CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

CONTROVERSIAL TOPICS

Monday, August 31, 2015

Images reveal new volcanic land mass: Earthquake heaves a new 18 meter high island above the waves

 

 

 

Images reveal new volcanic land mass

  • Island started forming in January after a volcano close to Tonga exploded underwater and then expanded
  • Images taken by three men who climbed to the peak of the island 40 miles (65 km) north of capital Nuku'alofa
  • They said

    Incredible aerial pictures show US and European tectonic plates in Iceland pulling apart leaving dramatic 200ft water-filled crevices that divers can explore

    the surface of island was still warm and it contained of a vast green lake which smelled of sulphur
  • New island is 1.1 miles (1.8 km) by 0.9 miles (1.5km), and that it rises about 328ft (100 metres) above the sea

Beautiful images have emerged of a new island that has formed off the coast of Tonga - although scientists say it could soon disappear.

The photographs were taken by three men who climbed to the peak of the land mass 40 miles (65 km) northwest of the capital, Nuku'alofa.

The island started forming in January after a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded creating a mile long, cone-shaped formation.

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Stunning images have emerged of a new island that has formed off the coast of Tonga - although scientists say it could soon disappear

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Stunning images have emerged of a new island that has formed off the coast of Tonga - although scientists say it could soon disappear

HUNGA TONGA-HUNGA HA'APAI

Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai sits beneath the ocean 39 miles (62km) northwest of Tonga's capital Nuku'alofa.

The volcano gets its name from the two islands it is situated between - Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai.

It is said to be part of the volcanic Pacific Ring of Fire and is believed to one of a 36 undersea volcanoes in that region.

A short-lived eruption in March 2009, lasted for almost a week.

At the time, geologists said the eruption originated from two volcanic vents - one was located on Hunga Ha'apai, while the other was around 330ft (100m) offshore.

The two vents spewed so much debris, however, they created a new land mass.

Source: Atlas Obscura

Hotel owner GP Orbassano, along with a friend and his son, arrived at one of the island's three black beaches on Saturday.

'It was a perfect day, with fantastic views – bright blue sky and the sea was the same colour as the sky,' GP Orbassano, one of the locals, told Tonga's Matangi Online.

The island is made mainly of scoria, which is a dark coloured volcanic rock that can sometimes contain crystals.

The holes in the material form when gases that were dissolved in the magma come out of solution as it erupts

Scientists believe the dimensions of the new island are about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) by 0.9 miles (1.5km), and that it rises about 328ft (100 metres) above the sea.

Orbassano admitted that the climb was dangerous as a result of the excessive heat on the dark landscape, according to Matangi Online.

However, he said the natural beauty of the location could make it into a popular tourist attraction before the island disappears in a few months.

The island was first spotted in an image taken by the Pleiades satellite on 19 January 2015.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano, that created the formation, is located between two land masses in the Tonga archipelago - Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai.

They said the surface of the island was still warm and, after climbing to the highest point of its crater, they caught sight of a vast green lake which smelled of sulphur.

'The island is double the size of Fafa. There is a lot of rock, it's not just ash. It looks like the moon,' said Orbassano.

The region is dubbed Ring of Fire because of the high levels of seismic activity in the area.

Hunga Tonga's latest eruption began on 19 December 2014 and continued into this month.

Steam, ash and nitrogen and phosphorus erupted from the ocean, and international flights around the island were cancelled.

At its peak, the ash plume reached heights of more than 14,765ft (4,500 metres).

The photographs were taken by three men who climbed to the peak of the land mass 40 miles (65 km) northwest of the capital, Nuku'alofa

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The photographs were taken by three men who climbed to the peak of the land mass 40 miles (65 km) northwest of the capital, Nuku'alofa

The adventurers said the surface of the island was still warm and, after climbing to the highest point of its crater, they caught sight of a vast green lake which smelt of sulphur

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The adventurers said the surface of the island was still warm and, after climbing to the highest point of its crater, they caught sight of a vast green lake which smelt of sulphur

The island is made mainly of scoria, which is a dark coloured volcanic rock that can sometimes contain crystals. The holes in the material form when gases that were dissolved in the magma come out of solution as it erupts

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The island is made mainly of scoria, which is a dark coloured volcanic rock that can sometimes contain crystals. The holes in the material form when gases that were dissolved in the magma come out of solution as it erupts

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano, that created the formation, is located between two land masses in the Tonga archipelago - Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai.

The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai underwater volcano, that created the formation, is located between two land masses in the Tonga archipelago - Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha'apai.

In addition to creating the new island, the eruption is also said to have stripped its two neighbouring islands of vegetation, and caused what is known as a red tide.

A red tide, or algal bloom, occurs when there is a sudden increase in the amount of algae in water.

When levels of nitrogen and phosphorus rise, which can be caused by underwater eruptions such as the one off the coast of Tonga, algae can multiply.

Typically, this causes water to turn green, but the effect also causes reds and yellows to be released. In particular, a bloom of dinoflagellate algae causes water to turn blood red in colour.

Land masses forming after volcanic eruptions and earthquakes are relatively common.

In 2013, a volcanic island appeared off the coast of Japan, near the uninhabited island of Nishino Shima.

Dubbed Niijima, it was first spotted on 20 November in the Ogasawara chain around 600 miles south of Tokyo and had tripled in size by the following month.

Scientists believe the dimensions of the new island are about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) by 0.9 miles (1.5km), and that it rises about 328ft (100 metres) above the sea

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Scientists believe the dimensions of the new island are about 1.1 miles (1.8 km) by 0.9 miles (1.5km), and that it rises about 328ft (100 metres) above the sea

Orbassano admitted that the climb was dangerous as a result of the excessive heat on the dark landscape, according to Matangi Online

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Orbassano admitted that the climb was dangerous as a result of the excessive heat on the dark landscape, according to Matangi Online

The island started forming in January after a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded creating a cone-shaped formation 

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The island started forming in January after a volcano exploded underwater and then expanded creating a cone-shaped formation

Initially, scientists were unsure how long it would last because volcanic islets of that type tend to be reclaimed by the sea after a short time.

However, the island expanded to 56,000 square metres (13.8 acres) - around three times its size - as a result of continuing eruptions from the volcano below.

Similarly, in September that year, a new island appeared off the coast of Pakistan.

It was forced to the surface following an earthquake and was made up a mound of mud and rock 70ft (20 metres) high and 295ft (89 metres) wide on the coastline near the port of Gwadar.

Underwater volcano in Tonga spews ash into the air

 

The natural beauty of the location could make it into a popular tourist attraction before the island disappears in a few months

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The natural beauty of the location could make it into a popular tourist attraction before the island disappears in a few months

 

 

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  • Thingvellir National Park became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004. In this image divers can be seen exploring the rift The dramatic terrain is popular with tourists who can explore the natural wonder on land and underwater
  • Some of the rifts are filled with clear cold water where divers can often be seen exploring the underwater crevices
  • To take the colourful images San Franciscan Jassen Todorov, 40, flew in a Cessna 170 plane around 2,000ft high

Tourists look like toys in these bird's eye view photos which show an impressive split landscape where two lands meet.

The dramatic terrain - the join between two tectonic plates - is popular with tourists who can explore the natural wonder on land and underwater.

The splits in the land, which has many faults, valleys, volcanoes and hot springs, are caused by the Eurasian and North American plates in Iceland pulling apart.

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The dramatic terrain - the join between two tectonic plates - is popular with tourists who can explore the natural wonder on land and underwater

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The dramatic terrain - the join between two tectonic plates - is popular with tourists who can explore the natural wonder on land and underwater

The splits in the land, which has many faults, valleys, volcanoes and hot springs, are caused by the Eurasian and North American plates in Iceland pulling apart

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The splits in the land, which has many faults, valleys, volcanoes and hot springs, are caused by the Eurasian and North American plates in Iceland pulling apart

Some of the rifts are filled with clear cold water where divers can often be seen exploring the underwater crevices, which can be up to 61m (200ft) deep

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Some of the rifts are filled with clear cold water where divers can often be seen exploring the underwater crevices, which can be up to 61m (200ft) deep

To take the colourful photos Jassen Todorov, 40, flew in a Cessna 170 plane around 600m (2,000 feet) high

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To take the colourful photos Jassen Todorov, 40, flew in a Cessna 170 plane around 600m (2,000 feet) high

Split decision: The rift can be found in Thingvellir National Park, which is a popular tourist destination

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Split decision: The rift can be found in Thingvellir National Park, which is a popular tourist destination

Some of the rifts are filled with clear cold water where divers can often be seen exploring the underwater crevices, which can be up to 61m (200ft) deep.

The clean water is coloured by the sand, silt and other minerals at the bottom and the deeper rifts can be clearly seen from above.

To take the colourful photos Jassen Todorov, 40, flew in a Cessna 170 plane around 600m high.

The professor of music at San Francisco State University, in California, USA, said there were up to 300 people visiting Thingvellir National Park, in Iceland.

Mr Todorov, of San Francisco, said: 'This divide splits Iceland in two and it is very impressive to see from above.

Stunning glacier lagoon expedition helicopter tour in Iceland

 

The clean water is coloured by the sand, silt and other minerals at the bottom and the deeper rifts can clearly be seen from above

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The clean water is coloured by the sand, silt and other minerals at the bottom and the deeper rifts can clearly be seen from above

Thingvellir National Park became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004. In this image divers can be seen exploring the rift

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Thingvellir National Park became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004. In this image divers can be seen exploring the rift

'Everything in Iceland is interesting and unusual. The canyons, rivers, black-sand beaches: it's all a wonder to see and photograph,' said Todorov

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'Everything in Iceland is interesting and unusual. The canyons, rivers, black-sand beaches: it's all a wonder to see and photograph,' said Todorov

Incredible hidden pool nestled in the mountains of Iceland

'Thingvellir National Park is a unique place, so I was thrilled to have the opportunity to photograph it.

'The faults and splits reminded me a little of the San Andreas Fault in California.

'It was a beautiful day, with temperatures around 2C which is why you can see lots of people.

'There were probably around 200 to 300 people around. I didn't actually spot the divers when I was photographing the landscape from the plane so was really excited to see them in the beautiful and colourful-looking waters.

'Everything in Iceland is interesting and unusual. The canyons, rivers, black-sand beaches: it's all a wonder to see and photograph.'

Thingvellir National Park became a Unesco World Heritage Site in 2004.

 

 

 

 

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The world's freshest real estate: Massive Pakistani earthquake heaves a brand new 18 meter high island above the waves

  • The mountain-like island appeared 600m off Pakistan's Gwadar coast
  • The earthquake triggered a movement of gases in the earth under the sea
  • This pushed earth up to the surface in something akin to a 'mud volcano'
  • Such land masses have appeared after quakes in Pakistan in 1999 and 2010

Crowds of bewildered people gathered on Pakistan’s southern coast to witness the emergence of a new island created following a major earthquake in the region.

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's quake-prone province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran, on Tuesday.

The earthquake was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island about 600 meters off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea.

Island

The earthquake in Pakistan was so powerful that it caused the seabed to rise and create a small, mountain-like island (pictured) about 600 meters off Pakistan's Gwadar coastline in the Arabian Sea

Television channels showed images of a stretch of rocky terrain rising above the sea level, with crowds surrounding the shore to witness the rare phenomenon.

Zahid Rafi, principal seismologist for the National Seismic Monitoring Center, said such masses are sometimes created by the movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface in something akin to a mud volcano. 'When such a strong earthquake builds pressure, there is the likelihood of such islands emerging,' he said. 'That big shock beneath the earth causes a lot of disturbance.'

This liquefaction of sand layers takes place after any earthquake, but these sudden islands are usually only spotted after strong earthquakes, at least 7- or 8-magnitude events.

Pakistan's GEO TV shows a new island in the Arabian Sea spawned by an earthquake which struck the region, Sept. 24, 2013

An aerial view of the island which is thought to be about 60 feet (18 meters) high, 100 feet (30 meters) long and 250 feet (76 meters) wide

Island

Zahid Rafi, principal seismologist for the National Seismic Monitoring Center, said such masses are sometimes created by the movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface in something akin to a mud volcano

Island

To get a better idea of what the island is made of and how permanent it is, scientists will have to get samples of the material to see if it's mostly soft mud or rocks and harder material

HOW THE ISLAND WAS FORMED

Scientists believe the 7.8 magnitude earthquake, which struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Baluchistan, triggered what is known as 'mud volcano'.

They occur where there is a reservoir of loosely compacted sediments buried beneath harder, denser rock and a path is made to the surface.

The seismic waves caused a movement of gases locked in the earth under the sea, pushing mud and earth up to the surface along with gas.

These sudden islands are usually only spotted after strong earthquakes, at least 7- or 8-magnitude events.

Richard Luckett a seismologist the British Geological Survey said that these mud volcanoes are relatively common in this area on both land and at sea.

‘They occur where there is a reservoir of loosely compacted sediments buried beneath harder, denser rock and a path is made to the surface,’ he told MailOnline.

‘There is a subducting plate boundary in this region where the Arabian plate is converging on the Eurasian plate at about 2cm a year and being pushed beneath it.  

‘This is the same plate boundary responsible for the magnitude 7.7 earthquake.’

Scientists believe gases associated with the melting at the plate boundary contribute to heating the mud in the reservoirs and making it more fluid.

‘Certainly mud volcanoes are most common near this type of plate boundary, such as in Japan,’ said Dr Luckett.

‘It is known that mud volcanoes can be triggered by large nearby earthquakes – in fact the same thing happened in this area in 2001.  

‘The exact mechanism for this triggering is poorly understood but the fact that mud volcanoes often occur without a triggering earthquake suggests that little extra impetus is required.’

To get a better idea of what the island is made of and how permanent it is, scientists will have to get samples of the material to see if it's mostly soft mud or rocks and harder material.

These types of islands can remain for a long time or eventually subside back into the ocean, depending on their makeup.

A Pakistani Navy team reached the island by midday Wednesday, navy geologist Mohammed Danish told the country's Geo Television.

He said the mass was about 60 feet (18 meters) high, 100 feet (30 meters) long and 250 feet (76 meters) wide.

Update adjusts the location of epicenter

The 7.8 magnitude quake struck 145 miles southeast of Dalbandin in Pakistan's quake-prone province of Baluchistan, which borders Iran, on Tuesday

'There are stones and mud,' he said, warning residents not to try to visit the island. 'Gasses are still emitting.'

But dozens of people had already visited the island, said the deputy commissioner of Gwadar district, Tufail Baloch, who travelled by boat himself to the island this morning.

Water bubbled along the edges of the island, in what appeared to be gas discharging from under the surface, Baloch said.

He said the area smelled of gas that caught fire when people lit cigarettes.

Dead fish floated on the water's surface while local residents were visiting the island and taking stones as souvenirs, he added.

Island

Dozens of people had already visited the island, said the deputy commissioner of Gwadar district, Tufail Baloch, who travelled by boat himself to the island this morning

Such land masses have appeared before off Pakistan's Makran coast, said Muhammed Arshad, a hydrographer with the navy. After quakes in 1999 and 2010, new land masses rose up along a different part of the coast about 282 kilometers (175 miles) east of Gwadar, he said.

He said each of those disappeared back into the sea within a year during the monsoon season, a period of heavy rain and wind that sweeps Pakistan every summer. He said that in the area where the island was created on Tuesday, the sea is only about six to seven meters (23 feet) deep.

Older residents of the coastal town recalled an earthquake in 1968 produced an island that stayed for one year and then vanished.

 

 

A mysterious sound is driving people insane, it’s spreading — and nobody knows what’s causing it

 

A case for X-Files: The World Hum database shows incidents and reports of the mysterious humming noise are increasing throughout North America and nobody knows what’s causing it.
July 2014 – PARANORMAL – Some Hum investigators like University of Oklahoma geophysicist David Deming suspect that there’s a global source responsible for the Hum worldwide. “It’s a very, very low wavelength noise, perhaps between 50 or 56 Hz,” Moir told Mic. “And it’s extremely difficult to stop infrasound because it can have a wavelength of up to 10 meters, and you’d need around 2.5 meter thick walls, built with normal materials, to keep it out. It gets into our wooden houses very easily. And part of the reason people have so much trouble identifying the source of it is because of how low frequency the Hum is: It literally moves right through your head before you can figure out which ear picked it up first.” Deming’s research, considered close to authoritative in the Hum community, suggests that evidence of the Hum corresponds with an accidental, biological consequence of the “Take Charge and Move Out” (TACAMO) system adopted by the US Navy in the 1960s as a way for military leaders to maintain communications with the nation’s ballistic missile submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles, and long-range bombers during a nuclear war. As part of TACAMO, military aircraft use VLF radio waves to send instructions to submarines: Because of their large wavelengths, VLF can diffract around large obstacles like mountains and buildings, propagate around the globe using the Earth’s ionosphere and penetrate seawater to a depth of almost 40 meters, making them ideal for one-way communication with subs. And VLF, like other low-frequency electromagnetic waves, have been shown to have a direct impact on biological functions. (Strategic Communications Wing One at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma, which is responsible for the manning, training and equipping of aircraft utilized as part of the TACAMO system, did not respond to requests for comment.)
Scientific data and anecdotal experiences of the Hum vary so much from region the world that it’s still unclear whether VLF and ELF waves are the source of it, let alone a catalyst for mass murder. The idea of a mysterious noise driving people to suicide has given birth to all kinds of pseudoscientific conjecture, making the phenomenon a favorite for conspiracy junkies who suspect foul play by some malicious government scheme (or UFOs, obviously). The World Hum, a site devoted to exploring the “mysterious phenomenon being heard by thousands around the world,” is riddled with byzantine entries about UFOs crashing in Siberia. Dr. Glen MacPherson,  a lecturer at the University of British Columbia, knows how insane it sounds. “There’s a terrible irony to the vision of a conspiracy nut in a tinfoil hat, trying to keep the government from beaming thoughts into their heads,” laughs MacPhearson, “since aluminum does protect against some electromagnetic radiation. This is why you don’t put that stuff in the microwave.”
The federally funded investigation into the Windsor Hum and the serious examination of Kohlhase’s research by Connecticut authorities may serve as a beacon of hope for Hum investigators like MacPherson, Moir, Novak and Kohlhase. State-funded tests on Hum-affected regions may yield data that could lead to a real-world solution, rather than conspiracy theories. Until then, developing a unified picture of the Hum is exactly what MacPherson wants to accomplish in British Columbia. By providing one destination for Hum data and testimony, he’s hoping that professional and independent researchers will use the collected data to help develop and execute experiments that could help identify the source of their local Hum. But until someone funds and conducts rigorous tests in an affected region, says Moir, people will continue to use the Hum as an excuse to blame modern technology, from mobile phones to telecom towers to the digital radio bands used by law enforcement. And that aura of pseudoscientific insanity surrounding the Hum has made the job of independent researchers more challenging. “In the past, I’ve contacted my representatives, I’ve contacted my governor,” says Kohlhase. “There’s willful ignorance going on about this problem and the real consequences it has.”
But should researchers like MacPherson and Moir finally pinpoint the local sources of the pain-inducing phenomenon, the Hum may transition from unexplained mystery to unfortunate byproduct of modernity, a fixture of human geography like light pollution. In the meantime, many just want to identify some relief. “A lot of serious researchers don’t want to have their name attached to that, but I’m not a formal academic researcher, and I’m quite willing to lend some credibility to this idea if I can,” says MacPherson. “This phenomenon is real and many people are suffering: I’m just trying to do the best I can to help.” -MIC

 

Mysterious earthquake ‘swarm’ near Noatak Alaska continues, puzzling scientists

 

July 2014 – ALASKA - Another powerful earthquake shook the Northwest Arctic earlier this month. It is the fourth magnitude 5.5 quake to rock the region in six weeks. Like the previous three, last Friday’s episode was initiated about 10 miles from Noatak and was measured at a depth of 10 miles. “The whole house shook,” said Herbert Walton, the tribal administrator in Noatak. “We’re concerned.” Walton said there was no major damage or injuries that he was aware of, though the first set of quakes in mid-April did cause a few cracks in the IRA building. “There are plenty of people wondering if there is going to be a bigger one, because every time it happens, they seem to be getting bigger,” Walton said. The first two quakes happened on April 18, while the third shook the area on May 3. All four were about the same magnitude and are now being referred to as an “earthquake swarm,” said Mike West, a seismologist with the Alaska Earthquake Center. The four major quakes have been accompanied by more than 250 “unusually vigorous” aftershocks, West said. “They all have the same cause; the same fault motion,” he said. “And they occur in more or less the same place.” West said vigorous aftershocks are not uncommon, but normally they simmer down over time. The fact that this series of shakes is not losing strength is part of the reason scientists are referring to the occurrences as a swarm, rather than a sequence.
Earthquakes relieve pressure in the earth, and because these strong quakes and aftershocks are still happening, that tells experts that the stress was not fully relieved with the first set of quakes. “In an area like Noatak, this is very unusual behavior,” West said. Swarms are more common around volcanoes and geothermal sites, but since there are neither in the area in question, West said seismologists are scratching their heads trying to find a comparable episode in mainland Alaska. Last month, technicians traveled to Kotzebue and Noatak where they held public information meetings and installed temporary seismic stations in both communities. The instruments will allow scientists to better understand what exactly is happening and record all the aftershocks, even the less jarring ones. “Those two stations are behaving perfectly,” West said. “The difference is that we know far more about the earthquake Friday night than we do about the ones in April.” For example, they can now trust the depth reading, and are closer to understanding the orientation of the fault by detecting the smaller aftershocks, all of which is valuable in figuring out why these earthquakes are happening. Experts also know that the fault line spans about 19 miles.
What seismologists still don’t know is whether or not a bigger earthquake is on the horizon. “There is nothing to suggest a larger earthquake; earthquake swarms are characterized by earthquakes of the same size,” West said. “But I would be lying if I said there’s no possibility of a larger earthquake.” There is no evidence to suggest that the quakes will grow in size, he reiterated. “It’s a very tricky subject. This is a very unusual situation,” West said. Because this is new territory as far as recorded seismic data, those studying the quakes have nothing to compare information to, leaving them limited as far as what they can tell the general public. As for those in Noatak, Walton said, they are still wondering what all these quakes mean. And each time the ground rumbles, locals are getting calls from surrounding villages asking the same question. Last month, the town meeting in Noatak with the technician from the Alaska Earthquake Center was full with curious locals, but experts are limited on what they can explain because they simply don’t know why it’s happening or if it will continue. “This is a significant thing and it’s a challenge to raise awareness without becoming alarmist,” West said. –Alaska Dispatch

 

Scientists say the number of big earthquakes have doubled in 2014 – though cause remains elusive

 

July 2014 – GEOLOGY – If you think there have been more earthquakes than usual this year, you’re right. A new study finds there were more than twice as many big earthquakes in the first quarter of 2014 as compared with the average since 1979. “We have recently experienced a period that has had one of the highest rates of great earthquakes ever recorded,” said lead study author Tom Parsons, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) in Menlo Park, California. But even though the global earthquake rate is on the rise, the number of quakes can still be explained by random chance, said Parsons and co-author Eric Geist, also a USGS researcher. Their findings were published online June 21 in the journal Geophysical Research Letters. With so many earthquakes rattling the planet in 2014, Parsons actually hoped he might find the opposite — that the increase in big earthquakes comes from one large quake setting off another huge shaker. Earlier research has shown that seismic waves from one earthquake can travel around the world and trigger tiny temblors elsewhere. “As our group has been interested in the ability of an earthquake to affect others at a global scale, we wondered if we were seeing it happening. I really expected we would see evidence of something we couldn’t explain by randomness,” Parsons told Live Science’s Our Amazing Planet in an email interview.
The new study isn’t the first time researchers have tried and failed to link one earthquake to another in time and across distance. Earlier studies found that the biggest earthquakes on the planet — the magnitude-8 and magnitude-9 quakes — typically trigger much smaller jolts, tiny magnitude-2 and magnitude-3 rumblers. Yet, no one has ever proven that large quakes unleash other large quakes. Finding a statistical connection between big earthquakes is a step toward proving such connections takes place. But despite the recent earthquake storm, the world’s great earthquakes still seem to strike at random, the new study found. The average rate of big earthquakes — those larger than magnitude 7 — has been 10 per year since 1979, the study reports. That rate rose to 12.5 per year starting in 1992, and then jumped to 16.7 per year starting in 2010 — a 65 percent increase compared to the rate since 1979. This increase accelerated in the first three months of 2014 to more than double the average since 1979, the researchers report. The rise in earthquakes is statistically similar to the results of flipping a coin, Parsons said: Sometimes heads or tails will repeat several times in a row, even though the process is random.
“Basically, we can’t prove that what we saw during the first part of 2014, as well as since 2010, isn’t simply a similar thing to getting six tails in a row,” he said. But Parsons said the statistical findings don’t rule out the possibility that the largest earthquakes may trigger one another across great distances. Researchers may simply lack the data to understand such global “communication,” he said. “It’s possible that global-level communications happen so infrequently that we haven’t seen enough to find it among the larger, rarer events,” Parsons said. However, earthquakes smaller than magnitude-5.6 do cluster on a global scale, the researchers found. This suggests these less-powerful quakes are more likely to be influenced by others — a finding borne out by previous research. For example, the number of magnitude-5 earthquakes surged after the catastrophic magnitude-9 earthquakes in Japan and Sumatra, even at distances greater than 620 miles (1,000 kilometers), earlier studies found. –Yahoo News

 

July 2014 – GEOLOGY - Earth’s magnetic field is a protective shield for our planet from cosmic radiation, but it’s also somewhat of a mystery – scientists aren’t sure why it moves and changes in intensity. And now the first set of high-resolution results from Esa’s three-satellite Swarm constellation reveal that the field is actually getting weaker, albeit by a small amount. Measurements made over the past six months confirm the general trend of the field’s weakening, with the most dramatic declines over the Western Hemisphere. Launched in November 2013, Swarm is providing unprecedented insights into the complex workings of Earth’s magnetic field, which safeguards us from the bombarding cosmic radiation and charged particles. In some areas, such as the southern Indian Ocean, the magnetic field has strengthened since January – although the overall trend is a weakening. The latest measurements also confirm the movement of magnetic North towards Siberia.
These changes are based on the magnetic signals stemming from Earth’s core. Over the coming months, scientists will analyze the data to unravel the magnetic contributions from other sources, namely the mantle, crust, oceans, ionosphere and magnetosphere. This will provide new insight into many natural processes, from those occurring deep inside our planet, to space weather triggered by solar activity.  In turn, this information will yield a better understanding of why the magnetic field is weakening. “These initial results demonstrate the excellent performance of Swarm,” said Rune Floberghagen, Esa’s Swarm Mission Manager. “With unprecedented resolution, the data also exhibit Swarm’s capability to map fine-scale features of the magnetic field.” The results were presented at the Third Swarm Science Meeting in Copenhagen, Denmark. The data collected by the Swarm satellites will help scientist better grasp how our magnetic field works, how it is affected by solar activity, and why large tracts of it are weakening. Esa says the field can be thought of as a huge bubble, protecting us from cosmic radiation and charged particles that bombard Earth in ‘solar winds.’ Without it, those particles would hammer away at the atmosphere, leaving Earth much like Mars. –Daily Mail

Mount Slamet Volcano erupts in Indonesia

 

July 2014 – INDONESIA – Mount Slamet, which covers five districts in Central Java, was reportedly still spewing volcanic ash in the area around its peak. On Friday night, thin volcanic ash began pouring out in the area around the observation post, head of Mount Slamet Observation Post, Sudrajat, said here on Saturday. However, there was no red-hot lava spewing from the volcano, which intersects the five districts of Banyumas, Purbalingga, Pemalang, Tegal and Brebes. That lava was seen from Monday night (June 30) to Tuesday (July 1). “Unfortunately, on the last two nights the peak has been covered with mist, so we couldnt make any observations,” Sudrajat said. The activity on Mount Slamet increased again on June 29 and has shown no signs of cooling, according to the observations made so far. The authorities have imposed alert level II (Waspada) on the volcano, and there was no activity to increase the alert levels, Sudrajat said. The increasing volcanic activity may have been caused by gases from the previous volcanic activity, that was blocked by stones, forcing the mount to release its trapped energy, Sudrajat said.
“I hope that is the case,” he said. Based on observations conducted from the post located in Gambuhan Village, Pulosari sub-district, Pemalang District on Friday (July 4), Mount Slamet began emitting thin white smoke measuring between 50 and 150 meters in the sky. There was one internal tremor recorded, one harmonic tremor, 22 volcanic tremors and 306 tremors triggered by the blast. On March 10 at 22:00 local time, Volcanology and Geology Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) raised the status of Mount Slamet from normal (level I) to alert level II (Waspada) due to increasing volcanic activity. On April 30, at 10:00 local time, the PVMBG raised Mount Slamets status to alert level III (Siaga) due to increasing tremors and eruptions. Then on May 12, at 16:00 local time PVMBG reduced the status from alert level III (Siaga) to alert level II (Waspada). –Antara News
Another volcano awakens: A swarm of volcanic earthquakes that started yesterday under the Ambang volcano (Indonesia) prompted VSI to raise the alert status from normal to waspada (2 on a scale of 1-4). During 3 July, 62 volcanic quakes were detected, compared to averaged of 1-2 per day during the previous weeks. A light steam plume could be observed from the volcano’s summit. The remote volcano had its last eruption in 2005, when phreatic explosions occurred. –Volcano Discovery

Posted in Civilizations unraveling, Dormant fault activation, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Lava flow, New volcanic activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch | Leave a comment

Three new volcanoes found in Victoria’s south-west

Posted on July 5, 2014by The Extinction Protocol

July 2014 – AUSTRALIA - Monash University researchers have discovered three new volcanoes near Hamilton, in the state’s south-west, which they say could yet deliver a blast from the past. The volcanoes are in the heart of the Newer Volcanic Precinct, a still active 19,000 square kilometer volcanic field spanning Victoria and South Australia. Lead researcher Julie Boyce from Monash’s School of Geosciences said her team combined site visits with analyzed satellite photographs, detailed NASA topography models and the distribution of magnetic minerals in rocks to locate the volcanoes.
She said this is the first time that all four research tools have been used for a single study, which could influence similar volcanic studies around the world. Miss Boyce said there may be other undiscovered volcanoes in the NVP, and eruptions in the future. ‘‘Victoria’s latest episode of volcanism began about eight million years ago, and has helped to shape the landscape,’’ she said. ‘‘The volcanic deposits, including basalt, are among the youngest rocks in Victoria but most people know little about them. ‘‘Though it’s been more than 5000 years since the last volcanic eruption in Australia, it’s important that we understand where, when and how these volcanoes erupted. The province is still active, so there may be future eruptions.’’

 

 

 

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