Archive for the ‘volcanos’ Category

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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Credit: NASA [click on image to enlarge]


In a 2015 Talkshop post we found a resonant period of 486.5 days for the inner three of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter: Io, Europa and Ganymede. Here the researchers find a period of 480-484 days, which clearly looks very much the same as our period, linked to recurring volcanic activity. They find this ‘surprising’, but the repeating alignments of these moons with Jupiter – at the same time interval – look to be more than a coincidence.

Hundreds of volcanoes pockmark the surface of Io, the third largest of Jupiter’s 78 known moons, and the only body in our solar system other than Earth where widespread volcanism can be observed, says Phys.org.

The source of the moon’s inner heat is radically different than Earth’s, making the moon a unique system to investigate volcanism.

A new study in the AGU journal Geophysical Research Letters finds Io’s most powerful, persistent volcano, Loki Patera, brightens on a similar timescale to slight perturbations in Io’s orbit caused by Jupiter’s other moons, which repeat on an approximately 500-Earth-day cycle.

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Intertropical Convergence Zone [image credit: University of New Mexico]


Another aspect of natural variability in weather and climate patterns emerges.

A new study led by Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory researcher Suzana Camargo and Université du Québec à Montréal’s Francesco Pausata provides deeper insight into how large volcanic eruptions affect hurricane activity, says Phys.org.

Previous studies could not clearly determine the effects of volcanic eruptions on hurricanes, because the few large volcanic eruptions in the last century coincided with El Niño-Southern Oscillation events, which also influence hurricane activity.

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The ability to recognize patterns in Earth’s behaviour by sifting through masses of geological data could be programmed into machines.

Scientists seeking to understand Earth’s inner clockwork have deployed armies of sensors listening for signs of slips, rumbles, exhales and other disturbances emanating from the planet’s deepest faults to its tallest volcanoes.

“We measure the motion of the ground continuously, typically collecting 100 samples per second at hundreds to thousands of instruments,” said Stanford geophysicist Gregory Beroza. “It’s just a huge flux of data.”

Yet scientists’ ability to extract meaning from this information has not kept pace, reports Phys.org.

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Location of Mayotte, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of Southeast Africa


Epic. Why are ‘schools of dead fish appearing in the water?’

Last November, a huge seismic event that shook the planet left experts wondering about its possible source, says ScienceAlert.

Researchers now think they know what might have caused it: an offshore volcanic event unlike any other in recorded history.

If the hypothesis is right, and there has been a massive movement of magma underneath the sea floor, that has implications for nearby Mayotte and the neighbouring Comoros islands off the coast of Africa.

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Iceland’s Katla volcano [image credit: icelandmonitor]


Precision measurements show that sub-glacial volcanoes have been greatly underestimated as an ongoing source of carbon dioxide emissions. When will they re-do the calculations?
H/T Warwick Hughes

Recent research suggests the volume of volcanic CO2 being emitted into the atmosphere is far greater than previously thought, challenging man-made warming, says ClimateChangeDispatch.

The cornerstone principle of the global warming theory, anthropogenic global warming (AGW), is built on the premise that significant increases of modern era human-induced CO2 emissions have acted to unnaturally warm Earth’s atmosphere.

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Even today, more than eighty percent of our ocean is unmapped, unobserved, and unexplored. How many more hidden volcanoes may remain to be discovered?

The find offers a glimpse into a previously unknown marine ecosystem — and spotlights just how little we know about the seafloor, says Euronews.

While mapping the seafloor some 250 miles off the coast of the Australian island of Tasmania, scientists recently discovered what’s being called a “volcanic lost world” deep underwater.

The chain of volcanic seamounts — huge undersea mountains that loom as tall as 9,800 feet, or more than six times taller than the Empire State Building — offer a glimpse into a previously unknown ocean ecosystem.

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Credit: USGS


It turns out the influence of natural drivers of tropical belt expansion and contraction is ‘poorly understood’. The authors say: ‘Our results warn of potential socio-economic consequences of future variations in tropical belt width driven by natural climate variability or stratospheric aerosol injections, whether volcanic or artificial.’
H/T Phys.org

For the first time, scientists have traced the north-south shifts of the northern-most edge of the tropics back 800 years, reports a University of Arizona-led international team.

The movement of the tropical boundary affects the locations of Northern Hemisphere deserts including the Sonoran, Mohave and Saharan. Those deserts sit just north of the tropical belt, which includes the subtropics.

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A rapid-fire lecture on solar-planetary links, sunspots, volcanoes, ice cores, climate and a whole lot more, including a closer look at the Spörer Minimum.

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Volcanic eruption


‘The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora was one of the most powerful in recorded history, with a Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) of 7’, says Wikipedia.

The unusually cold year of 1816 has been linked to one of the most powerful volcanic eruptions in recorded history, and now we may know how, says New Atlas.

A new paper explains how electrified ash from the eruption could have “short-circuited” the Earth’s ionosphere and triggered the “Year Without A Summer.”

The year 1816 was a weird one, climatically speaking. Months that would normally be warm and pleasant were cold, rainy and overcast, leading to crop shortages across much of the Northern Hemisphere.

A new paper out of Imperial College London explains how electrified ash from the eruption could have “short-circuited” the Earth’s ionosphere and triggered the “Year Without A Summer.”

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Volcanic eruption


Interesting results from this research into where and how volcanoes might fit into the oceans/climate picture.

Volcanic eruptions are among the most important natural causes of climate change, playing a leading role over the past millennium, says Phys.org.

Injections of sulfate aerosols into the lower stratosphere reduce the incoming solar radiation, in turn cooling the surface.

As a natural external forcing to the Earth’s climate system, the impact of volcanic aerosols on the climate has been of great concern to the scientific society and the public.

In recent years, scientists have found that there is a relationship between volcanic eruptions and the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO) based on reconstructions and model simulations, which is manifested in increased/decreased sea surface temperature (SST) gradient over the equatorial Pacific.

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Nature is awesome.

hawaii-lava

Lava flow in Hawaii

One volcanologist commented: “When a house today might look like it’s perfectly safe, it might get taken out by a lava flow five years from now if the eruption keeps on going.”

So much destruction, as ScienceAlert reports.

For the fleeing residents who had to evacuate the cracked, burning streets of Leilani Estates, Hawaii, last week, it would be natural to hope they could return to their homes shortly once the fury of eruption relents.

But that fury may not quit soon. The truth is this eruption didn’t happen last week.

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The edge of the Thwaites glacier [credit: NASA photograph by Jim Yungel]


This BBC report seems unaware that a study in 2014 found that parts of the Thwaites Glacier are subject to melting due to subglacial volcanoes and other geothermal “hotspots”. The existence of this group of volcanoes has long been known.

British and American scientists will assess the stability of one of Antarctica’s biggest ice streams, reports BBC News.

It is going to be one of the biggest projects ever undertaken in Antarctica.

UK and US scientists will lead a five-year effort to examine the stability of the mighty Thwaites Glacier.

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The planet Mercury, as imaged by the MESSENGER spacecraft [Credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory/Carnegie Institution of Washington]


More theoretical speculations about Mercury’s origins, arising from what is now believed to be evidence of historical volcanic activity.

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun, but far from being a dull cinder of a world, it has instead turned out to be a real eye opener for geologists, says Phys.org.

Among the revelations by NASA’s MESSENGER probe, which first flew past Mercury in 2008 and orbited it between 2011 and 2015, is the discovery of a hundred or so bright red spots scattered across the globe. Now they are at last being named.

Although they appear more yellow-orange than red on the accompanying colour-enhanced images, they are the reddest features on Mercury, a planet that looks dull and grey on unenhanced images.

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Recent volcanic activity at Mount Agung in eastern Bali [image credit: BBC]


Any kind of advance in understanding volcanic processes has to be welcomed. Sci-News reporting.

Tiny crystals of clinopyroxenes that form deep in volcanoes may be the key for advance warnings before volcanic eruptions, according to a team of vulcanologists from the University of Queensland, Australia, and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

“Our research provided new information that could lead to more effective evacuations and warning communications,” said University of Queensland vulcanologist Dr. Teresa Ubide.

“This could signal good news for the almost one in 10 people around the world who live within 100 km of an active volcano.”

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Sun at solar system barycentre 1990 [via Arnholm’s solar simulator]


H/T Michele Casati

INFLUENCE OF SOLAR RETROGRADE MOTION ON TERRESTRIAL PROCESSES
N.S.Sidorenkov, Ian Wilson

ABSTRACT. The influence of solar retrograde motion on secular minima of solar activity, volcanic eruptions, climate changes, and other terrestrial processes is investigated. Most collected data suggest that secular minima of solar activity, powerful volcanic eruptions, significant climate changes, and catastrophic earthquakes occur around events of solar retrograde motion.

Keywords: barycentric motion of the sun; secular minima of solar activity, volcanic eruptions, climate changes; the historical process of humankind.

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Nepal Earthquake [image credit: BBC]


The research suggests that both magnitude and frequency of earthquakes are related to plate collision speed.

Earthquakes that happen in densely populated mountainous regions, such as the Himalaya, spell bigger earthquakes because of a fast tectonic-plate collision, according to a new study reported at Phys.org.

Researchers from Geophysical Fluid Dynamics – ETH Zürich in Switzerland, say their findings give people a more complete view of the risk of earthquakes in mountainous regions.

The new study shows that the frequency and magnitude of large earthquakes in the densely populated regions close to mountain chains – such as the Alps, Apennines, Himalaya and Zagros – depend on the collision rate of the smaller tectonic plates.

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This is the finding from a new research paper entitled ‘Enhanced ice sheet melting driven by volcanic eruptions during the last deglaciation.’

Another very recently published paper (‘Very large release of mostly volcanic carbon during the Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum’) says something similar:
‘The Palaeocene–Eocene Thermal Maximum [PETM], was a global warming event that occurred about 56 million years ago, and is commonly thought to have been driven primarily by the destabilization of carbon from surface sedimentary reservoirs such as methane hydrates. However, it remains controversial whether such reservoirs were indeed the source of the carbon that drove the warming…[We] identify volcanism associated with the North Atlantic Igneous Province rather than carbon from a surface reservoir, as the main driver of the PETM. This finding implies that climate-driven amplification of organic carbon feedbacks probably played only a minor part in driving the event.’

So two papers saying volcanic ash on the ice, not carbon dioxide in the air, was the main player in PETM deglaciation.
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Volcanic eruptions have been known to cool the global climate, but they can also exacerbate the melting of ice sheets, according to a paper published today in Nature Communications, says Phys.org.

Researchers who analyzed ice cores and meltwater deposits found that ancient eruptions caused immediate and significant melting of the ice sheet that covered much of northern Europe at the end of the last ice age, some 12,000 to 13,000 years ago.

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