Posts Tagged ‘lava’

Mount Etna eruption closes airports and ‘knocks clocks 15 minutes fast’

July 11, 2011 Comments off


An eruption by Mount Etna on the Italian island of Sicily left a nearby airport closed and … locals turning up early for work.

The volcano spewed lava on to its south-eastern slopes on Saturday afternoon and winds swept ash further afield, stopping flights at Catania’s Fontanarossa airport.

The strong eruption – Etna’s fifth since the beginning of the year – was shortlived, but left the airport closed overnight.

Strong: An eruption on Mount Etna spews ash and lavaStrong: An eruption on Mount Etna spews ash and lava Read more…

Chile’s Puyehue volcano spews lava

June 22, 2011 Comments off

Lava has begun spilling from Chile’s Puyehue volcano, 18 days after it first erupted, but there’s no danger to nearby residents, according to the National Service of Geology and Mining.

But the ash cloud created by the eruption continues to wreak havoc on airlines around the world.

The Chilean airline LAN cancelled flights to Temuco and Valdivia in the south of the country, and a number of flights were suspended in Australia and New Zealand.

“Viscous lava has flowed slowly westward in a channel roughly 50 metres wide and 100 metres long,” the national geology service known as SERNAGEOMIN said in its latest report.

Last week, SERNAGEOMIN chief Enrique Valdivieso said the appearance of lava would signal Read more…

Hawaii Volcano May Overflow As Lava Levels Rise

June 10, 2011 Comments off

Rising lava levels at the Kilauea volcano in Hawaii are being monitored closely by scientists.

Video released by the US Geological Survey showed a stream of orange molten rock gathering at the volcano’s Halema’uma’u vent.

It represents a natural phenomena scientists call a pyroclastic flow, with lava surging into a lake where temperatures can rise as high as 700C.

The lake, which is believed to have formed in the later part of 2009, has been reported to resemble an above-ground swimming pool.

But there are concerns the lava level could overflow the rim – while there was also new activity at the Puu Oo crater, which appeared to be draining lava until recently.

Kilauea crater lava lake grows

May 31, 2011 Comments off


A raised lava lake, described by volcano scientists as looking “somewhat like an above-ground swimming pool,” has been building since lava returned to Pu‘u ‘O‘o crater in March, scientists from the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory reported.

The rim of the raised lava lake was about Read more…

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800-Mile-Wide Hot Anomaly Found Under Seafloor off Hawaii

May 27, 2011 Comments off


Magma spills into the sea at Kilauea, Hawaii. Hot lava spills into the sea from under a hardened lava crust on the Big Island of Hawaii (file picture).

Photograph by Patrick McFeeley, National Geographic

Dave Mosher

for National Geographic News

Updated May 27, 2011 (First posted May 26, 2011)

Hawaii‘s traditional birth story—that the volcanic islands were, and are, fueled by a hot-rock plume running directly to Earth’s scorching core—could be toast, a new study hints.

(See pictures of a recent eruption Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano.)

Scientists say they’ve found solid evidence of a giant mass of hot rock under the seafloor in the region. But it’s not a plume running straight from the core to the surface—and it’s hundreds of miles west of the nearest Hawaiian island.

Until now, the researchers say, good seismic data on the region has been scarce, so it was tough to question the Read more…

Mathematical Model shows Volcanoes Re-awaken in Mere Months

March 10, 2011 Comments off

Mathematical Model shows Volcanoes Re-awaken in Mere Months

Until now, it was thought that, once a volcano’s magma chamber had cooled down, it remained dormant for centuries before it could be remobilized by fresh magma. A theoretical model developed by Alain Burgisser of the Orléans Institute of Earth Sciences (Institut des Sciences de la Terre d’Orléans – CNRS/Universités d’Orléans et de Tours) together with a U.S. researcher, was tested on two major eruptions and completely overturned this hypothesis: the reawakening of a chamber could take place in just a few months. This research should lead to a reassessment of the dangerousness of some dormant volcanoes. It is published in the journal Nature dated March, 3 2011.

A magma chamber is a large reservoir of molten rock (magma) located several kilometers beneath a volcano, which it feeds with magma. But what happens to the magma chamber when the volcano is not erupting? According to volcanologists, it cools down to an extremely viscous mush until fresh magma from deep inside the Earth ‘reawakens’ it — in other words, fluidizes it by heating it through thermal contact. The large size of magma chambers (ranging from a few tenths to a few hundred cubic kilometers) explains why, according to this theory, it takes several hundred or even thousand years for the heat to spread to the whole reservoir, awakening the volcano from its dormant state.

However, according to the mathematical model developed by Burgisser and his U.S. colleague, George Bergantz, of the Earth and Space Science Department, Seattle, reheating takes place in three stages. When fresh hot Read more…

Categories: volcano Tags: , , ,

Japan volcano erupts again with massive blast of gas, ash and rocks

February 2, 2011 Comments off
Dome of lava is seen at a eruptive crater at Shinmoedake peak between Miyazaki and Kagoshima prefectures January 31, 2011. More than 1,000 people in southern Japan have been urged to evacuate as a volcano picked up its activities, spewing ashes and small rocks into air and disrupting airline operations, a municipal official said on Monday. (Xinhua/Reuters Photo)

TOKYO, Feb. 1 (Xinhua) — A volcano located on a mountain range on the island of Kyushu, southwest Japan, erupted for the second time Tuesday in an explosion local officials said was five times bigger than the one last Wednesday.

The eruption sent an enormous plume of gas, ash and rocks shooting as high as 2,000 meters into the air and the blast smashed windows in hotels and offices as far away as eight kilometers, local reports said.

As yet no deaths have been reported as a result of the eruption, although one women was cut by shattered glass and felled trees caused by the blast have been hindering traffic in the region, local officials said.

Following the latest blast, the Japan Meteorological Agency raised the alert level from Read more…

Violent Seismic Activity Tearing Africa in Two

January 22, 2011 Comments off

University of Bristol / Lorraine Field

The fissures began appearing years ago. But in recent months, seismic activity has accelerated in northeastern Africa as the continent breaks apart in slow motion. Researchers say that lava in the region is consistent with magma normally seen on the sea floor — and that water will ultimately cover the desert.

Cynthia Ebinger, a geologist from the University of Rochester in New York, could hardly believe what the caller from the deserts of Ethiopia was saying. It was an employee at a mineralogy company — and he reported that the famous Erta Ale volcano in northeastern Ethiopia was erupting. Ebinger, who has studied the volcano for years, was taken aback. The volcano’s crater had always been filled with a bubbling soup of silver-black lava, but it had been decades since its last eruption.

The call came last November. And Ebinger immediately flew to Ethiopia with some fellow researchers. “The volcano was bubbling over; flaming-red lava was shooting up into the sky,” Ebinger told SPIEGEL ONLINE. Read more…

USGS records sights and sounds of Hawaii Volcano

January 21, 2011 Comments off

The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory has been keeping a close eye on the fascinating activity at the summit of the Kilaeua volcano.

This footage – taken last week – shows spattering of the lava lake within the Halemaumau vent. The video also captures audio from the vent, which sounds like the churning of the ocean.

In recent weeks, geologists have observed high lava stands – which is what the scientists call the rise-and-fall cycles of the lava lake – at the summit of the active volcano. For each high stand, the lava surface rose several meters over a base level of about 395 ft. below the Halema`uma`u Crater floor.

The lava lake continues to have an overall north-to-south circulation.

Since early 2010, glow has been most intense between high stands from the Jaggar Museum Overlook overnight.

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