world. “Nyiragongo is one of three volcanoes in which the lava lake is still active and it is situated right next to Goma with its one million inhabitants. We have to monitor this volcano,” he said.
Keeping a volcano under surveillance is a difficult task. There was a time when the European Union and Switzerland provided funding, but foreign aid for the observatory dried up in 2014. The government of North Kivu province lacks the means to make up for the shortfall and so there are no funds available for data gathering expeditions to the crater, seismographs, access to satellite data, or for public awareness campaigns. The observatory doesn’t even have enough resources to update the public warning signs which show the level of volcanic activity. Their purpose is to tell the population when to prepare for the evacuation of Goma, should an eruption be imminent. Kasereka finds this lack of precautionary measures worrying. “If we can’t monitor the volcano properly, we could be in for a nasty surprise.”
That was what happened when Nyiragongo last erupted in 2002. Several hundred people were killed by the molten lava. It also destroyed the runway at Goma airport as well as houses and business premises. Joseph Makundi, head of the government’s civil defense department, said that before the year 2002 nobody had stopped to think what might happen in Goma if the volcano were to erupt. “When it did happen, there was total chaos,” he said. “Nobody had lifted a finger, neither the government nor its partners. The present government wants to avoid repeating this mistake and has created a civil defense department.” This agency claims the government is now in a position to evacuate local residents in the vicinity of the volcano. They would be given shelter in 14 camps in the DRC and in neighboring Rwanda.
Mount Nyiragongo is also a permanent hazard for the residents of the town of Gienyi, just across the border in Rwanda. Molten lava from the volcano could spread there, too. There is also a subterranean magma flow running beneath the local hospital in Gisenyi. Once it has broken through the surface, magma is referred to as lava. It could come spewing up from the ground in Gisenyi. –DW
Posted in Black Swan Event, Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, High-risk potential hazard zone, Human behavioral change after disaster, Limnic overturn, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Prophecies referenced, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | 4 Comments