Bárðarbunga volcano getting ready to erupt? 1000 earthquakes as magma moves into ice covered caldera

From the Icelandic Meteorological Office:

A summary of seismic activity, written Tuesday evening 19th August 2014 at 20:00
Around 1.000 small earthquakes were detected in the Bárðarbunga region from midnight (18/19) until Tuesday evening 19th August at 20:00. All of them were smaller than magnitude 3 and most were located in the cluster east of Bárðarbunga.

While the northern cluster close to Kistufell has calmed down significantly following the M4.5 earthquake on early Monday morning, event rates in the eastern cluster are still high. Similar to recent days, two pulses of comparably strong seismic activity have been measured between 04:00 and 08:00 this morning, as well as 16:00 and 18:30 in the afternoon. The cluster east of Bárðarbunga continued to slowly migrate northeastwards today. Events are still located at around 5-12 km depths, no signs of upwards migration has been seen so far.

Below is a summary map of all manually revised earthquakes since the onset of the swarm, which illustrates the migration of earthquake activity during the last days. Earthquakes in the map are colour coded by time, dark blue dots show the onset of the swarm on Saturday, orange dots Tuesday's events until 19:00, light blue and yellow are the days in between. The time scale is days since the onset of the swarm.
© Gunnar B. Guðmundsson, Icelandic Meteorological Office.

Volcano eruption off Japan could cause tsunami

new volcano japan
An undersea volcano has created a new Japanese island 620 miles south of Tokyo. The eruption took place 500 meters from the uninhabited Nishinoshima Island.
An erupting volcanic island that is expanding off Japan could trigger a tsunami if its freshly-formed lava slopes collapse into the sea, scientists say.

The small, but growing, island appeared last year and quickly engulfed the already-existing island of Nishinoshima, around 1000 kilometres south of Tokyo.

It now covers 1.26 square kilometres.

The island's craters are currently spewing out 200,000 cubic metres of lava every day - enough to fill 80 Olympic swimming pools - which is accumulating in its east, scientists said.

"If lava continues to mount on the eastern area, part of the island's slopes could collapse and cause a tsunami," warned Fukashi Maeno, assistant professor of the Earthquake Research Institute at the University of Tokyo.

Chichijima island Japan
Chichijima, in the path of a possible tsunami.
He said a rockfall of 12 million cubic metres of lava would generate a one metre tsunami that could travel faster than a bullet train, hitting the island of Chichijima - 130kms away - in around 18 minutes.

Chichijima, home to about 2000 people, is the largest island in the Ogasawara archipelago, a wild and remote chain that is administratively part of Tokyo.

Comment: Big things can start out in small packages. As the earth opens up more and more each day, the potential for disaster lurks, for some, only 18 minutes away. Have you been monitoring earth changes around you and have they motivated you to become more alert, observant, conscious and aware?

Bizarro Earth

Iceland tells airlines Bardarbunga volcano under glacier may erupt, raises alert to orange


File photo: Bardarbunga, 7 November 1996
Seismic activity has been detected at Bardarbunga, including a strong earthquake
Iceland warned airlines that there may be an eruption at one of the island's largest volcanoes located underneath Vatnajokull, Europe's biggest glacier.

The alert level at Bardarbunga was raised to "orange," indicating "heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption," the Reykjavik-based Met Office said in a statement on its website. Over 250 tremors have been measured in the area since midnight. The agency said there are still no visible indications of an eruption.

The volcano is 25 kilometers (15.5 miles) wide and rises about 1,900 meters above sea level. Bardarbunga, which last erupted in 1996, can spew both ash and molten lava.

Comment: Given the news, this quote from an article that we published in 2011 seems timely and pertinent:
Bardarbunga's last major eruption was horrendous. It changed the weather pattern in northern Europe and darkened the skies for months during 1477. That gigantic eruption generated the largest lava flow in 10,000 years and significantly expanded Iceland's land mass.

Grim experts concede that if the volcano's current activity culminates in an eruption equal to that of 1477, all of Scandinavia and much of northern Russia and Europe will be left reeling.The UK will be slammed by choking volcanic dust, grit and poisonous superheated gases. Commerce will grind to a halt, the skies will blacken for weeks, perhaps months, and agriculture would be severely affected.

The late Cornell University professor, astronomer Carl Sagan, used the consequences of large volcanic eruptions impact on global cooling as part of his theoretical model for the frightening prospect of a nuclear winter.

Ken Caldeira, an earth scientist at Stanford University, California, and member of Britain's prestigious Royal Society working group on geo-engineering, explained that "dust sprayed into the stratosphere in volcanic eruptions is known to cool the Earth by reflecting light back into space."

That simple process has led to the starvation of whole nations in the past. Volcanic gases and dust suspended in the atmosphere cool the Earth to a point where the growing seasons significantly shrink and crops cannot reach maturity.


Peru's Sabancaya volcano registers explosion, entering new eruptive phase

Experts say that Peru's Sabancaya has entered into a new eruptive stage
© Peru21/Ingemmet
According to Peru21, the explosion took place at around 4:30 on Saturday morning. The phenomenon went on for just under a minute. According to the Arequipa Volcanological Observatory (part of the Peruvian Geophysical Institute), the explosion generated 9,083 megajoules.

The explosion resulted in the emission of ash and gases, which rose into a column three kilometers in height. Peru21 reports that the smoke-like substance seen rising from the volcano is mostly steam, but some blue gases likely composed of sulfur dioxide have also been spotted coming out of Sabancaya.

Peru21 writes that geological authorities believe that the explosion may have been connected to the recent increased seismic activity in the region.

Authorities are warning citizens to take precautions in case another explosion occurs soon. Peru21 reports that geological and civil defense groups will meet soon in order to determine the risk to local populations.

Comment: Sabancaya Volcano in southern Peru becomes active after 15 years of silence


Stromboli volcano erupts, Italy

© Jonas Wiesand
Tourist trips to Stromboli have been cancelled this week as a volcanic eruption overwhelms the island, a tour agency for the Aeolian islands told The Local.

Stromboli, an island volcano north of Sicily, starting erupting on Wednesday afternoon, the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology (INGV) said.

Tourist trips have been cancelled as the volcano remains "too active", a spokesperson for the Eolnet agency for the Aeolian Islands told The Local. Excursions may resume on Monday, depending on how the eruption plays out over the weekend.
Stromboli erupting, awestruck doesn't quite do it justice. So close I could feel the heat.
- Jonas Wiesand (@jonaswiesand) August 8, 2014
Bizarro Earth

Eruption at Yellowstone? USGS records 99 earthquakes in July 2014

Fears over a potential Yellowstone volcano eruption in 2014 have had people worrying about whether earthquakes in the region of Yellowstone National Park could cause the massive caldera to pop and the supervolcano to explode. The United States Geological Survey (USGS) recently announced there were 99 earthquakes in July, but is that anything to get worried about?

In a related report by The Inquisitr, the USGS also recently said the Yellowstone earthquake threat is high. The USGS calculates the odds against a Yellowstone volcano eruption as 730,000 to one, although Yellowstone conspiracy theory supporters claim USGS is hiding earthquake data in order to prevent a national panic.

The University of Utah Seismograph Stations is responsible for the operation and analysis of the Yellowstone Seismic Network. The biggest Yellowstone earthquake in recent times occurred in March of 2014 and was measured as a 4.8 magnitude. To put this in perspective, that was the biggest recorded quake in the area since February of 1980.

Mysterious noises emanating from volcano in Iceland

Strange rumblings coming from the tuya Herðubreið are confounding observers as to their possible source.

Vísir reports that visitors to the mesa-shaped volcano in northeast Iceland have been unable to determine if the persistent rumblings coming from Herðubreið are being caused by an avalanche, landslide, or something else entirely. Rangers around Herðubreið were the first to announce the rumblings, which lasted about 30 seconds.

Yesterday, Icelandic rescuers who had been searching for a group of French tourists found them at the foot of Herðubreið safe and sound, although they said there had been an avalanche. News of the avalanche was reported, but upon further inspection, no evidence of an avalanche could be found - except for the rumbling.

Avalanches have been reported from mountains all over Iceland recently, which is highly unusual for the summer months. Tómas Jóhannesson, a meteorologist at the Met Office, told reporters that they intend to get to the bottom of the mystery.
Bizarro Earth

Japanese volcano Kuchinoerabu-Jima erupts for first time in 34 years

kuchinoerabu-Jima volcano
A new eruption occurred yesterday at the volcano at 12h25 local time. It consisted of a single powerful explosion from the Shin-Dake crater. An ash plume rose to approx 1.5 km height, and a pyroclastic flow was generated. The eruption lasted about 10 minutes and much of the erupted mass collapsed into an impressive pyroclastic flow (hot avalanche of fragmented lava and gasses). There are no reports of victims or damage. Japanese volcanologists raised the alert level to 3 and closed access to the summit area.
Bizarro Earth

Scientist map Mount Rainer magma, say it will erupt again

mount rainier magma map
Scientists from the University of Utah have determined that Mount Rainier, one of the most prominent peaks in North America, will erupt again. The question of when remains unanswered, but science has recently discovered how: By measuring how quickly Earth conducts electricity and seismic waves, they've effectively "mapped" Rainier's magma "plumbing."

"This is the most direct image yet capturing the melting process that feeds magma into a crustal reservoir that eventually is tapped for eruptions," says geophysicist Phil Wannamaker, of the university's Energy & Geoscience Institute and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. "But it does not provide any information on the timing of future eruptions from Mount Rainier or other Cascade Range volcanoes."

Comment: For more information see:

Rainier, third most dangerous U.S. volcano, USGS says
Mapping the deep magma reservoir below Washington's Mt. Rainier

Bizarro Earth

Mapping the deep magma reservoir below Washington's Mt. Rainier

© R. Shane McGary / Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Map shows, in purple and pink, the west-east line of magnetotelluric sensors that were placed north of Mount Rainier.
Experts have mapped a huge magma reservoir below Mount Rainier in Washington state that begins melting deep in the Earth's mantle before pushing upwards to where it will eventually be tapped for eruption. Researchers from the United States and Norway used seismic imaging and the measurement of variations in electrical and magnetic fields to create a detailed road map of the pathway molten rock takes to the surface.

Their findings, published this week in the journal Nature, are aimed at helping experts understand the volcano's inner workings, and eventually determine when it might again erupt. A state landmark, Mount Rainier last erupted in the 19th century. It is widely expected to erupt again, according to the U.S. National Park Service.

The tallest volcano and fifth-highest peak in the contiguous United States, it towers some 14,410-feet (4,392 meters) about 58 miles (93 km) southeast of Seattle, from most of which it is visible.

Comment: No such thing as a dormant volcano: Magma chambers awake sooner than thought