Indonesia’s Bali Volcano Spews Thick Smoke, Ashes

The Sunday’s eruption took place at 10:05 a.m. local time, emitting grayish thick smoke with wind detected heading for northeast, Indonesian National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) said.

“The eruption lasted for 10 minutes. White smoke was seen came out from the volcano summit after the blast,” BNPB Spokesperson Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said in a statement on Sunday.

He added that volcanic activities in the volcano remained intense at present.

Indonesian authorities imposed highest alert status on the volcano which took into effect since Nov. 27.

Sutopo pointed out that no significant impact has occurred in the last two consecutive days.

“Daily activities were normal in Bali, people remained calm. They currently have enough knowledge on impacts from the volcano’s eruption,” Sutopo added.

The top alert status was only applied within 8 to 10 kilometers from the volcano summit. People were told to refrain from conducting any activities around those areas.

“Outside those areas were still normal and safe,” he said.

The eruption which occurred on Saturday on 11:57 a.m. had prompted rain of ashes in villages located in the slope of the volcano.

Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Saturday that the eruption would not affect the airports in Bali and nearby island of Lombok as the wind was heading for the east.

The ministry did not issue Notam (Notice to Airmen) related to the latest volcano eruption. The Notam notification contains information related to flight sustainability in emergency situation.

Volcanic activities of Mount Agung have been ensuing since September after 54 years of inactivity. The volcanic event has severely battered Bali’s tourism since then.

New Study Highlights Mantle Plumes and Yellowstone Supervolcano

In a new study, reported in the journal Nature Geosciences, University of Illinois geologists, Lijun Liu and graduate students Quan Zhou and Jiashun Hu used a technique called seismic tomography to peer deep into the subsurface of the western U.S. and piece together the geologic history behind the volcanism. Using supercomputers, the team ran different tectonic scenarios to observe a range of possible geologic histories for the western U.S. over the past 20 million years. The effort yielded little support for the traditional mantle plume hypothesis.

Recent stories in the national media are magnifying fears of a catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone volcanic area, but scientists remain uncertain about the likelihood of such an event. To better understand the region’s subsurface geology, Uof I geologists have rewound and played back a portion of its geologic history, finding that Yellowstone volcanism is more far more complex and dynamic than previously thought.

“The heat needed to drive volcanism usually occurs in areas where tectonic plates meet and one slab of crust slides, or subducts, under another. However, Yellowstone and other volcanic areas of the inland western U.S. are far away from the active plate boundaries along the west coast,” said Liu who led the new research. “In these inland cases, a deep-seated heat source known as a mantle plume is suspected of driving crustal melting and surface volcanism.”

The teams goal is to develop a model that matches up with what they see both below ground and on the surface today. “We call it a hybrid geodynamic model because most of the earlier models either start with an initial condition and move forward, or start with the current conditions and move backward. Our model does both, which gives us more control over the relevant mantle processes” says graduate students Quan Zhou.

One of the many variables the team entered into their model was heat. Hot subsurface material – like that in a mantle plume – should rise vertically toward the surface, but that was not what the researchers saw in their models.

“It appears that the mantle plume under the western U.S. is sinking deeper into the Earth through time, which seems counterintuitive,” Liu said. “This suggests that something closer to the surface such as an oceanic slab originating from the western tectonic boundary – is interfering with the rise of the plume.”

As for likelihood of a violent demise of Yellowstone occurring anytime soon, the researchers say it is still too early to know. “Perhaps more importantly, this work will give us a better understanding of some of the mysterious processes deep within the Earth, which will help us better understand the consequences of plate tectonics, including the mechanism of Earthquakes and volcanoes.”

Volcano Erupts In Indonesia’s North Sumatra

The Sinabung volcano in Indonesia’s North Sumatra province erupted on Monday, spewing hot clouds, an official monitoring the volcano said.

Head of Sinabung volcano monitoring post Armen Putra said the latest eruption took place on 13:02 p.m. Western Indonesian Time (WIB), coupled with 303 seconds of tremors around the area.

“Hot clouds were seen rising 2,500 meters to the east-southeast and 3,500 meters to the south,” Armed said.

He added the post was hardly able to see the column of smoke and ashes from the eruption as the volcano summit was engulfed by thick haze. The wind blew mildly during the eruption, bringing the ashes to the west-south direction, he added.

People were advised to stay away from areas declared red zones around the volcano as more eruptions were expected to take place in the near future, he said.

People were also told to be remain alert for possible flood of cold lava from the volcano amid the intensifying rains nowadays.

Indonesian authorities imposed highest alert of level 4 in the volcano, which has yet to be reviewed since 2013 when it began its eruptions.

The last eruption prior to the Monday’s eruption took place on Nov. 29, blasted column of volcanic ashes and hot clouds.

Over 2,000 people were displaced from the ongoing Sinabung volcanic activities.

Java Earthquake Kills At Least Three People And Damages Buildings

A powerful earthquake that struck the Indonesian island of Java has killed at least three people and caused damage to hundreds of buildings.

People ran into the street in panic in many areas and Indonesian television showed heavy traffic on roads as people fled coastal areas. There were also reports that buildings had collapsed in the city of Tasikmalaya in West Java.

A 62-year-old man in Ciamis and an 80-year-old woman in Pekalongan city were killed when the buildings they were in collapsed, a national disaster mitigation agency spokesman said. A 34-year-old woman from the city of Yogyakarta died when she fell while running out of her house.

Java, Indonesia’s most densely populated island, is home to more than half of the country’s 250 million people.

The US Geological Survey said the epicentre of the magnitude-6.5 quake was located at a depth of 57 miles (92km), about 32 miles south-west of Tasikmalaya.

Indonesia’s national disaster management agency said the quake activated tsunami early warning systems in the south of Java, prompting thousands to evacuate some coastal areas, but no tsunami was detected.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the disaster agency, said in a press briefing on Saturday that three people had been killed, seven injured and hundreds of buildings damaged, including schools, hospitals and government buildings in central and West Java.

Dozens of patients had to be helped to safety from a hospital in Banyumas and were given shelter in tents, he said.

Jakarta resident Web Warouw, 50, was on the 18th floor when the quake struck just before midnight local time (1700 GMT).

“Suddenly, we felt dizzy … We then realised it was a quake and immediately ran downstairs,” Warouw said.

The quake swayed buildings for several seconds in the capital. Some residents of high-rise apartment buildings left their properties.

About 170,000 lives were lost when a 9.1-magnitude quake and tsunami struck Aceh province in December 2004, which also hit coastal areas as far away as Somalia.

Another earthquake struck Aceh in December 2016, killing more than 100 people, injuring many others and leaving tens of thousands homeless.

Italian Volcano Stromboli Erupts

Experts have recorded high levels of seismic activity at the Stromboli volcano in the Aeolian Islands, north of Sicily.

The flurry of eruptions comes after a major explosion at the volcano on December 1, according to the Catania section of Italy’s National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology, which monitors Stromboli.

It is accompanied by a sharp increase in infrasonic pressure.

The incredible video shows the lava as it flows from the summit and into the sea, which is being closely monitored by the INGV and Civil Defence.

A new lava flow can be seen from the volcano’s north-eastern crater on December 15.

A vent was also captured as it shot out spurts of lava, which could then be seen flowing out of the crater and down the “stream of fire”, the part of Stromboli’s northern slope scarred by centuries of eruptions.

The flow of lava has stopped, but volcanic acitivity remains at a high and access to the volcano’s highest slopes have been closed for safety.

Stromboli is one of the most active volcanoes in the world and has been erupting almost continuously since 1932.

Seen from far and wide, eruptions at night have been dubbed the “lighthouse of the Mediterranean”.

Stromboli has been in almost continuous eruption for the past 2,000 years.

It is one of the eight Aeolian Islands, a volcanic arc north of Sicily.

Chemical Tipping Point Of Magma Determines Explosive Potential Of Volcanoes

Volcanic eruptions are the most spectacular expression of the processes acting in the interior of any active planet. Effusive eruptions consist of a gentle and steady flow of lava on the surface, while explosive eruptions are violent phenomena that can eject hot materials up to several kilometres into the atmosphere.

The transition between these eruptions represents one of the most dangerous natural hazards.

Understanding the mechanisms governing such transition has inspired countless studies in Earth Sciences over the last decades.

In a new study led by Dr Danilo Di Genova, from the University of Bristol’s School of Earth Sciences, an international team of scientists provide evidence, for the first time, that a subtle tipping point of the chemistry of magmas clearly separates effusive from explosive eruptions worldwide.

Moreover, they demonstrate that variabilities at the nanoscale of magmas can dramatically increase the explosive potential of volcanoes.

Dr Di Genova said: “The new experimental data, thermodynamic modelling and analysis of compositional data from the global volcanic record we presented in our study provide combined evidence for a sudden discontinuity in the flow behaviour of rhyolitic magmas that guides whether a volcano erupts effusively or explosively.

“The identified flow-discontinuity can be crossed by small compositional changes in rhyolitic magmas and can be induced by crystallisation, assimilation, magma replenishment or mixing.

“Composition-induced flow behaviour variations may also originate from changes in magmas intrinsic parameters such as temperature, pressure or oxygen fugacity.”

These can result in revitalization of a previously “locked” magma chamber via chemical fluidification or may hinder efficient degassing and lead to increased explosive potential via chemical “stiffening” of a magma.

Furthermore, the study showed how the sudden precipitation of iron-bearing nanocrystals, which have been recently found in volcanic rocks, can increase the explosive potential of a magma via both depletion of iron in the melt structure and providing nucleation points for gas bubbles which drive explosive eruption.

Dozens Injured As Second Quake Hits Iran

TEHRAN — Iranian media say another earthquake has jolted the country’s south, followed by several aftershocks.

The semi-official ISNA news agency says the magnitude 6.1 temblor rocked the village of Hajdak in the southern province of Kerman in the early hours on Wednesday, about 400 miles south of Tehran.

ISNA says the quake’s depth was 6.2 miles and that 58 people were injured as they ran out of their homes. It says the area was jolted by several aftershocks, ranging in magnitude from 4 to 5.1.

On Tuesday magnitude 6.2 earthquake has jolted the country’s southern province of Kerman.

Report says the quake’s depth was 6.2 miles. There were no immediate reports of casualties or major damage.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake’s magnitude was 5.9.

In November, a 7.2 magnitude quake hit western Iran, killing more than 600 people.

Iran is prone to near-daily earthquakes as it sits on major fault lines. In 2003, a 6.6 magnitude quake flattened the historic city of Bam, killing 26,000 people.