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Mon, 29 May 2023
The World for People who Think

Earth Changes


Mud Pots Signal Possible Extension Of San Andreas Fault

mud pots
©Seismological Society of America
Researchers have conducted a comprehensive survey of mud pots (like the one shown above) in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif.

A linear string of mud pots and mud volcanoes suggest surface evidence for a southern extension of the San Andreas Fault that runs through the Salton Sea, according to a paper published in the August issue of the Bulletin of the Seismological Society of America (BSSA).

Researchers David K. Lynch and Kenneth W. Hudnut of USGS report the results of a comprehensive survey of mud pots in the area immediately east of the southeastern-most portion of the Salton Sea in Imperial County, Calif. Using satellite imagery, followed by a physical examination of the land, they identified a cluster of 33 mud pots, mud volcanoes and sink holes which, when plotted, form a clear linear pattern.

Mud pots and mud volcanoes are geothermal features produced when water or gas is forced upward through soil and sediments. Mud pots can assume a variety of forms, typically being depressions or enclosed basins containing gas seeps, bubbling water or viscous mud. Mud pots can also be water-laden and appear as bubbling muddy water. Mud volcanoes, on the other hand, are elevated conical structures composed of accumulations of viscous mud extruded from a central vent. They range from finger-sized to several kilometers across, though the largest in the Salton Sea area are about 2 meters high. Small mud volcanoes on land, ranging from one to 10 feet in height, are usually called mud cones or gryphons and are usually associated with volcanic and seismic activity.

Arrow Down

Another Collapse: Rock slide narrowly misses bus on British Columbia highway as cliff face collapses

©The Canadian Press / Jonathan Hayward
A massive rock slide blocks the Sea-to-Sky highway near Porteau Cove, B.C. after a cliff face collapsed onto the highway.

Peter Skeels's bus was lumbering up the highway that winds through British Columbia's breathtaking coastal mountains when he heard a roar that sounded like violent hail.

He drove through and it wasn't until a few minutes later, when Skeels pulled over and saw the bus covered in dents and its windows shattered, that he realized the hailstorm was really a massive pile of rocks and boulders raining down on the road.

"There was suddenly an unbelievable noise, it sounded like a hailstorm - you didn't really know what to make of it," said Skeels, who lives in Whistler and regularly drives the highway between Vancouver and the mountain resort community that will jointly play host to the 2010 Winter Olympics.


The Sting Of Bee Die-offs

Pesticides called neonicotinoids marketed by Bayer were banned in France in the 1990s because they were suspected of contributing to mysterious bee die-offs. (The pesticides are applied to seeds, and may then travel systemically throughout the plant, including to the pollen.) Germany recently followed suit.

Bizarro Earth

Florida: Family dog dies after suffering more than 1,000 bee stings

A painful sting for a Florida family whose beloved dog was attacked and killed by a swarm of bees. It happened in Largo, Florida Monday and authorities say the day's overcast skies may have stirred up the bee hive.


Bizarro Earth

North Carolina, U.S.: Microburst Blamed For Damage In China Grove Area

Rowan County - A microburst, not a tornado, caused extensive damage to a building in southern Rowan County, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service said Tuesday.

Meteorologist Vince DiCarlo spent early Tuesday surveying the damage that happened around 6 p.m. Monday along Goodnight Road and Highway 29 in the China Grove area.


Breaking - US: 5.8 Earthquake in Los Angeles

A (preliminary) magnitude 5.8 earthquake struck the greater Los Angeles area at 11:42 am local time.

The quake shook downtown L.A. buildings and was felt as far south as San Diego and as far east as Palm Desert.

Better Earth

Huge chunk snaps off storied Arctic ice shelf

A four-square-kilometre chunk has broken off Ward Hunt Ice Shelf - the largest remaining ice shelf in the Arctic - threatening the future of the giant frozen mass that northern explorers have used for years as the starting point for their treks.

Scientists say the break, the largest on record since 2005, is the latest indication that climate change is forcing the drastic reshaping of the Arctic coastline, where 9,000 square kilometres of ice have been whittled down to less than 1,000 over the past century, and are only showing signs of decreasing further.


Stranded: A whale of a mystery

Scientists generally agree that sonar can trigger strandings of certain whales, but no one really knows what leads these deep divers to the beach.

Off the eastern edge of Andros Island lies the Tongue of the Ocean, a hundred-mile, inky blue swathe of sea over the Great Bahama Canyon. Bounded on the south and east by the shallow sands of the Bahamas banks, the seafloor drops precipitously from 3 meters near shore to more than 2,000 meters farther out.

While the region boasts a colorful history of pirates and shipwrecks, scientists will head there this summer seeking treasure of a different sort: beaked whales, some of the deepest diving and least known animals on Earth. The research aims to solve one of the most contentious mysteries in marine biology today  -  the relationship between military sonar and stranded, dying whales.


Four dead as rivers overflow in Japan

Heavy rain set off powerful floods and mudslides across western Japan on Monday, killing at least four people as rivers overflowed in major cities, officials said.

The rain, which resulted from a powerful typhoon that pounded Taiwan and the Philippines, led authorities to urge some 70,000 people to evacuate in the historic areas of Kyoto and Kanazawa.

A ferocious torrent gushed through Japan's sixth largest city of Kobe, sweeping bystanders off their feet and into the water.

Four people were killed -- a 29-year-old woman, girls aged 12 and 5, and a 10-year-old boy. Another three people were rescued and rushed to hospital, a city official said.

Television footage showed a man wearing a helmet, apparently a construction worker, holding onto a stone bridge column in a desperate effort not to be swept away by the flash flooding.

Cloud Lightning

500,000 evacuated in China as typhoon nears

Beijing -- At least 500,000 people have been evacuated or returned to port in eastern and southern China as Typhoon Fung-wong bore down on the coast, state media reported on Monday.

Xinhua news agency said the typhoon was expected to make landfall on the coast of China's Fujian province in the early hours of Tuesday after it left one dead and six injured in Taiwan.

Authorities in Fujian had already ordered the return to shore of more than 270,000 people to their fishing communities in advance of the storm, Xinhua said.

In neighbouring Zhejiang, 230,000 people had been evacuated and more than 26,000 boats had returned to shore, it said.