Underwater supervolcano could erupt without warning and kill 100 million people after scientists find a 6-mile wide lava dome growing off the coast of Japan Daily Mail - February 13, 2018
Submerged volcano off the coast of Japan that erupted 7,300 years ago could be preparing to make a comeback. Scientists have discovered evidence of a giant dome of lava in the Kikai volcano's collapsed magma chamber. They believe it contains about 32 cubic km (7.68 cubic miles) of magma, and distortions on its surface suggest the dome is growing. Currently the dome is around 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) wide and 1,968 feet (600 meters) tall. Scientists say an eruption could take place without warning, and if it does, it could kill as many as 100 million people and trigger a 'volcanic winter'.
Japan: 8 Trillion 'Gallons'! Huge Blob of Magma Found Atop Undersea Volcano BBC - February 10, 2018
The dome, which is 6.2 miles (10 kilometers) wide and 1,968 feet (600 meters) tall, is solid rock now, and it doesn't presage an impending eruption. However, it does add a new wrinkle to the history of the Kikai caldera, a huge depression that formed during a massive volcanic super-eruption about 6,300 or 7,300 years ago (the broad range has to do with different methods of dating the eruption). That eruption sent heated pyroclastic flow 50 miles (80 km) across the sea and spread ash up to 620 miles (1,000 km) away, said Yoshi Tatsumi, the author of a new study on the caldera's inner workings
The seemingly unremarkable crystals that could help predict volcanic eruptions PhysOrg - January 23, 2018
The crystals form inside the volcano when molten rock - magma - starts moving upwards from depths of up to 30 km towards the Earth's surface. The crystals are carried in the erupting magma, and they often continue to grow as they are being transported. Importantly, they also change in composition on their way to the surface.
Avalanche kills one in Japan ski resort after volcanic eruption BBC - January 23, 2018
Alert raised as Mount Mayon volcano spews ash, lava in the Philippines CNN - January 22, 2018
Mysterious 'hot air balloon' of molten rock is discovered rising under the surface of New Hampshire - and experts believe it could lead to a volcanic eruption Daily Mail - December 18, 2017
An enormous mass of molten rock hundreds of miles across is rising beneath an idyllic area of the US, a new study has found. Using advanced geophysical instruments, experts looked at seismic waves - vibrations that pass through our planet following earthquakes - to make the finding. The bulbous upwelling, compared by researchers to a hot air balloon, could one day lead to a volcanic eruption - although this isn't likely for millions of years.
Yellowstone spawned twin super-eruptions that altered global climate PhysOrg - October 26, 2017
A new geological record of the Yellowstone supervolcano's last catastrophic eruption is rewriting the story of what happened 630,000 years ago and how it affected Earth's climate. This eruption formed the vast Yellowstone caldera observed today, the second largest on Earth. Two layers of volcanic ash bearing the unique chemical fingerprint of Yellowstone's most recent super-eruption have been found in seafloor sediments in the Santa Barbara Basin, off the coast of Southern California. These layers of ash, or tephra, are sandwiched among sediments that contain a remarkably detailed record of ocean and climate change. Together, both the ash and sediments reveal that the last eruption was not a single event, but two closely spaced eruptions that tapped the brakes on a natural global-warming trend that eventually led the planet out of a major ice age.
Ice sheets may melt rapidly in response to distant volcanoes PhysOrg - October 24, 2017
Volcanic eruptions have been known to cool the global climate, but they can also exacerbate the melting of ice sheets. 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. "Over a time span of 1,000 years, we found that volcanic eruptions generally correspond with enhanced ice sheet melting within a year or so.
New magma pathways after giant lateral volcano collapses PhysOrg - October 24, 2017
Giant lateral collapses are huge landslides occurring at the flanks of a volcano. Giant lateral collapses are rather common events during the evolution of a large volcanic edifice, often with dramatic consequences such as tsunami and volcano explosions. These catastrophic events interact with the magmatic activity of the volcano, as a new research in Nature Communications suggests.
The Popocatepetl volcano outside Mexico City has spewed glowing rock and dumped ash over nearby towns ABC - October 6, 2017
The Popocatepetl volcano outside Mexico City has spewed glowing rock and dumped ash over nearby towns. Mexico's national disaster-prevention agency says the volcano also known to locals as "Don Goyo" erupted for several hours Wednesday morning. Its monitoring cameras detected incandescent rocks landing more than a half-mile (1,000 meters) down the slope. The agency also reported ash fall in towns west of the peak. It said the eruption was not related to the last week's earthquake that killed 337 people. Some 25 million people live within about 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the crater of the 17,797-foot (5,426-meter) stratovolcano. Popocatepetl has been erupting periodically since 1994.
Volcanic Eruptions Gave the Ancient Moon a Temporary Atmosphere Space.com - October 6, 2017
Earth's moon doesn't have much of an atmosphere today. However, it may have had a more prominent atmosphere 3 billion to 4 billion years ago, when volcanic eruptions spewed giant clouds of gas above the lunar surface, a new study has found. Today's moon is covered in dead volcanoes and dark maria, or plains that consist of hardened lava. The lunar atmosphere is so thin it's not even technically an atmosphere — instead, it's considered an "exosphere," with molecules that are gravitationally bound to the moon but are too sparse to behave like a gas.
Yellowstone has now been hit by a record breaking 'megaswarm' of 1,200 earthquakes in just a month Daily Mail - July 21, 2017
In the most recent update on the ongoing earthquake storm, which scientists have been monitoring since June 12, the researchers say there have been 1,284 events so far, with the largest being a magnitude 4.4. While the activity has spurred fears that the supervolcano could be gearing up to an eruption, the experts say the risk of such an event is low, and the alert level remains at ‘normal.’
Mars volcano, Earth's dinosaurs went extinct about the same time PhysOrg - March 20, 2017
Around the same time that the dinosaurs became extinct on Earth, a volcano on Mars went dormant, NASA researchers have learned. Arsia Mons is the southernmost volcano in a group of three massive Martian volcanoes known collectively as Tharsis Montes. Until now, the volcano's history has remained a mystery. But thanks to a new computer model, scientists were finally able to figure out when Arsia Mons stopped spewing out lava. According to the model, volcanic activity at Arsia Mons came to a halt about 50 million years ago. Around that same time, Earth experienced the Cretaceous-Paleogene extinction event, which wiped out three-quarters of its animal and plant species, including the dinosaurs.
Etna escape: 'Pelted with the deadly, hot debris' BBC - March 17, 2017
When we arrived in Sicily, we discovered that we were in luck: Mount Etna had just started to erupt again. I was part of a BBC team who had come to film a report on volcano monitoring. Getting to witness an awakened Etna was about as exciting as it gets for a science correspondent. I just didn’t intend to have quite such a close encounter. The conditions were perfect - blue skies and barely any wind. And as we travelled towards the snow-covered summit, the thunderous booms as Etna spewed magma from its south-east crater reverberated all around.
Fossilized tree and ice cores help date huge volcanic eruption 1,000 years ago to within three months PhysOrg - January 24, 2017
An international team of researchers has managed to pinpoint, to within three months, a medieval volcanic eruption in east Asia the precise date of which has puzzled historians for decades. They have also shown that the so-called "Millennium eruption" of Changbaishan volcano, one of the largest in history, cannot have brought about the downfall of an important 10th century kingdom, as was previously thought. Analysis of the partly fossilized remains of a tree killed by the eruption, and ice cores drilled in Greenland, lead them to conclude the eruption occurred in the final months of 946 AD.
Massive 'lake' discovered under volcano could unlock why and how volcanoes erupt Science Daily - November 8, 2016
A huge magmatic lake has been discovered, 15 kilometers below a dormant volcano in Bolivia, South America. The body of water, which is dissolved into partially molten rock at a temperature of almost 1,000 degrees Celsius, is the equivalent to what is found in some of the world's giant freshwater lakes, such as Lake Superior. The find has now led scientists to consider if similar bodies of water may be 'hiding' under other volcanoes and could help explain why and how volcanoes erupt.
Researchers find evidence for a cold, serpentinized mantle wedge beneath Mt. St. Helens PhysOrg - November 2, 2016
It's been more than 35 years since the last major eruption of Mount St. Helens. Since that blast, much research has been conducted with scientists learning a great deal about one of the most active volcanoes within the Cascade arc, a North-South chain of volcanoes in the Pacific Northwest that formed above the subducting Juan de Fuca plate.
Treasure Trove of Ancient Human Footprints Found Near Volcano National Geographic - October 10, 2016
Nine miles from the volcano the Maasai call the 'Mountain of God,' researchers have cataloged a spectacularly rare find: an enormous set of well-preserved human footprints left in the mud between 5,000 and 19,000 years ago. The more than 400 footprints cover an area slightly larger than a tennis court, crisscrossing the dark gray mudflat of Engare Sero, on the southern shore of Tanzania's Lake Natron. No other site in Africa has as many ancient Homo sapiens footprints making it a treasure trove for scientists trying to tell the story of humankind’s earliest days.
Volcano insight: Fifty years of eruptions revealed BBC - October 6, 2016
Half a century of the planet's volcanic eruptions and earthquakes have been visualized in an animated app. It is part of a project to create a record of every volcanic eruption on Earth for the last 10,000 years. As well as monitoring active volcanoes, a global collaboration of researchers is gathering evidence of ancient eruptions in the geological record.
3 Volcano Spotted Erupting over a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean Live Science - October 5, 2016
Three active volcanoes simultaneously erupting and unleashing giant plumes of smoke were spotted by a NASA satellite as it passed over a remote archipelago in the South Atlantic Ocean. The three stratovolcanoes - a type of composite volcano built of layers of lava, ash and stone - are located on the South Sandwich Islands, which are about 1,700 miles (2,800 kilometers) southeast of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Volcanoes in the region are some of the least studied in the world, because of the remote location and inhospitable environment of the islands. On Sept. 29, NASA's Aqua satellite captured the plumes from these volcano triplets in a false-color image. Clouds and ice in the region make it difficult for satellites to see volcanic activity in natural-color imagery, NASA said. False-color images use portions of the electromagnetic spectrum typically invisible to humans such as infrared to distinguish ice from ash and clouds.
Volcanic eruptions that changed human history Science Daily - July 8, 2015
It is well known that large volcanic eruptions contribute to climate variability. A new study uses new evidence found in both ice cores and corresponding tree rings to show the timing and associated radiative forcing of nearly 300 individual volcanic eruptions extending as far back as the early Roman period.
Chile's Calbuco volcano erupts for third time BBC - April 30, 2015
> Chile's Calbuco volcano has erupted for the third time in eight days, leading the government to order the evacuation of 2,500 people. Some of those residents had only just returned to their homes after last week's eruptions. The latest eruption was less powerful, but sent a large plume of dark grey smoke and ash rising from the crater. Calbuco surprised residents of the Los Lagos region last week by bursting into life after 54 years of inactivity.
Lava Lake Threatens Overflow in Hawaii Live Science - April 28, 2015
The roiling lava lake atop Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano is threatening to overflow for the first time since the molten pool appeared in February 2010. The lava lake usually hides out of tourists' sight by hovering about 100 feet (30 meters) below the rim of Overlook crater, which lies inside of the bigger Halemau'mau' crater at Kilauea's summit. The 720-foot wide (220 m) Overlook crater emerged with a stupendous blast on March 19, 2008. But last week, on April 22, lava started rising steadily and is now hovering within 10 feet (3 m) of the crater's edge. Lava briefly touched the crater rim this morning (April 28), according to the U.S. Geological Survey's Hawaiian Volcano Observatory.
Titanic Blob of Magma Found Beneath Yellowstone Supervolcano Live Science - April 23, 2015
A giant blob-shaped reservoir of searing-hot rock has been discovered far below the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park - one that could fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times over, researchers say. The discovery doesn't raise the risk of future eruptions at Yellowstone, the study authors said. However, a better understanding of the Yellowstone supervolcano's plumbing could shed light on any hazards it might pose, scientists added. The newfound blob-shaped magma reservoir lies in the lower crust. The molten rock extends from about 12 to 28 miles (19 to 45 kilometers) deep, and measures about 30 miles (48 km) long northwest to southeast and 44 miles (70 km) long southwest to northeast. This magma reservoir is about 11,200 cubic miles (46,700 cubic km) in size.
An Antarctic volcano that just doesn't make any sense PhysOrg - April 7, 2015
Only two volcanoes in Antarctica are active. There is Mount Erebus, which is roughly due south of New Zealand, and Deception Island, which lies about 850km south east of Cape Horn. Mt Erebus has been erupting continuously over the last few decades. Yet the rather smaller Deception Island, in the South Shetland archipelago, is responsible for the largest known eruption in the Antarctic area. This horseshoe-shaped cauldron-like structure, or caldera, was produced more than 10,000 years ago by an explosive eruption that scattered more than 30km3 of molten rock. The result is an enclosed welcoming bay called Port Foster. The big blunder ...
What is a Dirty Thunderstorm? BBC - March 26, 2015
A series of astounding images of a 'dirty thunderstorm', captured by volcano film-maker Marc Szeglat earlier this month, show the earth’s power at its most terrifying and breath-taking. Dirty thunderstorms are a rare phenomenon, associated with large volcanic eruptions. But unusually and perhaps uniquely, they occur regularly at Sakurajima volcano in Japan, one of the most active volcanoes in the world.
A Visit to the Forgotten Volcano That Once Turned Europe Dark Wired - January 22, 2015
One of the craters of Iceland’s Laki volcano, which had a huge eruption in 1783 that darkened Europe and had global consequences.
Iceland volcano: Bardarbunga hit by 5.7 earthquake BBC - August 26, 2014
Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano was hit by a magnitude 5.7 earthquake on Tuesday morning, the largest since tremors began in the area last week. The country's Met Office said despite the shock - the fourth magnitude five quake in 48 hours - there is still no sign of a volcanic eruption. On Sunday, Iceland lowered the aviation risk to its second highest level. Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano erupted in 2010, producing ash that disrupted air travel across Europe. Bardarbunga is in a different range to Eyjafjallajokull, but the intense seismic activity has raised fears that an eruption could cause similar travel chaos.
Krakatoa is a volcanic island situated in the Sunda Strait between the islands of Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. The name is also used for the surrounding island group comprising the remnants of a much larger island of three volcanic peaks which was obliterated in a cataclysmic 1883 eruption, unleashing huge tsunamis (killing more than 36,000 people) and destroying over two-thirds of the island. The explosion is considered to be the loudest sound ever heard in modern history, with reports of it being heard up to 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from its point of origin. The shock waves from the explosion were recorded on barographs around the globe. In 1927 a new island, Anak Krakatau, or "Child of Krakatoa", emerged from the caldera formed in 1883 and is the current location of eruptive activity.
Mount Vesuvius erupts. The cities of Pompeii, Herculaneum, and Stabiae are buried in volcanic ash. Very fine ash particles remain high in the atmosphere for years, spreading around the world by high-altitude winds. This suspended material contributes to often spectacular sunsets, as well as an optical phenomenon known as Bishop's Ring.
Shattering past of the 'island of glass': Pantelleria, a little-known island near Sicily, was once covered in a searing-hot layer of green glass Science Daily - May 21, 2014
A tiny Mediterranean island visited by the likes of Madonna, Sting, Julia Roberts and Sharon Stone is now the focus of a ground-breaking study by geologists. Pantelleria, a little-known island between Sicily and Tunisia, is a volcano with a remarkable past: 45 thousand years ago, the entire island was covered in a searing-hot layer of green glass.
Found! New Underwater Volcano Discovered in Hawaii Live Science - May 17, 2014
The sprawling chain of Hawaiian volcanoes just added another underwater branch. The discovery means Oahu once towered above the ocean with three volcanic peaks, the researchers said. Until now, scientists thought Oahu was built by two volcanoes - Wai'anae on the west and Ko'olau on the east. "I think we may very well have had three active volcanoes in the Oahu region," said lead study author John Sinton, a geologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.
Rare Earthquake Warning Issued for Oklahoma Live Science - May 5, 2014
Mile for mile, there are almost as many earthquakes rattling Oklahoma as California this year. This major increase in seismic shaking led to a rare earthquake warning today (May 5) from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Oklahoma Geological Survey. In a joint statement, the agencies said the risk of a damaging earthquake - one larger than magnitude 5.0 - has significantly increased in central Oklahoma. Geologists don't know when or where the state's next big earthquake will strike, nor will they put a number on the increased risk. "We haven't seen this before in Oklahoma, so we had some concerns about putting a specific number on the chances of it," Robert Williams, a research geophysicist with the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program in Golden, Colorado, told Live Science. "But we know from other cases around the world that if you have an increasing number of small earthquakes, the chances of a larger one will go up."
Volcanic islands merge in Pacific Ocean BBC - April 8, 2014
A volcanic island in the Pacific Ocean has merged with its neighbor to form one landmass, the US space agency says. The merged island lies some 1,000km (621mi) south of Tokyo, the result of eruptions on the seafloor that have spewed enough material to rise above the water line. In November 2013, a new island sprouted near to Nishino-shima, another volcanic landmass that last expanded in the 70s. Four months later, the new and old islands are one island. The newer portion of the island - which was referred to as Niijima - is now larger than the original Nishino-shima landmass.
Strangest Magma on Earth: Carbonatites of Ol Doinyo Lengai Wired - March 11, 2014
If you had to pick the most unique volcano on Earth, you’d be hard pressed to find a better candidate than Tanzania’s Ol Doinyo Lengai. Not only does it look like a volcano designed by HR Giger (below), but it is the only place on the planet that is currently erupting carbonatite lava, some of the strangest stuff you will ever see. These lavas are like no other lava, chock full of calcium, sodium and carbon dioxide, leading to some of the odd properties of these eruptions. However, the ultimate source of these carbonatite lavas is still hotly debated - and to make it more complicated, Ol Doinyo Lengai doesn’t even erupt the usual carbonatite (if you can call any carbonatite usual) lava. Not only that, but carbonatites might be a good source for mining rare earth elements, so understanding how they form is going to become increasingly important.
Ancient Helium Escaping from Yellowstone Live Science - February 19, 2014
The giant magma blob beneath Yellowstone National Park unleashed tons of ancient helium gas when it torched North America, according to a new study. "The amount of crustal helium coming out is way more than anyone would have expected," said Jacob Lowenstern, lead study author and scientist-in-charge at the U.S. Geological Survey's Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. The findings appear in today's (Feb. 19) issue of the journal Nature. Yellowstone National Park's famous geysers burble within the remains of a supervolcano that first exploded 2.1 million years ago. Both the volcano and the geysers owe their existence to a hotspot, a massive plume of molten rock rising from within Earth's mantle toward the surface.
Stunning Electric-Blue Flames Erupt From Kawah Ijen Volcano National Geographic - January 30, 2014
For several years Paris-based photographer Olivier Grunewald has been documenting the Kawah Ijen volcano in Indonesia, where dazzling, electric-blue fire can often be seen streaming down the mountain at night. The blue glow isn't lava - it is actually the light from the combustion of sulfuric gases. Forest fires in Yellowstone National Park have caused similar "rivers," as heat from the blazes melted the sulfur around hydrothermal vents.
Supervolcano eruption mystery solved BBC - January 6, 2014
Supervolcanoes like Yellowstone can explode without an earthquake or other external trigger, experts have found. The sheer volume of liquid magma is enough to cause a catastrophic super-eruption.
Scientists show how deadly volcanic phenomenon moves PhysOrg - December 30, 2013
For the first time scientists have tracked how one of the deadliest volcanic hazards moves over time. Scientists from the University of Leicester have developed a novel way of reconstructing how one of these currents flowed. Their technique showed for the first time that instead of flowing radially out from the volcano and covering everything in their path, these currents move initially in one direction, but that this direction then changes.
Utah supervolcanoes discovered PhysOrg - December 10, 2013
Brigham Young University geologists found evidence of some of the largest volcanic eruptions in earth's history right in their own backyard. These supervolcanoes aren't active today, but 30 million years ago more than 5,500 cubic kilometers of magma erupted during a one-week period near a place called Wah Wah Springs. By comparison, this eruption was about 5,000 times larger than the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. In southern Utah, deposits from this single eruption are 13,000 feet thick. Imagine the devastation – it would have been catastrophic to anything living within hundreds of miles. Dinosaurs were already extinct during this time period, but what many people don't know is that 25-30 million years ago, North America was home to rhinos, camels, tortoises and even palm trees. Evidence of the ancient flora and fauna was preserved by volcanic deposits.
Japan's Newest Island Triples in Size National Geographic - December 27, 2013
Japan's newest island now has a name, Niijima, and it continues to grow. The small volcanic island sits about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of Tokyo, offshore of a small, uninhabited island called Nishino Shima. Located in Japanese waters, the newborn island is now one of about 30 known as the Bonin Islands, or the Ogasawara chain.
Volcanic eruption raises new island in Pacific's 'Ring of Fire' NBC - November 21, 2013
A volcanic eruption has raised a new island, according to earthquake experts and the Japanese coast guard. Advisories from the coast guard and the Japan Meteorological Agency said the islet is about 660 feet in diameter. It is just off the coast of Nishinoshima, a small, uninhabited island in the Ogasawara chain, which is also known as the Bonin Islands.
Stunning Pictures: Japan's New Volcanic Island Live Science - November 21, 2013
A new island appeared in the Pacific Oceans about 620 miles (1,000 km) south of Tokyo on Nov. 20. The spectacular volcanic eruption boiled the sea and shot lava fragments into the air. The Japanese Coast Guard captured pictures of the island's birth from the air.
'World's largest volcano discovered beneath Pacific BBC - September 8, 2013
Scientists say that they have discovered the single largest volcano in the world, a dead colossus deep beneath the Pacific waves. A team writing in the journal Nature Geoscience says the 310,000 sq km (119,000 sq mi) Tamu Massif is comparable in size to Mars' vast Olympus Mons volcano - the largest in the Solar System. The structure topples the previous largest on Earth, Mauna Loa in Hawaii. The massif lies some 2km below the sea.
Monster Earth Volcano One of Solar System's Biggest Discovery - September 6, 2013
The largest volcano on Earth is not in Hawaii, but hidden beneath the western Pacific Ocean and covers an area the size of New Mexico. The vast lump of lava is called the Tamu Massif and lies about 1,000 miles (1,600 km) east of Japan and is comparable, though somewhat less voluminous, than the enormous volcano Olympus Mons on Mars.
Largest volcano on Earth found, scientists say CNN - September 6, 2013
An underwater volcano dubbed Tamu Massif was found some 1,000 miles east of Japan, says William Sager, a professor at the University of Houston, who led a team of scientists in the discovery. The volcano is about the size of the state of New Mexico and is among the largest in the solar system, Sager says. Tamu Massif covers an area of about 120,000 square miles. In comparison, the largest active volcano on Earth, Hawaii's Mauna Loa, is about 2,000 square miles, Sager says. "It's shape is different from any other sub-marine volcano found on Earth, and it's very possible it can give us some clues about how massive volcanoes can form," Sager says. Tamu Massif is believed to be about 145 million years old, and became inactive within a few million years after it was formed.
List of Volcanoes in Japan Wikipedia
Volcanic 'scream' precedes explosive eruptions BBC - July 15, 2013
A change in the frequency of earthquakes may foretell explosive volcanic eruptions, according to a new study. The seismic activity changes from steady drum beats to increasingly rapid successions of tremors. These blend into continuous noise which silences just before explosion.
The seriously hot sport of volcano boarding FOX - June 27, 2013
There's nothing like careening down an active volcano in Western Nicaragua. Especially while your feet are strapped to a retrofitted snowboard, ash is flying to and fro and the hot wind is tousling your hair. For adventure-seekers, like Joshua Berman, co-author of the Moon Nicaragua travel guide, it sounds quite thrilling. In fact, he was one of the first to try the unusual sport of volcano boarding in 2004 when it was just getting started.
Ancient Irish texts show volcanic link to cold weather BBC - June 6, 2013
Researchers have been able to trace the impact of volcanic eruptions on the climate over a 1200 year period by assessing ancient Irish texts. The international team compared entries in these medieval annals with ice core data indicating volcanic eruptions. Of 38 volcanic events, 37 were associated with directly observed cold weather extremes recorded in the chronicles. In the dim light of the Dark Ages, the Irish literary tradition stands out like a beacon. At monastic centres across the island, scribes recorded significant events such as feast days, obituaries and descriptions of extreme cold and heat.
A Blast of a Find: 12 New Alaskan Volcanoes Live Science - May 31, 2013
In Alaska, scores of volcanoes and strange lava flows have escaped scrutiny for decades, shrouded by lush forests and hidden under bobbing coastlines. In the past three years, 12 new volcanoes have been discovered in Southeast Alaska, and 25 known volcanic vents and lava flows re-evaluated, thanks to dogged work by geologists with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the U.S. Forest Service. Sprinkled across hundreds of islands and fjords, most of the volcanic piles are tiny cones compared to the super-duper stratovolcanoes that parade off to the west, in the Aleutian Range. But the Southeast's volcanoes are in a class by themselves, the researchers found. A chemical signature in the lava flows links them to a massive volcanic field in Canada. Unusual patterns in the lava also point to eruptions under, over and alongside glaciers, which could help scientists pinpoint the size of Alaska's mountain glaciers during past climate swings.
Second Source of Potentially Disruptive Icelandic Volcanoes Found Science Daily - April 2, 2013
New research by The Open University and Lancaster University discovered another type of Icelandic volcanic eruption that could cause disruption. Published in Geology (February 2013), the team found magma that is twice as 'fizzy' as previously believed, which increases the likelihood of disruptive ash clouds from future eruptions. Many of the largest explosive eruptions in Iceland involve a viscous, high-silica magma called rhyolite, and are driven by volcanic gases (mostly water and carbon dioxide). It is these gases that give a volcanic eruption its fizz. At depth these gases are dissolved within the magma, but as the magma rises towards the surface during an eruption, the gases expand dramatically, causing the magma to froth and accelerate upwards as a foam. The viscous rhyolite foam breaks down into tiny ash fragments which form the ash clouds.
Unmanned Planes Fly Through Poisonous Volcanic Fumes Live Science - April 2, 2013
Planes designed for urban warfare are helping scientists track poisonous volcanic gas. The Dragon Eye remote-controlled plane weighs in at just under 6 pounds (2.7 kilograms), with a 3.75-foot (1.14 meters) wingspan and two electric motors. Designed for the U.S. Marine Corps, the plane is light enough to carry and launch for reconnaissance. NASA recently acquired three retired Dragon Eye planes and sent them to Costa Rica to monitor Turrialba Volcano. Ongoing sulfur dioxide gas emissions from the volcano create vog, or sulfur dioxide smog, which wreaks havoc on crops and harms people who are sensitive to atmospheric pollutants.
The Deadliest Volcano Ever Discovery - April 2, 2013
The damning evidence keeps rolling in with regards to volcanoes and mass extinctions. The latest is in the journal Geology regarding the mother of all extinction events - the end-Permian event 252 million years ago. The new evidence is from the Salt Range in Pakistan, where fossil plants reveal a huge input of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere that yanked the global climate into a new regime.
It's Been a Blast! Alaska Volcano Observatory Marks 25th Live Science - April 2, 2013
America's busiest cargoairport is in Anchorage, Alaska, where international flights heading to and from the Far East make frequent stops. The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), celebrating its 25th anniversary this month, monitors volcanic eruptions that can wreak havoc on the busy air traffic. For Alaska, a state that depends on air travel for moving people and goods to its far-flung and remote towns and villages, it's critical to know when and where to expect a volcanic plume.
Research team discovers third type of volcanic eruption PhysOrg - January 21, 2013
On land, when a volcano erupts, it does so in either a violent fiery explosion, or as a seeping flow of hot magma. Until now, scientists have believed the same was true for eruptions that occur under the oceans. In this new effort, the researchers have found evidence that some underwater volcanoes erupt in a way that is neither - instead they erupt in a way that is in-between. The new discovery came about as the team was studying pumice from a volcanic eruption that occurred in the Macauley volcano - far beneath the waves in the southwest Pacific Ocean.
They noted that the samples they had sported evenly spread bubble cavities on the inside, and not so even bubbles near their surface - a pattern not generally found with rock spewed from explosive volcanoes. Bubbles form in pumice as gases inside try to escape - it generally happens when volcanic rock is blasted from its source. After more analysis and some out-of-the-box thinking, the team deduced that their pumice sample came to its unique characteristics due to something that happens under the sea. They suggest that had the volcano erupted on land, it would have blown its top, but because of the incredible pressure exerted by the weight of the ocean above it, it wasn't able to do so. Instead, it grew slowly into a mushy mousse-like mound that rose and grew slowly from the volcano, then broke apart, creating small balloons of material they team calls "blebs."
Weird Underwater Volcano Discovered Near Baja Live Science - December 14, 2012
Scientists have discovered one of the world's weirdest volcanoes on the seafloor near the tip of Baja, Mexico. The petite dome - about 165 feet tall (50 meters) and 4,000 feet long by 1,640 feet wide (1,200 m by 500 m) - lies along the Alarcon Rise, a submarine depression located on the seabed at the southern end of the Gulf of California. Tectonic forces are tearing the Earth's crust apart at the spreading center, creating a long rift where magma oozes toward the surface, cools and forms new ocean crust. Circling the planet like baseball seams, seafloor-spreading centers (also called midocean ridges) produce copious amounts of basalt, a low-silica content lava rock that makes up the ocean crust. (Silica, or silicon dioxide, is the main component of quartz, one of the most common minerals on Earth.)
Giant 'balloon of magma' inflates under Santorini PhysOrg - September 9, 2012
A new survey suggests that the chamber of molten rock beneath Santorini's volcano expanded 10-20 million cubic metres - up to 15 times the size of London's Olympic Stadium - between January 2011 and April 2012. The findings are helping scientists to understand more about the inner workings of the volcano which had its last major explosive eruption 3,600 years ago, burying the islands of Santorini under metres of pumice. However, it still does not provide an answer to the biggest question of all: 'when will the volcano next erupt?'
'Maars' Volcanoes: Research Seeks to Understand Strange Eruptions Live Science - August 21, 2012
Maars are not your typical volcanoes. These explosive geological oddities don't form neat, cone-shaped mountains. Rather, they can crop up just about anywhere within certain volcanically active areas. Maars are created when a rising plume of magma interacts with underground water, creating a mixture that bursts out of the ground without much warning.
Earthquakes Reveal Magma Plumbing Beneath Volcanoes Live Science - July 20, 2012
A helicopter battled near-hurricane-force winds as a team of seismologists fought its way through a treacherous mountain pass to reach the Alaska Peninsula's Katmai area. Their goal: to install a network of seismometers around the Katmai Volcanoes, the source of the largest volcanic eruption since Indonesia's Mount Tambora in 1815. Four years and mounds of data later, the team is beginning to understand the plumbing system beneath that group of volcanoes, including the magma source for the 1912 Novarupta eruption, which spewed 3 cubic miles (12 cubic kilometers) of magma and dwarfed the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption 30 times over.
Earliest Baby Animals Preserved in Ancient Volcanic Ash Live Science - June 30, 2012
The ash from a Pompeii-style volcanic eruption more than a half-billion years ago smothered a nursery of what may be some of the earliest known animals, researchers say. These well-preserved findings shed light on the evolution of early life on Earth, and reinforce evidence suggesting that life became more complex earlier than often suspected, investigators added. Scientists hunted for evidence of life from the mysterious Ediacaran period, when the first complex multicellular organisms appeared about 540 million to 635 million years ago. The life-forms from the Ediacaran are typically bizarre, and very difficult to link with any modern animal groups. In fact, just this week researchers announced they'd discovered tiny tracks from the earliest complex life, bilaterally symmetrical animals that looked like slugs
Seismic Hazard: Faults Discovered Near Lake Tahoe Could Generate Earthquakes Ranging from 6.3 to 6.9 Science Daily - May 24, 2012
Results of a new U.S. Geological Survey study conclude that faults west of Lake Tahoe, Calif., referred to as the Tahoe-Sierra frontal fault zone, pose a substantial increase in the seismic hazard assessment for the Lake Tahoe region of California and Nevada, and could potentially generate earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from 6.3 to 6.9. A close association of landslide deposits and active faults also suggests that there is an earthquake-induced landslide hazard along the steep fault-formed range front west of Lake Tahoe.
Smokin' hot island rises up from depths of the Red Sea NBC - December 28, 2011
The Red Sea has a new inhabitant: a smoking island. The island was created by a wild eruption that occurred in the Red Sea earlier this month. It is made of loose volcanic debris from the eruption, so it may not stick around long.
As seen from space: Volcanic eruption creates new island in the red sea PhysOrg - December 28, 2011
Looking for some new lake-front property? Here's the newest available on the planet. Volcanic activity in the Red Sea that started in mid-December has created what looks like a new island. The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA's Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured a high-resolution, natural-color image on December 23, 2011 showing an apparent island where previously there was none. Here, a thick plume of volcanic ash still rises from the new island.
Volcanic eruption could give rise to new island in the Canaries Telegraph.co.uk - December 5, 2011
For more than a month, burning lava and gases have been spewing up through the sea bed three miles south of El Hierro, the smallest of the seven Canary Islands. The eruption is part of the long-term volcanic evolution of the Canary Islands, which could either result in an entirely new island, or add additional territory to the southern coast of El Hierro.
Earth's First Life Rode Rafts Across Sea, Study Suggests Live Science - September 13, 2011
Floating rafts of volcanic rock could have been cradles of life in the early days of Earth, some scientists suggest.The circumstances under which life emerged sometime before 3.5 billion years ago remain largely mysterious. Commonly believed settings for the origin of life include deep-sea hydrothermal vents. Now scientists in England and Australia suggest that rafts of pumice, which is essentially solidified lava froth, were instrumental as vessels for first life. This pale volcanic rock, which is rich in gas bubbles, is the only known rock type that naturally floats on the surface of the sea.
Source of Earth's biggest eruptions discovered MSNBC - July 27, 2011
Gigantic deluges of lava, or 'flood basalts,' tied to history's mass extinctions. A half dozen of the most titanic volcanic eruptions in Earth's history - including one potentially linked with the extinction of the dinosaurs - might all stem from the same ancient reservoir of super-hot rock near the Earth's core, scientists have found. Gigantic deluges of lava known as flood basalts have been linked with mass extinctions throughout history. For instance, a series of colossal volcanic eruptions near the end of the Age of Dinosaurs between 67 million to 63 million years ago created the mammoth Deccan Traps lava beds in India, which originally may have covered as much as 580,000 square miles, more than twice the area of Texas.
Volcano blasts tower of ash near Mexico City MSNBC - June 3, 2011
The Popocatepetl volcano that towers over Mexico City began rumbling again Friday, shooting a blast of ash about 2 miles above its crater at dawn. The ash cloud drifted first to the west and then turned back east toward the city of Puebla, Mexico's national disaster prevention agency said.
Bleach in the Icelandic Volcanic Cloud Science Daily - May 27, 2011
One year after the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland brought European air traffic to a standstill its ash plume revealed a surprising scientific finding: Researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz found that the ash plume contained not only the common volcanic gas sulfur dioxide, but also free chlorine radicals. Chlorine radicals are extremely reactive and even small amounts can have a profound impact on local atmospheric chemistry.
New explanation for Hawaiian hot spot PhysOrg - May 27, 2011
Scientists in the US have suggested that volcanic activity in Hawaii could be fed by a giant hot rock pool 1,000 kilometers west of the islands and in the Earth's mantle, rather than being fed by a hot plume of magma as previously thought.
800-Mile-Wide Hot Anomaly Found Under Seafloor off Hawaii National Geographic - May 27, 2011
Hawaii's long-accepted birth story - that the volcanic islands were, and are, fueled by a hot-rock plume running directly to Earth's scorching core - could be toast, a new study hints. Scientists say they've finally found solid evidence of a giant mass of hot rock under the seafloor in the region. But it's not a plume running straight from the core to the surface - and it's hundreds of miles west of the nearest Hawaiian island. Until now, the researchers say, good seismic data on the region has been scarce, so there was no real reason to question the most obvious explanation: that a stream of hot rock directly from around Earth's core formed the 3,100-mile-long (5,000-kilometer-long) chain of islands and undersea mountains in the Pacific Ocean.
Largest Fossil Spider Found in Volcanic Ash Live Science - April 20, 2011
The largest fossil spider uncovered to date once ensnared prey back in the age of dinosaurs, scientists find. The spider, named Nephila jurassica, was discovered buried in ancient volcanic ash in Inner Mongolia, China. Tufts of hairlike fibers seen on its legs showed this 165-million-year-old arachnid to be the oldest known species of the largest web-weaving spiders alive today - the golden orb-weavers, or Nephila, which are big enough to catch birds and bats, and use silk that shines like gold in the sunlight.
Deadly Mud Volcano to Erupt for 26 More Years National Geographic - March 5, 2011
Mud from Indonesia's Lusi volcano engulfs the village of Sidoarjo, East Java. The world's biggest and fastest growing mud volcano, Lusi sprang to life in May 2006, and it and may continue to spew hot mud for another 26 years, according to a new study. Lusi could expel the equivalent of 56,000 Olympic-size swimming pools of mud before it finally simmers down, say scientists from the U.K.'s Durham University.
Huge volcano under Yellowstone Park rising MSNBC - February 9, 2011
The huge volcano under Yellowstone National Park has been rising at an unprecedented rate during the past several years, according to a new study. In the ancient past, the Yellowstone volcano produced some of the biggest-known continental eruptions, but the recent rising doesn't mean another doomsday eruption is looming, scientists say.
Volcano Lightning Electrifies Japan Eruption National Geographic - January 28, 2011
Lightning crackles over Japan on Friday as ash and lava erupt from Shinmoedake peak, one of the calderas of the Kirishima volcano complex. Shinmoedake began erupting Wednesday, coating nearby villages and farms with ash and prompting authorities to ask for voluntary evacuations within a 1.2-mile (2-kilometer) radius. Volcanic lightning is still a mystery, though it may be that electrically charged silica - part of magma - interacts with the atmosphere when it flies out of a volcano, Steve McNutt of the Alaska Volcano Observatory told National Geographic News in February 2010.
Geologist's discoveries resolve debate about oxygen in Earth's mantle PhysOrg - December 15, 2010
Analysis of erupted rock from Agrigan volcano in the western Pacific near Guam found it to be highly oxidized as a result of its exposure to oxygen when it formed in the Earth's mantle. When, over millions of years, seafloor rocks are transported back into the Earth's mantle at subduction zones - sites on the seafloor where tectonic plates have collided, forcing one plate beneath the other - they deliver more oxygen into the mantle.
October 2010 Sumatra Earthquake and Tsunami Wikipedia
The country's most volatile volcano, Mount Merapi,
800 miles (1,300 kilometers) to the east, erupted.
Both events fell along Indonesia's portion of the Pacific Ring of Fire, a
series of fault lines that are prone to earthquakes and volcanic activity
stretching from the Western Hemisphere through Japan and Southeast Asia.
Photos: Merapi Volcano Ash Smothers Indonesian Villages
National Geographic - October 29, 2010
Indonesia's Explosive Geology Explained Live Science - October 26, 2010
Indonesia is a dangerous country to call home. Precariously located above the grinding and mashing of several tectonic plates, and ringed by a chain of fire-breathing volcanoes, the country's islands are located in one of the most volatile regions in the world. The eruption of a volcano and the shaking of a tsunami-generating earthquake this week is just one reminder of Indonesia's fiery foundation.
Iceland's volcanic eruption yields ash clues BBC - September 28, 2010
Samples collected using double-sided sticky tape could give fresh insight into the Eyjafjallajoekull eruption. The samples could reveal how fine ash thrown up into the atmosphere by the Icelandic eruption fell to ground as clumps or "aggregates" of ash. The eruption of the volcano in March this year caused chaos, shutting down huge swathes of European air space.
Volcano quiet for 400 years erupts in Indonesia PhysOrg - August 29, 2010
Mount Sinabung spews volcanic smoke as it erupts in Karo, North Sumatra, Indonesia, Sunday, Aug. 29, 2010. The volcano spewed hot lava and sand high into the sky early Sunday in its first eruption in 400 years causing thousands of people living around its slope to evacuate their homes.
New insights into volcanic activity on the ocean floor PhysOrg - June 16, 2010
New research reveals that when two parts of the Earth's crust break apart, this does not always cause massive volcanic eruptions. The study, published today in the journal Nature, explains why some parts of the world saw massive volcanic eruptions millions of years ago and others did not. The Earth's crust is broken into plates that are in constant motion over timescales of millions of years. Plates occasionally collide and fuse, or they can break apart to form new ones. When the latter plates break apart, a plume of hot rock can rise from deep within the Earth's interior, which can cause massive volcanic activity on the surface. When the present-day continent of North America broke apart from what is now Europe, 54 million years ago, this caused massive volcanic activity along the rift between the two. Prior to today's study, scientists had thought that such activity always occurred along the rifts that form when continents break apart.
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