Tag Archives: volcano

Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space for October 28, 2011 | Wired Science | Wired.com

Vulcan’s View: Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space for October 28, 2011 | Wired Science | Wired.com.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile

 

New Smithsonian/USGS Global Volcanism Program Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, new views of volcanoes from space!

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Chile

The eruption at Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle continues after starting in early June of this year. The current plume is much smaller than during the opening phases of the eruption, topping out at ~4.5 km (some as high as 7.5 km). However, high atmospheric winds are carrying the ash away and disrupting air travel throughout the region. Depending on the wind, the ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle is being carried 120-250 km from the vent, depending on the winds.

Once the ash and volcanic tephra is erupted, it isn’t the end to the hazard they pose. This image shows the accumulation of ash and volcanic tephra (video) on the waterways around Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, especially Lago Huishue, Gris and Constania on the eastern side of the image. Some smaller lakes are completely covered in volcanic debris. These deposits can be easily mobilized into the drainages and produce small lahars and mudflows that bring debris even further away. The drainage in the lower left hand side is grey with ash and volcanic debris that can clearly be seen entering Lago Puyehue as large, grey plumes. These accumulations of volcanic debris will likely be remobilized for years to decades after the eruption ends.

Image: The ash plume from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle seen on October 25, 2011. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory

 

Tungurahua, Ecuador

 

Tungurahua, Ecuador

Tungurahua, one of the more active volcanoes in South America, continues to rumble. Only 140 km from Quito, the volcano produced a 7.3 km / 24,000 ash/steam plume last week. The plume drifted in the opposite direction of the one pictured in this 2004 MODIS image of another eruption at Tungurahua.

Image: Ash plume from Tungurahua in Ecuador seen on January 14, 2004. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Karymsky and neighboring volcanoes, Russia

 

Karymsky and neighboring volcanoes, Russia

The busy Kamchatka peninsula is well represented yet again in this week’s Volcanic Activity Report. I’ll focus on the activity at Karymsky, which was mostly moderate ash plumes that reached ~3.3 km / 10,000 feet and a thermal anomaly noted at the summit. This likely means a plug or dome of hot magma is the summit of the volcano and is the source for the explosive activity producing the plume. What you see above is a 2006 image of a plume from Karymsky that also captures of its notable volcanic neighbors, including Kronotsky, Krasheninnikov, Kikhpinych, Bolshoi Semiachik and Akademia Nauk.

Image: A collection of Kamchatkan volcanoes seen on November 29, 2006. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Manam, Papau New Guinea

 

Manam, Papau New Guinea

Manam is an island volcano off Papau New Guinea and really, there is nothing else on the island except the volcano. It has been quite active over the last decade and evacuations of the few people who choose to live in Manam have been problematic with the constant activity, even after fatalities during an eruption in 2004. Currently the volcano is producing 3.7 km / 12,000 ash and steam plumes that drift east over the Pacific.

Image: A close up view of Manam in Papau New Guinea with young dark ash and lava flows on the flanks separated by green, vegetated areas. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

El Hierro, Canary Islands

 

El Hierro, Canary Islands

What Vulcan’s View would be complete without a shot of the ongoing eruption at El Hierro in the Canary Islands? This new image from October 27, 2011 shows the submarine plume from the new vents off the southern coast of El Hierro. Some of the material in the plume has made its way around the western shores to begin to wrap around the island. The most fascinating aspect of this plume is what sort of effect the plume will have on the ocean waters and ocean bottom environments, especially with how well mapped the plume has been by satellite. Be sure to check out the gallery of images from the BBC Mundo.

Image: An October 27, 2011 image of the submarine plume from the eruption at El Hierro. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Popocatépetl, Mexico

 

Popocatépetl, Mexico

The activity at Popocatépetl isn’t exactly headline grabbing: steam-and-ash plumes with maybe some very minimal ash deposits. Par for the course for the Mexican volcano. I included Popo just to remind people about the threat the volcano poses to Mexico City and its outlying communities.

Image: A January 4, 2011 image of a diffuse steam-and-ash plume from Popocatépetl in Mexico. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

 

Suwanose-jima, Japan

 

Suwanose-jima, Japan

Another regular in the Weekly Volcanic Activity Report, Suwanose-jima, is one of the many volcanoes of the Ryukyu Islands. Unlike Sakura-jima, which gets a lot of the attention due to its proximity to a populated area, Suwanose-jima is on an depopulated island. The former population of the island left due to the volcanic threat posed by Suwanose-jima. The 2009 image of the volcano shows a moderate ash plume extending to the northeast from Suwanose-jima.

Image: The thick ash plume from Japan’s Suwanose-jima as seen on July 5, 2009. Image courtesy of the NASA Earth Observatory.

El Hierro Submarine Eruption

El Hierro Submarine Eruption : Natural Hazards.

El Hierro Submarine Eruption

acquired October 23, 2011 download large image (779 KB, JPEG)
acquired October 23, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (3 MB, TIFF)

Off the coast of El Hierro, in the southwest reaches of the Canary Islands, Earth has been spewing gas and rock into the ocean. The island off the Atlantic coast of North Africa—built mostly from a shield volcano—has been rocked by thousands of tremors and earthquakes since July 2011, and an underwater volcanic eruption started in mid-October. The eruption is the first in the island chain in nearly 40 years.

On October 23, 2011, the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite captured this natural-color view of El Hierro and the North Atlantic Ocean surrounding it. A milky green plume in the water stretches 25-30 kilometers at its widest and perhaps 100 kilometers long, from a large mass near the coast to thin tendrils as it spreads to the southwest. The plume is likely a mix of volcanic gases and a blend of crushed pumice and seafloor rock.

Tremors were reported for the past several months from seismic stations on El Hierro, particularly in the northwest of the island. Then on October 12, 2011, the strength of the tremors significantly decreased while foaming, rock-strewn plumes appeared in the sea to the south of the island. The underwater plume of volcanic debris has persisted for nearly two weeks and has been mixed and dispersed by ocean surface currents. The eruption is occurring in water that is tens to a few hundred meters deep.

Geologist and blogger Erik Klemetti offered this analysis: “It looks like the main fissure might be 2-3 kilometers in length and is close to on strike with the rift axis for the main El Hierro edifice. Ramon Ortiz, coordinator of a government scientific team, said that if/when the eruption reaches shallower water, we should expect to see the surface water start to steam, followed by explosions of steam and magma and finally the emergence of an island.”

For local seismic information from El Hierro (in Spanish), visit the Instituto Geografico Nacional.

  1. References

  2. The Daily Mail (2011, September 29) Earthquake swarm on Canary Island of El Hierro sparks fears of volcanic eruption. Accessed October 25, 2011.
  3. Global Volcanism Program (2011, October 18) Smithsonian/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report: Hierro. Accessed October 25, 2011.
  4. Klemetti, Erik (2011, October 21) Eruptions Blog: Vulcan’s View: Eruption News and Volcanoes From Space. Accessed October 25, 2011.

NASA Earth Observatory image created by Jesse Allen, using data from the MODIS Rapid Response team. Caption by Mike Carlowicz.

Instrument: 
Terra – MODIS

Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery

Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery – Yahoo! News.

Yeah, just ’cause it’s growing a cubic meter per second, and it explodes every 300k years or so, and it’s been 300k years since the last one, no, there’s no reason to get excited, we don’t expect it to explode.

WTF??

Should anyone ever decide to make a show called “CSI: Geology,” a group of scientists studying a mysterious and rapidly inflating South American volcano have got the perfect storyline.

Researchers from several universities are essentially working as geological detectives, using a suite of tools to piece together the restive peak’s past in order to understand what it is doing now, and better diagnose what may lie ahead.

It’s a mystery they’ve yet to solve.

Uturuncu is a nearly 20,000-foot-high (6,000 meters) volcano in southwest Bolivia. Scientists recently discovered the volcano is inflating with astonishing speed.

“I call this ‘volcano forensics,’ because we’re using so many different techniques to understand this phenomenon,” said Oregon State University professor Shan de Silva, a volcanologist on the research team. [See images of the inflating volcano here.]

Researchers realized about five years ago that the area below and around Uturuncu is steadily rising — blowing up like a giant balloon under a wide disc of land some 43 miles (70 kilometers) across. Satellite data revealed the region was inflating by 1 to 2 centimeters (less than an inch) per year and had been doing so for at least 20 years, when satellite observations began.

“It’s one of the fastest uplifting volcanic areas on Earth,” de Silva told OurAmazingPlanet.”What we’re trying to do is understand why there is this rapid inflation, and from there we’ll try to understand what it’s going to lead to.”

The  peak is perched like a party hat at the center of the inflating area. “It’s very circular. It’s like a big bull’s-eye,” said Jonathan Perkins, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who recently presented work on the mountain at this year’s Geological Society of America meeting  in Minneapolis.

Scientists figured out from the inflation rate that the pocket of magma beneath the volcano was growing by about 27 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) per second.

“That’s about 10 times faster than the standard rate of magma chamber growth you see for large volcanic systems,” Perkins told OurAmazingPlanet.

However, no need to flee just yet, the scientists said.

“It’s not a volcano that we think is going to erupt at any moment, but it certainly is interesting, because the area was thought to be essentially dead,” de Silva said.

Uber-Uturuncu?

Uturuncu is surrounded by one of the most dense concentrations of supervolcanoes on the planet, all of which fell silent some 1 million years ago.

Supervolcanoes get their name because they erupt with such power that they typically spew out 1,000 times more material, in sheer volume, than a volcano like Mount St. Helens. Modern human civilization has never witnessed such an event. The planet’s most recent supervolcanic eruption happened about 74,000 years ago in Indonesia. [Related: The 10 Biggest Volcanic Eruptions in History]

“These eruptions are thought to have not only a local and regional impact, but potentially a global impact,” de Silva said.

Uturuncu itself is in the same class as Mount St. Helens in Washington state, but its aggressive rise could indicate that a new supervolcano is on the way. Or not.

De Silva said it appears that local volcanoes hoard magma for about 300,000 years before they blow — and Uturuncu last erupted about 300,000 years ago.

“So that’s why it’s important to know how long this has been going on,” he said.

To find an answer, scientists needed data that stretch back thousands of years — but they had only 20 years of satellite data.

Volcano rap sheet

“So that’s where we come in as geomorphologists — to look for clues in the landscape to learn about the long-term topographic evolution of the volcano,” Perkins said.

Perkins and colleagues used ancient lakes, now largely dry, along the volcano’s flanks to hunt for signs of rising action.

“Lakes are great, because waves from lakes will carve shorelines into bedrock, which make lines,” Perkins said.

If the angle of those lines shifted over thousands of years  — if the summit of the mountain rose, it would gradually lift one side of the lake — it would indicate the peak had been rising for quite some time, or at least provide a better idea of when the movement began.

The local conditions, largely untouched by erosion or the reach of lush plant and animal life, lend themselves to geological detective work, Perkins noted.

“It’s a really sparse, otherworldly landscape,” Perkins said. “Everything is so well preserved. There’s no biology to get in the way of your observations.”

Perkins said that surveys conducted on the lakes last autumn didn’t indicate long-term inflation. However, tilting lakes are only one indicator of volcano growth, he said.

De Silva said the geological detective team is working to combine data from a number of sources — seismic data, GPS data, even minute variations in gravity — to pin down when and why the mountain awoke from its 300,000-year-long slumber, and better predict its next big move.

This story was provided by OurAmazingPlanet, a sister site to LiveScience. You can follow OurAmazingPlanet staff writer Andrea Mustain on Twitter: @andreamustain. Follow OurAmazingPlanet for the latest in Earth science and exploration news on Twitter @OAPlanet and on Facebook.

Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery

Rapidly Inflating Volcano Creates Growing Mystery – Yahoo! News.

Should anyone ever decide to make a show called “CSI: Geology,” a group of scientists studying a mysterious and rapidly inflating South American volcano have got the perfect storyline.

Researchers from several universities are essentially working as geological detectives, using a suite of tools to piece together the restive peak’s past in order to understand what it is doing now, and better diagnose what may lie ahead.

It’s a mystery they’ve yet to solve.

Uturuncu is a nearly 20,000-foot-high (6,000 meters) volcano in southwest Bolivia. Scientists recently discovered the volcano is inflating with astonishing speed.

“I call this ‘volcano forensics,’ because we’re using so many different techniques to understand this phenomenon,” said Oregon State University professor Shan de Silva, a volcanologist on the research team. [See images of the inflating volcano here.]

Researchers realized about five years ago that the area below and around Uturuncu is steadily rising — blowing up like a giant balloon under a wide disc of land some 43 miles (70 kilometers) across. Satellite data revealed the region was inflating by 1 to 2 centimeters (less than an inch) per year and had been doing so for at least 20 years, when satellite observations began.

“It’s one of the fastest uplifting volcanic areas on Earth,” de Silva told OurAmazingPlanet.”What we’re trying to do is understand why there is this rapid inflation, and from there we’ll try to understand what it’s going to lead to.”

The  peak is perched like a party hat at the center of the inflating area. “It’s very circular. It’s like a big bull’s-eye,” said Jonathan Perkins, a graduate student at the University of California, Santa Cruz, who recently presented work on the mountain at this year’s Geological Society of America meeting  in Minneapolis.

Scientists figured out from the inflation rate that the pocket of magma beneath the volcano was growing by about 27 cubic feet (1 cubic meter) per second.

“That’s about 10 times faster than the standard rate of magma chamber growth you see for large volcanic systems,” Perkins told OurAmazingPlanet.

However, no need to flee just yet, the scientists said.

“It’s not a volcano that we think is going to erupt at any moment, but it certainly is interesting, because the area was thought to be essentially dead,” de Silva said.

Uber-Uturuncu?

Uturuncu is surrounded by one of the most dense concentrations of supervolcanoes on the planet, all of which fell silent some 1 million years ago.

Supervolcanoes get their name because they erupt with such power that they typically spew out 1,000 times more material, in sheer volume, than a volcano like Mount St. Helens. Modern human civilization has never witnessed such an event. The planet’s most recent supervolcanic eruption happened about 74,000 years ago in Indonesia. [Related: The 10 Biggest Volcanic Eruptions in History]

“These eruptions are thought to have not only a local and regional impact, but potentially a global impact,” de Silva said.

Uturuncu itself is in the same class as Mount St. Helens in Washington state, but its aggressive rise could indicate that a new supervolcano is on the way. Or not.

De Silva said it appears that local volcanoes hoard magma for about 300,000 years before they blow — and Uturuncu last erupted about 300,000 years ago.

“So that’s why it’s important to know how long this has been going on,” he said.

To find an answer, scientists needed data that stretch back thousands of years — but they had only 20 years of satellite data.

Volcano rap sheet

“So that’s where we come in as geomorphologists — to look for clues in the landscape to learn about the long-term topographic evolution of the volcano,” Perkins said.

Perkins and colleagues used ancient lakes, now largely dry, along the volcano’s flanks to hunt for signs of rising action.

“Lakes are great, because waves from lakes will carve shorelines into bedrock, which make lines,” Perkins said.

If the angle of those lines shifted over thousands of years  — if the summit of the mountain rose, it would gradually lift one side of the lake — it would indicate the peak had been rising for quite some time, or at least provide a better idea of when the movement began.

The local conditions, largely untouched by erosion or the reach of lush plant and animal life, lend themselves to geological detective work, Perkins noted.

“It’s a really sparse, otherworldly landscape,” Perkins said. “Everything is so well preserved. There’s no biology to get in the way of your observations.”

Perkins said that surveys conducted on the lakes last autumn didn’t indicate long-term inflation. However, tilting lakes are only one indicator of volcano growth, he said.

De Silva said the geological detective team is working to combine data from a number of sources — seismic data, GPS data, even minute variations in gravity — to pin down when and why the mountain awoke from its 300,000-year-long slumber, and better predict its next big move.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle : Natural Hazards.

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle

acquired September 17, 2011 download large image (6 MB, JPEG)
acquired September 17, 2011 download large afternoon image (6 MB, JPEG)

As the eruption of Puyehue Cordón Caulle wanes, life is returning to normal in nearby communities. The Buenos Aires Herald reported that the first domestic aircraft landed at Bariloche, Argentina, in more than three months on September 17, 2011. Bariloche is an Andean town about 60 kilometers southeast of the eruption center. At the time, winds blew the ash plume from Puyehue Cordón Caulle towards the northwest, away from the town. An airport spokesperson expects future traffic to be dependent on the weather.

This natural-color satellite image shows Puyehue Cordón Caulle and the surrounding area at roughly local noon on September 17. A pale plume of volcanic gas and ash streams to the northwest from the active vent. The September 15 status report from the Chilean National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN) stated that the eruption continued at a low level.

  1. References

  2. Buenos Aires Herald. (2011, September 17). Plane lands at Bariloche airport after months of inactivity. Accessed September 19, 2011.
  3. Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería. (2011, September 15). Reporte Especial de Actividad Volcánica No 138 Complejo Volcánico Puyehue-Cordón Caulle. Accessed September 19, 2011.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC.

Instrument: 
Terra – MODIS

Paroxysms at Mount Etna

Paroxysm at Mount Etna : Natural Hazards.

Paroxysm at Mount Etna

acquired August 12, 2011 download large image (568 KB, JPEG)
acquired August 12, 2011 download GeoTIFF file (3 MB, TIFF)
acquired August 12, 2011 download Google Earth file (KMZ)

Paroxysm
1: a fit, attack, or sudden increase or recurrence of symptoms (as of a disease)
2: a sudden violent emotion or action
Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

Throughout 2011, activity at Sicily’s Mount Etna has been characterized by paroxysms: short, violent bursts of activity. Each event has included volcanic tremors, ash emissions, and lava flows centered around the New Southeast Crater, just below the summit.

On August 12, 2011, Etna had its tenth paroxysm of the year, captured in this natural-color satellite image. Etna spewed a thick white plume of gas and ash to the southeast, towards the nearby city of Catania. The ash cloud was produced by vigorous lava fountaining at the New Southeast Crater. The Toulouse Volcanic Ash Advisory Center estimated ash emissions reached an altitude of 14,000 feet (4,300 meters); 2,000 feet (600 meters) above the 10,925-foot (3,330-meter) summit. The image was captured at 11:40 a.m. local time by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite.

Boris Behncke, a volcanolgist from the Istituto Nazionale Di Geofisica E Vulcanologia in Catania, Sciliy, provides updates on Etna’s activity on his Twitter feed, @etnaboris.

  1. References

  2. Klemetti, Erik. (2011, August 12). GVP Weekly Volcanic Activity Report for August 3–9, 2011: Cleveland’s Dome, Indonesian Volcanoes and a Busy Etna. Accessed August 12, 2011.
  3. Toulouse VAAC. (2011, August 12). Volcanic Ash Advisory. Accessed August 12, 2011.

NASA image courtesy Jeff Schmaltz MODIS Rapid Response Team, NASA-GSFC. Caption by Robert Simmon.

Alaskan Volcano Gearing Up For Big Explosion?

Alaskan Volcano Could Be Gearing Up For Big Explosion | Care2 Causes.

44 comments Alaskan Volcano Could Be Gearing Up For Big Explosion

 

A volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands has been erupting since the end of July, and could be gathering steam for a much more severe explosion.

According to scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), the Cleveland Volcano, a 5,676-foot peak located about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage has been seeping magma for several days. But this activity could only be a precursor to an explosive event powerful enough to send ash into the atmosphere.

“The dome, if it continues to grow, could plug up the crater, creating pressure that could result in “a fairly sizable explosion that could throw ash up to flight levels,” said John Power, scientist in charge at the observatory, a joint federal-state operation.

Observers on a August 8 NOAA flight photographed a small, dark-colored dome centered at the bottom of the summit crater. In the last clear satellite view of the summit on August 9 the lava dome was about 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter.

Location of Cleveland volcano and other Aleutian volcanoes with respect to nearby cities and towns.

The volcano is situated on Chuginadak Island which is currently uninhabited, so no humans are in immediate danger even if the volcano does produce a bigger eruption. The closest community to the volcano is Nikolski, an Aleut village of about 20 people located 45 miles to the east. However, the island does lie directly in the North America-to-Asia flight corridor used by major airlines.

Powers also said that the secretion of lava and the building of a bigger dome is uncharacteristic for the Cleveland Volcano, but big explosions of other Alaskan volcanoes have occurred following  a dome-building event.

The observatory says the last significant eruption of the 5,676-foot volcano began in February 2001 and eventually produced a lava flow that reached the ocean.

You can keep up with the Cleveland Volcano’s progress at the AVO website.

Read more: http://www.care2.com/causes/alaskan-volcano-could-be-gearing-up-for-big-explosion.html#ixzz1V8XIMBOC

Humans Dwarf Volcanoes for CO2 Emissions

Humans Dwarf Volcanoes for CO2 Emissions : Discovery News.

  • Human activities emit roughly 135 times as much climate-warming carbon dioxide as volcanoes each year.
  • Volcanoes emit less than cars and trucks, and less, even, than cement production.
  • Climate change skeptics have claimed the opposite.
volcano

The eruption of the Grimsvotn volcano on May 23, 2011 above Iceland. Click to enlarge this image.
NordicPhotos /Getty Images

Colossal, mind-bogglingly hot and capable of spewing billowing clouds of flight-grounding smoke and searing, molten lava, volcanoes are spectacular displays of the massive forces at work inside our planet. Yet they are dwarfed by humans in at least one respect: their carbon dioxide emissions.

Despite statements made by climate change deniers, volcanoes release a tiny fraction of the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by human activities every year.

In fact, humans release roughly 135 times more carbon dioxide annually than volcanoes do, on average, according a new analysis. Put another way, humans emit in under three days the amount that volcanoes typically release in a year, according to the best estimates of volcanic emissions.

NEWS: Climate Change Impact: Underestimated?

“The question of whether or not volcanoes emit more CO2 than human activity is one I get more than any question in my email from the general public.’ said Terrence Gerlach, a retired volcanologist, formerly with the Cascades Volcano Observatory, part of the US Geological Survey in Vancouver, Wash. Even earth scientists who work in other areas often pose him the question, he said.

To lay out a clear answer, Gerlach compiled the available estimates of CO2 emissions from all global volcanic activity on land and undersea and compared them with estimates for human emissions. He published the compilation in Eos, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.

Researchers estimate the amounts of carbon dioxide released by terrestrial volcanic eruptions by methods including remote sensing or flying through clouds of erupting volcanic gas, and by measuring certain isotope concentrations near undersea volcanoes. Carbon dioxide is dissolved in magma at great depths and is released as the magma rises to the surface.

“A lot of climate skeptics claim that volcanoes emit more CO2 than humans do,” Gerlach said. “They never give any numbers, but the fact is you will never be able to find the volcanic gas scientist that will agree to that,” he said.

One example of these skeptic’s claims is the 2009 book, “Heaven and Earth: Global Warming, the Missing Science” by Ian Plimer of the University of Adelaide, who did not respond to Discovery News’ requests for comment.

“The main reason, I think, that this myth persists,” Gerlach said: “First of all, the emissions are extremely spectacular. When people see volcanic eruptions on television and it’s awesome, and it’s very easy for people to imagine that huge amounts of CO2 are being emitted to the atmosphere.”

“However, these spectacular volcanic explosions that are so stunning on TV last only a few hours,” he added. “They are ephemeral. In contrast, the sources of anthropogenic CO2 (smokestacks, exhaust pipes, etc) are comparatively unspectacular, commonplace, and familiar, and in addition they are ubiquitous, ceaseless, and relentless. They emit CO2 24/7.”

While there is uncertainty in the measurements–researchers estimate between 0.13 and 0.44 billion metric tons per year, with their best estimates between 0.15 and 0.26 billion tons–even the highest end of the range is dwarfed by anthropogenic emissions of 35 billion metric tons in 2010.

Gerlach noted that human land-use changes alone, which include deforestation, release 3.5 billion metric tons per year. Cars and light-duty trucks produce 2 billion metric tons; even cement production produces 1.5 billion tons. Any of these by itself is still several times higher than the annual emissions of all of the world’s volcanoes .

Pakistan or Kazakhstan each produce about the amount of CO2 as volcanoes do each year, Gerlach noted in the article.

In yet another comparison, Gerlach reported that in order for volcanic emissions to match those made by humans, the May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens eruption would need to happen every 2.5 hours. The June 15, 1991, Mount Pinatubo eruption would need to occur every 12.5 hours.

“There is no way you can escape the fact that volcanoes are releasing a tiny amount of emissions right now,” said Bernard Marty of the Centre de Recherches Petrographiques et Geochimiques in Nancy, France. “There is no doubt about this.”

“Even if you do the reverse and you compute how much volcanism should happen to match atmospheric levels, you end up with completely unrealistic eruption rates,” he said.

Marie Edmonds, a volcanologist at Cambridge University agreed. While volcanoes are the most important natural source of atmospheric CO2, she noted, “The results show clearly that the amount is 100-150 times less than anthropogenic amounts.”

Remote Nabro Nabro Volcano Eruption Scope Revealed in Satellite Photos

Remote Nabro Volcano Eruption Revealed in Satellite Photos | Nabro Volcano Eruption | NASA Satellite Earth Images | Space.com.

Nabro Volcano False-Color Image
This false-color image take by NASA’s EO-1 satellite shows the eruption of Nabro volcano on June 24.
CREDIT: NASA

Eritrea’s Nabro volcano has been erupting for a week, but few details of the event are known because of the volcano’s remoteness. But a pair of new satellite photos have revealed the first detailed look at the volcano’s erupting vent and lava flows.

Nabro began erupting on June 12, and has sent ash drifting over much of East Africa and the Middle East. It is located in an isolated region along the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia.

Because of the volcano’s remoteness, satellite remote sensing is currently the only reliable way to monitor the ongoing eruption. These images of the eruption were taken by the Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite on June 24. [See the Nabro volcano from space ]

 

The bright red portions of the false-color image above indicate hot surfaces. Hot volcanic ash glows above the vent, located in the center of Nabro’s caldera.

To the west of the vent, portions of an active lava flow (particularly the front of the flow) are also hot. The speckled pattern on upstream portions of the flow are likely due to the cool, hardened crust splitting and exposing fluid lava as the flow advances.

The bulbous blue-white cloud near the vent is likely composed largely of escaping water vapor that condensed as the plume rose and cooled. The whispy, cyan clouds above the lava flow are evidence of degassing from the lava.

The natural-color image below shows a close-up view of the volcanic plume and eruption site. A dark ash plume rises directly above the vent, and a short, inactive (cool) lava flow partially fills the crater to the north.

Nabro Volcano Natural Color Image
A natural color, close-up image of the eruption taken by NASA’s EO-1 satellite.
CREDIT: NASA

A gas plume, rich in water and sulfur dioxide (which contributes a blue tint to the edges of the plume) obscures the upper reaches of the active lava flow. Black ash covers the landscape south and west of Nabro.

This story was provided by OurAmazingPlanet.com, a sister site of SPACE.com. Follow SPACE.com for the latest in space science and exploration news on Twitter @Spacedotcom and on Facebook.

Chilean volcano ash causes fresh disruption

Chilean volcano ash causes fresh disruption – CNN.

Chile’s Puyehue Cordon Caulle volcano is once again causing air travel disruption.

An ash cloud from a Chilean volcano is disrupting air travel in Australia and New Zealand once again, airlines said Wednesday.

“Volcanic ash from the eruption of the Puyehue Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile continues to cause flight disruptions to the Qantas network,” the airline said in a statement.

“At Qantas safety is our first priority and a number of flights have been canceled or rerouted to avoid the volcanic ash cloud.”

Qantas and Jetstar suspended Wednesday flights to and from Queenstown, Christchurch and Wellington.