tagged w/ Volcano
Volcano Location: Greenhouse-Icehouse Key? Episodic Purging of 'Carbonate Capacitor' Drives Long-Term Climate CycleFeb. 6, 2013 — A new Rice University-led study finds the real estate mantra "location, location, location" may also explain one of Earth's enduring climate mysteries. The study suggests that Earth's repeated flip-flopping between greenhouse and icehouse states over the past 500 million years may have been driven by the episodic flare-up of volcanoes at key locations where enormous amounts of carbon dioxide are poised for release into the atmosphere.
"We found that Earth's continents serve as enormous 'carbonate capacitors,'" said Rice's Cin-Ty Lee, the lead author of the study in this month's GeoSphere. "Continents store massive amounts of carbon dioxide in sedimentary carbonates like limestone and marble, and it appears that these reservoirs are tapped from time to time by volcanoes, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere."
Lee said as much as 44 percent of carbonates by weight is carbon dioxide. Under most circumstances that carbon stays locked inside Earth's rigid continental crust.
"One process that can release carbon dioxide from these carbonates is interaction with magma," he said. "But that rarely happens on Earth today because most volcanoes are located on island arcs, tectonic plate boundaries that don't contain continental crust."
Earth's climate continually cycles between greenhouse and icehouse states, which each last on timescales of 10 million to 100 million years. Icehouse states -- like the one Earth has been in for the past 50 million years -- are marked by ice at the poles and periods of glacial activity. By contrast, the warmer greenhouse states are marked by increased carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and by an ice-free surface, even at the poles. The last greenhouse period lasted about 50 million to 70 million years and spanned the late Cretaceous, when dinosaurs roamed, and the early Paleogene, when mammals began to diversify.
Lee and colleagues found that the planet's greenhouse-icehouse oscillations are a natural consequence of plate tectonics. The research showed that tectonic activity drives an episodic flare-up of volcanoes along continental arcs, particularly during periods when oceans are forming and continents are breaking apart. The continental arc volcanoes that arise during these periods are located on the edges of continents, and the magma that rises through the volcanoes releases enormous quantities of carbon dioxide as it passes through layers of carbonates in the continental crust.
Lee, professor of Earth science at Rice, led the four-year study, which was co-authored by three Rice faculty members and additional colleagues at the University of Tokyo, the University of British Columbia, the California Institute of Technology, Texas A&M University and Pomona College.
Lee said the study breaks with conventional theories about greenhouse and icehouse periods.
"The standard view of the greenhouse state is that you draw carbon dioxide from the deep Earth interior by a combination of more activity along the mid-ocean ridges -- where tectonic plates spread -- and massive breakouts of lava called 'large igneous provinces,'" Lee said. "Though both of these would produce more carbon dioxide, it is not clear if these processes alone could sustain the atmospheric carbon dioxide that we find in the fossil record during past greenhouses."
Lee is a petrologist and geochemist whose research interests include the formation and evolution of continents as well as the connections between deep Earth and its oceans and atmosphere..
Lee said the conclusions in the study developed over several years, but the initial idea of the research dates to an informal chalkboard-only seminar at Rice in 2008. The talk was given by Rice oceanographer and study co-author Jerry Dickens, a paleoclimate expert; Lee and Rice geodynamicist Adrian Lenardic, another co-author, were in the audience.
"Jerry was talking about seawater in the Cretaceous, and he mentioned that 93.5 million years ago there was a mass extinction of deepwater organisms that coincided with a global marine anoxic event -- that is, the deep oceans became starved of oxygen," Lee said. "Jerry was talking about the impact of anoxic conditions on the biogeochemical cycles of trace metals in the ocean, but I don't remember much else that he said that day because it had dawned on me that 93 million years ago was a very interesting time for North America. There was a huge flare-up of volcanism along the western margin of North America, and the peak of all this activity was 93 million years ago.
"I thought, 'Wow!'" Lee recalled. "I know coincidence doesn't mean causality, but it certainly got me thinking. I decided to look at whether the flare-up in volcanic activity that helped create the Sierra Nevada Mountains may also have affected Earth's climate."
Over the next two years, Lee developed the idea that continental-arc volcanoes could pump carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. One indicator was evidence from Mount Etna in Sicily, one of the few active continental-arc volcanoes in the world today. Etna produces large amounts of carbon dioxide, Lee said, so much that it is often considered an outlier in global averages of modern volcanic carbon dioxide production.
Tectonic and petrological evidence indicated that many Etna-like volcanoes existed during the Cretaceous greenhouse, Lee said. He and colleagues traced the likely areas of occurrence by looking for tungsten-rich minerals like scheelite, which are formed on the margins of volcanic magma chambers when magma reacts with carbonates. It wasn't easy; Lee spent an entire year pouring through World War II mining surveys from the western U.S. and Canada, for example.
"There is evidence to support our idea, both in the geological record and in geophysical models, the latter of which show plausibility," he said. For example, in a companion paper published last year in G-Cubed, Lenardic used numerical models that showed the opening and breakup of continents could change the nature of subduction zones, generating oscillations between continental- and island-arc dominated states.
Though the idea in the GeoSpheres study is still a theory, Lee said, it has some advantages over more established theories because it can explain how the same basic set of geophysical conditions could produce and sustain a greenhouse or an icehouse for many millions of years.
"The length of subduction zones and the number of arc volcanoes globally don't have to change," Lee said. "But the nature of the arcs themselves, whether they are continental or oceanic, does change. It is in the continental-arc stage that CO2 is released from an ever-growing reservoir of carbonates within the continents."
Rice co-authors include Dickens and Lenardic, both professors of Earth science; Rajdeep Dasgupta, assistant professor of Earth science; Bing Shen, postdoctoral research associate; Benjamin Slotnick, graduate student; and Kelley Liao, a graduate student who began work on the project as undergraduate. Additional co-authors include Yusuke Yokoyama of the University of Tokyo, Mark Jellinek of the University of British Columbia, Jade Star Lackey of Pomona College, Tapio Schneider of Caltech and Michael Tice of Texas A&M. The research was supported by the Packard Foundation, the Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute at the University of Tokyo, the National Science Foundation and the Miller Institute at the University of California, Berkeley.Feb. 6, 2013 — A new Rice University-led study finds the real estate mantra... more
Scientists are on alert and closely monitoring the increasing activity with an Alaskan volcano.
http://www.examiner.com/article/dome-of-alaskan-volcano-swells-threatens-to-spew-ash-cloudScientists are on alert and closely monitoring the increasing activity with an Alaskan... more
Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year, spewing steam, ash, toxic gases, and lava. In 2012, active volcanoes included Guatemala's Volcan de Fuego, New Zealand's Tongariro, Russia's Plosky Tolbachik, Chile's Puyehue, Italy's Etna, and a new island appearing in the Red Sea. In Hawaii, Kilauea continues to send lava flowing toward the sea, and locals living near Mexico's Popocatepetl continued to deal with ashfalls. Collected below are scenes from the wide variety of volcanic activity on Earth over the past year. [39 photos]
Definitely check out the amazing photographs at the link.Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every... more
Officials say Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano has erupted, forcing more than 100 people to evacuate as ash rains down on nearby areas.
http://www.examiner.com/article/photos-ecuador-s-tungurahua-volcano-erupts-force-evacuationsOfficials say Ecuador's Tungurahua volcano has erupted, forcing more than 100... more
The clock's ticking
http://mytinyspot.blogspot.com/2012/08/gop-election-theft-and-motivating.html#axzz24B18KfDuThe clock's ticking... more
Scientists believe a large eruption of New Zealand's Mount Tongariro is possible, if not imminent after seeing the test sample results of the volcano.
http://www.examiner.com/article/magma-high-inside-new-zealand-volcano-indicates-possible-large-eruptionScientists believe a large eruption of New Zealand's Mount Tongariro is possible,... more
An inactive New Zealand volcano has come alive after more than a century with an eruption of ash and rocks, disrupting flights, temporarily closing highways and prompting searches for hikers potentially affected, officials said.
http://www.examiner.com/article/new-zealand-volcano-comes-alive-erupts-for-first-time-more-than-a-centuryAn inactive New Zealand volcano has come alive after more than a century with an... more
Jun 28, 2012
Following days of almost continual earthquakes, residents of the small Canary island of El Hierro are once again living in fear of a volcanic eruption as their island begins to lift.
According to the National Geographic Institute of Spain, increases in seismic activity on the island has seen literally hundreds of earthquakes, known as a swarm, shaking the island and gradually increasing in strength since June 25. Around 750 earthquakes have been recorded although few have been strong enough to be felt by the residents until the last two days.
The island has been placed on yellow alert by the security committee in charge of operations as the earthquakes increase. The largest so far was registered at 4.0 on the Richter scale on Wednesday June 27.
More frightening for the approximately 10,000 residents is the fact that a bulge has developed in the island, lifting it five centimetres in four days. Whereas the volcanic activity of 2011 was based out at sea, this time the magma appears to be forming right underneath the island and the pressure is building. Scientists on the island are using the position of the earthquake epicentres to try and work out where the magma from the volcano will come to the surface.The longer it takes to find a vent, the more the pressure from the magma will grow and the larger any possible eruption is likely to be.
(more at link)Jun 28, 2012 Following days of almost continual earthquakes, residents of the small... more
BY TELIS DEMOS ---------------- Long-distance rail travel is the last way to observe the landscape of the Eastern Seaboard without enduring long stretches of overcrowded four-lane highways. So I recently planned a train ride from New York to Baltimore. I expected it to be inspiring. America’s railways had once been the finest in the world, and its first taste of “world class” in the mid-nineteenth century had been along the corridor between the colonial centers of the Coast. The landscape that is quite visible along the corridor— and throughout the Northeastern United States—is dotted not by the belching smokestacks and bustling equipment that were once the great awe- and fear-inspiring image of modern capitalism, but by obsolescence. Huge factories are silent and abandoned. The expansive gravel lots are littered with empty and rusting rail cars. http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/your-details/43070-the-hidden-side-of-capitalism-capitalism-and-the-stateBY TELIS DEMOS ---------------- Long-distance rail travel is the last way to observe... more
Their music itself is “natural,” but more in the sense of a volcano than a flower. “Two young Japanese girls form a rock duo from Osaka, JAPAN!” their website offers by way of explanation, “Creating Naked rock!!!!! Naked soul!!! Red red strong red dress!! Freeeeeedom paradise rock! Jump! With improvisation.” In the three years since the birth of Afrirampo (a nonsense word the band insists to mean, of course, “naked”), Yasashii (drums) and Beppin (guitar) have been spreading their naked rock far and wide, sometimes actually in the nude, otherwise clad in their signature “strong red dresses.” ----------- Kaseo has taken his love of the most adorable Pokemon ever, Pikachu to a whole new level and he now even has a marvelous collection of musical instruments built from modified Pikachu toys.nnOf course these things are as annoying as hell, but I’m sure the kids will love it as much as they love unicorns. The 12 Pikachu orchestra also makes a great case for itself. But the Bent Pikachu Limited Edition definitely takes the cake with its shrill performance that is sure leave a lot of eardrums and thresholds of patience shattered! http://www.makeahistory.com/index.php/album-rewievs/43069-new-japan-impro-noise-afrirampo-red-red-strong-12-pikachu-orchestraTheir music itself is “natural,” but more in the sense of a volcano than a... more
A mysterious, centuries-long cool spell, dubbed the Little Ice Age, appears to have been caused by a series of volcanic eruptions and sustained by sea ice, a new study indicates.
The research, which looked at chemical clues preserved in Arctic vegetation as well as other data, also pinpointed the start of the Little Ice Age to the end of the 13th century.
During the cool spell, which lasted into the late 19th century, advancing glaciers destroyed northern European towns and froze the Thames River in London and canals in the Netherlands, places that are now ice-free. There is also evidence it affected other continents.
"This is the first time anyone has clearly identified the specific onset of the cold times marking the start of the Little Ice Age," said Gifford Miller, a geological sciences professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and the lead study researcher. "We also have provided an understandable climate feedback system that explains how this cold period could be sustained for a long period of time."
The cause appears to have been massive tropical volcanic eruptions, which spewed tiny particles called aerosols into the atmosphere. While suspended in the air, the aerosols reflect solar radiation back into space, cooling the planet below.
The cooling was sustained after the aerosols had left the atmosphere by a sea-ice feedback in the North Atlantic Ocean, the researchers believe. Expanding sea ice would have melted into the North Atlantic Ocean, interfering with the normal mixing between surface and deeper waters. This meant the water flowing back to the Arctic was colder, helping to sustain large areas of sea ice, which, in turn, reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere. The result was a self-sustaining feedback loop.
Miller and colleagues came to these conclusions by looking at radiocarbon dates — based on how much of the radioactive form of carbon they contain — from dead plants revealed by melting ice on Baffin Island, in the Canadian Arctic. Their analysis found that many plants at both high and low altitudes died between A.D. 1275 and A.D. 1300 — evidence that Baffin Island froze over suddenly. Many plants also appeared to have died at around A.D. 1450, an indication of a second major cooling.
These periods coincide with two of the most volcanically active half centuries in the past millennium, according to the researchers.
They also found that the annual layers in sediment cores from a glacial lake linked with an ice cap in Iceland suddenly became thicker, indicating increased erosion caused by the expansion of the ice cap in the late 13th century and in the 15th century .
"This gave us a great deal more confidence that there was a major perturbation to the Northern Hemisphere climate near the end of the 13th century," Miller said.
Simulations using a climate model showed that several large, closely spaced eruptions could have cooled the Northern Hemisphere enough to spark sea-ice growth and the subsequent feedback loop.
It's unlikely decreased solar radiation, a separate theory to explain the Little Ice Age, played a role, according to the researchers.
The research will appear Tuesday (Jan. 31) in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.
By Wynne Parry, LiveScience Senior Writer / January 31, 2012A mysterious, centuries-long cool spell, dubbed the Little Ice Age, appears to have... more
Looking for some new lake-front property? Here’s the newest available on the planet. Volcanic activity in the Red Sea that started in mid-December has created what looks like a new island.
The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) on NASA’s Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite captured a high-resolution, natural-color image on December 23, 2011 showing an apparent island where previously there was none. Here, a thick plume of volcanic ash
still rises from the new island.
According to the NASA Earth Observatory website, the volcanic activity occurred along the Zubair Group, a collection of small islands off the west coast of Yemen. The islands poke above the sea surface, rising from a shield volcano. This region is part of the Red Sea Rift where the African and Arabian tectonic plates pull apart and new ocean crust regularly forms.
According to news reports, fishermen witnessed lava fountains reaching up to 30 meters (90 feet) tall on December 19.
http://www.universetoday.com/92163/as-seen-from-space-volcanic-eruption-creates-new-island-in-the-red-sea/Looking for some new lake-front property? Here’s the newest available on the... more
Hundreds of metres under one of Iceland's largest glaciers there are signs of an imminent volcanic eruption that could be one of the most powerful the country has seen in almost a century.
Mighty Katla, with its 10km (6.2 mile) crater, has the potential to cause catastrophic flooding as it melts the frozen surface of its caldera and sends billions of gallons of water surging through Iceland's east coast and into the Atlantic Ocean.
"There has been a great deal of seismic activity," says Ford Cochran, the National Geographic's expert on Iceland.
"There have been more than 500 tremors in and around the caldera of Katla just in the last month, which suggests the motion of magma. And that certainly suggests an eruption may be imminent."
Scientists in Iceland have been closely monitoring the area since 9 July, when there appears to have been some sort of disturbance that may have been a small eruption.
Eruption 'long overdue'
Even that caused significant flooding, washing away a bridge across the country's main highway and blocking the only link to other parts of the island for several days.
"The July 9 event seems to mark the beginning of a new period of unrest for Katla, the fourth we know in the last half century," says Professor Pall Einarsson, who has been studying volcanoes for 40 years and works at the Iceland University Institute of Earth Sciences.
"The possibility that it may include a larger eruption cannot be excluded," he continues. "Katla is a very active and versatile volcano. It has a long history of large eruptions, some of which have caused considerable damage."
The last major eruption occurred in 1918 and caused such a large glacier meltdown that icebergs were swept by the resulting floods into the ocean.
The volume of water produced in a 1755 eruption equalled that of the world's largest rivers combined.
Thanks to the great works of historic literature known as the Sagas, Iceland's volcanic eruptions have been well documented for the last 1,000 years.
But comprehensive scientific measurements were not available in 1918, so volcanologists have no record of the type of seismic activity that led to that eruption.
All they know is that Katla usually erupts every 40 to 80 years, which means the next significant event is long overdue.
More at the linkHundreds of metres under one of Iceland's largest glaciers there are signs of an... more
An Indonesian volcano sent lava and smoke thousands of feet into the air on Thursday, June 14, sending panicked residents fleeing the area as hot lava cascaded down the slopes. According to disaster management agency official Brian Rulrone, the first eruption of Mt Lokon occurred at 10:46 p.m. It was preceded by a second, more powerful blast just after midnight and a third at 1:10 a.m.
There were no reports of casualties, though one woman died of a heart attack in the chaos.
Video report here:
http://www.politicalfailblog.com/2011/07/indonesia-volcano-erupting-as-thousands.html?utm_source=BP_recentAn Indonesian volcano sent lava and smoke thousands of feet into the air on Thursday,... more
Diver swimming in the Volcanic Ash from Puyehue Volcano (Raw Video)
Diver trying to swim in the lake Nahuel Huapi,
which is covered by a thick layer of volcanic ash
emitted by the volcano Puyehue.
lake,Nahuel,Huapi,swimmer,2011Diver swimming in the Volcanic Ash from Puyehue Volcano (Raw Video) YouTube... more
Chile Volcano Erupts (Breathtaking Raw Video) 4th June 2011
Breath taking Video June 13th 2011