Tuesday, April 2 , 2013

Quakes push Canary Islands up eleven centimeters - Multiple earthquakes over the Easter weekend around El Hierro, one of the Canary Islands, have raised some parts of the island by as much as 11 centimetres (4.3 inches). A 4.9 quake on Sunday was the most powerful in a wave of seismic activity that has swept the archipelago in the past two weeks, with many moderate quakes and 129 quakes below 1.3 magnitude through Saturday.
The majority of quakes making up this seismic event occurred at depths between 11 kilometers (6.8 miles) and 15 kilometers (9.3 miles), and ranged between 2.0 and 4.5 on the Richter Scale. This may be a sign magma is rising to the surface, but stuck around 20km deep where the 4.9 quake took place; these are signals there may be a volcanic eruption in the near future.
The 4.9 magnitude quake occurred roughly 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) off shore of El Hierro Island, the southern-most of the Canary Islands chain. It was felt by around 10,000 residents of the island. In response, local authorities closed western roads on the island, and other steps, after raising the alert level on the island to the second-highest civil level. El Hierro, itself, was likely created as a result of volcanic activity taking place over a million years ago.

Etna volcano (Sicily) - new lava analysis suggests volcano is changing behavior. Etna volcano might have begun a process of deep transformation in its eruption style.
During a recent field trip in order to sample the lava erupted during the latest New SE crater paroxysm on 16 March, researchers found, along with the usual basaltic black lava commonly erupted pieces of the extremely rare so-called "white lava". This white lava was first seen as occasional xenoliths during the excentric flank eruptions in 2011 and 2012, but never since until now.
First macroscopic inspection revealed that it is a special variety of light-colored quartz-rich basalt, normally only produced by submarine volcanoes under certain circumstances (e.g. the restingolitas from the El Hierro 2011-12 submarine eruption).
Geochemical analysis further revealed a large Europium anomaly in the white lava. Europium, one of the rare earth elements is little known in its role in magmas, but it is suspected that enrichment occurs as a result of magma-sea water mixing. (photos)

**April showers bring May flowers.**


Live Seismograms - Worldwide (update every 30 minutes)

This morning -

Yesterday -
4/1/13 -

3/31/13 -

Philippines - Minor quake cluster in Surigao del Norte since Thursday. Minor earthquakes measuring magnitudes two to 5 have been recorded in Surigao del Norte. Based on Phivolcs' latest seismic readings on Sunday, March 31, 9 earthquakes have been monitored in various locations near Burgos town since Thursday.
The strongest was a 5.2-magnitude quake that occurred 27 kilometers southeast of the town on Saturday morning. It had a depth of 39 kilometers. Three milder quakes followed. The latest, with magnitude 2.8, occurred early Sunday morning. No damage was reported. Aftershocks were expected.

Volcano Webcams

The volcano-seismic crisis at Telica volcano (Nicaragua) continues into it's third week. Event magnitudes there still reach M3.0 at times though earthquake rates of occurrence is down the past several days. Short bursts of volcanic tremor also affect the volcano. Periodic volcanic tremor continues at nearby San Cristobal volcano as well as occasional aftershocks from last week’s M4.3 earthquake at the volcano.

Earthquake Activity in the Canary Islands - Is a Volcanic Eruption on the Way? - It hasn't been peaceful recently on the holiday islands of the Canaries. Repeated small earth tremors have grown in size with the largest to date being an M4.9 which struck on 31 March, Easter Sunday.
The Canaries are unquestionably volcanic – and, as a result of that volcanic activity, still evolving. The islands’ listing in the Smithsonian Institute’s Global Volcanism Program includes six volcanoes, although not all are currently active. The most recent major eruption was in 1971, and the last known for El Hierro as over 2,000 years ago. Looking closely at the records for Hierro shows that the volcano may have erupted three times since then, in 1677, 1692 and 1793. After that, things remained quiet until eruptive activity in 2011; and eruptive activity in 2012.
Clearly, then, El Hierro is rumbling again. Earthquake data from the European Seismological Centre show dozens of small earthquakes in the week of 25-31 March, increasing in size and culminating in the M4.9 on Easter Sunday. Although an influx of magma may not eventually erupt, the tracking of the seismic tremors it causes mean that it is increasingly less likely that an eruption will come as a complete surprise.


No current tropical storms.


United Kingdom extreme weather will go on and on, scientists say - Day after day this year, news bulletins have begun...“Thousands of homes are without power and many roads impassable as severe weather affects much of the United Kingdom.” Or, “Bitterly cold winds from frozen Europe will persist all this week.” Or, “Scores of of motorists slept in their cars after being trapped in blinding snowstorms.”
March has been colder than the peak of winter in December and January. One family, trapped by snow in their remote Welsh farmhouse, broke up and burned old furniture to keep warm; a young man froze to death in a Lancashire field having lost his way after a night out with friends; and a house collapsed in Cornwall after heavy rain, killing the elderly woman inside.
The National Farmers’ Union warned that hundreds of farmers across Britain are facing ruin as livestock struggle to survive and crops rot in waterlogged fields. Blizzards have been claiming the lives of new-born lambs and forcing farmers to work all hours to keep stranded animals alive. The freezing early months of 2013 represent a double disaster for many farmers who have not yet recovered from the sodden summer of 2012.
Debate is endless about new weather patterns, the effects of climate change, melting ice caps and floods. For while Britain right now is suffering from extreme cold, not long ago the problem was drought and in some countries, famine. The government’s chief scientist said just last week that there is already enough CO2 heating up the atmosphere to ensure extreme weather for the next 25 years.
“The evidence that climate change is happening is unequivocal,” he said. “The current variation in temperatures and rainfall is double the average. This suggests we will have more droughts, more floods, more sea surges and more storms in quite a short timescale. There is a need for urgency in tackling this problem.” A drawback, the professor said, was that the build-up – and the reduction – of CO2 is so slow that efforts to cut back now will not affect the situation for years.


Climate change is expanding Antarctica's sea ice, according to a scientific study. Antarctic sea ice shows a small but significant expansion, in contrast to the trend seen in the Arctic. The paradoxical phenomenon is thought to be caused by relatively cold plumes of fresh water derived from melting beneath the Antarctic ice shelves.
This melt water has a relatively low density, so it accumulates in the top layer of the ocean. The cool surface waters then re-freeze more easily during Autumn and Winter. This explains the observed peak in sea ice during these seasons.
Climate scientists have been intrigued by observations that Antarctic sea ice shows a small but statistically significant expansion of about 1.9% per decade since 1985, while sea ice in the Arctic has been shrinking over past decades. The researchers suggest the "negative feedback" effect outlined in their study is expected to continue into the future. The study also asserts that the cool melt water layer may limit the amount of water sucked from the oceans that falls as snow on Antarctica. Cold air can hold less moisture than warm air.
The sea ice expanded during Southern Hemisphere autumn and winter in response to the development of this fresh, cool surface layer, which floated on the denser, warmer salty sea water below. This fresh water is ultimately derived from enhanced melting at the base of the Antarctic ice shelves. "Sea ice around Antarctica is increasing despite the warming global climate," said the study's lead author. "This is caused by melting of the ice sheets from below."
But there are other plausible explanations for Antarctic sea-ice expansion. The British Antarctic Survey findings last year was that a shift in winds linked to climate change was blowing ice away from the coast, allowing exposed water in some areas to freeze and make yet more ice. "The possibility remains that the real increase is the sum of wind-driven and melt water-driven effects, of course. That would be my best guess, with the melt water effect being the smaller of the two."


China reports three H7N9 infections, two fatal - Chinese health officials announced three severe respiratory infections, two of them fatal, from H7N9 influenza, a subtype that has NOT BEEN KNOWN TO INFECT HUMANS BEFORE.

- Natura Pet Products is voluntarily expanding its recall of dry pet food because it has the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. No Salmonella-related illnesses have been confirmed to date.