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Tue, 31 Jan 2023
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This week in volcano news: Supervolcano earthquake swarm - Ebeko erupts

In the last week, an earthquake swam began underneath the dangerous Long Valley supervolcano in California. In less than a week more than 400 quakes occurred at shallow depths. Meanwhile in Vanuatu, the Ambrym volcano is showing signs of unrest and is likely to produce a significant flank eruption in the near future. And, in the Kuril Islands, two volcanoes began new eruptions on the island of Paramushir. This video will discuss these volcano related news stories, as told and analyzed by a volcanologist.


Serious issues with plate tectonics

Geological map of Alaska showing various exotic terranes.
Geological map of Alaska showing various exotic terranes.
David Pratt's publication in the year 2000 enumerates multiple problems affecting the theory of plate tectonics and seafloor spreading.

The above schematic of Alaska reveals regions of rock strata that appear to have "accreted" to an original craton. Southern Alaska is composed of fragments in all shapes and sizes, each one telling its own tale. They are all "exotic terranes", formed at different places and times. How they were transported to their present location, and why some are rotated with respect to adjoining terranes is a mystery.

Some exotic terranes arrived from regions on the other side of the world, while others are from nearby locations. They are each quite different from one another in their characteristics, representing strata from many so-called "geologic ages". There are deposits from the Quaternary period lying in proximity to those from the Cambrian and Mesozoic periods. Those epochs represent hundreds of millions of years. If the theory of continental movement is correct, then "collisions" between landmasses took place more than a dozen times in Alaska. However, each terrane is not arranged side-by-side with its neighbor, they are intermixed with each other, as the schematic reveals.

Another puzzling aspect to the terrane lithography is that some of it is oceanic crust, while some is continental. Some terranes appear to be from volcanic islands. Others appear to be the remains of continental shelves from South America. Less than one percent of Alaska is thought to be from the "original" North American continent.

In the Journal of Scientific Exploration, Vol. 14, No. 3, pages 307-352, David Pratt took issue with the theory of tectonic displacement of continental and ocean floor structure. As he wrote: "The classical model of thin lithospheric plates moving over a global asthenosphere is shown to be implausible."


Powerful earthquake kills at least 1,150 in Afghanistan (UPDATE)

Taliban officials and residents survey the damage to homes in Afghanistan's eastern Paktika province after a major earthquake.
A powerful earthquake has killed at least 920 people and left hundreds more injured in Afghanistan, Taliban officials have said.

Pictures show landslides and ruined mud-built homes in eastern Paktika province, where rescuers have been scrambling to treat the injured.

In remote areas, helicopters have been ferrying victims to hospitals.

Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada said hundreds of houses were destroyed and the death toll was likely to rise.

Comment: Update June 24

The New Arab reports:
A devastating earthquake in crisis-hit Afghanistan this week resulted in at least 1,150 deaths, according to figures from state media on Friday.

The death toll from a devastating earthquake in Afghanistan continued to climb days after it turned brick and stone homes into rubble, killing 1,150 people and wounding scores more, according to the latest figures carried in state media on Friday.

The country of 38 million people was already in the midst of a spiralling economic crisis that had plunged millions deep into poverty with over a million children at risk of severe malnutrition.

The magnitude 6 quake has left thousands without shelter.

State media reported that close to 3,000 homes were destroyed or badly damaged in Wednesday's earthquake.


This week in volcano news - Canary Islands earthquake swarm - Mount Ibu erupts

Ibu volcano

Ibu volcano
In the last week, an earthquake swam began underneath the dangerous Mount Teide volcano in the Spanish Canary Islands. In only 24 hours, it produced the number of earthquakes typically seen in 6 months at the volcano. Meanwhile in Indonesia, the Ibu volcano produced an unusually large explosion on June 6th. Since then, its eruptive intensity has remained above normal. And, in Alaska, the Davidof volcano experienced a major earthquake which resulted in potentially secondary volcanic earthquakes. This video will discuss these volcano related news stories, as told and analyzed by a volcanologist.


This week in volcano news: Mount Bulusan erupts - Danger at Mount Awu

Mount Bulusan

Mount Bulusan
In the last week, Mount Bulusan in the Philippines unexpectedly erupted, sending a plume of ash to 2,743 meters or 9,000 feet. Numerous volcano tectonic earthquakes have since occurred underneath its summit, meaning that it is likely to erupt again. Meanwhile, in Indonesia, there is now a greatly increased chance that Mount Awu will erupt in the next several weeks due to the detection of harmonic tremor underneath its edifice. And, in Russia, a volcano known for containing one of the planet's rarest minerals unexpectedly began showing signs of unrest through increased sulfur dioxide emissions.

This video will discuss these volcano related news stories, as told and analyzed by a volcanologist.


Magnitude 6.5 earthquake strikes Peru-Brazil border region

An earthquake of magnitude 6.5 struck the Peru-Brazil border region on Tuesday, the European-Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) said.

The quake was at a depth of 616 km (383 miles) and struck about 111 km south-southwest of Tarauaca, Brazil, EMSC said.

(Reporting by Nishit Jogi in Bengaluru; Editing by Tom Hogue)

Source: Reuters


4.4 magnitude earthquake hits Kuwait - Buildings damaged, walls cracked

A 4.4 magnitude earthquake hit Kuwait on June 4th 2022.

Residents left their homes as tremors shook buildings.

Buildings were damaged by the earthquakes, with cracks seen in walls.

Citizens have been advised to not to travel unless necessary.

Authorities are assessing the extent of damage caused.


Magnitude 6.3 earthquake off Rat Islands, Alaska - 3rd major quake within 11 hours

A magnitude 6.3 earthquake was recorded at 3:38 p.m. Saturday about nine miles south of Davidof Island in the western Aleutians. Since that first quake, there have been five additional earthquakes in the area measuring a magnitude 2.9 and higher as of 7 p.m. Saturday.

Stephen Holtkamp, duty seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Information Center, says this is a pretty typical sequence for this region.

"We can expect the aftershock sequence to continue for a few days," said Holtkamp. He also said there is a low chance, about 3 to 5 percent, of a larger earthquake happening in the same area.

There has been no tsunami risk with these earthquakes. Holtkamp says these earthquakes are too deep to create a tsunami. "In order for a tsunami to be generated, it (an earthquake) needs to move the sea floor up and down," said Holtkamp. "There's 65 miles of rock between where the earthquake happened and the water," Holtkamp said.

Davidof Island is in the Rat Islands. The first quake was recorded 36 miles southeast of Kiska Volcano and 55 miles west of Semisopochnoi Island.

Comment: Details of the other two:


Magnitude 6.2 earthquake - South Pacific Ocean off Tonga

Strong magnitude 6.2 earthquake at 238 km depth

A magnitude 6.0 earthquake near Neiafu, Vava'u, Tonga, was reported only 14 minutes ago by the German Research Centre for Geosciences (GFZ), considered one of the key international agencies that monitor seismic activity worldwide. The earthquake occurred at an intermediate to considerable depth of 237 km beneath the epicenter early morning on Sunday, June 5th, 2022, at 2:07 am local time. The exact magnitude, epicenter, and depth of the quake might be revised within the next few hours or minutes as seismologists review data and refine their calculations, or as other agencies issue their report.


Shallow magnitude 6.4 earthquake recorded west of Macquarie Island

Magnitude 6.4 earthquake recorded west of Australia’s Macquarie Island  (Getty Images)
© Getty Images
Magnitude 6.4 earthquake recorded west of Australia’s Macquarie Island
Island was also hit with 6.9 magnitude quake two weeks ago
A magnitude 6.4 earthquake has struck the west of Australia's Macquarie Island.

The island, about 1,600km southeast of Tasmania, felt the earthquake late on Saturday night.

No damage has been reported so far.

The earthquake had a depth of 10km and is believed to have been felt shortly after 11pm.

A 6.9 magnitude earthquake also hit the island two weeks ago, briefly placing Australia on tsunami watch.