Sunday, November 15, 2015

FIRE IN THE SKY: Asteroid 2015 VY105 Buzzed Earth This Weekend, Just Hours After Discovery - Came Closer To Our Planet Than Weather And Television Satellites Orbit!

Artist’s concept of asteroids passing Earth. They come in all sizes. 2015 VY105, which passed on November 14-15, was just a little one. Via ESA/P.Carril.

November 15, 2015 - SPACE
- A small space rock discovered yesterday (November 14) passed very close to Earth just hours after first being detected. Asteroid 2015 VY105 was moving at a speed of more than 39,000 miles per hour (62,000 km/h) when it passed over the Pacific Ocean on November 15, 2015 at 02:47 UTC (4:47 p.m. CST on November 14). At closest approach, it was just 21,000 miles (34,000 km) from Earth. That’s close, closer than weather and television satellites as well as other geostationary satellites, which orbit our planet at some 36,000 km (22,300 miles) above its surface.

The Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona was the first to observe asteroid 2015 VY105. The International Astronomical Union’s Minor Planet Center announced its discovery. According to the Minor Planet Center, the space rock is an Apollo type, a class of asteroid that sometimes intercept Earth’s orbit.

Asteroid 2015 VY105 appears to range in size some 10 to 30 feet (3 to 9 meters).

Was Earth threatened? No. This was a very small asteroid, and if it had entered our atmosphere, most of it would have disintegrated due to air friction, causing quite an impressive meteor.

Courtesy of NASA JPL.

Because our planet is over 70% covered by oceans, in such a case there is a high probability that any huge meteor event from asteroid 2015 VY105 would have occurred over the seas.

Were satellites at risk? There are thousands of satellites orbiting our planet, and space is vast. So it’s very unlikely for a satellite to be hit by an object … but it’s not impossible. In 2009, a few hours after the operators of a communications satellite noticed their Iridium 33 satellite had gone silent, they got bad news. Agencies that track space debris found detected the Iridium 33 satellite in several pieces. It was hit by Kosmos 2251, a Russian satellite that was slowly loosing height after it became non-operational.

So if your satellite TV service is not working, first check your wiring connections before blaming asteroid 2015 VY105. There are no reports of satellites being damaged by this space rock that came at just 0.09 lunar distances.

In October 2008, a small asteroid called 2008 TC3 entered Earth’s atmosphere and disintegrated over Sudan, Africa just 19 hours after being first detected. With an estimated size of 13 feet (4 meters), the space rock caused no damage. However, several fragments were later found and studied.

Potential damages caused by a bigger asteroid would depend on many factors including size, composition, speed, and entry angle. But 2008 TC3 – as well as this week’s close call (2015 VY105) – are both very small asteroids.

A much-bigger asteroid passed at a greater distance on October 31. Asteroid 2015 TB145 passed farther than the moon, but, because of its size, it was seen by both professional observers and amateurs with medium sized telescopes.

This Halloween asteroid – 2015 TB145 – was found to be spherical in shape and much larger than the little asteroid that passed this weekend. It was found to be approximately 2,000 feet (600 meters) in diameter in contrast to some 10 to 30 feet (3 to 9 meters) for this weekend’s close-passing space rock.

Despite its much-larger size, 2015 TB145 was detected just 3 weeks prior to closest approach. We are fortunate it passed at a safe distance: a reminder of how important it is to support and improve the asteroid detection programs.

Bottom line: This weekend – November 14-15, 2015 – a small asteroid now labeled 2015 VY105 came closer to Earth than TV satellites orbit. It passed closest to Earth just hours after its discovery. - Earth Sky.


INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Two Dams Burst, Triggering A Massive Mudslide, Engulfing The Entire Village Of Bento Rodgrigues, In Minas Gerais, Brazil - 16 People Dead; Houses, Cars, Trucks, And Trees Swept Away By Torrents Of Muddy Water; The WORST-EVER ENVIRONMENTAL DISASTER In State History! [PHOTOS + VIDEO]

Death toll from Brazil dam break rises

November 15, 2015 - MINAS GERAIS, BRAZIL
- Two dams at the Sarmarco Mineracao SA iron mine, jointly owned by BHP Billiton Ltd and Vale SA, ruptured on Thursday, triggering a mudslide that engulfed the village of Bento Rodgrigues.

An undetermined number of people were still unaccounted for in nearby Bento Rodrigues, a village with a population of about 620. Brazil's Defense Ministry readied troops to assist, as television footage showed cars, trucks and trees swept away and torrents of muddy water hurtling down a mountainside.

Iron ore is transported down a slurry pipe to Espirito Santo in south-eastern Brazil, where it is turned into pellets.

According to the BBC, local reports indicate that as many as 16 people fell victim to the ensuing flood, and two have gone missing. "This is one of the saddest scenes I ever had to witness", he said, according to TASS, Reuters reported. "We could see lots of people cut off by the mud, a few of them injured, calling out to us for help - but it just wasn't possible to get to them as there were fears the muds could shift".

Authorities are being cautious about exactly how many people are missing or dead, saying there are still people in isolated areas who could be the ones they are looking for.

BHP said it is in the process of obtaining information from Samarco Mineração and will provide more details when it has them.

The governor of Minas Gerais, the mineral-rich state whose name literally means "general mines", has already characterized the accident, which soaked much of the area beyond the dams with mine waste, as the state's worst-ever environmental disaster. 

The dams were composed principally of sand and inert tailing, a mining waste product of metal filings used to contain water and residue from mining operations.

The village of Bento Rodrigues near the dam is practically buried, the fire chief said.

Australian mining company BHP Billiton and Brazilian company Vale are 50% shareholders in the joint venture

Samarco which operates the facility. Samarco said operations at its Germano iron ore mine was halted due to the burst, however, it's not clear for how long the mine could remain shutdown, nor the impact it could have on supplies.

It was the second major tailings dam disaster in Minas Gerais in 12 years.

BHP said on Sunday afternoon that Mr Mackenzie would visit the "incident site this week to meet with the Samarco response team, authorities and members of the community to understand first hand the human, environmental and operational effects of the incident".

"Our thoughts are with the people of Samarco, the affected community and with the people of Brazil". - WWN.

WATCH: Town swallowed by toxic mud after dam break in Brazil.


PARADIGM SHIFT: Precursors To The End Of The Petrodollar And The Ultimate Collapse Of The White Supremacy Paradigm - China Welcomes IMF Backing To Make Yuan World Reserve Currency!

The yuan has rapidly grown in importance in recent years as China -- the world's top trading nation -- has used it to settle more
of its commerce, and made it directly convertable with more currencies (AFP Photo/)

November 15, 2015 - CHINA
- China on Saturday welcomed backing from IMF experts that the yuan should be included in its reserve currencies, saying the move would strengthen the world's financial system.

Now the world's second-largest economy, China asked last year for the yuan to be added to the elite basket of SDR currencies, but until recently it was considered too tightly controlled to qualify.

It now looks likely the yuan will be formally admitted to the IMF's "special drawing rights" currency basket at the end of the month, which would mark a milestone in China's efforts to become a global economic power.

IMF chief Christine Lagarde said the fund now deemed the yuan "meets the requirements to be a 'freely usable' currency" -- a key hurdle to joining the yen, dollar, pound and euro as a leading unit in international trade.

The yuan hit headlines in August when China's central bank devalued the currency and said it would use a more market-oriented system to calculate the point around which the currency can trade each day.

The move sent markets into a tailspin as investors took it as a sign of slowing growth in China, a key driver of the world economy, but the central bank on Saturday said such reforms had taken it closer to joining the SDR basket.

"China thinks that the inclusion of the RMB (yuan) into the SDR basket will strengthen the representativeness and the attraction of the SDR (and) that it will improve the existing international monetary system," the People's Bank of China (PBoC) added.

"It will have win-win benefits both for China and the world."

- Yuan's rapid rise -

The yuan has rapidly grown in importance in recent years as China -- the world's top trading nation -- has used it to settle more of its commerce, and made it directly convertable with more currencies.

Including the Chinese currency in the SDR would likely boost demand for yuan-denominated assets among central banks, and give it a sheen of respectability at a time when many investors are questioning Beijing's ability to manage the slowing economy.

International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde says the fund now deems the yuan "meets the requirements to be a 'freely usable' currency" --
a key hurdle to joining the yen, dollar, pound and euro as a leading unit in international trade (AFP Photo/Yasser al-Zayyat)

Lagarde said IMF experts ruled Beijing had addressed "all remaining operational issues" required for SDR inclusion, which will be decided by the executive board at a November 30 meeting.

"I support the staff's findings," she said, adding to expectations that the board will also back the yuan.
That would mark an about turn from the beginning of August -- before the yuan devaluation -- when the Fund said the currency was not freely usable enough to be included in the basket.

Despite the recent misgivings, there has been strong pressure for the IMF to act now as the SDR basket is only reviewed every five years.

If a decision to include the yuan is made this month, the actual inclusion could take place as late as September 30, 2016, giving Beijing more time to prepare.

The recommendation Friday was broadly backed by the United States, China's main rival for world economic supremacy.

"We intend to support the renminbi's inclusion in the Special Drawing Rights basket provided the currency meets the International Monetary Fund's existing criteria," the Treasury Department said, using another name for the yuan.

"We will review the IMF's paper in that light." - Yahoo.


MONUMENTAL EARTH CHANGES: NASA Satellite Indicate Slowdown Of Gulf Stream - Will Affect Long-Term Temperature Patterns All Around The Atlantic Basin, Eventually Plunging The Earth Towards A New Ice Age!

NASA's GRACE satellites (artist's concept) measured Atlantic Ocean bottom pressure as an indicator of deep ocean current speed. In 2009, this pattern of above-average
(blue) and below-average (red) seafloor pressure revealed a temporary slowing of the deep currents.  © NASA/JPL-Caltech

November 15, 2015 - ATLANTIC OCEAN
- A major player in the transportation of heat in the Atlantic Ocean is slowing down and may affect higher latitude climates in the Northern Hemisphere, according to a NASA analysis of satellite data.

The cold "blob" that developed off Greenland may be the drag on the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC) by producing very chilly to record cold water, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said earlier this year.

Global warming may be responsible for AMOC's slowdown but natural forces may also be at work, NASA said. AMOC is part of the complex circulation of currents that help take the warmer Gulf Stream water and move it through the basin.

Data from the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites correspond with similar findings that were not satellite-based. The GRACE findings were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

An AMOC slowdown would impact other currents throughout the Atlantic.

"If the Gulf Stream and correspondingly other currents in the Atlantic weaken, then it could change long-term temperature patterns all around the Atlantic basin," AccuWeather Chief Meteorologist Elliot Abrams said.

That may make temperatures cooler in cities such as London, Amsterdam, Paris and Lisbon instead of being part of a global warming trend.

The glacier Zachariae Isstrom in northeastern Greenland that holds enough water to raise global sea levels by more than 18 inches has come unmoored and is crumbling into the North Atlantic Ocean, according to an international group of researchers. It is losing mass at a rate of 5 billion tons per year, according to findings published in the journal Science.

Buoy data from the winter of 2009-10 estimated a similar slowdown, but it's the first look at the circulation from space, which also showed the slowdown extending several thousand miles north and south of the buoy's latitude of 26 degrees North, NASA said. - Accuweather.


OMEN: Plagues And Pestilences - Mysterious "Blood Rain" Tints Water A Gruesome Hue In Several Villages In Northwest Spain?!

Water in a basin in Fuente Encalada (Zamora) was stained red by the algae Haematococcus pluvialis, brought by the rain. Credit: Joaquín Pérez

November 15, 2015 - SPAIN
- Residents of several villages in northwest Spain received an unpleasant surprise last fall, when they noticed that the water in their fountains had turned a gory shade of red. The tint wasn't left behind by a guilty murderer's bloody hands, but rather by microscopic algae that arrived in a recent rainfall.

But at the time, no one knew what had caused their pristine reservoirs to suddenly resemble grisly crime scenes. Speculation ran rampant, blaming everything from contaminants dropped from airplanes to biblical plagues (a similar "blood rain" episode in Kerala, India, in 2001 sparked suggestions that the rain had extraterrestrial origins). Joaquín Pérez, who lived nearby, decided to collect rainwater to see if he could detect the culprit, according to a statement by the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology.

Over the next several months, Pérez gathered samples, noticing particles in the water that stained it red. He sent the samples to researchers at the University of Salamanca, where they confirmed in a study that the "blood rain" was teeming with microscopic freshwater algae called Haematococcus pluvialis, which produce a red pigment when they're stressed. Bacteria in the Chromatiaceae family may have caused similarly blood-red water in a Texas lake in 2011.

Scientists were surprised to see H. pluvialis, which is common in other parts of the Northern Hemisphere — particularly in North America and along Europe's Atlantic coastlines — but is practically nonexistent in that part of Spain. "So, they must be coming from some other place," said geologist Javier Fernández-Lozano, co-author of the study. Analysis of weather data suggests that the algae could have hitchhiked to western Spain on the winds, but, for the present, the origins of this bloodbath are still unknown.

The finding was published Sept. 21 in the Spanish Royal Society of Natural History Journal, and can be accessed on Researchgate. - Live Science.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 3.1 Earthquake Recorded In Northeast Bulgaria!

November 15, 2015 - BULGARIA
- A slight earthquake of magnitude 3.1 on the Richter scale has been reported close to the Bulgarian coastal city of Varna at around 10:44 p.m. on Saturday, the National Institute of Geophysics, Geodesy and Geography with the Bulgarian Academy of Science announced for FOCUS News Agency reported.

The epicentre of the quake was close to the town of Novi Pazar.

The jolt was just slightly felt by the local residents.

There is no information about damages or injured people. - Focus Information Agency.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 5.7 Earthquake Strikes Off Japan's Kyushu!

USGS shakemap intensity

November 13, 2015 - JAPAN
- A magnitude 5.7 earthquake struck off Japan's southern island of Kyushu, the U.S. Geological Survey said on Saturday.

The quake, initially reported as a magnitude 5.9, struck at 4:20 a.m. on Sunday (1920 GMT on Saturday) 94 miles (151 km) west of Kagoshima. It was shallow, at a depth of only 16.2 miles (26 km) below the seabed. - Reuters.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Philippine Sea and Vicinity

The Philippine Sea plate is bordered by the larger Pacific and Eurasia plates and the smaller Sunda plate. The Philippine Sea plate is unusual in that its borders are nearly all zones of plate convergence. The Pacific plate is subducted into the mantle, south of Japan, beneath the Izu-Bonin and Mariana island arcs, which extend more than 3,000 km along the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea plate. This subduction zone is characterized by rapid plate convergence and high-level seismicity extending to depths of over 600 km. In spite of this extensive zone of plate convergence, the plate interface has been associated with few great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) ‘megathrust’ earthquakes. This low seismic energy release is thought to result from weak coupling along the plate interface (Scholz and Campos, 1995). These convergent plate margins are also associated with unusual zones of back-arc extension (along with resulting seismic activity) that decouple the volcanic island arcs from the remainder of the Philippine Sea Plate (Karig et al., 1978; Klaus et al., 1992).

South of the Mariana arc, the Pacific plate is subducted beneath the Yap Islands along the Yap trench. The long zone of Pacific plate subduction at the eastern margin of the Philippine Sea Plate is responsible for the generation of the deep Izu-Bonin, Mariana, and Yap trenches as well as parallel chains of islands and volcanoes, typical of circum-pacific island arcs. Similarly, the northwestern margin of the Philippine Sea plate is subducting beneath the Eurasia plate along a convergent zone, extending from southern Honshu to the northeastern coast of Taiwan, manifested by the Ryukyu Islands and the Nansei-Shoto (Ryukyu) trench. The Ryukyu Subduction Zone is associated with a similar zone of back-arc extension, the Okinawa Trough. At Taiwan, the plate boundary is characterized by a zone of arc-continent collision, whereby the northern end of the Luzon island arc is colliding with the buoyant crust of the Eurasia continental margin offshore China.

USGS plate tectonics for the region

Along its western margin, the Philippine Sea plate is associated with a zone of oblique convergence with the Sunda Plate. This highly active convergent plate boundary extends along both sides the Philippine Islands, from Luzon in the north to the Celebes Islands in the south. The tectonic setting of the Philippines is unusual in several respects: it is characterized by opposite-facing subduction systems on its east and west sides; the archipelago is cut by a major transform fault, the Philippine Fault; and the arc complex itself is marked by active volcanism, faulting, and high seismic activity. Subduction of the Philippine Sea Plate occurs at the eastern margin of the archipelago along the Philippine Trench and its northern extension, the East Luzon Trough. The East Luzon Trough is thought to be an unusual example of a subduction zone in the process of formation, as the Philippine Trench system gradually extends northward (Hamburger et al., 1983). On the west side of Luzon, the Sunda Plate subducts eastward along a series of trenches, including the Manila Trench in the north, the smaller less well-developed Negros Trench in the central Philippines, and the Sulu and Cotabato trenches in the south (Cardwell et al., 1980). At its northern and southern terminations, subduction at the Manila Trench is interrupted by arc-continent collision, between the northern Philippine arc and the Eurasian continental margin at Taiwan and between the Sulu-Borneo Block and Luzon at the island of Mindoro. The Philippine fault, which extends over 1,200 km within the Philippine arc, is seismically active. The fault has been associated with major historical earthquakes, including the destructive M7.6 Luzon earthquake of 1990 (Yoshida and Abe, 1992). A number of other active intra-arc fault systems are associated with high seismic activity, including the Cotabato Fault and the Verde Passage-Sibuyan Sea Fault (Galgana et al., 2007).

Relative plate motion vectors near the Philippines (about 80 mm/yr) is oblique to the plate boundary along the two plate margins of central Luzon, where it is partitioned into orthogonal plate convergence along the trenches and nearly pure translational motion along the Philippine Fault (Barrier et al., 1991). Profiles B and C reveal evidence of opposing inclined seismic zones at intermediate depths (roughly 70-300 km) and complex tectonics at the surface along the Philippine Fault.

Several relevant tectonic elements, plate boundaries and active volcanoes, provide a context for the seismicity presented on the main map. The plate boundaries are most accurate along the axis of the trenches and more diffuse or speculative in the South China Sea and Lesser Sunda Islands. The active volcanic arcs (Siebert and Simkin, 2002) follow the Izu, Volcano, Mariana, and Ryukyu island chains and the main Philippine islands parallel to the Manila, Negros, Cotabato, and Philippine trenches.

Seismic activity along the boundaries of the Philippine Sea Plate (Allen et al., 2009) has produced 7 great (Magnitude greater than 8.0) earthquakes and 250 large (Magnitude greater than 7) events. Among the most destructive events were the 1923 Kanto, the 1948 Fukui and the 1995 Kobe (Japan) earthquakes (99,000, 5,100, and 6,400 casualties, respectively), the 1935 and the 1999 Chi-Chi (Taiwan) earthquakes (3,300 and 2,500 casualties, respectively), and the 1976 M7.6 Moro Gulf and 1990 M7.6 Luzon (Philippines) earthquakes (7,100 and 2,400 casualties, respectively). There have also been a number of tsunami-generating events in the region, including the Moro Gulf earthquake, whose tsunami resulted in more than 5000 deaths.

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics


PLANETARY TREMORS: Three Earthquakes Rock Southland, New Zealand!

A 'light' earthquake struck north-west of Te Anau on Saturday night.  © GeoNet

November 15, 2015 - NEW ZEALAND
- Three earthquakes shook Southland overnight, the strongest measuring 4.6.

GeoNet reported a 3.8 magnitude rumble centred 50km north-west of Te Anau at 10.57pm on Saturday. It was 39km deep and described as being of "light" intensity.

Just over two hours later at 2.05am, a 4.6 magnitude shake was felt 120km west of Tuatapere. The earthquake was described as "strong" and was 12km deep.

The third earthquake to strike came at 3.31am. GeoNet reported the third shake, measuring 4.1, was centred 75km west of Tuatapere at a depth of 15km. It was described as being of "moderate" intensity. - Stuff.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the Eastern Margin of the Australia Plate

The eastern margin of the Australia plate is one of the most sesimically active areas of the world due to high rates of convergence between the Australia and Pacific plates. In the region of New Zealand, the 3000 km long Australia-Pacific plate boundary extends from south of Macquarie Island to the southern Kermadec Island chain. It includes an oceanic transform (the Macquarie Ridge), two oppositely verging subduction zones (Puysegur and Hikurangi), and a transpressive continental transform, the Alpine Fault through South Island, New Zealand.

Since 1900 there have been 15 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded near New Zealand. Nine of these, and the four largest, occurred along or near the Macquarie Ridge, including the 1989 M8.2 event on the ridge itself, and the 2004 M8.1 event 200 km to the west of the plate boundary, reflecting intraplate deformation. The largest recorded earthquake in New Zealand itself was the 1931 M7.8 Hawke's Bay earthquake, which killed 256 people. The last M7.5+ earthquake along the Alpine Fault was 170 years ago; studies of the faults' strain accumulation suggest that similar events are likely to occur again.

North of New Zealand, the Australia-Pacific boundary stretches east of Tonga and Fiji to 250 km south of Samoa. For 2,200 km the trench is approximately linear, and includes two segments where old (greater than 120 Myr) Pacific oceanic lithosphere rapidly subducts westward (Kermadec and Tonga). At the northern end of the Tonga trench, the boundary curves sharply westward and changes along a 700 km-long segment from trench-normal subduction, to oblique subduction, to a left lateral transform-like structure.

USGS plate tectonics for the region.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 60 mm/yr at the southern Kermadec trench to 90 mm/yr at the northern Tonga trench; however, significant back arc extension (or equivalently, slab rollback) causes the consumption rate of subducting Pacific lithosphere to be much faster. The spreading rate in the Havre trough, west of the Kermadec trench, increases northward from 8 to 20 mm/yr. The southern tip of this spreading center is propagating into the North Island of New Zealand, rifting it apart. In the southern Lau Basin, west of the Tonga trench, the spreading rate increases northward from 60 to 90 mm/yr, and in the northern Lau Basin, multiple spreading centers result in an extension rate as high as 160 mm/yr. The overall subduction velocity of the Pacific plate is the vector sum of Australia-Pacific velocity and back arc spreading velocity: thus it increases northward along the Kermadec trench from 70 to 100 mm/yr, and along the Tonga trench from 150 to 240 mm/yr.

The Kermadec-Tonga subduction zone generates many large earthquakes on the interface between the descending Pacific and overriding Australia plates, within the two plates themselves and, less frequently, near the outer rise of the Pacific plate east of the trench. Since 1900, 40 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded, mostly north of 30°S. However, it is unclear whether any of the few historic M8+ events that have occurred close to the plate boundary were underthrusting events on the plate interface, or were intraplate earthquakes. On September 29, 2009, one of the largest normal fault (outer rise) earthquakes ever recorded (M8.1) occurred south of Samoa, 40 km east of the Tonga trench, generating a tsunami that killed at least 180 people.

Across the North Fiji Basin and to the west of the Vanuatu Islands, the Australia plate again subducts eastwards beneath the Pacific, at the North New Hebrides trench. At the southern end of this trench, east of the Loyalty Islands, the plate boundary curves east into an oceanic transform-like structure analogous to the one north of Tonga.

Australia-Pacific convergence rates increase northward from 80 to 90 mm/yr along the North New Hebrides trench, but the Australia plate consumption rate is increased by extension in the back arc and in the North Fiji Basin. Back arc spreading occurs at a rate of 50 mm/yr along most of the subduction zone, except near ~15°S, where the D'Entrecasteaux ridge intersects the trench and causes localized compression of 50 mm/yr in the back arc. Therefore, the Australia plate subduction velocity ranges from 120 mm/yr at the southern end of the North New Hebrides trench, to 40 mm/yr at the D'Entrecasteaux ridge-trench intersection, to 170 mm/yr at the northern end of the trench.

Large earthquakes are common along the North New Hebrides trench and have mechanisms associated with subduction tectonics, though occasional strike slip earthquakes occur near the subduction of the D'Entrecasteaux ridge. Within the subduction zone 34 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900. On October 7, 2009, a large interplate thrust fault earthquake (M7.6) in the northern North New Hebrides subduction zone was followed 15 minutes later by an even larger interplate event (M7.8) 60 km to the north. It is likely that the first event triggered the second of the so-called earthquake "doublet".

More information on regional seismicity and tectonics



ICE AGE NOW: Climate Chaos - Snowfall Closes 290 Village Roads In Eastern Anatolia, Turkey!

November 15, 2015 - ANATOLIA, TURKEY
- Meteorological officials warned citizens to be careful and cautious, being particularly alert for high avalanche danger.

In Erzurum 173 village roads are closed due to snow, and 117 were closed in Ardahan, for a total of 290.

Highways teams continue to work for the opening of village roads so that transport can resume.

Also yesterday, Erzurum Regional Directorate of Highways 12 and Erzurum Metropolitan Municipality were stranded due to snow and subsequently rescued.

Thanks to Argiris Diamantis for these links

Just before the Climate Summit in Paris, the MSM keeps quiet about this kind of news," says Argiris.  - Ice Age Now.


PLANETARY TREMORS: Magnitude 4.3 Earthquake Shakes South-Central Kansas!

USGS earthquake shakemap.

November 15, 2015 - KANSAS, UNITED STATES
- An early Sunday morning earthquake was felt by some south-central Kansas residents.

The magnitude-4.3 earthquake occurred at 3:45 a.m. Sunday, according to the U.S. Geological Survey website. It was centered near Fairview, Okla., west of Enid.

Residents in Wichita, Hutchinson, Kiowa, Conway Springs, Medicine Lodge, Pratt, Kingman, Andover, Winfield, Udall, Haysville, Derby and Valley Center reported feeling the quake to the Geological Survey site.

If you felt it, you can report it on the Geological Survey's Did You Feel It? webpage.

- The Wichita Eagle.

Tectonic Summary - Earthquakes in the Stable Continental Region

Natural Occurring Earthquake Activity

Most of North America east of the Rocky Mountains has infrequent earthquakes. Here and there earthquakes are more numerous, for example in the New Madrid seismic zone centered on southeastern Missouri, in the Charlevoix-Kamouraska seismic zone of eastern Quebec, in New England, in the New York - Philadelphia - Wilmington urban corridor, and elsewhere. However, most of the enormous region from the Rockies to the Atlantic can go years without an earthquake large enough to be felt, and several U.S. states have never reported a damaging earthquake.

Earthquakes east of the Rocky Mountains, although less frequent than in the West, are typically felt over a much broader region than earthquakes of similar magnitude in the west. East of the Rockies, an earthquake can be felt over an area more than ten times larger than a similar magnitude earthquake on the west coast. It would not be unusual for a magnitude 4.0 earthquake in eastern or central North America to be felt by a significant percentage of the population in many communities more than 100 km (60 mi) from its source. A magnitude 5.5 earthquake in eastern or central North America might be felt by much of the population out to more than 500 km (300 mi) from its source. Earthquakes east of the Rockies that are centered in populated areas and large enough to cause damage are, similarly, likely to cause damage out to greater distances than earthquakes of the same magnitude centered in western North America.

Most earthquakes in North America east of the Rockies occur as faulting within bedrock, usually miles deep. Few earthquakes east of the Rockies, however, have been definitely linked to mapped geologic faults, in contrast to the situation at plate boundaries such as California's San Andreas fault system, where scientists can commonly use geologic evidence to identify a fault that has produced a large earthquake and that is likely to produce large future earthquakes. Scientists who study eastern and central North America earthquakes often work from the hypothesis that modern earthquakes occur as the result of slip on preexisting faults that were formed in earlier geologic eras and that have been reactivated under the current stress conditions. The bedrock of Eastern North America is, however, laced with faults that were active in earlier geologic eras, and few of these faults are known to have been active in the current geologic era. In most areas east of the Rockies, the likelihood of future damaging earthquakes is currently estimated from the frequencies and sizes of instrumentally recorded earthquakes or earthquakes documented in historical records.
Induced Seismicity

As is the case elsewhere in the world, there is evidence that some central and eastern North America earthquakes have been triggered or caused by human activities that have altered the stress conditions in earth's crust sufficiently to induce faulting. Activities that have induced felt earthquakes in some geologic environments have included impoundment of water behind dams, injection of fluid into the earth's crust, extraction of fluid or gas, and removal of rock in mining or quarrying operations. In much of eastern and central North America, the number of earthquakes suspected of having been induced is much smaller than the number of natural earthquakes, but in some regions, such as the south-central states of the U.S., a significant majority of recent earthquakes are thought by many seismologists to have been human-induced. Even within areas with many human-induced earthquakes, however, the activity that seems to induce seismicity at one location may be taking place at many other locations without inducing felt earthquakes. In addition, regions with frequent induced earthquakes may also be subject to damaging earthquakes that would have occurred independently of human activity. Making a strong scientific case for a causative link between a particular human activity and a particular sequence of earthquakes typically involves special studies devoted specifically to the question. Such investigations usually address the process by which the suspected triggering activity might have significantly altered stresses in the bedrock at the earthquake source, and they commonly address the ways in which the characteristics of the suspected human-triggered earthquakes differ from the characteristics of natural earthquakes in the region. - USGS.

Kansas - Earthquake History

The earliest, and possibly the strongest, shock reported within Kansas' borders occurred April 24, 1867. Several persons were injured, though not seriously. Plaster cracked, objects were thrown from shelves, and doors and windows were shaken at Lawrence. The earthquake was also felt strongly at Manhattan, where stones loosened on buildings and walls cracked. A heavy wave, about two feet high, was observed on the Kansas River at Manhattan. The tremor was felt over an area of 300,000 square miles in Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, and possibly Ohio.

A moderate earthquake near Valley Falls, northeast of Topeka, on November 8, 1875, was felt over about 8,000 square miles in eastern Kansas and western Missouri. Dishes rattled; windows shook; some buildings rocked or quivered (intensity V).

Eastern Kansas felt the effects of a strong earthquake centered near Charleston, Missouri, in 1895. The October 31 shock affected about one million square miles over 23 States. Topeka reported the strongest effects in Kansas - houses shook and people were awakened. Dishes and windows rattled in other towns.

The area around Dodge City and Meade, in western Kansas, was shaken with an intensity V earthquake on October 27, 1904. Some reports indicated three shocks were felt at Dodge City.

On January 7, 1906, a strong shock affected an area of about 10,000 square miles in Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska. Chimneys were thrown down and some cracks in walls were observed at Manhattan (intensity VII). Houses and buildings vibrated at Topeka, where a loud roaring sound was also heard. Some towns reported feeling two or three shocks. A series of small aftershocks of the January 7 earthquake was felt in Manhattan, the last being reported on January 23.

An earthquake on March 18, 1927, near White Cloud, in the extreme northeastern portion of the State, rocked houses such that people rushed out of them. The felt area was limited to about 300 square miles.

Four shocks - two on September 23, 1929, one each on October 21 and December 7, 1929 - were reported from the same area of northeastern Kansas. Houses shook over a broad area around Manhattan in September. The total affected area covered approximately 15,000 square miles. The October tremor was felt over an area of 8,000 square miles; that in December covered only 1,000 square miles. The maximum reported intensity of all these earthquakes was V.

A moderate earthquake was felt on February 20, 1933, over about 6,000 square miles in Norton and Decatur counties, Kansas, and Furnas and Harlan counties, Nebraska. Buildings and houses swayed; dishes and windows rattled; people ran out of their houses.

A damaging earthquake centered near El Reno, Oklahoma on April 9, 1952, affected a total area of 140,000 square miles, including all of the eastern half of Kansas. The magnitude 5.5 shock was felt in Kansas most strongly (intensity V) at Medicine Lodge; intensity V effects were also observed at Kansas City.

On January 6, 1956, minor damage occurred at Coats, Coldwater, Medicine Lodge, and Wilmore, Kansas, and Alva, Oklahoma. The damage was limited to loosened bricks, cracked plaster and chimneys, and objects knocked from walls and shelves. Many observers reported being shaken from their beds by the shock a few minutes before 6 a.m. The total felt area covered approximately 16,000 square miles.

Another felt earthquake with an epicenter in Kansas occurred April 13, 1961. The area affected was about the same as that from the 1933 tremor, principally Norton County, Kansas, and Furnas County, Nebraska. Intensity V was the maximum reported from this region.

The November 9, 1968, earthquake centered in southern Illinois was felt moderately throughout the eastern portion of Kansas. All or parts of 23 states were affected by this magnitude 5.3 shock. - USGS.

OMEN: Plagues And Pestilences - Cat With THREE EARS Found In Norfolk, UK?!

Brian, who has three ears, is believed to be between four and ten years old.

November 15, 2015 - BRITAIN
- Staff at a Norfolk rescue centre were equally perplexed when one intrepid feline arrived sporting an extra ear.

As Feline Care Cat Rescue in East Harling continue to care for the moggie, it is hoped its owner will now step forward. Brian, as he has been affectionately called, arrived at the centre on Monday after being caught in one of the centre's traps after setting off security alarms at a nearby business.

Manager of the centre, Molly Farrar, said: "We expected it to be one of our own cats who'd been causing problems so this handsome, mature gentleman was quite a surprise to us.

"We've cared for plenty of cats with one eye, three legs or six toes and several cats with no tail left, but this is our first three-eared cat.

The centre is hoping that Brian has not been dumped but has simply got lost.

Miss Farrar, 38, said: "He's obviously very distinctive with his extra little ear so someone must be missing him or recognise him.

"He's in a bit of a tatty and skinny state. He's been in the wars a bit and has a fractured canine tooth and ear mites so he obviously needs looking after.

"We see all sorts of cats here but Brian is by far the most unusual, he is something special."

On Monday night, Brian was given the once over by vet Marcus Wilson from Knotts Yard Veterinary Practice in Watton who put the unique feature down to a birth defect.

Miss Farrar, who has been at the centre for nine years, said: "It's the first three-eared cat Marcus has seen in all his years of practice."

Brian, who was named after the man who found him, is believed to be between four and ten years old.

If his owners are not found he will be put up for adoption.

The centre is currently running with more cats on the books than usual with 170 moggies on site and more than 100 on the waiting list. - Eastern Daily Press.


GLOBAL VOLCANISM: The Latest Report Of Volcanic Eruptions, Activity, Unrest And Awakenings – November 15, 2015!

Etna's steaming at southeast crater

November 15, 2015 - EARTH
- The following constitutes the new activity, unrest and ongoing reports of volcanoes across the globe, courtesy of Volcano Discovery.

Etna (Sicily, Italy): Etna's New SE crater is the likely site of new activity in the near future. Intense steaming from the eastern vent of the youngest summit crater suggests that magma is not far from the surface.

Over the past two weeks, 5 episodes of increased tremor and increased degassing occurred from the crater, but so far all ended without an eruption - one could call them "failed attempts" to produce the otherwise typical paroxysms. Another such episode might be about to start at the time of this update (check the webcams).

In the meantime, weak strombolian activity continues at the vent inside the Voragine crater.

Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): Activity at the volcano has decreased a bit, judging from the overall thermal signal, but continues with slow lava extrusion and small explosions at the summit crater, generating incandescent avalanches.

Heat signal from Karangetang volcano (MIROVA)

Seismic activity from Karangetang during 2015 (VSI)

The alert level is kept at 3 (out of 4). VSI in its latest bulletin from 11 Nov mentioned that there is no significant increase or decrease of activity based on evaluation of visual and instrumental observations.

Bromo (East Java, Indonesia): A phase of increased unrest seems to have started at the volcano.

Typical activity of Bromo consisting of strong ash emissions following in short intervals (Photo: Tom Pfeiffer - February 16, 2011)

On 1 November, the local volcano observatory issued a warning not to approach Bromo within 1 km radius, as changes in seismic activity and increased steaming/degassing (including sulfur dioxide) had been noted.

NASA space image of Bromo volcano, located inside the Tengger caldera.

The alert status of the volcano remains at 2 ("waspada","watch") on a scale of 1-4.

Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia):  The volcano has been relatively calm at the surface, but internal unrest continues to be significant. VSI keeps the alert level at "Siaga" (Alert) or 3 (out of 4), where it has been since July 2011.

Seismicity at Lokon volcano during 2015 so far (VSI)

A mild gradual increase in seismic activity over the past 2-3 months has been noted. The latest bulletin issued yesterday reminds the public to keep a safety distance of 2.5 km around the Tompaluan crater, where new fractures were formed during and after the eruption on 13 Sep last year. Sudden phreatic or phreatomagmatic explosions (caused by overheated steam and/or contact between water and magma), with associated ballistic ejections, pyroclastic flows and ash falls could occur any time with little to no warning.

Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): Activity at the volcano (in persistent strombolian eruption) has increased. Geohazards raised the status of the volcano to 2:

View of Yasur volcano.

"Yasur activity has changed. Explosions become intense, volcanic bombs may fall in and/or around the crater and volcanic gas and ashes can also affect some villages. The area of risk remains around the volcanic crater and in areas expose to trade winds."

Ubinas (Peru): Another small explosion occurred this afternoon at the volcano, similar to the event a week ago. An ash plume rose approx. 500 m above the crater and quickly dissipated.

Ash plume from Ubinas volcano.

Rinjani (Lombok): According to local observers, the eruption has decreased in strength overall, although strombolian activity seems to still be intense and is visible on webcam images.

Ash plume from Rinjani this morning (Terra satellite / NASA)

The ash plume has been reduced to lengths of approx. 100-150 km and more southerly winds have pushed it towards the NW this morning, allowing the international airport of Lombok to reopen today.

INFRASTRUCTURE COLLAPSE: Plane Crashes In Somerset Village, England - Four People Killed!

Two men and two women were killed when a six-seater light aircraft crashed near Churchinford in the Blackdown Hills
just south of Taunton in Somerset (file picture), just before 11.45am today, police said.
November 15, 2015 - ENGLAND - Four people have died in a light aircraft crash in rural Somerset today.

Two men and two women were killed when the six-seater plane came down near Churchinford in the Blackdown Hills, south of Taunton, just before 11.45am.

The aircraft was en route from Surrey to Dunkeswell Aerodrome in east Devon when it crashed, Avon and Somerset Police said.

No further details about the plane are known at this stage and police have not yet released identities of the victims.

The plane crashed near the village of Churchinford, Somerset, as the plane travelled to Dunkeswell Aerodrome.

It's believed they could all be from the same family. 

The plane was only seven miles from its destination when it crashed over the picturesque Blackdown Hills. The cause of the crash in not yet known.

Superintendent Richard Corrigan said: 'This is a very sad incident in which four people have tragically lost their lives.

'It's too early to give any further details about the victims but we're ensuring specially-trained officers are making contact with their next of kin and giving them all the support they need.

'We've been working very closely with our colleagues from the other emergency services at the scene to make the area safe and ensure the resulting investigation can proceed.

'The Air Accidents Investigation Branch has been informed and is deploying a team of investigators.

A police was pictured at the scene tonight near to the picturesque Blackdown Hills. The cause of the crash is still unknown.

'There are road closures in place and we'd respectfully ask people not to attend the scene.'

Police said 27 fire and rescue personnel plus specialist vehicles, were sent to the scene, along with ambulances, the local air ambulance and a police helicopter.

The Hazardous Area Response Team based in nearby Exeter was also dispatched, as well as crews from Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service.

The aircraft was en route to Dunkeswell Airfield in east Devon (pictured) from Surrey when it crashed.

The quiet village of Churchinford is situated within the Blackdown Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty, on the River Otter, five miles south of Taunton.

An Air Accidents Investigation Branch spokesman said: 'The AAIB is aware of the incident and has deployed a team to undertake an investigation.'

The South West Ambulance Service and Devon Air Ambulance Trust say they were called to the crash at around 11.45am. - Daily Mail.