Post by ~(WaveWarrior)~ on May 25, 2009 14:08:02 GMT -5
Geologists witness rare Yellowstone explosion
Associated Press - May 24, 2009 12:05 PM ET
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. (AP) - A geologist at Yellowstone National Park was in the middle of a lecturing a group of colleagues on the rarity of hydrothermal explosions earlier this month when, all of a sudden, one went off just behind him.
Geologist Hank Heasler was giving a lecture in the Biscuit Basin on May 17 when a hot pool behind him exploded. It spewed mud, rocks and hot water about 50 feet in the air.
Geologists only know of only a handful of such unpredictable explosions in YellowstoneÂ’s recorded history. Heasler and the others were just out of reach of the hot showering hot water and other debris.
Post by ~(WaveWarrior)~ on May 25, 2009 14:14:30 GMT -5
Is an Eruption Brewing at Yellowstone National Park?
By KFBB News Team
Story Published: May 24, 2009 at 6:23 PM MDT
Story Updated: May 24, 2009 at 11:09 PM MDT
A swarm of earthquakes is one sign that an eruption may be brewing and last winter Yellowstone National Park was rocked by a rash of tremors. Multimedia
"There were over a thousand earthquakes in about one week," said Park Geologist Hank Heasler. "That isn't unprecedented in the parks history, but it is unusual."
"It was one of the largest swarms in the past 20 years," said USGS Volcanologist Dr. Jake Lowenstern. "It certainly got a lot of people's attention, including ours."
The entire park that exists today is the caldera of the last major eruption 640,000 years ago and experts say that eruption was destructive on a scale like we have never seen before.
"This put out about a thousand times more volcanic material than Mount St. Helens," said Heasler. "To put that in perspective, it's the difference between spending $1,000 and $1,000,000.
That eruption in 1980 in Washington was the deadliest and most destructive volcanic event in the nation's history. 57 people lost their lives in the eruption and volcanic ash was scattered across 12 surrounding states. But experts say another major eruption at Yellowstone would be much more deadly and destructive.
But how will we know if another big eruption is brewing? Dr. Jake Lowenstern is a member of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory which is in charge of monitoring the park's supervolcano. The partnership between Yellowstone National Park, the US Geological Survey, and the University of Utah uses seismograph and ground deformation sensors to keep an eye on what is happening deep underground. Based on their research of the Yellowstone hotspot, the Observatory says another eruption is likely and may even happen in our lifetime. But fortunately for tourists and those living nearby, they say it won't be the big one.
"In a worse case scenario, the big super eruption, is very destructive and would cause a world of hurt to anybody living in the region around Yellowstone and surrounding states," said Lowenstern. "However, the big eruption is not what's most likely to happen here if we do get a volcanic eruption. Much more likely is some localized lava flows that will have an affect within the park. People will need to move out of the way. There will be fires. But people living hundreds of miles away, or even tens of miles outside the park are very unlikely to be affected."
"We have a very sophisticated monitoring system that will give us advanced warning if anything does start to occur," said Heasler. "So the best thing to do is come to the park and enjoy the beauty."
So our supervolcano is being unpredictable? How comforting. Gotta say, I the name 'biscuit basin' makes me smile, though. Seeing a lot of food references- there's an article on market skeptics about soybeans causing the dollar collapse this summer. Biscuits and soybeans could forever change life as we know it.
Post by Walking Owl on May 26, 2009 20:28:29 GMT -5
May 26, 10:27 AM
Increase in earthquakes Part III
Has there been an increase in earthquakes, one that is visible for all to see?
Yes, I believe so. I've checked the USGS daily, and looked at past accounts.
Daily there is activity in Alaska and throughout CA. Yellowstone is having ground explosions and the fault in Washington state is looking worse than previously thought. California has been continually quaking for the last five months (and more).
Here is a look at how sizable the increase has been in just California in 2008. We don't even have figures for 2009 yet.
Though scientist Jacob Lowenstern of USGS says it'll probably amount to nothing, the Yellowstone supervolcano has been very active with swarms over the last year. There are geologists warning that this could very well cause a massive event, and emergency measures need to be in place.
Here is a map of recent earthquakes in the last month. You can draw your own conclusions.
Post by Walking Owl on May 27, 2009 22:54:20 GMT -5
Earthquake fault much larger, more dangerous than thought
WASHINGTON -- An earthquake fault previously believed to be limited to an area south of Washington state's Whidbey Island actually stretches 250 to 300 miles, from Victoria, B.C., to Yakima, Wash., crossing the Cascade Mountains and capable of producing a major earthquake, new research shows.
Many of the other faults in western Washington could be connected to the South Whidbey Island Fault in a network similar to the San Andreas Fault system in California, Craig Weaver, the regional earthquake coordinator for the U.S. Geological Survey based in Seattle, said in an interview Wednesday.
Suzette Kimball, the USGS acting director, told Congress on Thursday that there was "strong evidence" other faults in western Washington were connected to the South Whidbey fault.
"It appears there is a very large (fault) system in the Cascade arc," she told the House interior appropriations subcommittee.
Weaver said scientists are trying to determine whether the South Whidbey Island Fault extends as far east as the Hanford nuclear reservation and if it could also be connected to the highly unstable Cascadia subduction zone off the coast.
"This is big stuff," said Weaver, adding the South Whidbey fault was "most dangerous. A lot of people are looking over our shoulder."
The fault could be capable of producing a maximum earthquake registering 7.5 on the Richter scale, which is used to measure the strength of earthquakes, he said. An earthquake that size is capable of causing serious damage over large areas.
A 7.5 earthquake would be the largest earthquake in the state's recorded history.
Post by ~(WaveWarrior)~ on May 28, 2009 9:36:38 GMT -5
Magnitude 7.1 - OFFSHORE HONDURAS 2009 May 28 08:24:45 UTC =========================
Magnitude-7.3 Quake Hits Near Honduras; Tsunami Warning Issued
By Aaron Sheldrick
May 28 (Bloomberg) -- A magnitude-7.3 earthquake struck under the Caribbean Sea, prompting tsunami warnings for Honduras, Belize and Guatemala, the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said.
The quake struck at 3:24 a.m. 130 kilometers (80 miles) north-northeast of Le Ceiba, Honduras, the U.S. Geological Survey said, putting the magnitude at 7.1 with a depth of 10 kilometers. The epicenter was 320 kilometers north-northeast of Tegucigalpa, the Honduran capital.
“There is a possibility of a local tsunami that could affect coasts located usually no more than 100 kilometers from the earthquake epicenter,” the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center said on its Web site. “A widespread destructive tsunami threat does not exist.”
Post by Walking Owl on May 28, 2009 17:06:55 GMT -5
California prepares for 'the Big One'
Thursday, 28 May 2009
The warning on the gate of Terry Cornet's home is not encouraging.
"Snake habitat", reads the hand-painted sign.
Living right on top of California's notorious San Andreas Fault, there are more things to worry about than just the shifting tectonic plates.
"When an event happens - like some small quake - and it hits you, boom! It hits, and it's done," said the jovial father-of-five.
One minute warning
As far as he is concerned, it is the coastal dwellers of Los Angeles that suffer the most.
"It gets real wavy-gravy down there," he adds, looking approvingly towards his own simple stone farmhouse, which has stood intact since 1890.
He is philosophical about his chances if "the big one" - a large quake registering more than 7.5 on the Richter scale - comes.
"If the big one hits, I'm on the beach," he says with a shrug.
Terry, who is caretaker for the property, is policing the perimeter of a small construction site with a wooden staff, watching out for rattlesnakes.
A three-man team from the US Geological Survey is digging a large hole for a new batch of measuring instruments that will soon become part of America's first earthquake early warning system.
The southern San Andreas is being wired by government scientists and technicians from the USGS staff, so that cities like Los Angeles can have up to a minute's warning of a major quake.
Despite living a life in the wilderness without electricity, Terry is well aware of the wider benefits of the high-tech equipment about to be housed in his backyard.
"Imagine you're in a hospital doing surgery and you get even 30 seconds' warning - don't be cutting that guy right now."
The USGS is hoping to have its system operational within a few years. Scott Lydeen is one of the electronic field technicians in charge of making it all work.
He lives less than two miles from the San Andreas, and spends most of his working day on it.
"[My family] get a little tired of hearing about earthquakes but that's my job," he said.
Speed of light
"The only way to overcome the fear of it is to be prepared for it... I keep my travel-trailer totally stocked. It's next to my house, and it's ready."
Although the snakes mercifully stay away while the BBC is on site, Terry coshed one of his slithery neighbours who strayed too close to the team a few hours earlier.
He was planning to put it on that night's menu. "Rattlesnake for dinner... I'd hate to kill it and not use it," he said.
There are more than 300 earthquake faults across California but the southern section of the San Andreas is judged to be the most likely to crack.
USGS data shows that it is 99.7% likely the state will suffer a major earthquake some time in the next 30 years, with a 46% likelihood of it being the Big One.
Watching the team digging their instrumentation hole and lining up the solar power equipment, it is hard to imagine it surviving the trauma of a huge quake.
"The strongest shaking moves at about 2 miles per second - sounds fast, and it is," said Doug Given, project chief for earthquake monitoring in Southern California.
"But we can send warning messages at the speed of light over the internet," he adds, explaining how even a massive quake would still give the instrumentation time to trasmit vital messages.
The USGS quake headquarters are in the elegant Los Angeles suburb of Pasadena, inside an old family house.
Mr Given is quick to note that he gets out into the field from time to time but a bank of desk computers is where most of his work gets done.
"I'm not sure exactly how many lives we might save [with an early warning system] but certainly you could use advance warning to duck, cover and hold, stop elevators at the next floor - you can imagine all sorts of applications," he said.
"It's kind of like the spare tyre in your car, you may never use it," he adds. "So keeping people educated, and aware of an early warning system, is going to be a challenge."
Post by Walking Owl on May 31, 2009 12:06:02 GMT -5
Huge undersea mountain found off Indonesia: scientists
Fri May 29, 2:00 pm ET
JAKARTA (AFP) – A massive underwater mountain discovered off the Indonesian island of Sumatra could be a volcano with potentially catastrophic power, a scientist said Friday.
Indonesian government marine geologist Yusuf Surachman said the mountain was discovered earlier this month about 330 kilometres (205 miles) west of Bengkulu city during research to map the seabed's seismic faultlines.
The cone-shaped mountain is 4,600 metres (15,100 feet) high, 50 kilometres in diameter at its base and its summit is 1,300 metres below the surface, he said.
"It looks like a volcano because of its conical shape but it might not be. We have to conduct further investigations," he told AFP.
He denied reports that researchers had confirmed the discovery of a new volcano, insisting that at this stage it could only be described as a "seamount" of the sort commonly found around the world.
"Whether it's active or dangerous, who knows?" he added.
The ultra-deep geological survey was conducted with the help of French scientists and international geophysical company CGGVeritas.
The scientists hope to gain a clearer picture of the undersea lithospheric plate boundaries and seafloor displacement in the area, the epicentre of the catastrophic Asian quake and tsunami of 2004.
The tsunami killed more than 220,000 people across Asia, including 168,000 people in Aceh province on the northern tip of Sumatra.
Indonesia is on the so-called Pacific "Ring of Fire," where the meeting of continental plates causes high volcanic and seismic activity.
I would have thought this would have been tripped over years ago?
Post by Walking Owl on Jun 4, 2009 23:52:52 GMT -5
Magnitude 6.3 - HOKKAIDO, JAPAN REGION 2009 June 05 03:30:34 UTC =============================
I think this is a sensitive area... no news yet.
Per Yahoo! Japan, a 6.3-magnitude earthquake shook Northern Japan at 12:30 p.m. local time on Friday. The epicenter was in Tokachi-oki and the quake was felt strongly in nearby Hokkaido and Sapporo, Japan. Per the map provided by Yahoo, it does not appear Tokyo felt the quake.
MAP 2.5 2009/06/09 15:21:28 48.904 -112.379 5.0 30 km ( 19 mi) N of Cut Bank, MT MAP 1.8 2009/06/09 12:22:04 44.395 -110.678 1.8 45 km ( 28 mi) SE of West Yellowstone, MT MAP 1.5 2009/06/09 09:44:53 44.707 -111.189 0.6 8 km ( 5 mi) NW of West Yellowstone, MT MAP 1.1 2009/06/09 08:43:46 44.630 -112.091 3.5 30 km ( 19 mi) NNE of Spencer, ID MAP 1.8 2009/06/09 04:39:17 42.265 -111.298 7.5 6 km ( 4 mi) S of Montpelier, ID MAP 2.6 2009/06/08 21:07:11 43.435 -110.620 5.0 13 km ( 8 mi) ESE of Jackson, WY MAP 1.9 2009/06/07 18:59:30 47.245 -113.976 13.1 12 km ( 7 mi) NE of Arlee, MT MAP 1.0 2009/06/07 06:39:10 44.581 -110.732 8.1 31 km ( 19 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT MAP 1.1 2009/06/07 06:26:15 45.312 -112.612 9.6 11 km ( 7 mi) N of Dillon, MT MAP 1.0 2009/06/07 00:48:38 46.904 -112.851 8.6 15 km ( 9 mi) WSW of Lincoln, MT MAP 1.1 2009/06/06 11:08:32 44.330 -110.985 2.8 34 km ( 21 mi) SE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.6 2009/06/06 09:11:51 44.595 -110.894 6.5 18 km ( 11 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT MAP 1.0 2009/06/06 08:32:00 45.091 -112.954 3.3 29 km ( 18 mi) WSW of Dillon, MT MAP 1.6 2009/06/06 06:41:26 44.354 -110.932 2.4 36 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.7 2009/06/06 06:36:20 44.356 -110.936 0.2 36 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.5 2009/06/06 06:29:36 44.357 -110.940 2.4 35 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.5 2009/06/06 06:12:31 44.357 -110.928 2.4 36 km ( 23 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.6 2009/06/06 06:06:55 44.347 -110.944 2.4 36 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.9 2009/06/06 06:03:09 44.357 -110.940 6.1 35 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.4 2009/06/06 06:00:07 44.356 -110.937 2.2 36 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.1 2009/06/06 05:46:34 44.337 -110.920 4.7 38 km ( 24 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.6 2009/06/06 05:46:10 44.354 -110.931 2.4 36 km ( 23 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.3 2009/06/06 05:46:09 45.699 -112.129 8.3 19 km ( 12 mi) S of Whitehall, MT MAP 1.5 2009/06/06 05:44:54 44.342 -110.926 2.9 37 km ( 23 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.2 2009/06/06 05:37:33 44.358 -110.936 3.2 36 km ( 22 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.6 2009/06/06 05:33:38 44.343 -110.927 2.6 37 km ( 23 mi) ESE of Island Park, ID MAP 1.0 2009/06/05 17:01:51 46.212 -111.338 0.0 9 km ( 6 mi) ENE of Toston, MT MAP 1.6 2009/06/04 17:44:40 44.768 -111.076 7.4 12 km ( 7 mi) N of West Yellowstone, MT MAP 1.1 2009/06/04 10:35:05 46.346 -111.400 4.6 9 km ( 6 mi) ENE of Townsend, MT MAP 1.2 2009/06/03 18:59:10 47.481 -112.692 29.2 22 km ( 14 mi) W of Augusta, MT MAP 1.5 2009/06/03 02:48:43 45.853 -110.567 18.1 5 km ( 3 mi) SE of Clyde Park, MT