Thursday, October 10, 2013

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Global Volcano Report For October 10, 2013 - Updates On Popocatépetl, Stromboli, Etna, Batu Tara, Dukono, Klyuchevskoy, Veniaminof, White Island, Santiaguito, Pacaya, And Fuego!

October 10, 2013 - WORLDWIDE VOLCANOES - The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of  Volcano Discovery.

Small eruption from Popocatépetl yesterday.

Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): The number of emissions has increased to about 2 per hour, and several smaller explosions occurred during the past days, generating ash plumes reaching up to about 1 km above the crater.

Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): Our friend Petra who climbed the volcano last night reports that activity is rather low at the moment. There were no explosions observed during the time spent at the summit (about one hour).

Etna (Sicily, Italy): The capricious Sicilian lady seems undecided what to do. The sporadic strombolian activity from the New SE crater has last been observed (to our knowledge) about 2 days ago. Temor is currently low, and generally bad weather doesn't help detailed direct observations.

Current tremor signal (ESLN station, INGV Catania)

Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): An explosion yesterday ejected an ash plume rising to an estimated 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude, VAAC Darwin reported.

Dukono (Halmahera): Strombolian to vulcanian activity has been increasing apparently. Ash plumes reaching 7,000 ft (2.1 km) altitude have been observed again yesterday on satellite data.

Klyuchevskoy (Kamchatka): The effusive and mildly explosive eruption continues and has been gaining strength. KVERT reports increasing tremor (amplitude of 73.4 mcm/s today). Strombolian activity at the summit crater accompanies effusion of several lava flows on the north-west, west and south-western volcanic flanks.

MODIS hot spot data (past 7 days) for Klyuchevskoy volcano (ModVolc, Univ. Hawaii)

Satellite data showed a big thermal anomaly over the volcano. Gas-steam plumes containing small amount of ash extended 150 km to the south-east of the volcano.

Be sure to visit the  new photo gallery of recent Kamchatka volcano photos!

Veniaminof (Alaska Peninsula, USA): (9 Oct) The eruption of Veniaminof continues with the effusion of lava from the cone in the summit caldera.

Seismic activity remains elevated, but constant. Elevated surface temperatures consistent with the continued extrusion of lava were observed in several images during clear periods over the past day. No ash detected. (AVO daily update)

White Island (New Zealand): (9 Oct) A small steam and mud eruption occurred yesterday, following the small energetic steam venting on 4 Oct and another increase in seismic activity during 7 Oct. Since then, seismic activity has decreased again.

Tremor amplitude during the past 30 days (GeoNet)

GeoNet reports: "This afternoon (8 Oct) from about 3.05 pm until 3.20 pm there was a period of strong seismicity, which was accompanied by acoustic signals and a minor steam and mud eruption. This generated a steam plume which might have been seen from the mainland. Because these small eruptions have become more frequent the Aviation Colour Code has been raised from Green to Yellow but the Volcanic Alert Level remains at 1."

Santa María / Santiaguito (Guatemala): No significant changes occurred over the past days. INSIVUMEH's volcano observatory reported two explosions this morning with ash plumes of about 600 m height, causing light ash fall in La Florida and parts of Monte Claro. No activity was observed at the lava flows on the dome's flanks.

Pacaya (Guatemala): Relatively intense strombolian activity continues and produces a plume of fine ash and gasses. During times when the wind blows from the north, this plume can reach the capital's airport, INSIVUMEH warned two days ago.

Fuego (Guatemala): Activity has decreased again to relatively low to moderate levels. The recent increase did not result in another paroxysm.

INSIVUMEH reported few small explosions, and continuing but reduced lava effusion. This morning, the lava flow directed towards the Taniluya canyon was 300 m long.

- Volcano Discovery.

MASS FISH DIE-OFF: Thousands Of Fish Dead Due To Pollution In Skjordalsbekken, Verdal, Norway!

October 10, 2013 - NORWAY - It was last week that acute pollution killed huge amounts of fish. County Governor writes on its website that the received message on the afternoon of the 26th September's pollution.

Photo: / Eystein Ness

Then it was a few hours ago a municipal sewer was clogged. It did that wastewater from ECOPRO construction ended in Skjørdalsbekkens upper part. How was it according to the municipality on for about one hour.

- The spill resulted in at least all the fish in the upper part, but probably all fish in the Skjørdalsbekken dead, says the County. The Authority considers this regrettable, as it is the third time that clogged drain causes massive fish kills. The last time it happened was in 2011, and since then the population had rebounded.

The County looking seriously at the accidental discharges, and now gives the municipality deadline to 15 November to provide feedback on the follow-up of audit days after discharge.

They also announced fines of 50,000 kroner.

Coercive fines are a means to the person responsible for the illegal state to have an economic incentive to comply with the requirements set. If the requirements are met, release the municipality to pay the daily fine. Verdalingen. [Translated]

ANIMAL BEHAVIOR: An Estimated 10,000 Walrus Come Ashore In Northwest Alaska!

October 10, 2013 - ALASKA - An estimated 10,000 walrus unable to find sea ice over shallow Arctic Ocean water have come ashore on Alaska's northwest coast.

This Sept. 27, 2013 shows thousands of walruses hauling out on a remote barrier island in the Chukchi Sea
near Point Lay, Alaska. An estimated 10,000 Pacific walrus have gone ashore on Alaska's northwest coast
and are bunched along a beach near the village of Point Lay. (AP Photo/NOAA Fisheries, Stan Churches)

Scientists with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration on Friday photographed walrus packed onto a beach on a barrier island near Point Lay, an Inupiat Eskimo village 300 miles southwest of Barrow and 700 miles northwest of Anchorage.

The walrus have been coming to shore since mid-September. The large herd was spotted during NOAA's annual arctic marine mammal aerial survey, an effort conducted with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, the agency that conducts offshore lease sales.

An estimated 2,000 to 4,000 walrus were photographed at the site Sept. 12. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the agency that manages walrus, immediately took steps to prevent a stampede among the animals packed shoulder to shoulder on the rocky coastline. The agency works with villages to keep people and airplanes a safe distance from herds.

Young animals are especially vulnerable to stampedes triggered by a polar bear, a human hunter or a low-flying airplane. The carcasses of more than 130 mostly young walruses were counted after a stampede in September 2009 at Alaska's Icy Cape.

The gathering of walrus on shore is a phenomenon that has accompanied the loss of summer sea ice as the climate has warmed.

Pacific walrus spend winters in the Bering Sea. Females give birth on sea ice and use ice as a diving platform to reach snails, clams and worms on the shallow continental shelf.

As temperatures warm in summer, the edge of the sea ice recedes north. Females and their young ride the edge of the sea ice into the Chukchi Sea. However, in recent years, sea ice has receded north beyond continental shelf waters and into Arctic Ocean water 10,000 feet deep or more where walrus cannot dive to the bottom.

Walrus in large numbers were first spotted on the U.S. side of the Chukchi Sea in 2007. They returned in 2009, and in 2011, scientists estimated 30,000 walruses along one kilometer of beach near Point Lay.

Remnant ice kept walrus offshore in 2008 and again last year.

The goal of the marine mammals survey is to record the abundance of bowhead, gray, minke, fin and beluga whales plus other marine mammals in areas of potential oil and natural gas development, said NOAA Fisheries marine mammal scientist Megan Ferguson in an announcement.

"In addition to photographing the walrus haulout area, NOAA scientists documented more bowhead whales, including calves and feeding adults in the Beaufort Sea this summer compared to 2012," said Ferguson. "We are also seeing more gray whale calves in the Chukchi Sea than we have in recent years."

Environmental groups say the loss of sea ice due to climate warming is harming marine mammals and oil and gas development would add to their stress. - TWC.

MASS FISH/BIRD DIE-OFF IN BRAZIL: Thousands Of Fish Killed Due To Contamination Leak Into A River In Sao Paulo, And 33 Penguins And 3 Sea Birds Found Dead Along A 5 Mile Stretch Of Beach In Sao Paulo!

October 10, 2013 - BRAZIL - Thousands of fish died late on Friday (4) after the breaking of a dam waste of Usina Santa Rita, located between Descalvado and Santa Rita do Passa Quatro (SP). The accident caused the leak pollutants into the Rio Mogi and affected neighboring cities such as Corner (SP). The Environmental Company of the State of São Paulo (Cetesb) and the Environmental Police accompany the situation.

The communication department of the plant reported that there was no spill vinasse (waste cane sugar) and that will determine along with environmental agencies which caused the death of fish.

Environmental Police investigate death of fish in the Rio Mogi
(Photo: Luiz Pitanguy / Archive Staff)

The plant explained that, due to heavy rains in recent days, a dam to contain the plant did not withstand the demand and broke. The advisory states that the dam was only rain water and springs and had no chemical.

The river water was completely black in places where there was contact with pollutants. Cetesb collected samples to assess the extent of damage caused by the spill.

"We found the release of wastewater from the storage tank of the plant. We find that the water is actually reaching the river. The collection will check changes the quality of the water body and the finding of dead fish, "said engenheiroThales Rissi.

Dark spot in the river that is waste
Leaked (Photo: Luiz Pitanguy / Personal)

The samples were sent to the agency in Ribeirão Preto (SP). The result of the assessment should leave between five to ten days. According to Police Sgt Environmental Appeared Marcelo Ferreira, the plant will be punished if found responsible for the accident. "There will be the development of fines and the process will be forwarded to prosecutors for criminal and civil measures," he said.

Owner of a fishery in the region, Luiz Carlos Pitanguy, 52, said that around 19h heard a loud blast of thrashing fish. "Soon after people began turning up dead. It was golden, crusty, painted, had never seen anything like it, "he reported.

Besides the environmental crime, Pitanguy is also concerned with the support of the family. "I live on fishing. I do not know what I'll do yet, have to wait to see if you still have fish to see if then take some action. Otherwise I'll have to close the fishery, "he said. - Globo. [Translated]

In a stretch of five miles of beach, the coast guard of Praia Grande, São Paulo coast, found 36 dead marine animals on Thursday. The grouping of Municipal Civil Guard (GCM) intends to determine causes of death.

During a routine inspection on the beaches of the city, the coast guard found a dead Penguin at the time of the Emperor, 33 species Magellan penguins and Shearwaters in the black neighborhood three Solemar. According to the guard, most animals were in a State of decomposition.

The Association of Rescue and rehabilitation of marine animals (Gremar) was thrown and collected animals for examination. - Globo. [Translated]

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Eurasia's Highest Volcano Klyuchevskoi Spews Ash Up To 3.7 Miles!

October 10, 2013 - RUSSIA - Eurasia's highest volcano, Klyuchevskoi, on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, churned out ash to a height of six kilometers (3.7 miles) on Thursday morning, local Emergencies Ministry’s department reported.

Photo: RIA Novosti.

"The cloud of ash moved in the eastern direction from the volcano," the department said in a statement adding that the cloud of ash posed no danger to residential areas.

The statement warned all tourism companies operating in the region against holding tours in the areas located near the volcano, which can also pose threat to aircraft.

Klyuchevskoi’s most powerful eruption was registered between January and May of 2005. Following that eruption, the volcano "sank" by 50 meters (about 165 feet), from 4,800 meters (about 16,000 feet) to the current 4,750 meters (15,845 feet).

There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka and up to 30 of them are active. - Voice of Russia.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.2 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes West Of The Chile Rise!

October 10, 2013 - CHILE - A strong magnitude 6.2 earthquake hit west of the Chile Rise, on Sunday at  21:33:19 UTC, the U.S. Geological Survey and local officials said.

There were no reports of serious damage to Chile or any structure on the South American mainland.

USGS earthquake location.

The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 6.5, struck at a depth of 6.2 miles, 957 miles southest of Ostrov Paskhi, and 1,534 miles north of Santiago, Chile.

The navy said the quake did not meet the conditions needed to generate a tsunami off the country's Pacific coastline.

Nearly three years ago, a massive 8.8-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami ravaged central-southern Chile, killing hundreds of people and causing billions of dollars worth of damage.

Seismotectonics of South America (Nazca Plate Region).
The South American arc extends over 7,000 km, from the Chilean margin triple junction offshore of southern Chile to its intersection with the Panama fracture zone, offshore of the southern coast of Panama in Central America. It marks the plate boundary between the subducting Nazca plate and the South America plate, where the oceanic crust and lithosphere of the Nazca plate begin their descent into the mantle beneath South America. The convergence associated with this subduction process is responsible for the uplift of the Andes Mountains, and for the active volcanic chain present along much of this deformation front. Relative to a fixed South America plate, the Nazca plate moves slightly north of eastwards at a rate varying from approximately 80 mm/yr in the south to approximately 65 mm/yr in the north. Although the rate of subduction varies little along the entire arc, there are complex changes in the geologic processes along the subduction zone that dramatically influence volcanic activity, crustal deformation, earthquake generation and occurrence all along the western edge of South America.

Most of the large earthquakes in South America are constrained to shallow depths of 0 to 70 km resulting from both crustal and interplate deformation. Crustal earthquakes result from deformation and mountain building in the overriding South America plate and generate earthquakes as deep as approximately 50 km. Interplate earthquakes occur due to slip along the dipping interface between the Nazca and the South American plates. Interplate earthquakes in this region are frequent and often large, and occur between the depths of approximately 10 and 60 km. Since 1900, numerous magnitude 8 or larger earthquakes have occurred on this subduction zone interface that were followed by devastating tsunamis, including the 1960 M9.5 earthquake in southern Chile, the largest instrumentally recorded earthquake in the world. Other notable shallow tsunami-generating earthquakes include the 1906 M8.5 earthquake near Esmeraldas, Ecuador, the 1922 M8.5 earthquake near Coquimbo, Chile, the 2001 M8.4 Arequipa, Peru earthquake, the 2007 M8.0 earthquake near Pisco, Peru, and the 2010 M8.8 Maule, Chile earthquake located just north of the 1960 event.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Large intermediate-depth earthquakes (those occurring between depths of approximately 70 and 300 km) are relatively limited in size and spatial extent in South America, and occur within the Nazca plate as a result of internal deformation within the subducting plate. These earthquakes generally cluster beneath northern Chile and southwestern Bolivia, and to a lesser extent beneath northern Peru and southern Ecuador, with depths between 110 and 130 km. Most of these earthquakes occur adjacent to the bend in the coastline between Peru and Chile. The most recent large intermediate-depth earthquake in this region was the 2005 M7.8 Tarapaca, Chile earthquake.

Earthquakes can also be generated to depths greater than 600 km as a result of continued internal deformation of the subducting Nazca plate. Deep-focus earthquakes in South America are not observed from a depth range of approximately 300 to 500 km. Instead, deep earthquakes in this region occur at depths of 500 to 650 km and are concentrated into two zones: one that runs beneath the Peru-Brazil border and another that extends from central Bolivia to central Argentina. These earthquakes generally do not exhibit large magnitudes. An exception to this was the 1994 Bolivian earthquake in northwestern Bolivia. This M8.2 earthquake occurred at a depth of 631 km, making it the largest deep-focus earthquake instrumentally recorded, and was felt widely throughout South and North America.

Subduction of the Nazca plate is geometrically complex and impacts the geology and seismicity of the western edge of South America. The intermediate-depth regions of the subducting Nazca plate can be segmented into five sections based on their angle of subduction beneath the South America plate. Three segments are characterized by steeply dipping subduction; the other two by near-horizontal subduction. The Nazca plate beneath northern Ecuador, southern Peru to northern Chile, and southern Chile descend into the mantle at angles of 25° to 30°. In contrast, the slab beneath southern Ecuador to central Peru, and under central Chile, is subducting at a shallow angle of approximately 10° or less. In these regions of “flat-slab” subduction, the Nazca plate moves horizontally for several hundred kilometers before continuing its descent into the mantle, and is shadowed by an extended zone of crustal seismicity in the overlying South America plate. Although the South America plate exhibits a chain of active volcanism resulting from the subduction and partial melting of the Nazca oceanic lithosphere along most of the arc, these regions of inferred shallow subduction correlate with an absence of volcanic activity. - USGS.

FIRE IN THE SKY: Extremely Bright Meteor Explodes Over Central Bosnia!

October 10, 2013 - BOSNIA - This morning at 05:51 hours an extremely brilliant meteor exploded over central Bosnia, authorities announced from the Astronomical Society Orion from Sarajevo.

Despite partly cloudy weather this phenomenon has been registered in the Federal Hydrometeorological Institute in Sarajevo and the meteorological station Gradačac, where recently a meteor camera is set.

A joint project of the Federal Hydrometeorological Institute and Astronomical Society Orion from Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina on establishing a meteor network gives new results. From recordings from two stations is the trajectory of the body determined.

A piece of cosmic material 'turned' on at an altitude of about 120 kilometers. After 36 km of flight, with an explosion the meteor shuts down at an altitude of 95 kilometers. At the moment of greatest shine the meteor had a magnitude of -4.5", cited from Orion. - KLIX. [Translated]