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Wed, 21 Nov 2018
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Scientists monitoring infrasound in volcanic crater to predict activity

Cotopaxi volcano ecuador
© Silvia Vallejo Vargas/Insituto Geofisico, Escuela Politecnica Nacional
Instituto Geofisico researchers maintain a monitoring station at Cotopaxi volcano in central Ecuador. A new study shows Cotopaxi produces unique sounds scientists could use to monitor the volcano and its hazards.
From the AGU and the "lava tooting" department

A volcano in Ecuador with a deep cylindrical crater might be the largest musical instrument on Earth, producing unique sounds scientists could use to monitor its activity.

New infrasound recordings of Cotopaxi volcano in central Ecuador show that after a sequence of eruptions in 2015, the volcano's crater changed shape. The deep narrow crater forced air to reverberate against the crater walls when the volcano rumbled. This created sound waves like those made by a pipe organ, where pressurized air is forced through metal pipes.


High alert: Galeras volcano earthquakes kill 2 and damage infrastructure in Colombia

Galeras Volcano

The last official eruption of the Galeras Volcano in Colombia was reported in 2010.
The Galeras Volcano in southern Colombia registered two moderate earthquakes on Tuesday that left two people dead, several homes and roadways damaged, said local authorities.

The back-to-back volcanic earthquakes have placed local authorities in the nearby city of Pasto, capital of Narino Province, on high alert.

"We have activated all of the protocols ...to attend to the emergency," Narino Governor Camilo Romero said on Twitter.

The two people died when their house was crushed by falling rocks.

Comment: Scientists predicted increased activity this year and it would appear from looking at the list below, which details just some of those currently active, that this does seem to be the case: Also check out SOTT's monthly documentary: SOTT Earth Changes Summary - May 2018: Extreme Weather, Planetary Upheaval, Meteor Fireballs

Ice Cube

Adapt 2030 Ice Age Report: Rare winter weather warning in Hawaii after ice nucleation event on Big Island

Mysterious weather events have struck Hawaii's Big Island
Mysterious weather events have struck Hawaii's Big Island
A freeze warning was put out on the Big Island of Hawaii that was above 12,000 ft. Rare is what the meteorologists said. This is termed ice nucleation, the other famous volcanoes were Pinatubo and Iceland that grounded air traffic across Europe. So we need to ask ourselves, how big is this eruption now? Snow across Idaho and Montana and some Rocky mountain states, freezing low temperature for N.E US.


Kilauea lava flow evaporated island's largest freshwater lake in a few hours

Green lake

Green lake
Lava from the Kilauea eruption has boiled away Hawaii's largest freshwater lake in just a matter of hours.

In a statement released on June 2, the U.S. Geological Survey explained that lava from the eruption's fissure 8 entered Green Lake and boiled its water away, sending a white plume high into the sky.

USGS tweeted the following day that lava entered Green Lake at 10 AM local time. By 3PM, Hawaii County Fire Department confirmed that the lake had filled and that its water had evaporated.

Located about 25 miles from Kilauea, Green Lake, known locally as Ka Wai a Pele, is the largest of only two freshwater lakes on the Big Island, according to the Only in Hawaii website. Prior to becoming the latest victim of the eruption, the 400-year-old lake was an idyllic spot.

Comment: With volcanic activity seemingly on the rise around the world, it's a stark reminder of the many dangers our planet may be facing:


Great Sitkin volcano in Alaska showing elevated quake activity, possible steam explosion

Great Sitkin Volcano
© Alan Beauparlant
Steaming from Great Sitkin Volcano as visible from the town of Adak (40 km or 25 miles to the SW).
Seismicity at Alaska's Great Sitkin volcano has been at elevated levels over the past couple of days, followed by a signal that may represent a short-lived steam explosion on June 11. The last known eruption of this stratovolcano took place in 1974.

Seismicity at Great Sitkin volcano was at elevated levels over the past 5 days, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) reported 21:26 UTC on June 11, 2018.

This activity was followed by a signal at 19:39 UTC that may represent a short-lived steam explosion detected by seismic data.

AVO has thus raised the Aviation Color Code to Yellow and Alert Level to Advisory.

The last time the observatory raised Aviation Color Code to Yellow and Volcano Alert to Advisory was on November 22, 2017. The status was unchanged until January 18 of this year.

Comment: Volcanic acitivty appears to be on the rise:


Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser has now erupted eight times in less than three months intriguing scientists

Steamboat geyser
The Steamboat Geyser holds the record for the tallest active geyser in the world, so when it starts acting unusually, it becomes news. The Steamboat has always been quite erratic with its eruptions as geysers are known to be. Sometimes many years pass between two eruptions, but that's not the case recently. Since March 15, there have been eight major eruptions - and scientists are intrigued by the change.

The website for the US Geological Survey states that the "Steamboat has proven more active during the early 21st century than any time since the early 1980s. Between late 1991 and 2000, there were no large eruptions. However, since May 2000, Steamboat has had 10 significant eruptions."

Historically, Steamboat's jets have reached heights of 90-100 meters (295-330 feet). None of these eight 2018 eruptions have been as tall as the ones from the past, but they remain spectacular.

The first three eruptions were not witnessed by humans, and researchers estimated their properties from instruments they have on site. Without the sensors (and the mud streaks) around the geysers, they would be none the wiser. The two April eruptions are estimated to have released between 200 and 400 cubic meters of water each - about 10 times the volume of water released by Old Faithful when it erupts.

Comment: Yellowstone's supervolcano: Threat is greater than previously thought

Bizarro Earth

Guatemala warns of falling ash from Fuego volcano which is now covering half the country endangering crucial agricultural areas

Fuego volcano eruption
© AFP/Getty Images
Fuego volcano eruption on June 3rd 2018, Guatemala's deadliest since 1902
Guatemalan officials warned of falling ash from the Fuego volcano late on Thursday and urged caution with flights as the Central American country recovers from devastating eruptions that have killed at least 109 people.

The seismological, volcanic and meteorological institute Insivumeh advised the civil aviation authority to take precautions with flights amid renewed activity from the peak, which produced a massive eruption on Sunday.

The death toll from Fuego's most violent eruption in four decades has been gradually rising and now stands at 109, the Guatemala's disaster and forensic agency Inacif said earlier on Thursday.

Authorities have said a communication breakdown between CONRED and volcanologists in Guatemala delayed evacuations from the surrounding area.

Comment: Adding to the misery, another Guatemalan volcano has just erupted: Guatemala hit by eruption from SECOND volcano: Pacaya spews lava just miles from Fuego


Guatemala hit by eruption from SECOND volcano: Pacaya spews lava just miles from Fuego

Pacaya volcanic eruption in Guatemala on June 6, 2018.

Pacaya volcanic eruption in Guatemala on June 6, 2018.
A statement issued by the National Coordination for Disaster Reduction of Guatemala (CONRED) said the country's National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala (INSIVUMEH) had confirmed that the Pacaya volcano, located less than 20 miles from Fuego, had begun expelling lava yesterday morning.

It explained: "A lava flow of approximately 50 metres long and 20 wide was formed.

"This activity is typical of the volcano and has no relation to the recent activity of Fuego volcano.

"The Executive Secretary of the CONRED carries out the corresponding monitoring of this activity through the departmental delegates and the Volcano Prevention Unit (UPV).


Kilauea lava flows destroy 600 homes, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times

Kilauea lava flows
© REUTERS/Terray Sylvester
Lava destroys homes in the Kapoho area, east of Pahoa, during ongoing eruptions of the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii, U.S., June 5, 2018.
Approximately 600 homes have been swallowed by lava flows from Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island since early last month, marking its most destructive eruption in modern times, Hawaii County Mayor Harry Kim said on Thursday.

The latest estimate of property losses from Kilauea, one of the world's most active volcanoes, far surpasses the 215 structures consumed by lava during an earlier eruption cycle that began in 1983 and continued nearly nonstop over three decades.

Kim said Kilauea, one of five volcanoes on the Big Island, formally known as the Island of Hawaii, has never destroyed so many homes before in such a short period of time.

The latest volcanic eruption, which entered its 36th day on Thursday, stands as the most destructive in the United States since at least the cataclysmic 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state that reduced hundreds of square miles to wasteland, according to geologist Scott Rowland, a volcano specialist from the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

A similar, extremely violent eruption from Fuego volcano in Guatemala this week killed more than 100 people as it ejected deadly super-heated "pyroclastic" flows of lava and ash through nearby towns.

The latest damage appraisal from Kilauea came moments after Governor David Ige, on a visit to Hawaii County Civil Defense headquarters in Hilo, the island's biggest city, signed a memorandum of understanding furnishing $12 million in immediate state disaster relief to the island.

Comment: Earth in upheaval: Hawaii has been hit by over 12,000 earthquakes during last 30 days


Guatemala's Fuego volcano toll reaches 109 with almost 200 missing and presumed dead, criticism grows over evacuation

Fuego volcano eruption recovery
© Johan Ordonez/AFP/Getty Images
Municipal firefighters search for victims in the ash-covered village of San Miguel Los Lotes, in Escuintla, about 20 miles southwest of Guatemala City, on Wednesday.
Guatemala's opposition is accusing the head of the country's emergency response agency of failing to heed warnings ahead of the eruption of a volcano that has left 109 dead and almost 200 others missing.

The finger-pointing came as rain showers and the fear of mudslides hindered the search for possible survivors and the recovery of the dead from Sunday's eruption of Fuego (Spanish for fire). It is one of Central America's most active volcanoes.

The volcano blanketed nearby villages in ash and sent fast-moving toxic pyroclastic flows down into valleys as people living nearby rushed to escape the onslaught.

"You have a great responsibility over what happened," Congressman Mario Taracena, speaking in the Guatemalan Congress, said of Sergio Cabañas, the executive secretary of the National Coordinator for Disaster Reduction, also known as CONRED.

"Anyone with a little common sense would have done something," Taracena said, according to El Periódico. "They did not care and they did not take precautions."

The director of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology, Eddy Sánchez, also came in for criticism.

Sánchez explained that his agency issued several bulletins during the day ahead of the eruption. However, CONRED officials said they did not receive enough information to properly evaluate the risk posed by the mountain.

Comment: See also: