Is something strange happening deep inside the Earth? 

Posted: March 2, 2017 by oldbrew in Natural Variation, volcanos

Credit: BBC

Credit: BBC

Pattern or coincidence? Theorists will have their ideas.

Why are “giant fountains of lava” suddenly pouring out of some of the most dangerous volcanoes on the entire planet, and why are so many long dormant volcanoes suddenly roaring back to life?

The spectacular eruption of Mt. Etna in Italy is making headlines all over the world, but it is far from alone, as reports.

According to Volcano Discovery, 35 major volcanoes either are erupting right now or have just recently erupted, and dozens of others are stirring. So what is causing this upsurge in volcanic activity? Is something strange happening inside the Earth?

According to the USGS, magma is “molten rock underground”, and lava is molten rock “that breaks through the Earth’s surface”. Right now, something is pushing magma up through the crust of the Earth at a number of key spots around the planet.

On the island of Sicily, the “giant fountains of lava” that are coming out of Mt. Etna can be seen 30 kilometers away…Giant fountains of lava could be seen sprouting from the volcano, located on the isle of Sicily, as far away as Catania, around 30 kilometres away, and the resort town of Taormina. The Meteorological Observatory in Nunziata said: “You can clearly see the lava fountains, although currently modest, as it escapes from the crater in the southeast.” An orange air alert has been issued, meaning that airspace will remain open but authorities will continue to monitor the situation.

On the other side of the world, a constant stream of molten rock has been springing out of Guatemala’s “Volcano of Fire” since February 25th…Guatemala’s Volcano of Fire erupted Saturday (Feb 25), spewing lava and sending up plumes of ash that rained down on nearby communities and could eventually reach the capital, civil protection authorities said. The Volcan de Fuego, one of the country’s three active volcanoes, is located about 45km southwest of the capital Guatemala City. It was the volcano’s second eruption this year.

And in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a “firehose of lava” has been pouring out of the Kilauea Volcano since December 31st. Meanwhile, a number of large volcanoes that have been dormant for a very long time all over the world have started springing back to life.

For instance, the only active volcano in India has suddenly started “spewing lava and ash” after being silent for 150 years…Barren Islands volcano, India’s only active volcano, is reportedly spewing lava and ash after a gap of 150 years. It erupted for about four hours in January, scientists from the National Institute of Oceanography (NIO) claimed. The volcano is situated in Barren Islands in the Andaman & Nicobar archipelago. Some unsubstantiated reports even claim that it is South Asia’s only active volcano. Its first recorded eruption dates back to 1787. Since then, the volcano has erupted more than ten times, including the one this year.

At one time scientists would speak of “dead volcanoes”, but now we learning that it really isn’t safe to speak of any volcano as being completely “dead”. So many of these long dormant volcanoes are roaring back to life, and why this is suddenly happening now is puzzling many of the experts. And as you have seen, this isn’t isolated to just one or two geographic regions. It literally is happening all over the globe.

Last month, Indonesia’s Mount Sinabung in the southern hemisphere erupted seven times in the space of a single day, and meanwhile authorities in the northern hemisphere were warning us that four of Iceland’s biggest volcanoes are preparing to erupt. Indonesia and Iceland are about as far apart as you can get, and yet they are both being affected by this worldwide phenomenon.

Without a doubt, something definitely appears to be causing a significant increase in worldwide seismic activity. Let’s talk about earthquakes for a moment. A website known as the Big Wobble recently published an article that included two extraordinary maps. The first map showed the number of major earthquakes from January 1900 to January 1917, and the second map showed the number of major earthquakes from January 2000 to January 2017. The difference between the two maps was startling to say the least.

The report continues here

  1. oldbrew says:

    Etna is a poor example as it erupts regularly, occasionally violently.

  2. wolsten says:

    Now if only we could find some scientists with time on their hands ready for retraining…

  3. Bitter&twisted says:

    So they compare January 1900 to January 1917 with January 2000 to January 2017.
    I’d like to see some other comparisons over different periods.
    Also detection methods are much more sensitive today- are the comparisons adjusted to take this into account?

    Sounds a bit like climate “science” cherry-picking to me.

    But the key question has to be “is there a link to climate change?”

    What with all these melting ice-caps and sea level rise it must be changing stresses in the Earth’s crust leading to…….

  4. AlecM says:

    So, the Missing Heat does exist?

  5. JB says:

    Happens every time the sun goes into “dormancy”.

  6. Tim Spence says:

    There does seem to be a lot of activity

    all the volcanoes with a red square are erupting now, and there are 30+.

  7. Curious George says:

    The image is from the current eruption of Kilauea, which began in 1983.

    [mod] there is a caption at the top of the image but it’s a bit faint 😦

  8. oldmanK says:

    Etna is said to be a reliable safety valve, but still.

    There was a time when a visitor could walk up to the rim. The view is/was magnificent. Looking down into the caldera was an awesome sight (except for the burning sulphur smell from gasses issuing from the ground). Then in 1971 that section of the rim, the whole path down to the cable-car and the cable-car itself were all gone. Its how a visitor is cut down to minuscule size.

  9. jim says:

    Interestingly, some one mentioned the quantity and quality of the data. The most relevant insight. Old data usually relied on a report by someone. And that report making its way to someone to record it in scientific journals of a relevant specialty. Now adays not so. It usually in other journals, and verified for its results as to end times. Now if someone looked into plate tectonics, hat would cause a plate to move, as the plumes under the scum topping move, expand and contract , abduct and subduct, there are gaps that need to be filled, …

  10. oldbrew says:

    Sinabung is a typical stratovolcano in northern Sumatra next to the town of Berastagi.

    There are no confirmed historic eruptions before the re-awakening in August 2010, but possibly it has had activity in around 1600 and 1881.

    Current status: erupting (4 out of 5)
    Typical eruption style: Explosive

  11. oldbrew says:

    Title: Possible correlation between solar and volcanic activity in a long-term scale
    Authors: Střeštik, J.
    Journal: In: Solar variability as an input to the Earth’s environment. International Solar Cycle Studies (ISCS) Symposium, 23 – 28 June 2003, Tatranská Lomnica, Slovak Republic.

    View online
    – – –
    Two alternative conclusions are offered (abbreviated here):
    (a) Volcanic activity is usually higher in periods of prolonged minima of solar activity and vice versa
    (b) The observation in (a) is a coincidence and only applies to the last few centuries
    – – –

    Do volcanic eruptions coincide with low sunspot activity?
    MAY 16, 2014

  12. Bruce Binion says:

    Thanks oldbrew for your observations and some excellent links to study!!

    My studies of earthquake triggers by solar activity have shown a marked change for the last 3 years, at least. The change has been in the indicators of deep-Earth activity, usually earthquake swarms along with extremely deep earthquakes that happen after solar storm activity and often continue for a 3 to 5 week period afterwards. It has gotten to the point that some of the swarms, especially in the Puerto Rico area, appear to be acting as pressure vents.

    Perhaps you or others have a better take on this subject of deep-Earth activity; my work is more of defining solar triggers to earthquakes and not to plot deep-Earth connection points to various faults and volcanic sites.

  13. oldbrew says:

    Thanks Bruce. I’m interested but can’t claim any detailed study of volcanoes or earthquakes.

    It does seem possible that a bias could exist towards more of such activity at times of low sunspots, possibly even within individual solar cycles.

    The BBC’s Paul Hudson wrote (2011):
    A review of historical records was performed for 350 years of global volcanic activity (1650-2009) and seismic (earthquake) activity for the past 300 years (1700 to 2009) within the continental United States and then compared to the Sun’s record of sunspots as a measure of solar activity.

    According to this study, there exists a strong correlation between solar activity and the Earth’s largest seismic and volcanic events.

    They found an impressive degree of correlation for global volcanic activity (>80.6%) and for the largest USA earthquakes (100% of the top 7 most powerful) versus solar activity lows. [bold added]

    He also quotes Piers Corbyn who has views along similar lines.
    – – –
    This is a ‘busy’ post at the moment, so if anyone wants to chip in with a comment, go ahead.

  14. Mike Bromley says:

    Guatemala’s “Mountain of Fire”…..I wonder how it got such a monicker. This old geologist is casting a sceptic’s eye over this supposed uptick. I wonder how we would have fared if CNN was covering the eruption of the Columbia Plateau Basalts, which happened a few seconds ago geologically? Or the Chilean 9.5 Earthquake of 1960? Biggest ever RECORDED, but I’d like to see the magnitude of some of the monsters that folded the Zagros Mountains…4 measly million years ago.

  15. Power Grab says:

    A long time ago I saw something online that described an exchange between a student and a professor. The student asked why there was an uptick in earthquakes at the minimum and maximum of the solar cycle. The professor said to think of why train cars bump together whenever the train starts up and stops, but not while it’s traveling.

  16. oldmanK says:

    Question: There is evidence of major upheavals early in the Holocene, post YD. Those upheavals have reduced considerably post 2200bce. Has there been solar changes between the two periods? If not one needs to look elsewhere.

    Or was it due to the aftermath of the ‘triggering’/abrupt sea level rise experienced post YD? See from suggestion 25

  17. […] Source: Is something strange happening deep inside the Earth?  […]

  18. Bloke down the pub says:

    At one time scientists would speak of “dead volcanoes”, but now we learning that it really isn’t safe to speak of any volcano as being completely “dead”.

    The exception being volcanoes that grew when over an hot spot, but which have now migrated away as the plates move. An example would be the islands at the north end of the Hawaiian chain.

  19. Paul Vaughan says:

    Spatial and temporal do not segregate as marginals as per lazy conventional assumption. Until comprehension of simple geometry evolves past a trivial threshold, spatial and temporal are inextricably perceptually merged.

  20. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: March 2, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    You quote: “Do volcanic eruptions coincide with low sunspot activity?”.

    I think you’re in the best position to research this oldbrew.

    A volcanic eruption (for Earth) is evident where/when the internal hydrostatic pressure of ‘magma’ (molten rock) is great enough to break through a ‘weak spot/fissure’ in Earth’s crustal material. However, what has this to do with ‘sunspots’? Aye, there’s the rub.

    It ‘has’ been suggested that Sol’s ‘barycenter’ for Sol’s ‘solar system’ may be the mediator for Sol’s ‘spotty activity’, but where is the correlation? Sol’s barycentric activity is certainly ‘varied’ and on occasion can be plotted ‘outside’ of Sol’s most massive body components per se. However, ‘gravity action’ outside of a ‘massive entity’ is better understood than ‘gravity action’ within a ‘massive entity’. How can this ‘understanding of gravity action within a massive entity’ be improved?

    Well, for a start. It should be recognised that ‘two massive entities in local proximity’ alter the gravity center of each other in varying degrees and in accordance with their ‘massive quanta’ (a greater mass employs a greater forcing to a lesser mass), but this is for ‘orbital forcing’. This isn’t a ‘subterranean effect’.

    What ‘are/is’ the ‘subterranean effect/s’? We need to explore the ‘Archimedes effect’ and ‘more’ to understand this.

    IMHO an external ‘gravity’ force is directly converted into a ‘hydrostatic pressure’ force as an observation descends towards the ‘center of gravity’ of any ‘mass entity’. Thus, ‘which entity’ should we follow, the ‘barycenter’ or the ‘barycentric center of gravity? Relativity creeps in to show that for ‘gravity’ per se the ‘barycenter’ is the inverse of the ‘barycentric center of gravity’. See the link to ‘Gravitation of the Moon in wiki:

    Note that the center of gravity quoted as “The center of gravity of the Moon does not coincide exactly with its geometric center but is displaced toward the Earth by approximately 2 kilometres.” may not only be a factor of ‘mass distribution’, but may also include a ‘barycenter’ factor (for Earth and Moon the ‘barycenter’ is below Earth’s surface).???

    Any ‘change’ to the ‘center of gravity’ by an ‘external massive entity’ would alter the/a ‘gravity null point’ (center of gravity) for a ‘massive entity in isolation’, thus would also alter the ‘point of maximum hydrostatic pressure’.

    I’m sure that you can take it from here oldbrew. 🙂

    IMHO ‘barycen/ter/tric behaviour’ alters the ‘cent/er/ric behaviour’ of the ‘center of mass’ for a massive entity.

    Your thoughts?

    Best regards, Ray.

  21. hunter says:

    We have been a lull for sometime, from what I have read.
    What would be the “power source” to trigger something that is as dense magma (it is a rock after-all) to behave globally….from outside the globe?
    I don’t mean this as argument but as question.
    I have wondered for several years how long the volcanic activity drought would last.

  22. oldbrew says:

    Can a change in the behaviour of the Sun cause a change in the behaviour of the Earth?
    A recent study says it’s a possibility at least.

    Study relates Atlantic hurricane frequency to sunspot activity

  23. Bruce Binion says:

    Thanks oldbrew!
    I prepared a paper for the AGU Solar minimum Conference in April, 2013. Aside from the number and magnitude variations based on the solar cycle, that year I first noticed a shift in earthquake response and it seemed to continue into 2014. Looking back, the turning point of this activity first showed up in my research records with the 8.3M Sea of Okhotsk Earthquake on 2013-05-24 00:44:49-05:00 at 608.9 km deep, the largest, deepest earthquake ever recorded. After this event data suggested there was a rearrangement of pressure, less pent up stress, beneath some of the tectonic plates, one of which was the North American plate and namely in the New Madrid Fault region and throughout California.

    This change in earthquake response, depth, swarms, and location came on the heels of a large amount of M and X Class flare solar flare activity with CME impact. It appears that significant impacts to the magnetosheath do translate to deep-Earth movement in addition to simple earthquake triggering; the crust effects, down to about 40 km, are pretty straightforward with triggering of existing faults. The large current flows from this solar flare activity, that have stopped and started in rapid succession working on the lithosphere and mantle, may have had a significant effect on deep-Earth pressure regions.

    Perhaps some of the folks that I have seen on this blog may have insight into effects and causes. I have been impressed and have seen some excellent concepts like planetary influences on solar activity on this blog. Folks are real nice about pointing to additional research articles and such!

  24. suricat says:

    hunter says: March 6, 2017 at 7:05 am

    “We have been a lull for sometime, from what I have read.”

    If you read my ‘page’ (life), I’ve been very busy.??? 😉

    “What would be the “power source” to trigger something that is as dense magma (it is a rock after-all) to behave globally….from outside the globe?”

    ‘Gravity’. However, “magma” is a ‘fluid’ and “rock” is a ‘solid’ with the same ‘property’, but temperature alters the ‘phase’ presented by the compound. An overview of this NASA page may help:

    “I don’t mean this as argument but as question.”

    I hope I’ve been of help hunter. 🙂

    “I have wondered for several years how long the volcanic activity drought would last.”

    As have I. Perhaps a ‘quiet sun’, or something else? It would help if you were ‘more specific/logical’ with your ‘comments’ to this site hunter. This would make it easier to reply to your comment here.

    Best regards, Ray.

  25. suricat says:

    oldbrew says: March 6, 2017 at 10:14 am


    Duh! Please state the connection with “Atlantic hurricane frequency” and “Is something strange happening deep inside the Earth?”!

    I don’t see it. 😦


  26. oldbrew says:

    It’s not a question of seeing it, just that the possibility is there i.e. of sunspots – or whatever they represent – being a factor in aspects of the Earth’s behaviour other than hurricanes.

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