Heavy Ash Fall From Ambae Volcano

Much of the east and north of Vanuatu’s Ambae Island have experienced heavy ashfall after the eruption from the Manaro volcano intensified on Monday, residents say.

One resident, Marsden Philip Vuvu, said there was a thick fine ash on his veranda and it got so dark at four in the afternoon that people were forced to used torches.

He said people were also using umbrellas to keep the ash off them.

The Penama Province Disaster Officer, Mansen Tari, has confirmed the latest ash fall saying the rumbling noise of the eruption can be heard at Penama Provincial Headquarters at Saratamata on the coast, more than 30 kilometres away.

The Department of Meteorology and Geo-Hazards in Port Vila has also called on residents to keep well away from the no-go zones and warned that the eruption may eject rocks from the crater.

The Department warns that with the current wind direction, the nearby islands of Maewo and Pentecost may also be affected by ash fall.

Study Finds Deep Subterranean Connection Between Two Japan Volcanoes

Scientists have confirmed for the first time that radical changes of one volcano in southern Japan was the direct result of an erupting volcano 22 kilometers (13.7 miles) away. The observations from the two volcanos–Aira caldera and Kirishima–show that the two were connected through a common subterranean magma source in the months leading up to the 2011 eruption of Kirishima.

The Japanese cities of Kirishima and Kagoshima lie directly on the border of the Aira caldera, one of the most active, hazardous, and closely monitored volcanoes in southern Japan. Identifying how volcanoes interact is critical to determine if and how an eruption can influence the activity of a distant volcano or raise the threat of a new strong explosive event.

The research team from the University of Miami’s (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science and Florida International University analyzed deformation data from 32 permanent GPS stations in the region to identify the existence of a common magma reservoir that connected the two volcanoes.

Leading up to the eruption of Kirishima, which is located in the densely-populated Kagoshima region, the Aira caldera stopped inflating, which experts took as a sign that the volcano was at rest. The results from this new study, however, indicated that the opposite was happening–the magma chamber inside Aira began to deflate temporarily while Kirishima was erupting and resumed shortly after the activity at Kirishima stopped.

“We observed a radical change in the behavior of Aira before and after the eruption of its neighbor Kirishima,” said Elodie Brothelande, a postdoctoral researcher at the UM Rosenstiel School and lead author of the study. “The only way to explain this interaction is the existence of a connection between the two plumbing systems of the volcanoes at depth.”

Prior to this new study, scientists had geological records of volcanoes erupting or collapsing at the same time, but this is the first example of an unambiguous connection between volcanoes that allowed scientists to study the underlying mechanisms involved. The findings confirm that volcanoes with no distinct connection at the surface can be part of a giant magmatic system at depth.

“To what extend magmatic systems are connected is an important question in terms of the hazards,” said Falk Amelung, professor of geophysics at the UM Rosenstiel School and coauthor of the study. “Is there a lot of magma underground and can one eruption trigger another volcano? Up until now there was little or no evidence of distinct connections.”

“Eruption forecasting is crucial, especially in densely populated volcanic areas,” said Brothelande. “Now, we know that a change in behavior can be the direct consequence of the activity of its neighbor Kirishima.”

The findings also illustrate that large volcanic systems such as Aira caldera can respond to smaller eruptions at nearby volcanoes if fed from a common deep reservoir but not all the time, since magma pathways open and close periodically.

“Now, we have to look whether this connnection is particular for these volcanoes in southeastern Japan or are widespread and occur around the world,” said Amelung.

Hawaii Volcano Eruption Forms New Lava ‘Island’Just Off Coast

The ongoing eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea Volcano and continued lava flows into the sea has created a tiny new landmass off the Big Island, officials revealed Friday.

The U.S. Geological Survey said the tiny island formed off the northernmost part of the ocean entry from Fissure 8, and was oozing lava similar to that of the larger lava flow along the coast.

In photos posted by the agency, the “island” is just a few meters off shore, and about 20 to 30 feet in diameter.

“It’s most likely part of the fissure 8 flow that’s entering the ocean—and possibly a submarine tumulus that built up underwater and emerged above sea level,” the USGS said.

But anyone who may have wanted to visit the new landmass in its ‘island’ form is out of luck, as the agency revealed on Monday it’s now connected back to the Big Island by a strip of lava.

Krakatau Volcano (Indonesia):Continuous Intense Explosions Heard 42 Km Away, Off Scale Seismicity

Our Indonesian volcano expedition leader Andi has sent us the below video of the current seismicity of Anak Krakatau: “Krakatau is going crazy …100 times explosion a day … very loud could be heard untill Carita 42 km away.

The explosive activity of the volcano continues and seems to be increasing with strombolian to vulcanian-style explosions from the summit crater.

Ash plumes can be seen on satellite imagery now, but so far have been low and do not affect air traffic significantly.

We will be visiting the island and camp 3 nights during our next Volcano Special tour from 10-15 August.

Hawaii Kilauea Volcano Update: School, Park Destroyed By Lava, Collapse Events Continue

The Kilauea volcano in Hawaii continues to cause disruptions in daily life for the people on the island. Near-daily collapse events that feel like earthquakes are rocking the island where some people have lost homes since the volcano started erupting in early May.

Lava is continuously flowing from Fissure 8 and a channel, or river, of lava has formed that leads from the fissure to the ocean. That ocean entry point filled an entire bay with lava. A map from the United States Geological Survey shows where the coastline was before it was covered with lava.

That map, which is up to date as of Thursday, also shows that while there were two entry points where the lava was entering the ocean earlier this week, there is now only one.

The channel of lava that formed from Fissure 8 was experiencing some blockages and consequent overflows earlier this week, which have since stopped. On Thursday afternoon, the caldera of the volcano, or the area above the magma pit that’s been feeding the fissures, experienced a collapse event. These events have been fairly common at Kilauea, but each one causes what feels like an earthquake on the island.

Thursday’s collapse event caused an increase in activity from Fissure 8, but the lava didn’t significantly overflow the edges of the channel due to the collapse, according to the USGS. Typically after each collapse, the seismic activity around the summit decreases for a few hours before ramping back up until the next collapse event. Hawaii Civil Defense recommends that residents “check their utility connections of electricity, water and gas after earthquakes.”

One of the most recent island locations to be overrun with lava was Ahalanui Beach Park and the Kua O Ka La Public Charter School along Highway 137, the Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported.

In addition to the danger hot flowing lava presents, there are also gases being released into the air from the lava and the summit of the volcano, as well as where the lava is meeting the ocean.

The ocean-entry point created a lava haze, or laze, plume that is made up of steam and hydrochloric acid and which can cause lung damage to anyone who gets too close. The reaction of the cold water meeting the hot lava can also produce explosive episodes that are potentially dangerous.

The volcano itself was releasing sulfur dioxide and volcanic ash and glass, which can cause irritation to the eyes, skin and lungs.

Scientists Finish Groundbreaking Volcano Mission

A mission off New Zealand’s coast has broken new-ground – literally – with scientists going where none have gone before.

Geologists on a trip to the Kermadec Arc – 400km northeast of White Island – have managed to drill into the heart of an underwater volcano, more than 1600m below the surface, and extract samples.

The Joides Resolution returned to Auckland this week and chief scientist Cornel De Ronde has been welcoming people aboard to share the expedition’s success.

It was very rare to be able to drill through any volcano, let alone one so deep in the ocean, he said.

“We were very lucky that this international consortium thought that this was a pretty good idea, all based on science,” Mr De Ronde said.

“It was five years in the making and $20 million in the costs.”

The scientists spent two months drilling into Brothers, a massive underwater volcano which is about three times the size of White island.

The oval shaped volcano is 13km-long and 8km-wide.

Mr De Ronde said scientists knew more about the dark side of the moon than they did about the ocean floor, but information from the Brothers would help answer some key questions.

“How are metals transported through volcanoes … what metals are there, how did they get there and where are they going?

Scientist Tobias Hofig said at one point they struck rock so hard and hot fluids so acidic that some of their drilling equipment was destroyed.

However, they still managed to recover more than 200m of volcanic core.

The trip was funded by a consortium of 23 countries that make up the International Ocean Discovery Programme, with the United States being the main funder.

Mr de Ronde said the expedition had been a career highlight.

“It was spectacularly successful. The technology used enabled us to do what we did.

“Once you get a bunch of people together with a common goal it’s amazing what you can achieve.”

Scientists will now spend the next year poring over the samples to help unearth more secrets around how and why submarine volcanoes work.

‘Lava Tornado’ Sends Hot Molten Stuff Flying As Kilauea Volcano Continues To Erupt

While fireworks filled skies across the nation at the start of July, Kilauea volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island might have put on the most spectacular show this week.

A vortex of rapidly swirling air flung red glowing bits of molten rock, creating what several publications have dubbed a “lava tornado.”

Scientists at the United States Geological Survey used a telephoto lens to capture video footage of the whirlwind above an river of lava flowing from an opening in the ground known as fissure No. 8.

The activity lasted for 10 minutes on July 2 and threw lava several meters away, the USGS reports.

Lava has destroyed more than 600 homes on the Big Island since the volcano began spraying molten rock out of a vent on a residential street on May 3.

At Kilauea’s summit, there continue to be explosions that shoot plumes of ash into the sky.

Ash expelled during explosions may cause poor visibility and slippery conditions for drivers.

Another ongoing hazard comes from lava meeting the ocean. Scientists warn against venturing too close to the action, saying it could expose people to dangers from flying debris.