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Archive for August 28th, 2009

VolcanoWatch Weekly [27 August 2009]

Posted by feww on August 28, 2009

Volcanic Activity Report: 19 August – 25 August 2009

VOW: Koryaksky

koryaksky_amo_2009239
Koryaksky Volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula released a plume on August 27, 2009, caught by MODIS on NASA’s Aqua satellite. The volcano has released intermittent ash and/or steam plumes late August.

This true-color image shows a pale plume, which consists primarily of water vapor, blowing away from the summit east-northeast, toward the Bering Sea.

Vostok Media reported simultaneous activity at six Kamchatka volcanoes, describing  the first concurrent unrest in 60 years as rare. NASA image courtesy MODIS Rapid Response Team, Goddard Space Flight Center. Caption by Michon Scott. [Edited by FEWW.]

New activity/unrest:

Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP) – SI/USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report

KORYAKSKY Eastern Kamchatka 53.320°N, 158.688°E; summit elev. 3,456 m

KVERT reported that during 14-21 August seismic activity from Koryaksky was slightly above background levels. During 13-16 August, gas-and-steam plumes rose to altitudes of 3.5-5 km (11,500-16,400 ft) a.s.l. Based on visual observations during 16-20 August, gas-and-steam plumes containing ash rose to altitudes of 3.5-4.2 km (11,500-13,800 ft) a.s.l. and drifted in multiple directions. Ash plumes were also seen in satellite imagery, drifting 215 km E and W. On 23 August, a probable ash plume detected in satellite imagery drifted 50 km ESE. During 24-25 August, seismicity increased; more than 100 earthquakes were recorded. The Level of Concern Color Code remained at Orange.

Geologic Summary. The large symmetrical Koryaksky stratovolcano is the most prominent landmark of the NW-trending Avachinskaya volcano group, which towers above Kamchatka’s largest city, Petropavlovsk. Erosion has produced a ribbed surface on the eastern flanks of the 3456-m-high volcano; the youngest lava flows are found on the upper western flank and below SE-flank cinder cones. No strong explosive eruptions have been documented during the Holocene. Extensive Holocenefissure vents about 3900-3500 years ago reached Avacha Bay. Only a few moderate explosive eruptions have occurred during historical lava fields on the western flank were primarily fed by summit vents; those on the SW flank originated from flank vents. Lahars associated with a period of lava effusion from south- and SW-flank time. Koryaksky’s first historical eruption, in 1895, also produced a lava flow. (Source: GVP).

Notes:

Based on information from the Tegucigalpa MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that ash was detected within 15 km of Fuego on 19 August. According to INSIVUMEH, rumbling sounds were accompanied by incandescent tephra ejected 75 m high on 21 August. (Source: GVP).

Ongoing Activity:

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Volcanic Activity Report, Volcano Hazard, VolcanoWatch, volcanism, volcanoes. Tagged: , , , , , , , .

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Strong EQ Strikes Northern Qinghai, China

Posted by feww on August 28, 2009

Magnitude 6.2 earthquake shakes Northern Qinghai, China, followed by large aftershocks

Strong Earthquake measuring 6.2 Mw struck Northern Qinghai, China, about 35 km ESE of Da Qaidam, Qinghai, China, at a depth of 10 km, on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 01:52 UTC, USGS EHP reported.

The earthquake was followed by at least 4 large aftershocks at the time of writing, two of which measured 5.6 Mw.

Based on FEWW analysis, the earthquake may have been as powerful as a magnitude 6.9 shock, possibly larger, and probably misreported by USGS EHP.

China’s official news agency (Xinhua) reported the event as follows:

6.4-magnitude earthquake jolts NW China

http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2009-08/28/content_11957440.htm

XINING, Aug. 28 (Xinhua) — An earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale struck the remote Qinghai Province in northwest China at 9:52 a.m. Friday, the China Earthquake Administration said, but no casualties have been reported.

A total of 128 aftershocks had been registered by 11 a.m. near the epicenter in the Da Qaidam (also known as Dachaidan) district in the Mongolian-Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture of Haixi, with the strongest measuring 5.3 magnitude that struck at 10:14, according to the Qinghai Provincial Seismological Network.

“So far, we have not received reports of casualties or house collapses,” the provincial government said in a statement.

“The governments of the province, the Haixi prefecture and Golmud City have sent staff to investigate,” it said.

The epicenter, at 37.6 degrees north and 95.8 east, was about 140 km away from Delingha City, the capital of the Haixi prefecture, and about 160 km away from Golmud, another major city in Haixi, according to the China Earthquake Administration.

The quake was strongly felt in both cities, the administration said.

The China Earthquake Administration, the National Disaster Reduction Committee and the Ministry of Civil Affairs have all sent staff to the quake-hit region for relief work.

Da Qaidam is a sparsely populated district with an average altitude of 4,000 meters and about 16,000 people, including Mongolians, Tibetans, Muslim Hui and Han. The district covers 34,000 square km and administers three townships.

Da Qaidam, which literally means “a big salt lake” in Mongolian, is rich in mineral resources, with one of the largest lead-zinc mines in western China and several coal mines. [Emphasis added by Moderator.]

On Nov. 10 last year, a 6.3-magnitude quake struck Da Qaidam but did not cause casualties. The quake only toppled several huts and caused cracks in the walls of some mud houses.

In April 2003, a 6.6-magnitude quake hit the same region but did not cause casualties, either, and only damaged old buildings. Editor: Anne Tang – copyright the news agency.

FEWW strongly believes that this earthquake was triggered by human activity, especially the extensive mining operations in the region.

10-degree Map Centered at 40°N,95°E

N QINGHAI, CHINA
Earthquake Location Map. Original map: USGS EHP. Image upgraded by FEWW.

  • Magnitude: 6.2
  • Date-Time: Friday, August 28, 2009 at 01:52:06 UTC
  • Location: 37.721°N, 95.684°E
  • Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles)
  • Region: NORTHERN QINGHAI, CHINA
  • Distances:
    • 35 km (20 miles) ESE of Da Qaidam, Qinghai, China
    • 165 km (100 miles) NNE of Golmud, Qinghai, China
    • 1815 km (1120 miles) W of BEIJING, Beijing, China
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 8.1 km (5.0 miles); depth fixed by location program
  • Parameters: NST= 79, Nph= 79, Dmin=>999 km, Rmss=0.92 sec, Gp= 94°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009kwaf

Historic Seismicity (Magnitude 7+ since 1900)

qinghai seismic hist
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

In November 2008, a mainshock measuring 6.3 Mw struck Da Qaidam area, followed by a swarm of aftershocks with the three largest shocks measuring 5.4, 5.2 and 5Mw.

Related Links:

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Back from the “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

Posted by feww on August 28, 2009

Image of the Day: The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch”

“Our human footprint is now apparent in even one of the most remote places on the planet” —Doug Woodring, director of Project Kaisei (The co-sponsors of the Seaplex study.)

In the centers of our oceans (cf, North Pacific Ocean Gyre), one liter of seawater contains about a billion phytoplankton cells, and 6 billion microscopic pieces of plastic. FEWW

Great Pacific Garbage Patch 1
On Aug. 11, while deployed in a small boat, SEAPLEX researchers encountered a large ghost net with tangled rope, net, plastic, and various biological organisms.  The “Great Pacific Garbage Patch” extends across a 1,700-mile long stretch of the ocean. Photo: J. Leichter/Scripps Institution of Oceanography/Handout

Charles Moore: Sailing the Great Pacific Garbage Patch [Feb 2009]

See also:

SEAPLEX (Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition)

From August 2-21, a group of doctoral students and research volunteers from Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego and Project Kaisei were on an expedition aboard the Scripps research vessel New Horizon exploring the problem of plastic in the North Pacific Ocean Gyre. The Scripps Environmental Accumulation of Plastic Expedition (SEAPLEX) focused on a suite of critical scientific questions. How much plastic is accumulating, how is it distributed, and how is it affecting ocean life?

More Photos: http://mediabank.ucsd.edu/seaplexhires/
News: http://sio.ucsd.edu/Expeditions/Seaplex/

If having 6 time more plastics than plankton in the ocean doesn’t make you want to cry, you don’t need oceans.

Related Links:

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Magnitude 6.8 EQ Strikes BANDA SEA

Posted by feww on August 28, 2009

Powerful Earthquake measuring 6.8Mw strikes Banda Sea

Magnitude 6.8 underwater earthquake struck Banda Sea about 200km SSE of Baubau, Sulawesi, Indonesia, at a depth of 633.2 km, on Friday, August 28, 2009 at 01:51 UTC, USGS/EHP reported.

10-degree Map Centered at 5°S,125°E

Banda Sea Ind
Earthquake Location Map. Original map: USGS EHP. Image upgraded by FEWW.

Details of this Earthquake

  • Magnitude: 6.8
  • Date-Time:
    • Friday, August 28, 2009 at 01:51:19 UTC
  • Location: 7.117°S, 123.444°E
  • Depth: 633.2 km
  • Region:  BANDA SEA
  • Distances
    • 200 km (125 miles) SSE of Baubau, Sulawesi, Indonesia
    • 275 km (170 miles) NE of Ende, Flores, Indonesia
    • 1005 km (620 miles) NW of DARWIN, Northern Territory, Australia
    • 1845 km (1150 miles) E of JAKARTA, Java, Indonesia
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 7.3 km (4.5 miles); depth +/- 13.1 km (8.1 miles)
  • Parameters: NST= 69, Nph= 69, Dmin=470.3 km, Rmss=0.97 sec, Gp= 40°, M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=7
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009kwae

The earthquake occurred about 76km north of  Batu Tara Volcano, located on the tiny Island of  Pulau Komba in the Banda Sea.

Historic Seismicity (Mag 7+ since 1900)

Banda Sea Ind SeisHis 1900
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

Tsunami Report:

There was NO tsunami reported, possibly because the quake occurred at a depth  of more than 633km.

Related Links:

Posted in Batu Tara, earthquake forecast, Earthquakes, Pulau Komba, seismic activity, seismic event report | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »