Italy’s Etna Volcano Erupts On Sicily, Disrupting Flights

Europe’s biggest active volcano, Mount Etna, erupted early Saturday with fiery explosions and lava flows, the Italian National Institute of Geophysics and Volcanology said (INGV).

Plumes of ash prompted authorities on the island of Sicily to close the Fontanarossa and Comiso Airports in the city of Catania, local media reported.

La Repubblica newspaper said a Ryanair flight from Rome was diverted to Palermo on Friday night, while several flights were delayed from landing or taking off on Saturday.

Airport authorities said flights had returned to normal at 11 a.m. local time (0900 UTC), but stressed that there may still be disruptions and delays.

According to the INGV, the lava was spurting from one of the craters on the volcano’s desert-like southeastern face, and then traveling around 1.5 kilometers (1 mile) down a barren escarpment called the Valle del Bove (Ox Valley).

The most recent Etna activity follows an eruption in December as well as “lively spattering” recorded by the institute in June.

At 3,300 meters (10,826 feet), Etna is the largest active volcano in Europe.

‘Crystal Clocks’ Used To Time Magma Storage Before Volcanic Eruptions

The molten rock that feeds volcanoes can be stored in the Earth’s crust for as long as a thousand years, a result which may help with volcanic hazard management and better forecasting of when eruptions might occur.

Researchers from the University of Cambridge used volcanic minerals known as ‘crystal clocks’ to calculate how long magma can be stored in the deepest parts of volcanic systems. This is the first estimate of magma storage times near the boundary of the Earth’s crust and the mantle, called the Moho. The results are reported in the journal Science.

“This is like geological detective work,” said Dr Euan Mutch from Cambridge’s Department of Earth Sciences, and the paper’s first author. “By studying what we see in the rocks to reconstruct what the eruption was like, we can also know what kind of conditions the magma is stored in, but it’s difficult to understand what’s happening in the deeper parts of volcanic systems.”

“Determining how long magma can be stored in the Earth’s crust can help improve models of the processes that trigger volcanic eruptions,” said co-author Dr John Maclennan, also from the Department of Earth Sciences. “The speed of magma rise and storage is tightly linked to the transfer of heat and chemicals in the crust of volcanic regions, which is important for geothermal power and the release of volcanic gases to the atmosphere.”

The researchers studied the Borgarhraun eruption of the Theistareykir volcano in northern Iceland, which occurred roughly 10,000 years ago, and was fed directly from the Moho. This boundary area plays an important role in the processing of melts as they travel from their source regions in the mantle towards the Earth’s surface. To calculate how long the magma was stored at this boundary area, the researchers used a volcanic mineral known as spinel like a tiny stopwatch or crystal clock.

Using the crystal clock method, the researchers were able to model how the composition of the spinel crystals changed over time while the magma was being stored. Specifically, they looked at the rates of diffusion of aluminium and chromium within the crystals and how these elements are ‘zoned’.

“Diffusion of elements works to get the crystal into chemical equilibrium with its surroundings,” said Maclennan. “If we know how fast they diffuse we can figure out how long the minerals were stored in the magma.”

The researchers looked at how aluminium and chromium were zoned in the crystals, and realised that this pattern was telling them something exciting and new about magma storage time. The diffusion rates were estimated using the results of previous lab experiments. The researchers then used a new method, combining finite element modelling and Bayesian nested sampling to estimate the storage timescales.

“We now have really good estimates in terms of where the magma comes from in terms of depth,” said Mutch. “No one’s ever gotten this kind of timescale information from the deeper crust.”

Calculating the magma storage time also helped the researchers determine how magma can be transferred to the surface. Instead of the classical model of a volcano with a large magma chamber beneath, the researchers say that instead, it’s more like a volcanic ‘plumbing system’ extending through the crust with lots of small ‘spouts’ where magma can be quickly transferred to the surface.

A second paper by the same team, recently published in Nature Geoscience, found that that there is a link between the rate of ascent of the magma and the release of CO2, which has implications for volcano monitoring.

The researchers observed that enough CO2 was transferred from the magma into gas over the days before eruption to indicate that CO2 monitoring could be a useful way of spotting the precursors to eruptions in Iceland. Based on the same set of crystals from Borgarhraun, the researchers found that magma can rise from a chamber 20 kilometres deep to the surface in as little as four days.

The research was supported by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Magnitude 7.3 Quake Hits Laiwui, Indonesia, No Tsunami

A 7.3-magnitude earthquake has jolted South Halmahera regency in North Maluku. According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the quake occurred at 4:10 p.m. Jakarta time or 6:10 p.m. local time, 102 kilometers north-northeast of Laiwui in South Halmahera, at a depth of 10 kilometers.

The Meteorology, Climatology and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said there was no tsunami potential detected because of the earthquake. It has also recorded several aftershocks. Meanwhile, the BMKG reported at 5:04 p.m. Jakarta time, there was a 5.2-magnitude earthquake with an epicenter at 61 kilometers southwestern off Biak Numfor regency in Papua.

Based on official information from the South Halmahera Disaster Mitigation Agency (BPBD), the quake was mostly felt in the regency for two to five seconds, prompting people to panic and rush out of their homes.

 

BREAKING NEWS: Tropical Storm Barry Expected to Make Landfall as a Hurricane

A state of emergency has been declared in Louisiana and the National Guard activated, and mandatory evacuations have been ordered in some places along the Louisiana coast as Tropical Storm Barry formed over the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday morning.

This is day 9 of my 14 day window related to July 2nd’s full solar eclipse. Here is a paragraph published July 2nd telling of what could happen evidenced by my research of historical data:

Close to and during a full solar eclipse, it is the sudden temperature fluctuation which can cause a chain reaction. Producing a sudden and rapid shift in both the jet stream and ocean currents, can cause the destabilization of set seasonal patterns. Additionally, what is often referred to as Extreme Weather involving tornadoes, hurricanes, straight line winds, and wind shears is almost always related to shifting ocean and jet stream currents. FULL ARTICLE

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) declared Barry the second named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season with maximum sustained winds of 40 mph and it was moving west at 5 mph. Barry is forecast to make landfall along the Louisiana coast Friday night or Saturday.

“There is a fairly high chance that Tropical Storm Barry will become a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson scale before making landfall,” according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.

 

Tsunami Threat Expires Following 6.9-Magnitude Earthquake In Indonesia

A powerful earthquake struck under the water surrounding Indonesia, prompting a tsunami warning which encompasses hundreds of the country’s 17,000 islands.

Indonesian officials issued the tsunami warning for coastal areas after the earthquake occurred in the Molucca Sea, which is located between the islands of Sulawesi and Maluku. The warning has since expired and there is no tsunami threat at this time.

The United States Geological Survey stated that the earthquake had a magnitude of 6.9, while officials from Indonesia stated that the earthquake was slightly stronger with a magnitude of 7.1.

The tsunami warning was in effect for the eastern coast of North Sulawesi and the western coast of North Maluku. Latest projections are for a tsunami of 0.5 of a meter (1.5 feet) or less.

The earthquake rumbled at 10:08 p.m. local time (11:08 a.m. EDT) on Sunday.

There is potential for heavy-intensity rainfall with lightning, thunder, and gusty winds until 3:30 a.m. local time (WIB).

The earthquake caused panic in the city of Ternate on the island chain of Maluku.

“Showers and thunderstorms will continue to be around central Indonesia through Monday,” according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Maura Kelly.

BREAKING NEWS: Magnitude 7.1 Earthquake Hits Southern California

Yes, this 7.1 magnitude earthquake which hit Friday east of Bakersfield, Ca. near Ridgecrest, was predicted as part of my 14 day window after a full solar eclipse. In addition to the 7.1 quake which followed an earlier 6.4 quake, several aftershocks have been recorded. Seismologists in the area believe some 400 aftershocks are expected over the next several days.

The mag. 7.3 quake which hit NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia on June 24th also fits in the historical pattern of 14 days prior to an eclipse – and 14 days post event. Click Here for details.

I wish I could say it’s over, but there are 10 more days to go – and since seismic events have been on the wane over the last several months, I expect more large events to continue.

See article published on July 4th so understand the research behind my 28 window surrounding a full solar eclipse. The unsettling title of the article is “Probability of Earth Changing Events Within 14 Day”.

Stay tuned for reports of ongoing events….

 

 

7,1 Magnitude Earthquake Hits Near Ridgecrest In Southern California

A 7.1-magnitude earthquake rocked Southern California on Friday night — the second temblor to hit near Ridgecrest in less than two days.

The latest earthquake occurred 11 miles northeast of Ridgecrest, according to the US Geological Survey. It rocked buildings and cracked foundations, sending jittery residents out on the streets.

It comes a day after a 6.4-magnitude earthquake centered near Ridgecrest rattled the state Thursday. That earthquake has produced more than 1,400 aftershocks, scientists said.

Multiple fires and injuries have been reported in Ridgecrest — about 150 miles from Los Angeles — after Friday’s earthquake, Kern County spokeswoman Megan Person said. The county has activated an emergency operations center, the fire department tweeted.

The San Bernardino County Fire Department said it has received multiple reports of damage from northwest communities in the county.

“Homes shifted, foundation cracks, retaining walls down,” the department said. “One injury (minor) with firefighters treating patient.”

Localized power outages in LA

In central Los Angeles, Friday’s earthquake felt stronger than the one a day earlier, making buildings rock back and forth forcefully. Donald Castle, who lives in Porterville west of Ridgecrest, said his house shook for between 20 and 25 seconds.

“It was more of a shake than what we had on the Fourth. It lasted longer and was more rolling,” he said.

Public safety units are being deployed throughout the city ” to ensure safety and inspect infrastructure,” Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti said.

The Los Angeles Fire Department said there were reports of wires down and localized power outages in some parts of the city. Fire crews are still surveying the city, it said, but no major damage to infrastructure has been identified so far.

The fire department is no longer in Earthquake mode and has determined there are no injuries or significant damage in Los Angeles city, chief Ralph M. Terrazas tweeted.

The shaking was felt in Mexico and Las Vegas

The shaking was felt as far as Mexico, according to the USGS website.

The NBA Summer League game between the New Orleans Pelicans and the New York Knicks in Las Vegas was postponed Friday following reports of the quake. Scoreboards and speakers near the ceiling of the arena shook when the earthquake hit.

Quakes are part of an ongoing system

CalTech seismologist Lucy Jones said Friday both earthquakes are part of an ongoing sequence, of a “very energetic system.”

The latest 7.1 earthquake was the mainshock, while Thursday’s 6.4 magnitude shake was a foreshock, according to Jones. She said Friday’s earthquake was 10 times stronger than the one a day prior.

The 7.1 magnitude shake was five times bigger than Thursday’s, but released 11 times the amount of energy than the 6.4 shake, CNN Meteorologist Brandon Miller said.
Officials are not ruling out that there could be more earthquakes coming.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom said he has activated the state emergency operation center to its highest level.

“The state is coordinating mutual aid to local first responders,” he tweeted Friday night.