Friday, May 27, 2011

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Quebec Residents Flee From Sinkholes?!

Here is another amazing case of the escalating geological upheavals currently taking place on planet Earth, where officials and residents in the Charlesbourg district in the City of Quebec, Canada have been rendered speechless at the sudden and mysterious appearance of sinkholes.

Officials in Quebec City are trying to figure out what has caused dozens of sinkholes to appear in a north-end neighbourhood. They served evacuation papers on Wednesday to about 15 homes and one business in the city's Charlesbourg district. Almost 40 holes between five and eight metres wide appeared in the last week.

The holes were mostly found in a field, but another was in a resident's driveway. One is big enough to fit a car. "The field is is like, there is nothing, no trees or anything and you see everywhere some holes, some deeper than others, like 30 or 40 holes everywhere on the field. You can see this is not normal.

You can see this is a problem on this land," said city spokesperson Fran├žois Moisan. As of Thursday afternoon, only half of the approximately 40 affected residents had left their homes. "The city is very prudent and ask people to leave their house because there is some danger. We don't know what kind of danger, we don't know if it's a real threat to their property but we prefer take no chances and ask them to leave," said Moisan. Moisan said the field where the holes are appearing used to be the site of a sandpit, and he said experts will be on the site Friday to find out what's causing the sinkholes. Just over a year ago, a family of four died in Saint-Jude, Quebec during a massive landslide. 

- CBC.
Speaking of Saint-Jude, earlier this year, in April, nine families of the small town, witnessed their homes swallowed up in a landslide as a section of the riverbank of the Salvail River collapsed into the water.

The houses shifted by 30 metres away from the original locations. In early May, a landslide claimed the lives of a family of four in the same town, burying them under a metre of thick mud and debris, as their cliffside country home sank into a massive landslide, leaving a kilometre-long crater.

EARTH CHANGES: Wildfire burns nearly 50,000 acres in Arizona!

It seems that the state of Arizona has really been experiencing some extremely strange weather this year - thunderstorms, tornadoes, heavy rains, flooding, dry spells, cold temperatures, land subsidence and cracking. And now, the Associated Press is reporting that wildfires have burned down nearly 50,000 acres in the southeastern region of the state.

An evacuation order has been lifted for residents of some communities near a southeast Arizona wildfire. The Forest Service said Friday that fire crews will stay around Paradise and the Southwest Research Center to patrol the area for fires. The U.S. Forest Service says west to southwest winds at 10 to 18 mph are expected with gusts of 25 to 30 mph. Low humidity and slightly cooler temperatures are expected. Meanwhile, the Horseshoe Two fire has risen to nearly 50,000 acres and is 40 percent contained. Fire crews continue burnout operations which kick up a lot of smoke while burning away dead weeds, brush and trees that feed wildfires. And, the Forest Service says the Arlene fire along the border has burned 10,610 acres but now is 70 percent contained about 5 miles east of Lochiel. - ABC15.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Volatile Seismic Tremors - 800-Mile-Wide Hot Anomaly Found Under the Seafloor off of Hawaii Stuns Researchers?!

Scientists and researchers have discovered a 800-mile-wide hot anomaly under the seafloor off of Hawaii that contradicts the long-held theory that a plume directly fuels the island.

Hawaii's traditional 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 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 it was tough to question the traditional 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.

As Earth's crust slid over the plume, as if on a conveyor belt, the erupting seafloor built mounts, mountains, and islands out of layers of cooled lava over tens of millions of years—or so the conventional wisdom goes. But after analyzing 20 years' worth of earthquake data, geophysicists say they've found an 800-mile-wide (1,300-kilometer-wide) region of hot rock in the Hawaiian region—but nothing beneath the Big Island of Hawaii. The island, the youngest in the chain, is traditionally thought to be above the purported plume. Although the new evidence flies in the face of the giant-plume theory, "we can't rule out a narrow plume below the island, but the main source comes from a different place. It can't be linked directly below," said geophysicist Robert van der Hilst of MIT, co-author of the new study, led by his colleague Qin Cao and appearing online today in the journal Science. Volcano formation starts where Earth's mantle—the planet's thickest rock layer—meets the molten outer core, some 1,800 miles (2,900 kilometers) below the surface. The outer core heats the mantle's bottom rocks into buoyant putty, which rises toward the crust, as if in a lava lamp. Within a few miles of the crust, the rock decompresses, melts, and often oozes—or erupts—out of the Earth's surface. A technique called seismic tomography uses the sounds of earthquakes rippling through the planet and bouncing around to detect such plumes, or hot spots.

But this kind of data has been limited for Hawaii. "It's been very difficult to image the mantle below Hawaii, simply because it's so far away from [large] seismic-sensor networks," van der Hilst said. Data suggesting a plume directly below the island is very limited and based on relatively narrow sampling of discrete seismic events, he said. By contrast, Van der Hilst said, the new study analyzed two decades' worth of seismic data and extracted subtle but clear signals. Those signals point to the giant anomaly, about 410 miles (660 kilometers) down: a relatively disklike segment of rock between 540 and 720 degrees Fahrenheit (300 and 400 degrees Celsius) hotter than its surroundings and between 370 miles (600 kilometers) and 1,000 miles (1,600 kilometers) west of the Big Island. The team suspects the plume is pooling at the boundary between the upper and lower mantle, then snaking its way to the crust below the archipelago before rising to feed Hawaii's volcanic islands. More evidence is needed before it's known for sure what's stoking the volatile island chain, but at the least, the new study "shows the process of how our planet loses heat is more complicated than we thought," van der Hilst said. It may also help explain how other Pacific seamounts came to be, he added.
- National Geographic.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Costa Rica's Poas Volcano Erupts!

Activity at the Volcano Poas is increasing rapidly, while at the same time drying up the lagoon, say experts, a team of Poas Volcano geologists and volcanologists from the seismological network of the Universidad de Costa Rica (UCR).

The team visited the colossus on Wednesday where the recorded 18 "phreatic eruptions" in a three hour period, when normal is 1 or 2 per day. The temperature of the crater is also increasing, which is causing the lagoon to dry up and possibly disappear. Experts warn that this could bring more acid rain and ash in the area around the volcano. However, the activity of Poas is not a danger to tourists and the national park will continue open. A phreatic eruption, also called a phreatic explosion or ultravulcanian eruption, occurs when rising magma makes contact with ground or surface water. The extreme temperature of the magma (anywhere from 600 to 1,170 °C (1,112 to 2,138 °F)) causes near-instantaneous evaporation to steam resulting in an explosion of steam, water, ash, rock, and volcanic bombs. At Mount St. Helens, hundreds of steam explosions preceded a 1980 plinian eruption of the volcano.A less intense geothermal event may result in a mud volcano. In 1949, Thomas Jaggar described this type of activity as a steam-blast eruption.

Phreatic eruptions typically include steam and rock fragments; the inclusion of lava is unusual. The temperature of the fragments can range from cold to incandescent. If molten material is included, the term phreato-magmatic may be used. These eruptions occasionally create broad, low-relief craters called maars. Phreatic explosions can be accompanied by carbon dioxide or hydrogen sulfide gas emissions. The former can asphyxiate at sufficient concentration; the latter is a broad spectrum poison. A 1979 phreatic eruption on the island of Java killed 142 people, most of whom were overcome by poisonous gases. It is believed that the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa, which obliterated most of the volcanic island and created the loudest sound in recorded history, was a phreatic event. Kilauea, in Hawaii, has a long record of phreatic explosions; a 1924 phreatic eruption hurled rocks estimated at eight tons up to a distance of one kilometer. Additional examples are the 1963–65 eruption of Surtsey, the 1965 eruption of Taal Volcano, and the 1982 Mount Tarumae eruption.

- Inside Costa Rica.

MAJOR ALERT: Nuclear Super Typhoon - Songda To Hit Fukushima?!

According to NASA and US weather forecasters, Tropical storm Chedeng (international name Songda) continued to hurtle toward the Philippines with increased strength, rapidly intensifying over the last 24 hours to become a Super Typhoon. Worst, the weather system is expected to hit the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in Japan, as well.
As predicted, Typhoon Songda intensified and was a super typhoon with wind speeds estimated at over 130 knots ( ~145 mph) when NASA's TRMM satellite passed directly over head on May 26, 2011 at 0806 UTC (4:06 a.m. EDT). The Tropical Rainfall Measuring Mission (TRMM) satellite captured the heavy rainfall rates within the super typhoon using TRMM's Visible and InfraRed Scanner (VIRS) instrument. The rainfall analysis from TRMM's Microwave Imager (TMI) and Precipitation Radar (PR) data showed that Songda had a circular eye with extremely heavy rainfall (as much as 2 inches/50 mm per hour) particularly in the southeast quadrant. TRMM's PR instrument data showed the concentric rain bands typical of powerful typhoons. Warnings are in effect in the Philippines today. Public storm warning signal no 1 is in effect in the following provinces: Luzon: Catanduanes, Camarines Sur & Norte, Quirino, Albay, Aurora, Quezon Provinces, Polilio Island, Cagayan and Isabela. At 1500 UTC (11 a.m. EDT) on May 26, Super Typhoon Songda (called Chedeng in the Philippines) had maximum sustained winds near 140 knots (161 mph/259 kmh). Typhoon-strength winds extend 45 miles out from the center, while tropical storm-force winds extend 155 miles from the center, making Songda over 300 miles wide. Songda's center was 250 miles east-northeast of Manila, near 16.2 North and 125.1 East. It was moving northwest near 8 knots (9 mph/15 kmh). Songda is creating very rough and dangerous seas in Philippine Sea, with wave heights reaching 38 feet (11.5 meters). Songda has intensified in favorable conditions as the forecasters at the Joint Typhoon Warning Center predicted. Songda may have reached its peak intensity and is forecast to start turning to the northeast and weaken because of increased wind shear. Songda will then start to veer northeast and weaken due to deteriorating atmospheric conditions. Taiwan has already posted Marine Warnings for May 27 and 28, forecasting wave heights to increase from 2 meters (~6.5 feet) to as much as 6 meters (~20 feet) on east-facing shorelines as Super Typhoon Sondga moves past (it will stay off-shore and track to the east of Taiwan). The current track from the Joint Typhoon Warning Center takes Songda over the island of Kadena on May 28, and then skirting the east coast of Japan as it continues on a northeasterly track over the weekend. - EurekaAlert!.
Here's more on the warnings for Taiwan:
The Central Weather Bureau (CWB) issued a sea warning for Typhoon Songda early Friday as the powerful storm approached the Bashi Channel off southeastern Taiwan. At 8 a.m., the strong typhoon was centered at sea 530 kilometers southeast of Taiwan's southernmost point of Eluanbi, and was moving in a north-northeast direction at 21 kilometers per hour, the bureau said. The storm system, packing maximum sustained winds of 198 kph and gusts of up to 252 kph, was expected to continue heading in a northeast direction, the bureau said. With Songda gradually approaching the Bashi Channel, waters off Taiwan's southeast and northeast coasts and in the vicinity of Green Island and Orchid Island, will come under the influence of the typhoon, the bureau said. It warned ships sailing or operating in the areas to heighten their alerts... Besides issuing a typhoon sea warning, the bureau also said residents in eastern Taiwan and mountainous regions in the north should be on guard for possible downpours because the cloud systems on the outer rim of the storm could bring heavy or torrential rains to those areas. - Focus Taiwan.
The Super Typhoon has already inflicted damage to the Philippines, as it swirls north toward disaster-ravaged Japan.
A hanging bridge was damaged and hectares of corn and vegetables were destroyed by a swollen river that engulfed two villages in Cabanglasan, Bukidnon in the southern Philippines late on Wednesday night. The disastrous effects of Typhoon Songda (Chedeng) were felt across the region as it flitted on the western side, officials said yesterday. Villages in Zamboanga del Sur and Davao del Norte, also in the south, were flooded and suffered landslides, affecting residents who were evacuated to safer places, said Undersecretary Benito Ramos of the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC). Many places in the southern Philippines unexpectedly suffered as authorities said that Songda's path would include central Philippines, southern Luzon, Metro Manila, northern Luzon, said Ramos... Thousands of evacuated residents in southern Luzon's Bicol region returned home after Songda passed. Hundreds remained stranded in areas which had been warned about the storm, because authorities refused to lift bans on fishing boats, ships, and airplanes. - Gulf News.
The Super Typhoon is projected to pass over the Fukushima Nuclear Power Planet in Japan. The forecast track for Songda put it over Okinawa on Saturday night as a Category 2 storm, with maximum sustained winds of 109 mph and gusts up 132 mph. The typhoon may pass over the main island of Honshu, including Fukushima prefecture where Tokyo Electric Power Co.’s crippled nuclear plant is located, according to the forecast.
It appears Songda will slowly curve to the north and begin to weaken over cooler waters this weekend. Steering winds should keep the core of the storm east of Taiwan. However, this curved path could take the storm directly over Japan's Ryukyu Islands and dangerously close to Okinawa as a formidable typhoon with winds near or over 100 mph. A further curve to the northeast is likely later this weekend into next week, along with additional weakening. Regardless of the exact track of the typhoon, heavy rain is a certainty. There is a possibility that Songda will continue north and bring heavy rain to southern Japan over the weekend, with the possibility of rain lingering into early next week, including the area decimated by the tsunami and radiation release from a nuclear plant. - AccuWeather.
The storm is expected to weaken before reaching Japan. Engineers at the Fukushima Dai-Ichi nuclear station are trying to cool reactors and stop radiation leaks after the plant was hit by a March 11 earthquake and tsunami. A weakened Super Typhoon would still be potentially catastrophic for the severely damaged Unit 4 building. Despite meltdowns at units 1-3, the spent fuel pool at unit 4 may have the potential to be the biggest problem if something goes awry. Based on the map of the expected path, the typhoon is going from east to west, and should pick up more radioactive particulates to send towards the North America continent.

UPDATE: Professor James McCanney Issues Emergency Post On Super Typhoon Songda!

Professor James McCanney has just put up an Emergency Post on the main page of his website regarding the repercussions of the Super Typhoon Songda hitting the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant.

Super Typhoon Songda is raging towards Japan dead onto the Fukushima nuclear plant (as well as many other leaking damaged nuclear plants), which will guarantee that vast amounts of nuclear radiation will be taken into the ocean to contaminate the Pacific fishing grounds with the rest rising through the Typhoon central updrafts into the jet stream that goes directly to the United States... Current reports are that almost all of the nuclear fuel was released in the Fukushima melt down and is considered to be far worse than Chernobyl... Japanese officials in concert with USA and Canadian government monitoring agencies are lying about the scope and extent of the radiation leaving Japan in both the water and air... As I watched this Typhoon develop I noted that it developed far faster than a normal typhoon and it smells distinctly of a manipulated storm... One of the most powerful storms in Pacific history... Its original path by any predictive measurements was to hit southeast Asia around Vietnam and Thailand, but then it magically routed due north and slightly northeast taking a bee line directly for Japan... This will guarantee that the remaining nuclear waste from all Japanese nuclear facilities will go directly into the environment... As I reported on my recent radio shows (see Archives) the government agencies are lying with bad science and statistics... While the Japanese government has a full blown cover-up regarding reporting of nuclear releases... A large percentage of this will end up in the food chain in the United States... Since the water in the Typhoon as it passes over Japan will pull water from the ocean and drive it into the upper atmosphere (Troposphere) which will in turn drive it into the jet stream that feeds USA and Canada with water for agriculture and our water supply... Due to concentration in plants and animals in the food chain (contrary to government paid scientists who are claiming it will be "diluted")... This is the final poisoning of the USA... I have stated before that I believe the Japanese earthquakes were man-made and then this manipulated storm adds the frosting to the cake... All by "natural events"... "acts of God"???

PLANETARY TREMORS: Lusi Mud Volcano Erupting 5 Years On?!

Although new modeling data has shown that the life expectancy of Indonesia's Luis mud volcano could be shortened, other information from a team of scientists suggests that there is a high percentage that the eruptions, which started in 2006, could last for as long as 87 years.

Lusi the mud volcano is slowing down five years after it engulfed fields, homes and factories in a heavily populated part of Indonesia, but experts say the danger may last for decades. Almost every minute another jet of thick, boiling, foul liquid shoots into the sky followed by a white cloud of vapour, adding to the vast lake of mud which now covers more than 700 hectares (1,730 acres) of Java island's Sidoarjo district. "My whole life is buried here. I've lost everything: my house and the warung (streetside food stall) I opened just before the disaster," said Harwati, a 35-year-old widow and mother-of-two who now guides tourists around the disaster zone. "Since then, life has been really hard. It's difficult to find a job." She is one of some 40,000 people who have been forced out of their homes by the inexorable ooze, which appeared without warning on May 29, 2006 in the middle of a rice field.

Gradually, the mud has swallowed 12 villages, 30 factories, dozens of shops and a busy highway near the country's second largest city of Surabaya. Twelve people have been killed, but many more lives have been wrecked. As the mud continues to flow, a row over its cause also festers with some experts and victims accusing a local gas drilling company of sparking the torrent - an allegation it denies. The government's response to the crisis was at first sluggish, before it eventually built 20 kilometres (12 miles) of dykes to contain the mud. But the measure failed and, as the mud surged over the barriers, they had to be reinforced. They now stand 10 metres (33 feet) tall. "That should be enough," said Soffian Hadi, who oversees operations in the Office of Disaster Management. "The eruption has declined significantly in the last few months, from a maximum of 180,000 cubic meters (6.4 million cubic feet) per day to around 10,000 today." Richard Davies, a geologist at Durham University in the United Kingdom who has studied the volcano, agrees that the "worst is over".

"It seems that the pressure is diminishing. That's positive," he said. But when will Lusi stop? International experts who met Thursday in Surabaya were cautiously estimating it could keep flowing anywhere from a few years, to up to 80 years. Without further studies "it will be very difficult to predict with any accuracy the likely future duration and activity of Lusi," said Humanitus, an Australian non-governmental organisation that supports victims of the mud flow. It said ongoing risks included "bubbles of flammable, odourless and poisonous gases", land subsidence in villages around the levee, and poor air quality from "potentially hazardous gases"... "The important question now is: what's going to happen in the next five years. How long it will carry on?"
- Asia One.

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: Agriculture Threat - Cicadas Invades America?!

With extreme weather conditions like heavy rains, widespread flooding and devastating tornadoes, already posing a major threat to the agriculture industry, food production, and the livelihood of farmers across the United States, another threat to crops, is looming on the horizon as billions of the cicada insect will soon invade the country. Although, there appearance is part of a normal cycle, according to Wikipedia, it is possible that "Cicadas can cause damage to several cultivated crops, shrubs, and trees, mainly in the form of scarring left on tree branches while the females lay their eggs deep in branches."

Cicadas are loud enough to damage your hearing... and the U.S. is about to be invaded by billions of them. It sounds unlikely, but according to new research the winged critters can be deafening... and they have already started to invade the U.S. after a 13-year hiatus. Todd Ricketts, an associate professor of hearing and speech at Vanderbilt University, found the noise of the insects could actually be dangerous to hearing. 'They're in the neighbourhood of 90 decibels or above, if you get real close to them,' Ricketts told WSMV's channel 4 news. That's louder than a human conversation, louder than the noise of city traffic inside a car and almost as loud as a train whistle.

According to federal worker standards noise louder than 85 decibels should not be heard for longer than four hours at a time. And sustained exposure to noise at 90 to 95 decibels can result in hearing loss. Those who work outside could well be exposed to the cicada sound for longer than four hours in the coming weeks. Steve Moore, a landscaper told the news station he had already been surrounded by them for two weeks. Ironically they're 'attracted to the sound' Moore said. The cicadas loud noise is generated by rubbing their legs together. The upcoming invasion is not only a threat to hearing, but also to plants as the insects suck the sap out of everything that gets in their way.
- Daily Mail.

MASS ANIMAL DIE-OFF: Gulf Oil Spill killed 153 Dolphins in 2011?!

"I suspect what we might be seeing are several things coming together to form a perfect storm,... [this is] the tip of the iceberg..."

The repercussions from last year's BP oil spill and the chemical dispersants deployed to break up the oil on the surface and deep underwater, are still being felt, as over 150 dolphins have been found dead so far this year in the Gulf of Mexico.

According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, 153 dolphins, 65 of them babies, have been found dead in 2011, AFP reported. Since the devastating British Petroleum oil spill in April 2010, the total number of dolphins found dead has reached 300, and environmentalists believe that the intelligent animal's death toll is actually 50 times what washes up to the shores; "the tip of the iceberg" as it is called. In a study on the effects of the spill, marine expert Graham Worthy of the University of Central Florida, along with 26 other experts, said the dolphins were found in a part of the Gulf that saw nearly five million barrels of crude leak in the worst oil spill in US history.

"I suspect what we might be seeing are several things coming together to form a perfect storm," Worthy said. "If oil and the dispersants have disrupted the food chain, this may have prevented the mother dolphins from getting adequate nutrition and building up the insulating blubber they needed to withstand the cold." BP last month pledged $1 billion to jump-start projects aimed at restoring the US Gulf Coast by rebuilding damaged coastal marshes, replenishing soiled beaches, and conserving ocean habitat to help injured wildlife recover. By the time the well was capped 87 days later, 4.9 million barrels (206 million gallons) of oil had gushed out of the runaway well 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) below the surface of the Gulf of Mexico.

Over a million gallons of dispersants were also deployed to break up the oil on the surface and deep underwater, and the environmentalists cautioned that their use was also a health hazard to animals and plant life in the Gulf, in some cases forcing large amounts of the oil to simply sink and clump together. Hundreds of miles of fragile coastal wetlands and beaches were contaminated, a third of the Gulf's rich US waters were closed to fishing, and the economic costs have hit tens of billions of dollars.
- Press TV.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: Islands Sink Between India & Sri Lanka?!

Perhaps, one of the best cases of the geological upheaval taking place on the planet is the following story of the sinking of two islands in the Gulf of Mannar, between India and Sri Lanka. Another monumental precursor of the coming pole shift.

One of the many implications regarding climate change is melting glaciers and therefore rising seas across the globe. Rising seas pose danger to low lying coastlines and islands may face some of the greatest consequences. But some islands are already disappearing under ocean waters near India and their disappearance is not due to glacial melting. Two small islands located in the Gulf of Mannar, between India and Sri Lanka, have essentially sunk into the ocean in recent years. Many have considered rising seas as the culprit for the disappearance of the islands.

However, studies have found that seas are rising at a lesser rate in this region, leaving scientists wondering what was causing the sinking. Rising seas, although not the main cause, are and will contribute to sinking in the area. The islands are now considered to have sunk due to coral mining in the region. The region has been mined for the calcium carbonate found in the plethora of coral in the region. 117 species of coral are located in the region, a region not protected by mining for many years. The two islands were once located in a group of twenty-one islands in the Gulf of Mannar Marine National Park.

This park was established in 1989 by the Indian government to preserve the region. However, regulations regarding mining were nonexistent until the year 2002 in the area. The islands were significantly mined prior to these laws being put in place. Other dangers for the coral in the region include pollution and coral collection ongoing in the region. Scientists fear the two small islands sinking is only the beginning for the region, problems which are only expected to worsen alongside global warming. In addition to losing islands, the region may lose their vast biodiversity as well due to both the coral and island losses species may have to move elsewhere. The coral reefs in the region are considered to have lessened the impact of the tsunami in 2004, a reality which has led many to push for stricter protection in the area.

- About My Planet