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Sat, 16 Feb 2019
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Iceland's Katla Volcano Monitored After Seismic Activity Increases

Katla / Iceland flag
© Getty
A surge of small earthquakes has been reported around Iceland's Katla volcano, but scientists said Tuesday there is no immediate concern that the increased seismic activity will trigger a dangerous eruption.

Although earthquakes around Katla are common, an increase in cluster earthquakes is not.

"It's one of the most feared volcanos, so we're closely monitoring it," said Pall Einarsson of the University of Iceland. "That said, it's normal for earthquakes to be detected around Katla. What's a bit unusual is that we're seeing swarms of small earthquakes, some occurring every 10 minutes or so."

After flying over the area to monitor the situation Tuesday evening, scientists said they could not yet determine what caused the increased seismic activity. Although they detected signs that Katla was preparing for an eruption, they also emphasized that the volcano had also seen similar activity without erupting before.

Arrow Up

North Atlantic Ridge opening up: Irish explorers discover active deep-sea hydrothermal vents near Azores

An Irish-headed expedition reports the discovery of a deep sea vent field almost 10,000 feet down in the Atlantic Ocean.

The Moytirra Vent Field, reported by a team led by Andy Wheeler of University College, in Cork, Ireland, rests on the mid-Atlantic ridge north of the Azores islands. Hydrothermal vents typically form deep-sea chimneys covered with minerals and release boiling waters into undersea ecosystems crawling with strange shrimp, snails and other critters. The team found the vents using a remotely-piloted sub called the the Holland I.

"On the first dive, we found the edge of the vent field within two hours of arriving on the seafloor," said Wheeler, in a statement. "The (sub) descended a seemingly bottomless underwater cliff into the abyss. We never reached the bottom, but rising up from below were these chimneys of metal sulphides belching black plumes of mineral-rich superheated water."

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Increased Activity at 22 Volcanoes, Alert Raised

Twin Peaks
© Komodo Park.com
Twin volcanoes in Flores Island, Indonesia.
The government has requested that local administrations remain on the alert for severe risks of volcanic eruptions, as the number of volcanoes showing abnormal activity continued to raise.

As of Friday, activity in 22 volcanoes was categorized as above normal, with six at alert level three and 16 at level two. Volcano status ranges from level one, which is normal, to four, which is the highest alert.

The Volcanology and Geophysical Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) raised the status of Papandayan, one of the major tourist destinations in Garut, West Java, to alert level three on Friday.

"There were 48 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected, with one deep volcanic earthquake and a white cloud emitted as high as 20 meters on Thursday," National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

Sutopo added that his office had prepared contingency plans to anticipate worst-case scenarios if
Papandayan erupts.

"If Papandayan erupts, it would impact 171,744 people living in the five subdistricts and 20 villages," he said.

Indonesia has been dubbed the world's most disaster-prone country for its frequent earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis, floods and droughts.

Bizarro Earth

Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Blasts Out Ash

© Wikimedia Commons
View of the Popocatepetl volcano from Amecameca, Mexico State.
The Popocatepetl (po-po-ka-TEH-peh-tel) volcano south of Mexico City is shooting blasts of ash from its crater.

Mexico's national disaster prevention agency says the volcano has spewed ash more than a half mile (a kilometer) into the sky four times Tuesday. It says there is a possibility ash could fall onto Mexico City overnight.

The agency is urging people to stay at least 7 miles (12 kilometers) from the crater.

The 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) volcano is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southeast of the capital.

Bizarro Earth

Mount Etna In Sicily Puts On A Natural Fireworks Show

The Mount Etna volcano in Sicily, Italy, erupted for the twelfth time this year on Monday.

Throughout 2011, activity at Sicily's Mount Etna has been characterised by paroxysms: short, violent bursts of activity. Each event has included volcanic tremors, ash emissions, and lava flows centered around the New Southeast Crater, just below the summit.

According to the Osservatorio Vulcanologico dell'Etna: "On the early morning of 29 August 2011, the 12th paroxysmal eruptive episode of this year occurred at the New Southeast Crater, almost 8 days after its predecessor. This event generated tall lava fountains and an eruption column that caused ash falls in the southeast sector of the volcano, as well as various lava flows down the western slope of the Valle del Bove.

Bizarro Earth

Russia: Shiveluch Volcano's ash disrupts air traffic

© Unknown
Shiveluch Volcano
Moscow - Ash thrown kilometres into the sky by an increasingly active volcano in a remote Russian Pacific coast territory has forced a reroute of international air traffic, government officials say.

A column of smoke and ash from the volcano Shiveluch, located in the centre of Russia's rugged Kamchatka peninsula, reached an altitude of 8.6km on Monday and posed a threat to aircraft, officials at Russia's National Geophysical Service (RNES) told Interfax.

The ash discharges were increasing in intensity and volume over the weekend. The RNES is now rating Shiveluch at level orange, one step below its most dangerous rating.

The ash column was the most significant in a month and was accompanied by rock slides and an increase in the size of a rock dome known to contain lava, the report said.

Bizarro Earth

Italy: Increased Activity At Stromboli Volcano, No Tourist Trips

Stromboli volcano
© CanStock Photo
Stromboli volcano - Strombolian eruption at the Stromboli...
Palermo - Stromboli volcano has intensified its activity over the last 24 hours.

There have been explosions, with smoke and lapillus and other lava material billowing out. The monitoring network of the Vesuvius Observatory of the National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology recorded a total of 11 seismic signals associated with landslides on the Sciara del Fuoco, the stratified magma canyon that slides down towards the sea and along which the lava flows.

Tourist trips to the volcano's crater have been suspended for now as a precautionary measure. . .

Bizarro Earth

Indonesia: Volcano Agency Warns of Likely Papandayan Eruption

Papandayan volcano
© Antara Photo
Two villagers walk pass Mount Papandayan which serves as a short cut to their farms on Aug. 14, 2011, warnings to stay at least two kilometers from the volcano, which is in imminent danger of erupting.
Indonesia's highly active Mount Papandayan volcano is in imminent danger of erupting, the Volcanology and Geological Disaster Mitigation Agency warned on Wednesday.

The agency, known as the PVMGB, said it was likely the volcano in Garut, West Java, would erupt either before or just after Idul Fitri, which marks the end of Ramadan.

The prediction was based on the increasing activity of the volcano, the agency said on its Web site.

"The volcano has more energy compared to its last eruption in 2002," agency head Surono said in Bandung, the provincial capital, on Tuesday.

Papandayan has shown an alarming increase in activities since the volcano's status was raised to standby. Between Aug. 19 and 20, there were 45 earthquakes.

Bizarro Earth

Costa Rica: Experts Keep An Eye On The Turrialba Volcano

Turrialba volcano
© InsideCostaRica
Turrialba volcano.
For over 100 years the Turrialba was dormant, but now is visited weekly by experts who are tracking its changes.

Recently, experts have been investigating new holes in the craters, where the temperature of gas emissions has been rising and forming a single plume of gas that is visible at the top.

The Turrialba volcano records an average of 100 micro quakes daily. In addition, the degassing is affecting production at nearby crop and dairy farms.

To follow the pulse of the temperatures the University of Costa Rica (UCR) has installed infrared cameras, this along with the seismic stations, it will allow experts to learn any drastic change at the volcano in minutes.

Cameras have also been installed at the Poás volcano.

Last July 22 the Ministry of Environment and Telecommunications (MINAET) decided to reopen the Turrialba Volcano National Park, that had been closed since January 2010 activity.


Indonesia's Mount Lokon Erupts Again

Mount Lokon

Mount Lokon erupts
Indonesia's Mount Lokon, which is located on the northern tip of the island of Sulawesi, erupted again on Wednesday, local authorities said.

Farid Ruskanda Bina, the Mount Lokon and Mahawu Kakaskaben monitoring post chief, said Mount Lokon began to spew volcanic ash at around 1.25 p.m. local time. Ash fell as far away as the Kinilow I village and the Tinoor areas in North Tomohon sub district, which is a short distance from Lokon's crater.

Mount Lokon's activity had been quickly increasing since Tuesday as more tremors were being detected, the Antara news agency reported. The monitoring post recorded 25 tremors from 1 to 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday.