Sunday, October 14, 2012

End Times. Volcanoes Awakening. Mountains Changing. Diversion of Gulf Stream Path.

Indonesia’s Paluweh volcano awakens from 27 year slumber with eruption

October 14, 2012 – INDONESIA A new eruptive phase began on Thursday, 9th October (or possibly the 8th October) at Paluweh volcano, the volcano has been dormant since 1985. Paluweh is also known as Rokatenda. The volcano has shown signs of revival since October 1st. The MODVOLC (MODIS) detected thermal anomalies on 9th October followed by an emission of large ash plumes that could be seen from Flores Island, plus reports of “huge fire” issuing from the top of the volcano. Several villages reported intense ash fall. 6000 people have been reported to have evacuated the area. Dust masks are being distributed. The head of the East Nusa Tenggara chapter of BNPB, Tini Thadeus, said Rokatenda was currently on Alert Level II status, “Waspada,” out of four statuses, with the fourth being the most dangerous. Tini said two other volcanoes in the province, namely Mount Lewotolok in the district of Lembata and Mount Sirung in the subdistrict of Alor, were on the “Waspada” status as well.Volcano Discovery

Next eruption could be a mega-event: scientist warns of Fuji eruption chaos

October 14, 2012 – JAPAN A Japanese scientist has warned Mount Fuji is due for a “big-scale explosive eruption” that could affect millions of people and cause billions of dollars worth of damage. Last month a study found the magma chamber under the mountain has come under immense pressure, which could even trigger a volcanic eruption. It said the added pressure could have been caused by last year’s earthquake, which was followed a few days later by another large tremor directly underneath Fuji. Professor Toshitsugu Fujii, the head of Japan’s volcanic eruption prediction panel, says an eruption could cause chaos and carnage all the way to Tokyo. “Mount Fuji has been resting for 300 years now, and this is abnormal,” he told Saturday AM. “It usually erupts in some form every 30 years. So the next eruption could be a big-scale explosive eruption.” Ever since last year’s massive 9.0-magnitude earthquake off Japan’s north-east, the country’s meteorological agency has been keeping a closer eye on Mount Fuji. Of even greater concern to the agency was a magnitude-6.2 quake right under the volcano a few days after the big one. “It’s known that when a large earthquake happens, it can trigger a nearby volcano to erupt,” Professor Fujii said. “That’s what happened 300 years ago, when Fuji erupted just 40 days after a big quake.” –ABC News

Massive uplift observed in Andean Mountains due to enlarging magma chamber

October 14, 2012 – BOLIVIA – Geophysicists at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) have identified a unique phenomenon in Altiplano-Puna plateau, located in the central Andes near the borders of Bolivia, Chile and Argentina. Magma underneath the Earth’s crust is forcing the ground up in one spot, and at the same time sinking the ground around it. The result is something the researchers have described as the “sombrero uplift,” after the popular Mexican hat. According to their report on the phenomenon, published in the journal Science, the two UC San Diego scientists recorded uplift in the crust that measured about 0.4 inches per year for 20 years across an area 62 miles wide; the surrounding area sunk at a lower rate—about eight-hundredths of an inch. “It’s a subtle motion, pushing up little by little every day, but it’s this persistence that makes this uplift unusual. Most other magmatic systems that we know about show episodes of inflation and deflation,” said Yuri Fialko, a professor of geophysics at UCSD and Planetary Physics at the Scripps Institute of Oceanography. Fialko and co-author Jill Pearse said the phenomenon was the result of a diapir, or a blob of magma, that rises to Earth’s crust like heated wax inside a lava lamp. Using satellite data from European Remote Sensing (ERS) and Envisat missions, the geophysicists were able to study the uplift in great detail. In 2006, the team asked for the satellites to gather more data from their orbits over Altiplano-Puna. “It was really important to have good data from different lines of sight, as this allowed us to estimate contributions from vertical and horizontal motion of Earth’s surface, and place crucial constraints on depth and mechanism of the inflation source,” Fialko said. “Back in 2006, it looked like the satellites stopped acquiring data from the ascending orbits over the area of interest. Fortunately, ESA was very responsive to our requests, and generated an excellent dataset that made our study possible. Satellite data and computer models allowed us to make the important link between what’s observed at the surface and what’s happening with the magma body at depth,” he added. Fialko said the study’s findings could fuel future research around magmatic events, including the formation of large calderas. Although this diapir in the Altiplano-Puna plateau appears unlikely to cause such a phenomenon—the creation of large calderas, “supervolcanoes,” are highly destructive events that spew thousands of cubic kilometers of magma into the atmosphere. An event of this type would dwarf the Icelandic volcano eruption in 2011 that ejected large amounts of ash into the atmosphere and disrupted global air travel, Fialko said. Diapirs have been known to exist before, but this new study is the first to recognize an active diapir currently rising through the crust. Fialko said a less prominent uplift phenomenon is taking place near Socorro, New Mexico. The Altiplano-Puna plateau is a highly active area for magma and is part of a South American volcanic arc that extends along the northwest side of the continent. Experts have described the area as the largest known active magma body in Earth’s continental crust. –Red Orbit

Scientists uncover diversion of Gulf Stream path in late 2011

October 14, 2012 – MAINE – At a meeting with New England commercial fishermen last December, physical oceanographers Glen Gawarkiewicz and Al Plueddemann from the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) were alerted by three fishermen about unusually high surface water temperatures and strong currents on the outer continental shelf south of New England. “I promised them I would look into why that was happening,” Gawarkiewicz says. The result of his investigation was a discovery that the Gulf Stream diverged well to the north of its normal path beginning in late October 2011, causing the warmer-than-usual ocean temperatures along the New England continental shelf. The researchers’ findings, “Direct interaction between the Gulf Stream and the shelfbreak south of New England,” were published in the August 2012 issue of the journal Scientific Reports. To begin to unravel the mystery, Gawarkiewicz and his colleagues assembled data from a variety of sources and recreated a record of the Gulf Stream path during the fall of 2011. “These are very dramatic events for the outer continental shelf, at least 2 degrees C warmer than we’ve seen since 2001,” says Gawarkiewicz. “Near-bottom temperatures of 18 degrees C on the outer shelf are extremely high for late autumn.” The maximum recorded temperature in December 2011 was the warmest bottom temperature recorded in 6 years of records at the OC01 site. Gawarkiewicz and his colleagues collected additional data on water temperature and salinity from December 4, 2011 through January 4, 2012, from instruments on temporary test moorings placed 12 km south of the shelfbreak by the Ocean Observatories Initiative (OOI). The researchers compared those salinity measurements to historical data, and discovered that high salinity levels – consistent with the salinity of waters carried by the Gulf Stream – coincided with the warming periods. –Terra Daily

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