Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’

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7.7 Magnitude Earthquake West Coast Haida Gwaii Not The Biggest in Canada’s History

28/10/2012

A 7.7 magnitude earthquake has struck the Queen Charlotte Islands Haida Gwaii region off the west coast of Canada at around 11 pm E.S.T. and has currently (it’s now 2:01 a.m. E.S.T.) spurned on 8 aftershocks ranging from 4.3 to 5.5 magnitude.

The Queen Charlotte Islands area is already known for Canada’s largest recorded earthquake at 8.1 magnitude in 1949.  The last largest earthquake in this area was in 1970 at 7.4 magnitude.  This area is also known as Haida Gwaii and is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire.

Haida Gwaii – Beautiful

Since the epic events off the coast of Japan March 11, 2011, evidence has been mounting that the Earth is certainly moving and shaking, as the record shows that since August 15 of 2012, the Earth has seen 5 earthquake events over the magnitude of 7.0.  See 2012 USGS Significant Earthquakes http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqinthenews/ But ready between the lines of the 7.0+ earthquake 2012 has seen, there are a significant amount of 6.0+ earthquakes all over.  The frequency and intensity of earthquakes has gained momentum, especially since March 11, 2011.

There has also been more earthquake activity in Canada recently as well.  Montreal, Niagara Falls and a pretty constant barrage up and down the west coast of Canada.  A whole lot of little adds up to one big.

It is not hard to predict that there will be quite a few more aftershocks in the aftermath of this 7.7 magnitude earthquake, as seen in the aftermath of Japan, let’s hope it will not affect things in any significant way and that people are safe.

At least scientists here in Canada are safe from prosecution for not predicting this earthquake ahead of time, cause they don’t really exist here anymore.

Le sigh.  Praying for family, friends and people affected by the earthquake.

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Red Sea Volcano – New Island Forms Off Coast of Yemen

27/12/2011
New Island in Red Sea

© NASA
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured this high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 showing an island being formed in the Red Sea.
New Island in Red Sea_1

© NASA
Satellite image of the same region from October 24, 2007.

An eruption occurred in the Red Sea in December 2011. According to news reports, fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 30 meters (90 feet) tall on December 19. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra and Aqua satellites observed plumes on December 20 and December 22. Meanwhile, the Ozone Monitoring Instrument (OMI) on NASA’s Aura satellite detected elevated levels of sulfur dioxide, further indicating an eruption.

The activity in the Red Sea included more than an eruption. By December 23, 2011, what looked like a new island appeared in the region. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured these high-resolution, natural-color images on December 23, 2011 (top), and October 24, 2007 (bottom). The image from December 2011 shows an apparent island where there had previously been an unbroken water surface. A thick plume rises from the island, dark near the bottom and light near the top, perhaps a mixture of volcanic ash and water vapor.

The volcanic activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen. Running in a roughly northwest-southeast line, the islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.

References:

    • Global Volcanism Program. Zubair Group. Smithsonian Institution. Accessed December 27, 2011.
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Second Earthquake of the Day Hits Northern Japan

24/11/2011

Tokyo – Two strong earthquakes rattled northern Japan on Thursday, but neither caused any apparent damage or a tsunami.

A magnitude-6.1 quake struck Thursday evening south of the northern island of Hokkaido, Japan’s Meteorological Agency said.

It hit about 465 miles (750 kilometers) northeast of Tokyo and 19 miles (30 kilometers) below the sea surface. The agency did not issue a tsunami warning.

About 3,900 households in the towns of Erimo and Samani lost electricity shortly after the quake, but power was restored about an hour later, according to the Hokkaido Electric Power Co.

The shaking was not felt in Tokyo, though a morning quake was.

That magnitude-6.0 quake struck just off the coast near the nuclear power plant damaged by the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.

The two shakings are believed unrelated and did not affect the crippled Fukushima Dai-ichi plant or other nuclear plants in the region.

via Associated Press

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Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery

19/10/2011

Uturuncu© Noah Finnegan

Uturuncu, a Bolivian volcano that is inflating at an incredible rate.

Should anyone ever decide to make a show called “CSI: Geology,” a group of scientists studying a mysterious and rapidly inflating South American volcano have got the perfect storyline.

Researchers from several universities are essentially working as geological detectives, using a suite of tools to piece together the restive peak’s past in order to understand what it is doing now, and better diagnose what may lie ahead.

It’s a mystery they’ve yet to solve.

Uturuncu is a nearly 20,000-foot-high (6,000 meters) volcano in southwest Bolivia. Scientists recently discovered the volcano is inflating with astonishing speed.

“I call this ‘volcano forensics,’ because we’re using so many different techniques to understand this phenomenon,” said Oregon State University professor Shan de Silva, a volcanologist on the research team.

Researchers realized about five years ago that the area below and around Uturuncu is steadily rising – blowing up like a giant balloon under a wide disc of land some 43 miles (70 kilometers) across. Satellite data revealed the region was inflating by 1 to 2 centimeters (less than an inch) per year and had been doing so for at least 20 years, when satellite observations began.

“It’s one of the fastest uplifting volcanic areas on Earth,” de Silva told OurAmazingPlanet.”What we’re trying to do is understand why there is this rapid inflation, and from there we’ll try to understand what it’s going to lead to.”

The peak is perched like a party hat at the center of the inflating area. “It’s very circular. It’s like a big bull’s-eye,” said Jonathan Perkins, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who recently presented work on the mountain at this year’s Geological Society of America meeting in Minneapolis.

Scientists figured out from the inflation rate that the pocket of magma beneath the volcano was growing by about 27 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) per second.

“That’s about 10 times faster than the standard rate of magma chamber growth you see for large volcanic systems,” Perkins told OurAmazingPlanet.

However, no need to flee just yet, the scientists said.

“It’s not a volcano that we think is going to erupt at any moment, but it certainly is interesting, because the area was thought to be essentially dead,” de Silva said.

Uturuncu_1© Jonathan Perkins

Sunset at Uturuncu.

Uber-Uturuncu?

Uturuncu is surrounded by one of the most dense concentrations of supervolcanoes on the planet, all of which fell silent some 1 million years ago.

Supervolcanoes get their name because they erupt with such power that they typically spew out 1,000 times more material, in sheer volume, than a volcano like Mount St. Helens. Modern human civilization has never witnessed such an event. The planet’s most recent supervolcanic eruption happened about 74,000 years ago in Indonesia.

“These eruptions are thought to have not only a local and regional impact, but potentially a global impact,” de Silva said.

Uturuncu itself is in the same class as Mount St. Helens in Washington state, but its aggressive rise could indicate that a new supervolcano is on the way. Or not.

De Silva said it appears that local volcanoes hoard magma for about 300,000 years before they blow – and Uturuncu last erupted about 300,000 years ago.

“So that’s why it’s important to know how long this has been going on,” he said.

To find an answer, scientists needed data that stretch back thousands of years – but they had only 20 years of satellite data.

Uturuncu_2© Noah Finnegan

Jonathan Perkins, along with his advisor, Noah Finnegan (he’s behind the camera), conduct field work in the barren landscape surrounding the volcano.

Volcano rap sheet

“So that’s where we come in as geomorphologists – to look for clues in the landscape to learn about the long-term topographic evolution of the volcano,” Perkins said.

Perkins and colleagues used ancient lakes, now largely dry, along the volcano’s flanks to hunt for signs of rising action.

“Lakes are great, because waves from lakes will carve shorelines into bedrock, which make lines,” Perkins said.

If the angle of those lines shifted over thousands of years – if the summit of the mountain rose, it would gradually lift one side of the lake – it would indicate the peak had been rising for quite some time, or at least provide a better idea of when the movement began.

The local conditions, largely untouched by erosion or the reach of lush plant and animal life, lend themselves to geological detective work, Perkins noted.

“It’s a really sparse, otherworldly landscape,” Perkins said. “Everything is so well preserved. There’s no biology to get in the way of your observations.”

Perkins said that surveys conducted on the lakes last autumn didn’t indicate long-term inflation. However, tilting lakes are only one indicator of volcano growth, he said.

De Silva said the geological detective team is working to combine data from a number of sources – seismic data, GPS data, even minute variations in gravity – to pin down when and why the mountain awoke from its 300,000-year-long slumber, and better predict its next big move.

source: ouramazingplanet
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Swarm of quakes around Mount Rainier

19/10/2011
via AP – SEATTLE
Scientists in Washington state say there has been a spate of earthquakes around Mount Rainier in recent weeks but that it isn’t a concern.Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network’s Bill Steele says the activity is normal. But he says scientists are watching the volcano a closer because of two quakes recorded Friday. The first was a 3.4 magnitude quake that struck west of the mountain near Ashford. It was followed about an hour later with a 2.9 magnitude quake under the volcano.University of Washington emeritus professor Steve Malone says data shows at least seven earthquakes in two weeks. He says there are frequently earthquakes around Rainier, averaging several each month, and that recent activity shouldn’t cause alarm.

INFORMATION ON MOUNT RAINIER

Mount Rainier is a massive stratovolcano located 54 miles (87 km) southeast of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States. It is the most topographically prominent mountain in the contiguous United States and the Cascade Volcanic Arc, with a summit elevation of 14,411 feet (4,392 m).Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list. Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that would threaten the whole Puyallup River valley.

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Increasing Activity at 6 Volcanoes, On High Alert – Indonesia

12/10/2011

Anak Krakatau producing 5000 tremors per day

BNPB spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said on Sunday that the volcanoes on high alert were Mount Tambora in West Nusa Tenggara, Anak Ranakan in East Nusa Tenggara, Papandayan in West Java, Karangetang and Lokon in North Sulawesi, and Anak Krakatau in the Sunda Strait.

“These volcanoes are on alert level III, which means all volcanic parameters show that activities could develop into an eruption or disaster,” he told The Jakarta Post via text message.

He said that Anak Krakatau was producing five thousand tremors per day. A 2-kilometer exclusion zone has been set up around the volcano.

Sutopo said the volcanoes were being monitored 24 hours a day.

source: The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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Fears of another Volcano Eruption in Canaries as 500 People Evacuated from El Hierro

12/10/2011

Some 500 people evacuated on Spain’s El Hierro island in the Canaries due to an underwater volcanic eruption were expected to spend another night outside their homes Wednesday amid fears of another eruption.

Local authorities on Tuesday announced that 500 residents and tourists were being evacuated from the village of La Restinga because of the risk of another eruption closer to the coast after Monday’s 4.3-magnitude quake.

Monday’s eruption, the first in 40 years, was detected five kilometres (three miles) from the island at a depth of between 500 and 1,200 metres (1,640 and 3,940 feet) beneath the sea.

Experts had said the eruption would not be felt on the island.

Most of the evacuees have found refuge with relatives or friends in other villages on the island. But dozens of others, mostly tourists, spent the night in a student dormitory and a local gym.

Pointing to “uncertainty over the coming days,” authorities said in a statement that they were keeping Restinga on “red alert”, while the rest of the island remained on yellow alert, one notch lower.

“It is recommended to exercise caution,” said Paulino Rivero, head of the Canaries administration.

But he said people would be able to return to their homes under the protection of civil safety officials to retrieve medicines or clothes.

Rivero said scientists had noticed no significant changes since Tuesday afternoon.

El Hierro, which means iron in Spanish, is the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, located in the Atlantic off the coast of Morocco. It is home to some 11,000 people.

The last volcanic eruption on the Canary Islands was on nearby La Palma in 1971.

source: AFP

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