Saturday, May 7, 2011

PLANETARY TREMORS: Growing Unrest at Santiaguito Volcano!

According to the Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, during 28-29 April explosions from Santa María's Santiaguito lava dome complex in Guatemala, produced ash plumes that rose 600-800m above the crater and drifted S, SW, and W. Block avalanches descended the flanks of Caliente dome. At night pyroclastic flows traveled down the Rio Nima I and Rio Nima II drainages.

Guatemalan departments of Quetzaltenango and Retalhuleu were declared this Friday in yellow alert due to the increased activity of the volcano Santiaguito. According to the National Institute for Seismology, Vulcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala (Insivumeh), the increase is manifested in the number of explosions per hour. Such explosions generate weak and moderate echoes, that could be heard 10 kilometers away, and constant avalanches of rocks in the southwestern and eastern sides of the volcano. The Insivumeh uninterruptedly monitors the volcano and advises the Directorate General of Civil Aviation to take precautions with air traffic in a radius of 15 kilometers due to the ash emissions. - Inside Costa Rica.
The Smithsonian / USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report provides the following geologic summary for the volcano: Symmetrical, forest-covered Santa María volcano is one of a chain of large stratovolcanoes that rises dramatically above the Pacific coastal plain of Guatemala. The stratovolcano has a sharp-topped, conical profile that is cut on the SW flank by a large, 1-km-wide crater, which formed during a catastrophic eruption in 1902 and extends from just below the summit to the lower flank. The renowned Plinian eruption of 1902 followed a long repose period and devastated much of SW Guatemala. The large dacitic Santiaguito lava-dome complex has been growing at the base of the 1902 crater since 1922. Compound dome growth at Santiaguito has occurred episodically from four westward-younging vents, accompanied by almost continuous minor explosions and periodic lava extrusion, larger explosions, pyroclastic flows, and lahars.

EARTH CHANGES: Sandstorm Covers Shanghai, China In Dust!

The eastern coast of China has borne the environmental brunt of a massive sandstorm that has swept across a large swath of the country, causing air quality in Shanghai to plummet to its worst level in years.

The sandstorm originated in the Southern Xinjiang Basin and has been traveling all the way east to the coastal regions since Thursday, blasting Shanghai and other cities in the Yangtze River Delta with sand and dust. Statistics from the State Forestry Administration show the sandstorm has swept through 10 provinces and regions in the north and west of China, affecting an area of 2.3 million square kilometers and a population of 90 million. Beijing was hit by the sandstorm Saturday. Nanjing, Suzhou, Nantong, and Ningbo, together with Shanghai, are areas that suffered the most severe conditions, according to a daily report on the air quality of major Chinese cities issued by the Ministry of Environmental Protection on Monday. Rains will ease the poor air quality in east China while sandstorms will linger in the north until today, according to a forecast from the China Meteorological Administration. The air was so polluted that skyscrapers in Shanghai, particularly in Lujiazui in the Pudong New Area, were enshrouded in a cloud of mist and dust. Vehicles parked outside were covered with a thick layer of yellowish sediment. "The air quality is the worst I have seen since I arrived in Shanghai in 2007," said expat Kevin Grimson. "I could hardly see the buildings two blocks away from my apartment." - Global Times.

JAPAN: A Perpetual Deluge of Chaos - The Strange Phenomenon of Precipitation of Tadpoles Plague and the Mass Die-Off of Animals!

Words can hardly describe what has been happening in Japan since the March 11th mega-quake that devastated its eastern region with Earth-shattering tremors, the subsequent tsunami deluge of water, the fallout from a nuclear meltdown and the sinking of the country into the sea. It is inexplicable, really. Inexplicable, a word which seems even more appropriate for the following stories emanating out of the disaster-ravaged island nation.

A strange phenomenon has been documented in several cities in the south. Dozens of cases of what appears to be the  "precipitation" or raining of the tadpoles were recorded. In the city of Nano Ishikawa Prefecture, an unusual rain of hundreds of tadpoles fell to the ground with a strange sound and afterwards, seemed to be glued to everything Fortunately, this phenomenon was of local character and quickly ended. However 48 hours later the same thing happened in another city of Ishikawa Prefecture. Scientists still can not find the explanation of the mysterious phenomenon.

Living in Ishikawa Prefecture in Japan are faced with a strange phenomenon - a region hit "rain" of tadpoles. On Wednesday wrote the British edition of The Daily Telegraph citing Japanese media. It is reported that since June of similar incidents were reported in several towns in the prefecture. For example, the publication describes a case witnessed by the 55-year-old resident of the city of Nanao: "rain" of tadpoles caught him in the parking lot in the downtown. The Japanese told us that the tadpoles drop to the ground accompanied by a strange sound. Looking around, he saw that the windshields of cars parked in the parking lot covered with dead tadpoles. According to him, the ten-square-meter parking lot, he could see more than one hundred larvae of amphibians. Already 48 hours after a similar incident occurred in the city of Hakusan, located in the same prefecture of Ishikawa. Answer to the question of what caused the accident, scientists still find it difficult. Presumably, the tadpoles could be moved to the Ishikawa strong winds, however, meteorologists with this theory do not agree. According to them, in the days when urban prefectures were reported "rain" of larvae, the weather in the region was calm. Specialists have put forward another point of view: Scientists have suggested that the land tadpoles dropped flying birds that carried the larvae in its beak. However, ornithologists spoke strongly against this assumption. "Yes, indeed, the birds feed on tadpoles. They are eaten, such as crows. However, if the flying birds were losing part of their production on the road, tadpoles would have been covered by a much larger area "- said one of the researchers of the Institute of Ornithology. "Rain" from the larvae of amphibians was not the first case of mass deaths of animals in the world. Not so long ago in Australia was recorded case of a large number of birds. More than 200 ibises, crows, ducks, gulls and pelicans were found May 29 near the city of Perth. Scientists have conducted an autopsy of dead birds and found that their bodies exceeded the content of fenthion - deadly pesticides to birds. - Lenta.
In the Zaporozhye region, a plague of mass animal die-off was experienced.

Over a 23-ton bull found on 30 April, the Azov Sea coast near the town of Berdyansk (Zaporozhye region). This was reported in the press service of the Ministry of Environmental Protection of Ukraine. On April 30, there was a large number of dead fish (goby), driven ashore. According to the results of samples taken, the State Environmental Inspection of the Azov Sea, it was estimated the total number of dead fish - on the coast, 16 km in length, revealed more than 23 tons of fish. Samples of dead fish was transferred to the Research Institute of the Azov Sea to conduct toxicological studies. - Reporter.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Ground Pulls Apart in Everett, Washington!

A fellow member and subscriber of the Youtube community, who goes by the moniker BeePeeOilDisaster, uploaded a four-minute video presentation of his trip to S.E. Everett in Washington, where the collapse of several houses and subsidence of land seems to be pointing towards growing tectonic plate agitation and a accelerated state of geological change, as forces appear to be tearing and ripping the ground apart and downwards.

I believe that we are witnessing the early signs of a potential volcanic awakening of the complex interactions between the Pacific Plate, North American Plate, and the tiny Juan de Fuca plate, an area known as a triple plate hotspot junction. Which means that a close monitoring of Mt. St. Helens, would be in-order, given its capacity to erupt with forces comparable to that of an hydrogen bomb. It must be remembered that in May of 1980, an explosion blew off 1,300 feet of the mountain's top, sending ash and volcanic debris nearly 15 miles into the sky over three different states - Washington, Oregon and Idaho, killing 62 people and leaving a path of destruction on houses, roads, forests and lakes of up to three billion dollars.

PLANETARY TREMORS: 25 Quakes hit Taal Volcano in 24 hours!

In mid-April, at least 77 persons from 17 families were evacuated from the Taal Volcano Island in the Philippines following a series of volcanic tremors that prompted the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology to raise a Alert Level 2 on the island. Between April 8 and 9, 31 volcanic quakes were recorded, which meant increasing restiveness and the possibility of an eruption. A month later, 25 earthquakes struck the volcano within a 24 hour window.

After being relatively quiet in past days, restive Taal Volcano in Batangas province showed intensified activity anew, with state volcanologists recording 25 volcanic quakes there in the last 24 hours. In its Saturday update, the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) also noted an increase in water temperature and acidity at the Main Crater Lake. "Taal Volcano’s seismic network recorded 25 volcanic earthquakes during the past 24 hours. Field measurements conducted on 05 May 2011 at the eastern sector inside the Main Crater Lake showed that the water temperature increased from 31.5 to 32.0 degrees Celsius, the water became more acidic with pH value decreasing from 3.09 to 2.94 and the water level further receded to 0.19 meters from the 0.23 meters as compared to the last reading on 19 April 2011," it said. Carbon dioxide emission as of May 3 and 4 was at 2,057 tons per day (t/d), slightly down from 4,750 t/d last March but higher than the 1,875 t/d last February. Phivolcs said Alert Level 2 remains over Taal Volcano with the interpretation that magma has been intruding towards the surface. It reminded the public the Main Crater, Daang Kastila Trail and Mt. Tabaro are strictly off-limits because sudden hazardous steam-driven explosions may occur and high concentrations of toxic gases may accumulate. "Breathing air with high concentration of toxic gases can be lethal to (humans and) animals and even cause damage to vegetation," it said. Also, it reminded the public the entire Volcano Island is a Permanent Danger Zone (PDZ), and permanent settlement in the island is strictly not recommended. Phivolcs maintained entry to the 4-kilometer radius PDZ is strictly prohibited, since the area is at risk to sudden steam and ash explosions. - GMA News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: VOLCANISM - Rumblings Around The Globe!

I came across a very fascinating report this morning courtesy of Erik Klemetti of Big Think that details several areas across the globe that features volcanic unrest and eruption. Klemetti's article is based on the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, a cooperative project between the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey's Volcano Hazards Program, which features a comprehensive list of all of Earth's volcanoes erupting over a particular time period.

It has been a while since we've had what I would consider a "busy" Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report - but this week, there is a ton of new information about some of the volcanic rumblings around the globe, including some at a volcano that is new to Eruptions. So, let's look at some highlights:

Ecuador: Everyone is still watching Tungurahua, where a new period of intense explosive activity has begun. In fact, both the NASA Earth Observatory and National Geographic have images of the eruption, albeit from very different vantage points. The NASA EO image shows the brown-tan plume of the volcano mixing with the white clouds over the volcano, while the National Geographic images capture the eruption - and the recovery - from a more terrestrial location. The current eruption at Tungurahua is the largest since 1999 (spanish) and some of the towns near the volcano have seen over 15.5 mm of ash fall since the activity began - totaling an estimated 1.6-3 million m3 of tephra, according to the Instituto Geofísico.

Indonesia: A volcano that hasn't been in the news lately in Indonesia appears to be showing signs of restlessness, namely Gamkonora. This is amusing because just yesterday I was looking at my IAVCEI Volcanoes calendar and noticed an anniversary coming up this week of a 1673 eruption of the same volcano and I thought "I haven't heard much of Gamkonora lately". Ask and ye shall receive, eh? Anyway, Gamkonora is on Halmahera and is part of a larger caldera system. Interestingly, the GVP reports that it last erupted in 2007, but obviously with little fanfare (except these NASA and ESA images - see below). Most of the previous eruptions over the last few hundred years have been VEI 1-2 (small), but the 1673 eruption is estimated to be a VEI 5 (and produced a tsunami), so the potential is there. The latest report from Gamkonora mentions white plumes coming from the summit and a sulfurous odor, prompting an elevation of the alert status to 2. Indonesia is still recovering from its last major eruption at Merapi, with the government taking charge to move people displaced by the eruption to safer, permanent homes.

Kamchatka: As always, the far eastern Russian Peninsula is in the news for volcanic activity. Shiveluch and Kizimen (see below) have both been producing moderate ash plumes that have reached 6 km / ~20,000 feet, while Karymsky has been erupting slightly smaller plumes (for Kamchatka).

Read more HERE.

Currently, the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report shows the following areas as active or ongoing:

New Activity/Unrest: | Bezymianny, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Gamkonora, Halmahera | Kizimen, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Planchón-Peteroa, Central Chile-Argentina border | Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Central Chile | Ruapehu, North Island (New Zealand) | Tungurahua, Ecuador.

Ongoing Activity: | Batu Tara, Komba Island (Indonesia) | Dukono, Halmahera | Fuego, Guatemala | Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Sakura-jima, Kyushu | Santa María, Guatemala | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanose-jima, Ryukyu Islands (Japan) | Tengger Caldera, Eastern Java (Indonesia)

MYSTERY: Symbols of an Alien Sky, Man-Made or Natural Phenomena - Mysterious UFO Fleet Formation Seen Circling Over Hawaiian Skies!

On April 25th, five bright white lights was seen flying over Hawaii. The unidentified flying objects (UFOs) appear in the early night sky in a fleet formation, moving in no particular consistent pattern. Several of the orb-like objects appear to be translucent as they dance irregularly in the sky, often disappearing and reappearing from the dark clouds.

Here are two image capture of the event:

Here is the video presentation: