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Fri, 21 Jan 2022
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Earthquakes


Bizarro Earth

Tonga volcano eruption created puzzling ripples in Earth's atmosphere


Comment: We're through the looking glass here people!


Powerful waves ringing through the atmosphere after the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai are unlike anything seen before.
Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai
© NOAA
The US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s GOES-West satellite captured the explosive eruption of Hunga Tonga–Hunga Haʻapai.
Scientists are racing to understand a puzzling series of massive ripples in Earth's atmosphere triggered by the eruption of the Tongan volcano at the weekend. Satellite data shows that the event — which some fear might have devastated the Pacific-island nation — provoked an unusual pattern of atmospheric gravity waves. Previous volcanic eruptions have not produced such a signal, leaving experts stumped.

"It's really unique. We have never seen anything like this in the data before," says Lars Hoffmann, an atmospheric scientist at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre in Germany.

The discovery was made in images collected by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS), mounted on Nasa's Aqua satellite, in the hours after the eruption of the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Haʻapai volcano on 14 January.

They show dozens of concentric circles, each representing a fast-moving wave in the gases of the atmosphere, stretching for more than 16,000 kilometres. The waves reached from the ocean surface to the ionosphere, and researchers think that they probably passed around the globe several times.

Seismograph

Twin earthquakes in western Afghanistan kill at least 22

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Two earthquakes rattled Afghanistan's western Badghis province along the border with Turkmenistan on Monday afternoon, killing at least 22 people, a local official said.

There were fears the death toll could rise further as the first rescuers reached some of the remote villages struck by the tremors in what is one of Afghanistan's most impoverished and underdeveloped regions.

Chief of the province's culture and information department, said scores of homes were destroyed in the quakes.

The US Geological Survey registered a magnitude 5.3 quake at 2 p.m. and a second, magnitude 4.9 at 4 p.m. local time. They struck 41 kilometers (25 miles) east and 50 kilometers (31 miles) southeast of Qala-e-Naw, the provincial capital.


Seismograph

Magnitude-6.1 earthquake hits Papua New Guinea

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A day after Tonga was hit by giant waves following the eruption of a volcano in the ocean off its coast, a 6.1 magnitude earthquake has struck the island of Papua New Guinea, the US Geological Survey (USGS) has said.

The epicenter of the quake was located in the autonomous Bougainville region, at a depth of 408 kilometers (253 miles), according to the agency. The European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC) also registered the quake, putting its magnitude at 5.8. There have so far been no reports either of casualties or significant damage.

Papua New Guinea, a country of nine million, occupies the eastern half of the island of New Guinea and a group of smaller islands in Melanesia, north of Australia.

Seismograph

Magnitude 6.6 earthquake strikes off Indonesia's Java island

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The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has said that a 6.6-magnitude earthquake struck off the coast of Indonesia's Java island on Friday, causing buildings in Jakarta to shake.

At 0905 GMT, the quake struck to the island's southwest at a depth of 37 kilometres (23 miles).

The tremor was felt in the capital and rattled buildings. No tsunami warning was issued, and there were no early reports of injuries or damage.

Following the quake, some Jakarta residents were evacuated from their homes, and hundreds waited outside.


Seismograph

Shallow 6.0 magnitude earthquake in northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge

grpaph
UTC time: Monday, January 10, 2022 23:26 PM
Your time: Monday, January 10, 2022, 11:26 PM GMT
Magnitude Type: mww
USGS page: M 6.0 - northern Mid-Atlantic Ridge
USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist
Reports from the public: 1 person
10 km depth

Seismograph

2 powerful earthquakes of magnitudes 6.8 and 6.6 hit Alaska - 3 of such strength globally within 12 hours

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6.6 magnitude earthquake 175 km from Unalaska, Alaska, United States

UTC time: Tuesday, January 11, 2022 12:39 PM
Your time: Tuesday, January 11, 2022, 12:39 PM GMT
Magnitude Type: mww
USGS page: M 6.6 - 60 km SE of Nikolski, Alaska
USGS status: Reviewed by a seismologist
Reports from the public: 4 people

11 km depth

Comment: These latest powerful quakes follow closely on the heels of another of similar strength off the coast of Cyprus about 12 hours earlier.


Seismograph

Cyprus earthquake: Powerful 6.6 magnitude tremor rocks region shaking homes

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A powerful earthquake measuring 6.6 has sent tremors across a region around Cyprus in the Mediterranean with reports of people feeling their houses shake.

The quake was at a depth of 2 km (1.24 miles), said the European Mediterranean Seismological Centre (EMSC).

It was centred 30 miles west-northwest of the town of Polis in Cyprus around 1am local time and the tremor was felt across the island and the region, including reports from as far away as Turkey, Israel and Lebanon.

There are no reports of damage or injuries.

But people have taken to social media having felt the force of the earthquake.


Comment: If confirmed as a 6.6M, it would be the strongest earthquake on the island since 1996.


Seismograph

Shallow 6.2 magnitude earthquake off Kermadec Islands

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Very strong magnitude 6.2 earthquake at 10 km depth

Date & time: Jan 10, 2022 00:06:31 UTC - 20 hours ago
Local time at epicenter: Sunday, Jan 9, 2022 12:06 pm (GMT -12)
Magnitude: 6.2
Depth: 10.0 km
Epicenter latitude / longitude: 33.7964°S / 179.5534°E

Info

Geomythology looks to ancient stories for hints of scientific truth

Everyone loves a good story, especially if it's based on something true.

Consider the Greek legend of the Titanomachy, in which the Olympian gods, led by Zeus, vanquish the previous generation of immortals, the Titans. As recounted by the Greek poet Hesiod, this conflict makes for a thrilling tale - and it may preserve kernels of truth.

The eruption around 1650 B.C. of the Thera volcano could have inspired Hesiod's narrative. More powerful than Krakatoa, this ancient cataclysm in the southern Aegean Sea would have been witnessed by anyone living within hundreds of miles of the blast.

Thera Volcano
© Steve Jurvetson, CC BY
The massive eruption of the Thera volcano more than 3,500 years ago left behind a hollowed out island, today known as Santorini.
Historian of science Mott Greene argues that key moments from the Titanomachy map on to the eruption's "signature." For example, Hesiod notes that loud rumbles emanated from the ground as the armies clashed; seismologists now know that harmonic tremors - small earthquakes that sometimes precede eruptions - often produce similar sounds. And the impression of the sky - "wide Heaven" - shaking during the battle could have been inspired by shock waves in the air caused by the volcanic explosion. Hence, the Titanomachy may represent the creative misreading of a natural event.

In 2021 I published the first textbook in the field, Geomythology: How Common Stories Reflect Earth Events. As the book demonstrates, researchers in both the sciences and the humanities practice geomythology. In fact, geomythology's hybrid nature may help to bridge the gap between the two cultures. And despite its orientation toward the past, geomythology might also provide powerful resources for meeting environmental challenges in the future.

Seismograph

Strong shallow 6.6-magnitude earthquake hits China's Qinghai province: USGS

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The epicentre of the quake, which struck at about 1:45 am at a shallow depth of 10km

A strong earthquake with a magnitude of 6.6 struck China's remote northwestern Qinghai province early Saturday, the US Geological Survey said.

The epicentre of the quake, which struck at about 1:45 am (1745 GMT) at a shallow depth of 10 kilometres (six miles), was located about 140 kilometres north-northwest of the city of Xining, US seismologists said.


Source: AFP