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Wed, 20 Sep 2017
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Bizarro Earth

Scientist warn of possible eruption of a supervolcano in southern Italy

© AP Photo/Salvatore Allegra
An international group of scientists warned of catastrophic consequences of a possible eruption of a supervolcano in southern Italy, which they said may be fueled by the so-called 'hot zone' feeding the volcano.

Scientists declined to elaborate on when the eruption of Campi Flegrei to the west of Naples may occur, but stressed that flows of a magmatic bubble under the volcanic caldera has become more active in the past few weeks, according to the Phys.org website.

The relevant study is led by Dr. Luca De Siena at the University of Aberdeen along with the University of Naples and the University of Texas at Austin.

"One question that has puzzled scientists is where magma is located beneath the caldera, and our study provides the first evidence of a hot zone under the city of Pozzuoli that extends into the sea at a depth of 4 km," De Siena said.


Eruption starts at Zhupanovsky volcano in Russia's far east

According to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, Zhupanovsky Volcano could yield ash explosions reaching heights of six to eight kilometers above sea level.

Zhupanovsky Volcano
Zhupanovsky volcano on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula is about to burst its top, emitting ash explosions reaching heights of six to eight kilometers (19,700-26,240 feet) above sea level, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) said Sunday.
"Moderate activity of the volcano continues. Gas-steam plume was noted on the height up to 4 km a.s.l. Moderate fumarole activity of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 19,700-26,240 ft (6-8 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft," KVERT said.

Bizarro Earth

Evidence of volcanic eruptions under Antarctic Ice

© AP Photo/NASA
In August, researchers at Edinburgh University announced that frigid West Antarctica is home to at least 138 volcanoes, all concealed within an ice sheet that's up to two kilometers thick in some places!

The finding left Robert Bingham, one of the study's authors, with an urgent question.

"The big question is: how active are these volcanoes? That is something we need to determine as quickly as possible," he told The Guardian.

"If one of these volcanoes were to erupt it could further destabilise west Antarctica's ice sheets. Anything that causes the melting of ice - which an eruption certainly would - is likely to speed up the flow of ice into the sea."

Luckily, Bingham didn't need to wait long for an answer. A team of scientists from New Mexico Tech, Dartmouth College, and Vermont Technical College has uncovered evidence of volcanic eruptions in ice cores taken from the West Antarctic ice sheet (WAIS). A paper describing their findings has just been published in Scientific Reports.


Scientists find evidence linking Antarctic volcanic eruptions to ancient climate change in the Southern Hemisphere

© Landsat Image Mosaic of Antarctica (LIMA)
A 15-meter pan-sharpened Landsat 8 image of the Mount Takahe volcano rising more than 2,000 meters (1.2 miles) above the surrounding West Antarctic ice sheet in Marie Byrd Land, West Antarctica.
New findings published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) by Desert Research Institute (DRI) Professor Joseph R. McConnell, Ph.D., and colleagues document a 192-year series of volcanic eruptions in Antarctica that coincided with accelerated deglaciation about 17,700 years ago.

"Detailed chemical measurements in Antarctic ice cores show that massive, halogen-rich eruptions from the West Antarctic Mt. Takahe volcano coincided exactly with the onset of the most rapid, widespread climate change in the Southern Hemisphere during the end of the last ice age and the start of increasing global greenhouse gas concentrations," according to McConnell, who leads DRI's ultra-trace chemical ice core analytical laboratory.

Climate changes that began ~17,700 years ago included a sudden poleward shift in westerly winds encircling Antarctica with corresponding changes in sea ice extent, ocean circulation, and ventilation of the deep ocean. Evidence of these changes is found in many parts of the Southern Hemisphere and in different paleoclimate archives, but what prompted these changes has remained largely unexplained.

"We know that rapid climate change at this time was primed by changes in solar insolation and the Northern Hemisphere ice sheets," explained McConnell. "Glacial and interglacial cycles are driven by the sun and Earth orbital parameters that impact solar insolation (intensity of the sun's rays) as well as by changes in the continental ice sheets and greenhouse gas concentrations."


Kilauea volcano expels lava in spectacular eruption in Hawaii

© Paradise Helicopters, Tropical Visions Video
Liquid lava flowed at the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island on Thursday (September 7).

The Kilauea volcano has erupted from its Pu'u O'o vent since 1983.

Late this week, Kilauea, the world's most active volcano sent streams of lava rolling down a 30-foot cone.

The outbreak came from a break at the top of a huge tumulus just above the cliffs about four miles below the active Pu'u 'O'o vent.

The eruption, dubbed 61G by the USGS began in early 2016 and has been entering the ocean nearby since summer of that year.

Source: Reuters


Turrialba Volcano in Costa Rica sends up 1km column of ash

Turrialba Volcano
The Turrialba Volcano near Cartago, Costa Rica started churning back to life yesterday after a few weeks of calm.

Yesterday, Sept. 5, 2017, the volcano started spewing a column of ash 1,000 meters above its crater, reported the National University's Volcanology and Seismology Observatory (Ovsicori-UNA).

Ash has been flowing out of the crater since yesterday, and ashfall has been reported in areas to the north and northwest of the volcano in Coronado, Moravia, and San Isidro de Heredia.

The plume of gas, steam, aerosols and ash is rising out of the colossus' western crater.

With Monday's strong earthquakes and Tuesday's airplane crash in the headlines, it seems Costa Rica's Turrialba felt it was the right week to join in on the drama.


La Cumbre volcano erupts in the Galapagos Islands

La Cumbre volcano erupts
Shortly after noon on September 4, 2017, crew on Lindblad Expeditions/National Geographic ship Endeavor II observed a volcanic eruption at Fernandina Island in the Galapagos of Ecuador. The National Park of Galapagos was immediately notified.

It was confirmed as a new eruptive phase of Fernandina's La Cumbre volcano.

After eight years of relative calm, this volcano began generating a column of water vapor and magmatic gases that were about four kilometers high.

By early evening, a volcanic ash advisory was reported.


BACK OFF: Geologists slammed NASA over its risky plan of drilling into Yellowstone supervolcano

BACK OFF: US space agency NASA has been warned off its risky drilling plan
NASA has been told to back off from its plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting by drilling into it.

A geologist at the national park said the proposal could have dire consequences, including killing scores of animals.

The warning comes after the US space agency revealed its options to prevent the volcano from exploding, including drilling into the bottom to release heat from it.

Fears were immediately raised the "risky" plan could actually backfire and trigger an eruption - potentially triggering a deadly nuclear winter.


Danger zones declared around volcano in Vanuatu

© Vanuatu Meteorology and Geohazards Department
he danger zones around the Ambrym Volcano on the 30th of August 2017
The Geohazards Department said it had recorded drastic changes in the volcano's activity and had increased the alert level for Ambrym from two to three.

The department said there was a possibility the increased activity would result in a minor eruption and it strongly reccomended all visitors keep a distance of at least two kilometres from the Benbow crater and three kilometres from the Marum crater.

It said it was very important that communities, villages, visitors and travel agencies seriously consider this information to avoid volcanic projectiles, gases, ashes and other geo-thermal hazards.

The department said it was monitoring the volcano closely and would provide more information to the public when necessary.


Reventador volcano in Ecuador showing increased activity

Lava flows on Reventador's SE and SW flanks. COPETE infrared webcam.
The activity at the volcano has picked up recently. Lava has been overspilling the summit crater and generating several short, viscous lava flows and incandescent avalanches that have been descending the flanks of the volcano.

Although the volcano has been in more or less continuous activity like this for years, an increase of activity could be noted already during late June and early July this year, when at least one new lava flows was emplaced on the east-northeastern flank, producing a peak in heat emission visible on satellite data.

Recently, at least two lava flows have been active on the south-south-western and southern slopes, each several hundred meter long. Incandescent lava avalanches also have been occurring on the northeastern side and much of the volcano's feet are covered with hot debris from these avalanches..