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Tag: volcanic activity

Study: Massive volcanic eruption in the cards for Japan

“Japan should brace for a catastrophic volcanic eruption at some point, say experts, citing a massive buildup of magma at many of the nation’s 110 active volcanoes.”

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December 03, 2012
By TAIRIKU KUROSAWA/ Senior Staff Writer

The last particularly serious eruption in Japan occurred in 1914, when Mount Sakurajima in southern Kagoshima Prefecture blew its top.

According to study by volcanologists, Japan, which lies on the Pacific Rim of Fire, has been shaken by more than 1,000 volcanic eruptions over the past 2,000 years.

https://d13uygpm1enfng.cloudfront.net/article-imgs/en/2012/12/03/AJ201212030010/AJ201212030011M.jpg
“The possibility of a major eruption in the future is real,” said Yoichi Nakamura, a professor of volcanology at Utsunomiya University who has been analyzing volcanic eruptions with a team of researchers.

To be classified as active, a volcano must have erupted within the past 10,000 years or still be spewing gases, according to the Japan Meteorological Agency.

The active volcanoes include sites in the disputed Northern Territories off northeastern Hokkaido as well as undersea volcanoes.

Of the 110 active volcanoes, the agency monitors activity of the 47 around the clock to detect signs of an imminent eruption.

When offshore Mount Sakurajima erupted, it spewed out so much lava that it created a land bridge with the Osumi Peninsula. Volcanic ash even fell on eastern Japan.

The researchers said seismic activity surged at 20 active volcanoes around Japan, including Mount Fuji, after the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake struck last year.

It was one of the most powerful earthquakes on record. It struck with such force that the Japanese land mass shifted.

Over the past century, volcanic eruptions around the world were apparently triggered by magnitude-9.0 or stronger earthquakes that struck several years earlier.

Nakamura also is involved with the nonprofit Vocanological Society of Japan. He said the study was intended to help local officials prepare for a contingency resulting from a major eruption by assessing the risks posed by volcanoes around the country.

Particularly worrisome, he said, was a lack of data pointing to a reduction in magma. In the absence of a really huge eruption for a century suggested there was a massive buildup of magma, which at some point will inevitably spew from a volcano with tremendous force.

According to the study, 1,162 eruptions have occurred in Japan over the past 2,000 years. Of these, 52 were major events that spewed a massive volume of ash and lava over a short period. It amounts to a large-scale eruption occurring every 38 years.

Records show that three volcanic eruptions in the 17th century, including one at Mount Hokkaido-Komagadake in Hokkaido in 1640, spewed out the equivalent of 1 billion cubic meters of ash and lava.

Two similar eruptions occurred in the 18th century, one of which involved Mount Fuji in 1707.

The study showed that relatively large eruptions occurred 124 times.

There were 562 instances of medium-scale eruptions, or one every 3.6 years.

These included the eruption of Mount Unzen-Fugendake in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1991 and the eruption of Mount Usuzan in Hokkaido in 2000.

Of the 1,162 eruptions, the 47 volcanoes consistently monitored by the Japan Meteorological Agency represent nearly 90 percent of the activity, or 1,012 of those events.

Mount Aso in Kumamoto Prefecture is the most active volcano with 167 recorded eruptions, followed by Mount Asama straddling Nagano and Gunma prefectures, at 124; Mount Sakurajima, at 91; Mount Izu-Oshima in Tokyo, at 77; and Mount Kirishima straddling Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, at 70.

Mount Fuji has erupted 38 times.
By TAIRIKU KUROSAWA/ Senior Staff Writer

 

SOURCE:
http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201212030010

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Russia’s Tolbachik Erupts for First Time in 36 Years

By Erik KlemettiEmail AuthorNovember 27, 2012 | 8:52 pm

For the first time in 36 years, Tolbachik in Russia is erupting according to reports from Russia. KVERT, the volcano monitoring body for Kamchatka, released a bulletin describing a significant explosive eruption with the potential for ash explosions up to 10 km / 32,800 ft. With the many air routes across the northern Pacific, this eruption will need to be closely monitored for its impact on air travel over the eastern Siberian peninsula. The ash advisory from the Tokyo VAAC also mentions a report of ash at FL 330 (33,000 feet) that was spreading to the NNW. VolcanoDiscovery reported that seismicity had been creeping upwards around Tolbachik since at least early November as well. Trying to get information from some of the hastily-translated articles from Russia is, ahem, fun. One described the eruption as the “volcano’s top caldera is being filled with fresh and gushing lava” based on incandescence seen at the summit.

The last eruption of Tolbachik started in 1975 and was quite impressive, rating at least a VEI 4 with both explosive and effusive activity. However, that was a larger eruption than most over the last century at the Russian volcano and most are smaller VEI 2 eruptions. Interestingly, the 1975-76 was a mainly basaltic eruption (see above), the largest recorded in the northern Kamchatka peninsula — however, that activity did produce 13 km / 42,000 foot ash plumes as well during the creation of a series of cinder cones and a 15 square kilometer lava flow field.

Unfortunately, today’s passes by the Terra and Aqua satellite didn’t capture any plume – likely because the pass was too early, but some of the peninsula is obscured by clouds as well. However, this 2004 NASA Earth Observatory image shows the summit caldera at Tolbachik and its relative proximity to its more famous brethren, Bezymianny and Kliuchevskoi. As always, I will try to update with details as they arrive.

Update 11 PM EST 11/27: John Seach is reporting via Twitter that towns up to 35 km from the volcano have received 4 cm of ash fall from the eruption.

 

SOURCE:
http://www.wired.com/wiredscience/2012/11/first-images-of-the-tolbachik-fissure-eruption/?utm_source=Contextly&utm_medium=RelatedLinks&utm_campaign=MoreRecently

Lava Enters Ocean from Puʻu ʻŌʻō

November 26th, 2012
By Wendy Osher

A lava flow from the Kīlauea Volcano’s Puʻu ʻŌʻō vent entered the ocean at around 1 p.m. on Saturday.

The spectacle drew a number of visitors to the area for tours over the weekend.

The activity came a day after a small earthquake, measuring 4.3 occurred at the Lōʻihi Seamount.

Lō’ihi is an active volcano situated on the sea floor about 19 miles from the south shoreline of Hawai’i Island.

Despite being felt island-wide officials with the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory say there were no observable affects on other volcanoes.

The HVO notes that the ongoing eruption of Puʻu ʻŌʻō–Kupaianaha at Kīlauea began in January 1983.

Since then, lava flows have destroyed 213 structures, and resurfaced 9 miles of highway, covering it with as much as 115 feet of lava. A flow in mid-2010 and early 2011, reached the Kalapana Gardens subdivision, destroying three homes, according to the HVO.

 

SOURCE: Maui Now
http://mauinow.com/2012/11/26/lava-enters-ocean-from-puʻu-ʻoʻo/

Mount Doom is about to blow! New Zealand volcano used in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movies set to erupt

“In 1953, a massive lahar from the mountain caused New Zealand’s worst rail disaster when it washed away a bridge at Tangiwai and a passenger train plunged into the Whangaehu River, claiming 151 lives.”

 

Fiery chasm: Director Peter Jackson used Mount Ruapehu and the neighbouring Mount Ngauruhoe to depict Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies

 

By Leon Watson

PUBLISHED: 11:17 GMT, 19 November 2012 | UPDATED: 16:17 GMT, 19 November 2012

 

A New Zealand volcano that featured as Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies is in danger of erupting as pressure builds in a subterranean vent, officials have said.

The Department of Conservation warned hikers to avoid the summit of Mount Ruapehu, saying that temperature readings by scientists indicated there was an increased risk of eruption at New Zealand’s largest active volcano.

Mount Tongariro, Mount Ngauruhoe and Mount Ruapehu, which is set to erupt, in the Tongariro National Park, New Zealand

‘The current situation can’t continue, Ruapehu is so active that the temperatures have been going up and down a lot,’ DOC volcanic risk manager Harry Keys told Radio New Zealand.

‘They generally haven’t gone up as we’ve expected for some weeks now and sooner or later that situation will be rectified, either in a small, relatively passive way, or with a significant eruption.’

Official monitoring body GNS Science said the temperature a few hundred metres below a lake in the crater of the North Island mountain was estimated at 800C (1,472F) but the temperature at the lake itself was just 20C (68F).

It said this indicated a vent was partially blocked, leading to increased pressure that made eruptions more likely ‘over the next weeks to months’.

The 2,797m (9,177f) mountain last erupted in 2007, sending a lahar – a fast-moving stream of mud and debris – down the mountain but causing no injuries.

The last time: A blanket of ash lies over the upper area of Mount Ruapehu about 143 miles) north of New Zealand’s capital, Wellington, in 2007

In 1953, a massive lahar from the mountain caused New Zealand’s worst rail disaster when it washed away a bridge at Tangiwai and a passenger train plunged into the Whangaehu River, claiming 151 lives.

Director Peter Jackson used Mount Ruapehu and the neighbouring Mount Ngauruhoe to depict Mount Doom in The Lord of the Rings movies.

Another nearby volcano, Mount Tongariro, erupted in August this year, sending a plume of ash 20,000ft (6,100m) into the atmosphere, showering the North Island and disrupting domestic air travel.

 

 

 

SOURCE: Daily Mail

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2235108/Volcano-New-Zealand-used-Mount-Doom-Peter-Jacksons-The-Lord-Rings-movies-set-erupt.html