Volcano Erupts, Spewing Gas Over Kuril Islands
|By The Moscow Times
Aug 16, 2012 – 10:33:59 AM
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A volcano erupted on one of Russia’s far eastern Kuril Islands, releasing a cloud of noxious fumes and raising temperatures in the surrounding area.
Emergency officials said in a statement on their website that the volcano, called Ivan the Terrible and located on the sparsely populated island of Iturup to the south of the Kuril archipelago, erupted Wednesday due to increased water flows rushing into the volcano after heavy downpours.
Officials stressed that the volcano had released no lava and that it erupts regularly, adding that the last major eruption was in 1989.
According to the statement, Iturup residents were exposed to a slight smell of hydrogen peroxide and noticed ash falling as a result of the eruption. By Thursday, the hydrogen peroxide fumes and ash were no longer noticeable.
Emergency officials advised citizens to steer clear of Ivan the Terrible and said they were monitoring the volcano’s activity.
62: Ivan Groznyy volcano erupts in Kuril Islands
August 16, 2012 – KURIL ISLANDS – The Ivan Groznyy (“Ivan the Terrible”) volcano erupted early on Thursday morning on the island of Iturup, part of the Kuril group in Russia’s Far East. The volcano spewed a column of ash onto the surrounding area. Local people in the nearest towns, Goryachiye Klyuchi (9 kilometers away) and the city of Kurilsk (25 kilometers), noticed a faint smell of hydrogen sulfide gas, which disappeared later. The eruption poses no threat to nearby human settlements. Scientists recorded signs of the impending eruption on Wednesday, when gas emissions on the volcano’s northeast slope increased, a Sakhalin region Emergency Ministry representative told RIA Novosti. Observation of the volcano continues.
The last time the volcano erupted was in 1989
Simmering giant: 38 gas emissions reported from Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano
August 15, 2012 – MEXICO CITY, México - The Popocatepetl volcano registered 38 exhalations in the last 24 hours and one on the morning of Tuesday, was accompanied by slight amount of ash, as reported by the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred). In his report at 11:00 hours, indicated that all the exhalations of the last 24 hours were of low intensity, of which the most important were: one at 15:47 hours on Monday, another at 3:23 and most recently at 8:29, which was accompanied by ash. Bad weather conditions that prevailed during the Monday afternoon and Tuesday morning has obstructed visibility and, therefore, it is unclear which direction dispersed emissions from the volcano traveled. From the morning until the time of writing this report there is a plume of water vapor and gas that rises a few meters above the crater, due to strong wind that goes to the northwest. The report makes no reference to seismic activity associated with the volcano or possible ashfall in neighboring towns.
Source of Mysterious Pumice ‘Raft’ in Pacific Found, NASA Says
By Earth Changes Media
Aug 14, 2012 – 3:01:20 AM
The source of an enormous floating mass of pumice spotted this week in the South Pacific Ocean off the coast of New Zealand has been discovered: NASA satellite images and other sleuthing science have pinpointed an erupting undersea volcano called the Havre Seamount as the culprit.
Where the huge floating mass came from was a mystery. At the time, according to the Royal Navy, scientists thought an underwater volcano, possibly the Monowai seamount, which has been erupting along the so-called Kermadec arc, was responsible.
However, though Monowai is several hundred miles to the north of the pumice raft, and it was known to have erupted on Aug. 3, scientists have now ruled it out: An airline pilot reported seeing pumice as early as Aug. 1, according to a statement by NASA.
To finger the source, scientists looked to earthquake records and satellite imagery. New Zealand’s GNS Science organization and scientists from Tahiti suggested a connection between the pumice raft and a cluster of earthquakes in the Kermadec Islands on July 17-18. (As magma rises from undersea volcanoes, pushing its way through cracks in the seafloor, the pressure can lead to earthquakes.)
Tofua volcano erupts, sending ash cloud 3,000 feet above Tonga Islands?
August 14, 2012 – TONGA – A “new” volcano just entered the watch list: Out in the Pacific, a pilot observed an ash cloud rising from Tofua volcano to 3,000 ft (ca. 1 km) in the Tonga Islands at 04:42 GMT, VAAC Wellington reports. The volcano last erupted in 2009. –Volcano Discovery. Historical background: Tofua Caldera, in Tonga, is the summit caldera of a steep-sided composite cone that forms Tofua Island. Tofua Island is in Tonga’s Ha’apai island group. Pre-caldera activity is recorded by a sequence of pyroclastic deposits and lavas constituting the older cone, followed on the northern part of the island by froth lavas or welded and unwelded ignimbrite. Following caldera collapse, lavas were erupted from the northern part of the island and the caldera-rim fissure zone, scoria and lavas from the caldera-wall fissure zones, pyroclastics and lavas from intracaldera cones, and recent pyroclastic fall deposits on the outer cone. Eruptive products are mainly basaltic andesites and andesites, plus occasional dacite flows within the older cone. A post-caldera cone with fumarolic activity (Lofia) is situated in the northern part of the caldera; a crater lake with 500 m (1,600 ft) depth occupies most of the remainder. Most historical eruptions have been small explosions from Lofia cone along the northern caldera rim. The eruptions of 1958-59 caused most of the islanders to evacuate for a year or more.
Volcano Grows at Astounding Rate
By Earth Changes Media
Aug 14, 2012 – 12:32:12 AM
An astounding pulse of destruction and growth at an underwater volcano north of New Zealand has provided a new insight into the behavior of submarine mountains.
The Monowai seamount, which lies at the intersection of the Pacific and Indo-Australian tectonic plates at the Tonga-Kermadec subduction zone, underwent one of the fastest episodes of volcano growth documented on Earth.
It added about 8.75 million cubic metres of rock to its summit – a volume equal to 3500 Olympic-size swimming pools – in just five days.
New lava flows raised that area by 79.1 metres, while part of the volcano’s summit collapsed by as much as 18.8 metres. Most striking was the creation of an entirely new volcanic cone.
The changes were measured by crew aboard the research vessel Sonne who had set out on a routine mapping expedition in the South Pacific last autumn.
Their findings have been published online in the journal Nature Geoscience. The article’s authors include GNS Science geologist and geochemist Cornel de Ronde.
As they surveyed the seafloor near Monowai seamount in mid-May 2011 the crew noticed yellow-green water and gas bubbles rising above the volcano.
As the ship was leaving the area, near Tonga, it went through a patch of discoloured water with a strong smell, like rotten eggs, Oxford University geologist Anthony Watts said.
While the ship was surveying another area, a seismic station in the Cook Islands detected an intense five-day swarm of seismic activity and traced it to an eruption at Monowai seamount, MSNBC reported.
Watts and the ship returned in early June to find that part of the Monowai volcano had collapsed and another part had grown in dramatic fashion.
The new material lifting the peak was most likely magma that had erupted and hardened the week before, Watts, who led the study, said.
The rapid changes at Monowai suggest that the volcano grows and collapses in dramatic pulses.
Pumice float traced to eruption of previously dormant Havre volcano: Pacific quake swarm awakened volcano
August 13, 2012 – WELLINGTON, New Zealand – A swarm of more than 150 earthquakes over two days last month caused a previously dormant volcano to erupt beneath the Pacific Ocean, a scientist said Monday. The eruption of the Havre Volcano, about halfway between New Zealand and Tonga, is believed to have caused a floating island of pumice larger than 4,000 square miles that was encountered by a New Zealand navy ship last week. Cornel de Ronde, principal scientist of New Zealand’s Institute of Geological and Nuclear Sciences, told Radio New Zealand the source of the pumice had been identified in cooperation with French researchers in Tahiti who monitor earthquakes in the southwest Pacific. “When they looked at their physical records they saw that on July 17th and 18th, there were some 157 earthquakes of magnitudes between 3.0 and 4.8,” he said. De Ronde said they occurred near the time of the first sighting of the pumice ‘raft.’ When the institute looked at its database, it found the Havre volcano, which it had previously surveyed. It was a caldera volcano, like White Island off the west coast of New Zealand’s North Island, which erupted last week, but the Havre was not thought to have erupted before, he said. De Ronde said the pumice island was so light that it had floated several hundred kilometers from the volcano when it was encountered by the HMNZS Canterbury, which took samples last week. Scientists were also analyzing samples of rock ejected from Mount Tongariro, on New Zealand’s North Island, to try to find out why it erupted a week ago for the first time in 115 years.
There is no known record of the Havre volcano erupting during the Holocene period.
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