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Tue, 22 May 2018
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First pyroclastic flow recorded from Shinmoedake volcano eruption in Japan

Kyushu's Mount Shinmoedake

Kyushu's Mount Shinmoedake
The first pyroclastic flow was recorded on March 25 from an explosive eruption on Kyushu's Mount Shinmoedake, which started erupting at the beginning of the month.

The Japan Meteorological Agency announced that a pyroclastic flow was confirmed over a distance of about 800 meters west of the crater, but it did not approach any residential area.

Eruptions began on March 1 with intermittent explosions from the crater, but this was the first recorded pyroclastic flow.

According to the JMA, explosive eruptions were recorded at 7:35 a.m. and 8:45 a.m. on March 25, and smoke and fumes rose to 3,200 meters. The pyroclastic flow was confirmed following the second explosive eruption.

Bizarro Earth

Mount Etna: Europe's biggest volcano 'sliding towards the sea'

Mount Etna
© Getty
Mount Etna is in an almost constant state of activity, with eruptions occurring particularly regularly in recent decades
Scientists say they will 'need to keep an eye on' gradual movement as it could lead to future landslides and affect eruption forecasting

The most active volcano in Europe is slowly sliding into the sea, according to new research.

Mount Etna - located on the Italian island of Sicily - is edging towards the Mediterranean at a rate of around 14mm per year.

While its movement may seem too slow to cause any concern, scientists studying the geology of the volcano have said the situation will require careful monitoring.

"I would say there is currently no cause for alarm, but it is something we need to keep an eye on, especially to see if there is an acceleration in this motion," lead author Dr John Murray told the BBC .

This is the first time downward "basement sliding" of an entire active volcano has been directly observed.

However, studies of extinct volcanoes suggest this phenomenon can lead to "devastating" collapse of their downslope sides, resulting in landslides.

Comment: Radon, slosh dynamics and Mount Etna's unrest


Mayon Volcano emits lava, ash anew in the Philippines

Mayon volcano

Mayon volcano
After days of a generally restive behavior, Mayon Volcano again emitted lava and ash on Friday morning, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) said.

The agency recorded a lava collapse from 10:39 a.m. to 10:50 a.m.

"The emission may be due to the lava build-up which may have been triggered by possible rainfall in the area," Phivolcs project research officer Jerome de Lima said.

Minimal ash fall was also recorded in the towns of Camalig and Anoling.

Comment: An update on the 25th of March from the The Philippine Star: Mayon lahar threat: 80,000 face evacuation :
More than 80,000 residents around Mayon Volcano may be evacuated due to the threat of lahar, according to the Office of Civil Defense (OCD) in Bicol.

In a report yesterday, the OCD-Bicol said 25 to 30 milimeters of rain for three hours could mobilize newly extruded volcanic materials while three hours of torrential rains could push old volcanic debris.

OCD-Bicol operations officer Jsar Adornado said more than 25,000 residents of this city face evacuation; 22,556 from Daraga; 8,353 from Tabaco and Camalig, and 5,847 from Guinobatan and Malilipot.

Residents of Sto. Domingo, Ligao and Bacacay are also at risk due to lahar.

Adornado said lahar deposits are in the gullies in Barangay Basud in Sto. Domingo, Quirangay in Camalig and the Sto. Domingo-Legazpi-Daraga-Camalig stretch of the volcano.

Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said Mayon had extruded around 65 million cubic meters of volcanic materials, of which 13 million cubic meters are potential lahar sediments.

Weather forecaster Michael Francisco said a low-pressure area spotted off Mindanao could develop into a tropical depression and bring rains when it is near the Bicol region on Tuesday.

Cedric Daep, chief of the Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office, said they would issue a lahar advisory depending on the distance and strength of the tropical depression.

"It is not safe yet to make predictions on the impact of this low-pressure area...at this time that it is still outside the (Philippine area of responsibility)," Daep said.

In its latest bulletin, Phivolcs said active river channels and those perennially identified as lahar-prone areas should be avoided during bad weather or when there is heavy and prolonged rainfall.

Mayon remains under Alert Level 3. This means that although the volcano's unrest continues, there is a decreased likelihood of hazardous explosive eruption.


Radon, slosh dynamics and Mount Etna's unrest

Radon Tells Unexpected Tales of Mount Etna’s Unrest
© Marco Neri
Mount Etna in Sicily, Italy, spews lava from a Strombolian and effusive eruption on 24 April 2012. The church Santa Maria della Provvidenza stands in the foreground in the town of Zafferana Etnea on the mountain's eastern flank. New research from a team studying the volcano finds that variations in its radon emissions provide insights into volcanic and tectonic influences inside the mountain and, for some seismic activity, up to tens of kilometers away.
Readings from a sensor for the radioactive gas near summit craters of the Italian volcano reveal signatures of such processes as seismic rock fracturing and sloshing of groundwater and other fluids.

Some researchers view radon emissions as a precursor to earthquakes, especially those of high magnitude [e.g., Wang et al., 2014; Lombardi and Voltattorni, 2010], but the debate in the scientific community about the applicability of the gas to surveillance systems remains open. Yet radon "works" at Italy's Mount Etna, one of the world's most active volcanoes, although not specifically as a precursor to earthquakes. In a broader sense, this naturally radioactive gas from the decay of uranium in the soil, which has been analyzed at Etna in the past few years, acts as a tracer of eruptive activity and also, in some cases, of seismic-tectonic phenomena.

To deepen the understanding of tectonic and eruptive phenomena at Etna, scientists analyzed radon escaping from the ground and compared those data with measurements gathered continuously by instrumental networks on the volcano (Figure 1). Here Etna is a boon to scientists-it's traced by roads, making it easy to access for scientific observation.

Comment: See Also:


Magma plume stretching all the way from Mexico found beneath Yellowstone supervolcano


An underwater 'fountain' of magma has been found beneath Yellowstone National Park. Experts suggest the 'magma plume' could be the source of the heat that drives so much of the park's surface activity, such as its world-famous bubbling springs (stock image)

An underwater 'fountain' of magma has been found beneath Yellowstone supervolcano, heightening fears that a major eruption is on the way.

Researchers found a column of hot volcanic ash known as a magma 'plume' beneath the volcano, and they believe it stretches all the way from Mexico.

Experts suggest the plume could be the source of the heat that drives so much of the volcano's surface activity, such as its world-famous bubbling springs.

The news follows a spate of four mini-tremors in the area last week that raised fears Yellowstone's supervolcano is about to blow.

Comment: Thousands of termors over the past year, a recent tremor swarm, the deformed ground surrounding Yellowstone due to increased pressure and recently rare activity was recorded from one of Yellowstone's Geyser Steamboat - an uptick in activity is evident.

Comment: Due to a slow down in the Earth's rotation, scientists have been predicting an upsurge in earthquakes and volcanoes, and we're seeing other incredible events that are most likely related - but it's not just the Earth that's shifting, weather worldwide is increasingly chaotic:


Hundreds evacuated and 30 people are sent to hospital as Ijen volcano spews toxic sulphuric gas in Indonesia

Mount Ijen is seen the day after the crater was closed to visitors and many residents living on its slopes were forced to flee to avoid toxic gas near Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia

Mount Ijen is seen the day after the crater was closed to visitors and many residents living on its slopes were forced to flee to avoid toxic gas near Bondowoso, East Java, Indonesia
Some 200 people have been evacuated with 30 needing hospital treatment after an Indonesian volcano belched thick clouds of sulphuric gas on Wednesday.

Residents were treated for vomiting and breathing difficulties after Mount Ijen in East Java province began spewing out noxious gas.

A popular tourist and mining site on the slopes of the mountain had to be closed until further notice.

'Because of this incident, the public - tourists or miners - are not allowed near the crater until further notice,' said Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, spokesman for the national disaster mitigation agency.


Ambae volcano in Vanuatu rumbling again, fresh ashfall

The volcano on Ambae erupting in 2017.

The volcano on Ambae erupting in 2017.
Volcanic activity on Vanuatu's Ambae island has picked up again, with fresh ashfall reported across the island's west and south.

The entire island was evacuated late last year when the volcano at the island's centre erupted, blanketing the island in ash, suffocating crops and contaminating water.

The population returned when the eruption settled down after a month, but last night, the volcano's alert level was raised from level 2 to 3 -- what's called a "state of minor eruption."


Volcanic thunder recorded for the first time

This satellite image shows Bogoslof volcano erupting on May 28, 2017.
© Dave Schneider/Alaska Volcano Observatory & U.S. Geological Survey
This satellite image shows Bogoslof volcano erupting on May 28, 2017.
It's an explosion that starts within the earth, a release of pressurized gases and bits of rock; either as sharp shards or molten fragments or both. A volcanic eruption is one of the most powerful demonstrations of the dynamism of the planet that we usually think of as solid and unyielding.

It's also loud. Really, really loud. Underwater eruptions can sound like gunshots or bombs reverberating through the water. Looking for a single, ephemeral sound within all that noise of tons of lava and gas and ash and rock all getting slammed out of the Earth's crust is like listening for a whisper in a thunderstorm.

Or like, you know, listening for thunder in the middle of a volcanic eruption. That's exactly what some researchers managed to record during eruptions of Alaska's Bogoslof volcano last year.

They noticed that cracks and pops in the recordings lined up with the timing of volcanic lightning in the same area. Volcanic lightning occurs when eruptions that send a lot of ash into the atmosphere. During their speed run into the air, the ash particles rub against each other, creating an electric charge a lot like when you rub a balloon against your hair. As the particles spread out, that electric charge discharges into lightning....and apparently, thunder.

Bizarro Earth

Giant 3 km long earth crack in Kenya blamed on 'volcanic activity'

Kenya earth crack
© YouTube/Daily Nation (screen capture)
A section of the collapsed Maai Mahiu-Narok road near Karima in Kenya.
Hundreds of travelers were stranded for hours on the Narok - Mai Mahiu road at Karima in Kenya on Tuesday 13th March 2018, after a section of the road collapsed. The giant earth crack responsible is estimated to be 3 kilometers long and at least 6 meters deep and was initially blamed solely on flood waters caused by torrential rains that have left at least nine people dead across the country.

However the Kenya National Highway Authority (KENHA) Director General Engineer Peter Mundinia has rubbished such reports and stated that the road collapse was a result of volcanic activity in the area.
"The Mai Mahiu road was damaged as a result of volcanic activity. We can say rains catalyzed the destruction. However nobody can tell why the volcanic activity happened in that manner. If the development was caused by water alone, then we would have seen the road cut, but not the extent of this fault line. As you aware Suswa is in the Rift Valley and volcanic activities are still taking place in Suswa. We cannot be sure that tomorrow volcanic activities will take place in Suswa, it could be somewhere else."


Tremor swarm at Yellowstone continues - began in February

CC BY 2.0 / Michael McCarthy / Yellowstone-4193
© CC BY 2.0 / Michael McCarthy / Yellowstone-4193
Laying underneath the tranquil and beautiful geysers, waterfalls, and mountains of Wyoming lies the Yellowstone caldera. The supervolcano has been worrying some for decades, but now experts fear an eruption could happen soon after reporting a "spate of tremors."

According to WMD, a spate of four mini-tremors in the area following a period of "rest" has raised fears among some that the supervolcano is about to blow. Although the Yellowstone supervolcano hasn't erupted for 631,000 years, scientists have been diligently working to understand the last eruption so they can more accurately predict when a big one will happen again.

The most recent quake came on March 11 when a small 1.5 tremor took place beneath the surface. The strongest one, a 1.8 magnitude earthquake, came just hours before this, and people are concerned that Yellowstone could be about to blow.

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