Archive for the ‘volcanos’ Category


Volcano alerts come and go, but magma disturbances under a geothermal plant are a bit different. A visit to the Blue Lagoon spa could get exciting…
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The alert level of the Reykjanes volcano in Iceland was just raised from green to yellow, says Strange Sounds.

This change was made in response to the confirmation of a new intrusion of magma on the Reykjanes peninsula.

This new intrusion is centered underneath the Svartsengi geothermal power plant, and is quite likely to result in a new volcanic eruption.

If an eruption were to occur, it would be likely to have an explosive component to it and potentially affect the city of Grindavik.

This video discusses the odds of a new volcanic eruption and how explosive it might be.
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Watchers News reports:
More than 3 000 earthquakes have been detected near Eldvörp in the Reykjanes/Svartsengi volcanic system in the past week. In addition, recent deformation observations identified the onset of a new inflation event west of Thorbjörn which is likely caused by magma intrusion.

An Outburst of Noctilucent Clouds

Posted: January 27, 2022 by oldbrew in atmosphere, Clouds, volcanos

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Possible volcanic origin of these NLCs?

Spaceweather.com

Jan. 25, 2022: On Jan 24th, skies above Argentina suddenly filled with noctilucent clouds (NLCs). A video camera in Rio Gallegos (Patagonia) captured the outburst:

“What a surprise!” says Gerd Baumgarten of Germany’s Leibniz Institute of Atmospheric Physics, who operates this remote camera to minotor southern skies for unusual events. “We haven’t seen NLCs all year. Now, suddenly, they are very bright.”

NLCs are Earth’s highest clouds. They form when wisps of water vapor rise up from the poles to the edge of space. Water crystallizing around specks of meteor dust create the electric-blue structures. NLCs are, literally, frosted meteor smoke.

Normally at this time of year, NLCs are confined inside the Antarctic Circle. So it is a surprise to see them bursting out to mid-southern latitudes; Rio Gallegos is at 51.6oS.

To confirm that these are truly NLCs, Natalie Kaifler of the German Aerospace Center (DLR)…

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The atmospheric plume from an underwater volcano eruption in the Pacific nation of Tonga is pictured from the International Space Station as it orbited 269 miles above the Pacific Ocean northwest of Auckland, New Zealand [image credit: NASA / Kayla Barron @ Wikipedia]


This NASA animation leaves little room for doubt about how powerful the Tonga event was. The very low-frequency sound waves it produced were first predicted by Laplace over 200 years ago, as the article below explains.
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The Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai eruption reached an explosive crescendo on Jan. 15, 2022, says Kevin Hamilton @ The Conversation (via Phys.org).

Its rapid release of energy powered an ocean tsunami that caused damage as far away as the U.S. West Coast, but it also generated pressure waves in the atmosphere that quickly spread around the world.

The atmospheric wave pattern close to the eruption was quite complicated, but thousands of miles away it appeared as an isolated wave front traveling horizontally at over 650 miles an hour as it spread outward.

NASA’s James Garvin, chief scientist at the Goddard Space Flight Center, told NPR the space agency estimated the blast was around 10 megatons of TNT equivalent, about 500 times as powerful as the bomb dropped on Hiroshima, Japan, during World Word II.

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After flaring for 85 days and 8 hours, La Palma’s longest eruption on record has finally ceased activity.
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Authorities on one of Spain’s Canary Islands declared a volcanic eruption that started in September officially finished Saturday following 10 days of no lava flows, seismic activity or significant sulfur dioxide emissions, reports Phys.org.

But the emergency in La Palma, the most northwest island in the Atlantic Ocean archipelago, is not over due to the widespread damage the eruption caused, the director of the Canaries’ volcanic emergency committee said in announcing the much-anticipated milestone.

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A portion of the Atlantic meridional overturning circulation [image credit: R. Curry, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution @ Wikipedia]


This article starts off confident that the researchers are right – ‘we now know’ etc. – but later retreats and says ‘the cooling appears to have’ etc. But as the Little Ice Age is an interesting topic it’s worth a look.
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New research from the University of Massachusetts Amherst provides a novel answer to one of the persistent questions in historical climatology, environmental history and the earth sciences: what caused the Little Ice Age?

The answer, we now know, is a paradox: warming, says Phys.org.

The Little Ice Age was one of the coldest periods of the past 10,000 years, a period of cooling that was particularly pronounced in the North Atlantic region.

This cold spell, whose precise timeline scholars debate, but which seems to have set in around 600 years ago, was responsible for crop failures, famines and pandemics throughout Europe, resulting in misery and death for millions.

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But what kind of volcanoes? One researcher has a theory.

Spaceweather.com

Oct. 14, 2021: So you think you know what a comet is? Think again. Comet 29P/Schwassmann-Wachmann is challenging old ideas. Astronomers call it a comet, but, really, “giant space volcano” might be a better description. It’s a 60-km-wide ball of ice orbiting the Sun beyond Jupiter, and it appears to be one of the most volcanically active bodies in the entire Solar System.

Comet 29P just blew its top … again. In late September 2021, 29P erupted 4 times in quick succession, blowing shells of “cryomagma” into space. Arizona amateur astronomer Eliot Herman has been monitoring the debris:

“Initially it looked like a bright compact object,” says Herman. “Now the expanding cloud is 1.3 arcminutes wide (bigger than Jupiter) and sufficiently transparent for background stars to shine through.”

When this object was discovered in 1927, astronomers thought they had found a fairly run-of-the-mill comet, unusual mainly because it was trapped…

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reykjanes1A local expert comments: “There seems to be still enough magma from whatever reservoir the eruption is tapping. So it could go on for a long time.”
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It will be six months on Sunday that the volcanic eruption currently mesmerising spectators near Reykjavik first began, making it the longest Iceland has witnessed in more than 50 years, says Phys.org.

The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the southwest of Reykjavik.

And the ensuing spectacle—ranging from just a slow trickle of lava at times to more dramatic geyser-like spurts of rocks and stones at others—has become a major tourist attraction, drawing 300,000 visitors so far, according to the Iceland Tourist Board.

Iceland’s sixth volcanic eruption in 20 years is already longer than the preceding one in Holuhraun, in the centre-east of the island, which lasted from the end of August 2014 until the end of February 2015.

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Lava fields of the Reykjanes Peninsula [image credit: Vincent van Zeijst @ Wikipedia]


24th February: ‘Southwestern Iceland was rocked by a series of earthquakes’, reported DW.com. ‘Experts say shocks from the quake, which registered 5.7 in magnitude, sparked increased volcanic activity, triggering a number of aftershocks registering over 4.0 for hours after the initial quake hit.

“It’s an intense activity zone, we are all well aware of that but I’ve never experienced or felt so many strong earthquakes in such a short period of time. It’s unusual,” as the Icelandic Meteorological Office’s (IMO) earthquake hazards coordinator Kristin Jonsdottir told Icelandic public broadcaster RUV.’

The article below appeared five days ago.
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“If an eruption occurs, it would likely mark the beginning of such a [volcanic] period – lasting a few centuries, I believe,” states Magnús Á. Sigurgeirsson, geologist at ÍSOR Iceland GeoSurvey – a consulting and research institute in the field of geothermal sciences and utilization.

“That’s at least how it has been the past three times, and even dating further back, but we don’t have as exact data available on that,” he tells Iceland Monitor.

He is referring to the uncertainty regarding whether an eruption can be expected soon on the Reykjanes peninsula, Southwest Iceland.

Magnús assembled data on the past three volcanic periods in the area. These were 3,000-3,500 years ago, 1,900-2,400 years ago, and finally between the years 800 and 1240 AD.

His information is based on geological maps of the Reykjanes peninsula and on a comprehensive book on volcanic eruptions in Iceland called Nátt­úru­vá á Íslandi, eld­gos og jarðskjálft­ar.

Research reveals that during the latter part of Holocene – a term used to describe a period that began about 11,700 years ago – the volcanic systems on the Reykjanes peninsula have erupted every 900 to 1100 years.

Less is known about the first part of Holocene.

Each eruption period appears to have lasted about 500 years, and during that time most of the volcanic systems appear to have been active, albeit generally not simultaneously. The volcanic activity is characterized by eruptions that each last a few decades. Lava flows from volcanic fissures that can be as long as 12 km (7.5 mi).

On the Reykjanes peninsula, there are six volcanic systems, lined up side by side, pointing from southwest to northeast. Farthest west is that of Reykjanes, then those of Svartsengi, Fagradalsfjall mountain, Krýsuvík, Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and, finally, Hengill mountain.

The last volcanic period began around the year 800 in Brennisteinsfjöll mountains and in the Krýsuvík system, creating the lava fields of Hvammahraun and Hrútafellshraun.

Full article here.
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Update: Lava eruption from long-dormant Icelandic volcano (MARCH 20, 2021) — close to Fagradalsfjall mountain

Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation 1880 to Nov 2018 based on the ERSSTv3b dataset [image credit: Giorgiogp2, bender235 @ Wikipedia]


No prizes for guessing who is behind this one. Climate models ‘prove’ humans are the problem, not nature – heard it before?
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Volcanic eruptions, not natural variability, were the cause of an apparent “Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation,” a purported cycle of warming thought to have occurred on a timescale of 40 to 60 years during the pre-industrial era, according to a team of climate scientists who looked at a large array of climate modeling experiments. Phys.org reporting.

The result complements the team’s previous finding that what had looked like an “AMO” occurring during the period since industrialization is instead the result of a competition between steady human-caused warming from greenhouse gases and cooling from more time-variable industrial sulphur pollution.

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Topographic map of Greenland


We’re told ‘The North Atlantic region is awash with geothermal activity’. Any day now we should be hearing how a few extra molecules of (human-caused) CO2 make the Earth’s innards hotter than they used to be. Or maybe we won’t.
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A team of researchers understands more about the melting of the Greenland ice sheet, says SciTech Daily.

They discovered a flow of hot rocks, known as a mantle plume, rising from the core-mantle boundary beneath central Greenland that melts the ice from below.

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Model dinosaur


The lead author of the study puts the blame on “the largest cataclysmic impacts and massive volcanism, perhaps sometimes working in concert.” The study says: ‘The correlations and similar cycles in marine and non-marine extinction episodes suggest a common cause’. Note: this is a follow-up to a 2015 study with the same lead author, also featured at the Talkshop.
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Mass extinctions of land-dwelling animals—including amphibians, reptiles, mammals, and birds—follow a cycle of about 27 million years, coinciding with previously reported mass extinctions of ocean life, according to a new analysis published in the journal Historical Biology.

The study also finds that these mass extinctions align with major asteroid impacts and devastating volcanic outpourings of lava called flood-basalt eruptions—providing potential causes for why the extinctions occurred, reports Phys.org.

“It seems that large-body impacts and the pulses of internal Earth activity that create flood-basalt volcanism may be marching to the same 27-million-year drumbeat as the extinctions, perhaps paced by our orbit in the Galaxy,” said Michael Rampino, a professor in New York University’s Department of Biology and the study’s lead author.

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Venus


The presence of sulphur in the atmosphere hinted at this.
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A new study identified 37 recently active volcanic structures on Venus, reports Phys.org.

The study provides some of the best evidence yet that Venus is still a geologically active planet.

A research paper on the work, which was conducted by researchers at the University of Maryland and the Institute of Geophysics at ETH Zurich, Switzerland, was published in the journal Nature Geoscience on July 20, 2020.

“This is the first time we are able to point to specific structures and say ‘Look, this is not an ancient volcano but one that is active today, dormant perhaps, but not dead,'” said Laurent Montési, a professor of geology at UMD and co-author of the research paper. “This study significantly changes the view of Venus from a mostly inactive planet to one whose interior is still churning and can feed many active volcanoes.”

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As the video reminds us: Earth’s atmosphere is mostly (78%) nitrogen. Plus about 21% oxygen at sea level, and a few minor trace gases – one or two of which some people like to fixate on.

Researchers have used a new geochemical tool to shed light on the origin of nitrogen and other volatile elements on Earth, which may also prove useful as a way to monitor the activity of volcanoes, says ScienceDaily.

Their findings were published April 16, 2020, in the journal Nature.

Nitrogen is the most abundant gas in the atmosphere, and is the primary component of the air we breathe. Nitrogen is also found in rocks, including those tucked deep within the planet’s interior.

Until now, it was difficult to distinguish between nitrogen sources coming from air and those coming from inside the Earth’s mantle when measuring gases from volcanoes.

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Geothermal Animated

Posted: April 5, 2020 by oldbrew in ENSO, geothermal, volcanos
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A recent online comment by meteorologist Joe Bastardi saying ‘underwater volcanic activity is huge’ and linking to this, led to finding this animation.

Zoe's Insights

Geothermal Emission @ the Surface

This was derived from NCEP Reanalysis data, in the tradition of Measuring Geothermal …

Enjoy 🙂 -Zoe

Addendum

geochg.sh:

# source geochg.sh # Zoe Phin 2020/03/13 F=(0 ulwrf dswrf uswrf lhtfl shtfl) O=(0 3201.5 3086.5 3131.5 856.5 2176.5) require() { sudo apt install nco gnuplot imagemagick; } # Linux Only download() { b="ftp://ftp.cdc.noaa.gov/Datasets/ncep.reanalysis2.derived/gaussian_grid" for i in ${F[*]}; do wget -O $i.nc -c $b/$i.sfc.mon.mean.nc; done } extract() { for t in {000..491}; do echo "$t" >&2 for i in {1..5}; do ncks --trd -HC ${F[$i]}.nc -v ${F[$i]} -d time,$t | sed $d | awk -F[= ] -vO=${O[$i]} '{ printf "%7s %7s %7.3fn", $4, $6, $8/10+O }' > .f$i done paste .f1 .f2 .f3 .f4 .f5 | awk '{ printf "%s %s %7.3fn", $1, $2, $3-($6-$9)+$12+$15 }' > .geo$t done } annualize() { for y in {0..40}; do args=`for m in {0..11}; do printf ".geo%03d "…

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Hydrothermal vent [image credit: USGS]


The author argues: “In summary, evidence substantiates that a well-defined, persistent and non-moving ocean warm trend originating off the East Coast of the United States is the result of super-heated and methane enriched fluids emitted from numerous seafloor hydrothermal vents/hot springs. This has far-reaching implications concerning the root cause of current worldwide ocean warming.”
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A well-defined ocean warming trend originating off the United States East Coast is likely from super-heated and methane-enriched fluids emitted from numerous seafloor hydrothermal vents/hot springs, says James Kamis at Climate Change Dispatch.

Supporting evidence:

This trend has shown up on shallow Sea Surface (SST) maps since their advent in 1997 and has likely been present for thousands of years.

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Volcanic eruption


How good is the evidence for such a connection, and what theories do we have? Does a really low solar minimum – like now – make a difference? Here’s PW’s overview of its article.

Over the long term, the sun is the main driver of weather and climate on Earth and it is also directly connected to such phenomenon as the aurora borealis also known as the northern lights, upper atmospheric “high-latitude blocking”, and the influx of cosmic rays into Earth’s atmosphere, says Perspecta Weather.

The aurora borealis tends to occur more often during times of increased solar activity though they can actually take place at any time of a solar cycle.

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Credit: metro.co.uk


The idea is that “Every time the rock sags into the chamber, it creates a resonance and this produces this strange signal that you see far away.” Is this really ‘The Hum’?

Can you hear it? That elemental thrumming emerging just beneath the engulfing din of everyday city and suburban life? 

Well, chances are you’re not losing your mind or developing some extra-human ability akin to comic book superheroes, says SyfyWire.

Better odds are that it’s Mother Earth’s growing pains in the form of loud volcanic stirrings, as revealed in a new study published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

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Mount Etna, Sicily


The article says: ‘Every 6.4 years, the axes line up and the wobble fades for a short time.’ This looks a lot like 5.4 Chandler wobbles (CW), so you would have 6.4 years minus 5.4 CW = 1 cycle, i.e. 32:27 ratio = 5 (32-27) cycles.
Much more analysis of this time period and related matters in this 2013 Talkshop post:
Ian Wilson: Solar System Timings Evolved Lunar Orbital Elements Linked to Earth’s Chandler Wobble
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New research suggests forces pulling on Earth’s surface as the planet spins may trigger earthquakes and eruptions at volcanoes, reports Phys.org.

Seismic activity and bursts of magma near Italy’s Mount Etna increased when Earth’s rotational axis was furthest from its geographic axis, according to a new study comparing changes in Earth’s rotation to activity at the well-known Italian volcano.

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The grand cliffs of the island of São Jorge, formed by fissural volcanism. [Credit: Azores @ Wikipedia]


New research suggests that ‘the composition of Earth’s entire mantle may differ from current thinking’. More work for theorists beckons.

What is the chemical composition of the Earth’s interior?

Because it is impossible to drill more than about ten kilometres deep into the Earth, volcanic rocks formed by melting Earth’s deep interior often provide such information, says Phys.org.

Geochemists at the Universities of Münster (Germany) and Amsterdam (Netherlands) have investigated the volcanic rocks that build up the Portuguese island group of the Azores.

Their goal: gather new information about the compositional evolution of the Earth’s mantle, which is the layer roughly between 30 and 2,900 kilometres deep inside the Earth.

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Coral reef [image credit: Toby Hudson / Wikipedia]


An example of how a volcano can help replenish coral reefs. Great Barrier Reef doomsters take note: ‘Associate Professor Bryan said this sort of event was occurring every five years.’

Drifting through the ocean, the sailors suddenly lost sight of water as The New Daily reports.

Surrounding their boat was a floating mass of pumice rocks — the result of an an underwater volcanic eruption near Tonga two weeks ago.

Queensland University of Technology geologist Associate Professor Scott Bryan said it “would have been a really eerie experience sailing into this sea of floating rock”.

“No longer seeing water and hearing the scratching of the pumice against the hull,” he said.

Known as a pumice raft, this so-called island of floating rock is gradually heading for Australian shores and is so expansive it can be tracked via satellite.
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