Monday, January 18, 2016

GLOBAL VOLCANISM: Zhupanovsky Volcano Erupts In Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula - Spews Ash 8km High!

Zhupanovsky volcano eruption on 19 January 2016.
© Institute of Volcanology and Seismology FEB RAS, KVERT

January 18, 2016 - RUSSIA - An "orange" code of warning for the aviation has been issued, and travel companies have been asked not to organize tours to the areas close to the Zhupanovsky volcano

The Zhupanovsky volcano in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Tuesday released ash to the height of 8 kilometers above the sea level after almost two months of relative calm, a member of the local group of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has said. "Today at around 4.30 p.m. local time [3.30 a.m. GMT] the Zhupanovsky volcano spewed ash to the height of up to 8 kilometers [5 miles] above the sea level.

The ash column could be seen with the naked eye from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and some other settlements," the scientist said. Experts said the ash cloud spreads in the eastern direction towards the Pacific Ocean. The populated areas are currently not under threat. "At the moment, the ash cloud has spread to 20 kilometers and it continues moving towards the ocean," the member of the group said. An "orange" code of warning for the aviation has been issued.

Travel companies have been asked not to organize tours to the areas close to the Zhupanovsky volcano. The Aviation Color Codes reflect four levels of danger posed for civilian aircraft overflying areas adjacent to volcanoes and range from 'Green' to 'Red' codes. According to the International Airways Volcano Watch system (IAVW) the 'Orange' code stands for "Volcano is exhibiting heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption" or "Volcanic eruption is underway with no or minor ash emission."

The Zhupanovsky volcano is located in eastern Kamchatka, some 70 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Zhupanovsky is one of the least studied volcanoes in the region despite its proximity to a large city. It is a complex volcano composed of four overlapping cones aligned on a roughly east-west oriented axis, with the highest cone reaching 2,958 meters high, and the lowest one being 2,505 meters high. - TASS.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Sinkholes Keep Popping Up Across The United States - Giant Sinkhole Appears Near Craig Hospital In Englewood, Colorado! [VIDEO]

A sinkhole nearly six feet deep opened up near Craig Hospital in Englewood Monday morning.© Noel Brennan/KUSA

January 18, 2016 - COLORADO, UNITED STATES - A sinkhole nearly six feet deep opened up near Craig Hospital in Englewood Monday morning.

Englewood Police got the call of the sinkhole, which is near the 3500 block of south Clarkson Street, around 8:10 a.m.

Police estimate the sinkhole is about ten feet long, five feet wide and six feet deep. They say it opened up after a water main break.

Clarkson Street is closed between East Hampden Avenue and East Girard Avenue.

Nearby Swedish and Craig Hospitals are not affected by the sinkhole.

There is no estimated time on when roads will reopen.

WATCH: Englewood sinkhole.

- 9 News.

RATTLE & HUM: Mysterious Sounds Heard Across The Planet - Strange, Inexplicable Rumblings In Vermont Blamed On "Frost Quakes"?!

January 18, 2016 - VERMONT, UNITED STATES - This year's unseasonably warm winter weather mixed with waves of bitterly cold air has brought a rare and often frightening natural phenomenon back to Vermont—Cryoseisms. A cryoseism, or frost quake, occurs after a sudden deep freezing of the ground, when the pressure created from water expanding into ice abruptly causes stress fractures in underground soil and rocks. The result of these fractures can produce localized ground shaking and noises similar to an earthquake. While usually alarming, frost quakes typically pose little physical harm beyond occasionally causing a small crack in the ground where the frost quake occurred.

On the night of January 8, 2016 and morning of January 12, 2016, several Shelburne residents in the vicinity of the La Platte River near Falls Road reported hearing mysterious sounds that many equated to an earthquake. One resident, despite not living near a highway, described the event as similar to the rumblings caused by a large semi-truck driving nearby, while another on Front Porch Forum likened her experience to a large boulder rolling towards her house. In each case, the startled residents described the sound as very loud and different from thunder, but no one at the time could explain exactly what caused the earthquake-like tremors.

After speaking with state geologist, Marjorie Gale, and confirming that there was no seismic activity on either of those days, she explained that in 1955, geologists mistakenly reported frost quakes in Burlington as minor earthquakes in the state's earthquake catalog, and that local frost quakes could have caused the mysterious rumblings in Shelburne. However, given their relative infrequency and generally minor effects, the Vermont Geological Survey does not track frost quakes. As a result, there is little historical scientific data regarding the geographic locations, cause, or frequency of frost quakes in the state.

According to Weatherwise magazine, for a frost quake event to occur, the ground must be saturated with water, have minimal snow accumulation, and experience a large temperature drop from around freezing to near zero degrees Fahrenheit over the course of 16 to 48 hours. The last reported frost quakes to happen in our area occurred following an ice storm in December 2013. After a high temperature of 42°F and rain on December 29, 2013, the temperatures plummeted to a low of 3°F on December 30, 2013, resulting in several reported frost quakes throughout southern Canada, Vermont, and upstate New York.

Similarly, during both of the suspected frost quake events this year, the high temperature measured 39°F before dropping into the low teens at night. Furthermore, on January 10, 2016, the high temperature reached 53°F and we experienced over a half inch of rain that saturated the ground and removed any potentially insulating snow cover. Therefore, within a 48 hour period, temperatures dropped over 36°F exposing bare, saturated soil to an arctic blast of cold air; near perfect conditions for a frost quake. The same winter system that brought frost quakes to Shelburne also reportedly caused frost quakes in Dodge County, Wisconsin.

So, if the wild temperature swings of this winter continue, and you find yourself startled by mysterious rumblings or booms in the middle of the night, you may be in the epicenter of a frightening but benign frost quake. - Shelburne News.

PLANETARY TREMORS: Strong 6.0 Magnitude Earthquake Strikes East Of Fiji - USGS! [MAPS + TECTONIC SUMMARY]

USGS earthquake location.

January 18, 2016 - FIJI - A very shallow earthquake registered by Geoscience Australia as M6.1 hit south of Fiji at 18:24 UTC on January 18, 2016.

The agency is reporting a depth of 0 km. USGS is reporting M6.0 at a depth of 14.8 km (9.2 miles).

According to the USGS, the epicenter was located 171 km (106 miles) E of Ceva-i-Ra, 425 km (264 miles) SSW of Nadi and 436 km (271 miles) SSW of Suva, Fiji.

USGS shakemap intensity.

There are no people living within 100 km (62 miles) radius.

USGS issued a green alert for shaking-related fatalities and economic losses. There is a low likelihood of casualties and damage

Overall, the population in this region resides in structures that are vulnerable to earthquake shaking, though some resistant structures exist. - The Watchers.

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


GLOBAL ECONOMIC MELTDOWN: Precursors To A Global Financial Collapse - General Electric Plans To Cut 6,500 Jobs In Europe In The Next Two Years!

January 18, 2016 - EUROPE - General Electric plans to cut 6,500 jobs in Europe over the next two years, including 765 in France and 1,300 in Switzerland, the company said on Wednesday.

A GE spokesman in France said GE was sticking to its pledge to create 1,000 net jobs in France in the next three years as part of its acquisition of Alstom's energy business.

He added that the company was looking at job cuts at its headquarters in Levallois and La Defense, but not at Belfort, the heart of Alstom's former energy unit.

He said that unions had been informed on Tuesday and that talks would start on Wednesday. The jobs concerned were mainly in support functions such as human resources, legal and communication.

"This is a plan, which could change following discussion with employee representatives," he said.

He gave no details on which other countries would be hit, but GE said in a separate statement that it had begun talks with workers in Switzerland, where 1,300 jobs could be impacted by the measures.

Those cuts were expected to be in the gas and steam power businesses, which have experienced a slump in recent years.

GE's takeover of Alstom's energy business - which includes gas and steam turbines, wind turbines, turbines for hydro dams and power grids - added about 65,000 employees to GE's workforce of about 305,000 and significantly expanded GE's reach in the global market for power generation equipment.

The head of GE's power division said in September the company would seek to wring out $3 billion in cost savings over five years from the Alstom acquisition. - Reuters.

GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVALS: Planetary Transformations - Monster Sinkhole Opens Up In Road And Swallows Large Truck! [VIDEO]

January 18, 2016 - EARTH - This CCTV captures the moment a truck is completely swallowed up by a huge hole that suddenly appears in the road.

Captured on what appears to be stationary street CCTV cameras , it shows a large truck slowly driving down a small road.

On the back is a skip which is held down by metal chains.

Dated January 13, it is 11.46am and as the truck moves down the road - apparently preparing to join a busier, main road - the back end suddenly begins dropping.

At this point the road completely falls away, leaving a gaping hole - into which the truck plummets.

WATCH: See incredible moment massive sinkhole opens up in middle of road and swallows large truck.

As the dust settles, the cab of the truck is the only thing that remains sticking over the edge of the hole - with the rest having dropped down.

It is unclear where the footage was captured. - Daily Mirror.