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Archive for the ‘Plate Tectonics’ Category

Mud Volcano Surfaces in the Arabian Sea

Posted by feww on January 21, 2011

Image of the Day:

Mud Volcano Emerges from the Arabian Sea

Click image to enlarge. Download larger image (962 KB, JPEG)

A mud volcano in the Arabian Sea, first observed by Pakistani fishermen on November 26, 2010, had already begun to erode when ALI on NASA’s EO-1 satellite captured this image on January 11, 2011. Source: NASA-EO.

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Posted in accretionary front, earthquake, Eurasian Plate, mud volcano, plate tectonic activity, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

Never Mind Venus, Let’s Keep Earth Alive

Posted by feww on April 9, 2010

Serial No  1,552. Starting April 2010, each entry on this blog has a unique serial number. If any of the numbers are missing, it may mean that the corresponding entry has been blocked by the authorities/Google in your country. Please drop us a line if you detect any anomaly/missing number(s).

At a time when all of our scientific efforts should be concentrated on saving this planet’s ability to support life, ESA and NASA, Adam’s two unruly children, are diverting attention and resources from Earth to Venus. Their efforts are wasteful and therefore UNINTELLIGENT.

The following was released by the European Space Agency, ESA

Venus is alive—geologically speaking

ESA’s Venus Express has returned the clearest indication yet that Venus is still geologically active. Relatively young lava flows have been identified by the way they emit infrared radiation. The finding suggests the planet remains capable of volcanic eruptions.

The image shows the volcanic peak Idunn Mons (at 46°S, 214.5°E) in the Imdr Regio area of Venus. The topography derives from data obtained by NASA’s Magellan spacecraft, with a vertical exaggeration of 30 times. Radar data (in brown) from Magellan has been draped on top of the topographic data. Bright areas are rough or have steep slopes. Dark areas are smooth. The colored overlay shows the heat patterns derived from surface brightness data collected by the visible and infrared thermal imaging spectrometer (VIRTIS) aboard ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft. Temperature variations due to topography were removed. The brightness signals the composition of the minerals that have been changed due to lava flow. Red-orange is the warmest area and purple is the coolest. The warmest area is situated on the summit, which stands about 2.5 km above the plains, and on the bright flows that originate there. Idunn Mons has a diameter of about 200 km. The VIRTIS data was collected from May 2006 to the end of 2007. Source: ESA/NASA/JPL

It has long been recognised that there are simply not enough craters on Venus. Something is wiping the planet’s surface clean. That something is thought to be volcanic activity but the question is whether it happens quickly or slowly? Is there some sort of cataclysmic volcanic activity that resurfaces the entire planet with lava, or a gradual sequence of smaller volcanic eruptions? New results suggest the latter.

“Now we have strong evidence right at the surface for recent eruptions,” says Sue Smrekar, a scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

That strong evidence comes in the form of compositional differences compared to the surrounding landscape in three volcanic regions. The data were collected by the Visible and Infrared Thermal Imaging Spectrometer (VIRTIS) on ESA’s Venus Express spacecraft, which has been orbiting the planet since April 2006.

VIRTIS records the brightness of surface rocks, providing an estimate of ’emissivity’. In 2008, Jörn Helbert and Nils Müller, Institute of Planetary Research, German Aerospace Center, Berlin and co-authors on this new work, published a map of the variation of infrared emissivity across the southern hemisphere of Venus.

Dr Smrekar and her colleagues targeted three regions that geologically resemble Hawaii, well known for its active volcanism. They show that the regions on Venus have higher emissivities than their surroundings, indicating different compositions.

On Earth, lava flows react rapidly with oxygen and other elements in the atmosphere, changing their composition. On Venus, the process should be similar, though more intense because of the hotter, denser atmosphere, chiefly of carbon dioxide.

The researchers interpret the fact that the lava flows appear to have different compositions from their surroundings as being evidence of a lack of surface weathering, indicating that the flows erupted relatively recently. They estimate that the flows are possibly as geologically recent as 2 500 000 years – and likely much less, possibly even currently active. “This is a significant result,” says Håkan Svedhem, ESA Venus Express Project Scientist.

Whilst the gradual resurfacing scenario might not be the most spectacular, it does make Venus look a little more Earth-like.

“There are some intriguing models of how Venus could have completely covered itself in kilometres of volcanic lava in a short time, but they require that the interior of Venus behaves very differently from Earth. If volcanism is more gradual, this implies that the interior may behave more like Earth, though without plate tectonics,” says Dr Smrekar.

Contact: Håkan Svedhem
European Space Agency

Posted in Idunn Mons, Plate Tectonics, Venus, volcanic eruption | Tagged: , , , , | 6 Comments »

Two Powerful Quakes Strike Fox Islands, Alaska

Posted by feww on October 14, 2009

Two powerful Earthquakes Measuring 6.5 and 6.6 Mw Strike Fox Islands, Aleutian Islands, Alaska

The first earthquake a magnitude 6.5 quake struck on Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 05:37:21 UTC at a depth of 18 km, followed by a swarm of smaller aftershocks and a second powerful shock measuring 6.6Mw, which struck some 15 hours later.

An earlier quake, also measuring M 6.6, struck the same region about 250km WNW of the recent cluster on October 2, 2009.
Two Powerful Quakes Strike Fox Islands, Alaska

FEWW Moderators have forecast a large earthquake for Kenai Peninsula, Southern Alaska. See links below

Based on the pattern in which the recent quakes are occurring, the Moderators believe a prolonged period of powerful seismic activity in the region may have begun.

This Earthquake:

10-degree Map Centered at 55°N,170°W

2009 October 13 20 -21- 54 UTC
Earthquake Location Map.
Source: USGS/EHP. Enhanced by FEWW

  • Magnitude: 6.6  [maximum quake magnitude estimated by FEWW]
  • Date-Time:
    • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 20:21:54 UTC
    • Tuesday, October 13, 2009 at 12:21:54 PM at epicenter
  • Location: 52.634°N, 167.149°W
  • Depth: 13.7 km (8.5 miles) (poorly constrained)
  • Distances:
    • 120 km (75 miles) ESE (106°) from Nikolski, AK
    • 146 km (90 miles) SSW (197°) from Unalaska, AK
    • 190 km (118 miles) SSW (209°) from Akutan, AK
    • 1413 km (878 miles) SW (236°) from Anchorage, AK
  • Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 8 km (5.0 miles); depth +/- 27.6 km (17.1 miles)
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009mscj

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Posted in Akutan quake, Earthquakes, feww earthquake forecast, North American plate, Pacific Plate, Plate Tectonics, seismic event report | Tagged: , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Chaitén Still Awake!

Posted by feww on September 29, 2009

Chaitén: A New Phase of Activity?

On June 29, 2009, after a magnitude 5.3 quake struck off coast of Isen, Chile, at a depth of 10km, the Moderators forecast:

FEWW believes that the quake could be followed by more shocks, a number of which could be larger in magnitude, along the Chile Ridge, near the coast of Chile and about the subducting Nazca Plate. Additional seismic activity in the region could result in a new, more intense phase of activity in Chaitén, or prime other regional volcanoes for eruption.

Well, Chaitén is still awake, doing what volcanoes do best: Spewing ash, steam, sulfur…

Ash and Steam Plume from Chaitén

The Advanced Land Imager (ALI) aboard the NASA/USGS Earth Observing-1 (EO-1) satellite acquired this natural color image of Chaitén on September 27, 2009, at roughly 10:30 am local time.  According to a report, there was an ash plume extending 56 km (35 miles) northwest of the summit at the time the image was taken.
NASA image by Robert Simmon, using EO-1 ALI data provided courtesy of the NASA EO-1 team. Caption by Robert Simmon. [Edited by FEWW]

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Posted in Chaiten, Chaiten volcano, obduction, oceanic tectonic plate, orogeny. Tagged: block rotation, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

More Aftershocks Strike Gulf of Calif, NZ

Posted by feww on August 5, 2009

Another strong aftershock Strikes Gulf of California

A strong aftershock measuring 5.5Mw struck the Gulf of California on Wednesday, August 5, at 09:13:13 UTC, USGS reported.

The latest aftershock was the third one reported by USGS, which had earlier upgraded a previous aftershock, the largest to date, to a magnitude 6.2 [from 5.9 Mw.]

A powerful mainshock measuring 6.9 shook the Gulf of California on Monday.

10-degree Map Centered at 30°N,115°W

Earthquake Location Map. USGS

Location: 29.615°N, 113.850°W
Depth: 10km
Event ID: us2009jwbr

A powerful aftershock strikes off west coast of the South Island, NZ

Meanwhile, a much stronger aftershock measuring 6.1Mw struck off west coast of the South Island, New Zealand.

Location: 45.472°S, 166.336°E
Depth: 10km
Event ID: us2009jyaw

Click on the link for details of the mainshock:
Powerful 7.8 M Quake Strikes New Zealand Region

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Posted in Kermadec trench, Mt Ruapehu Eruption Alert, Plate Tectonics, Seismic Hazard | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

M 6.4 Quake Strikes SW Ryukkyu Isls, Japan

Posted by feww on August 5, 2009

A Magnitude 6.4  Earthquake Struck Southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan

A strong earthquake measuring 6.4 Mw struck southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan, Wednesday, August 05, 2009, at 00:18 UTC, USGS reported.

So far, there have been no reports of aftershocks, which might follow later. There has continual seismic activity in the area in the past weeks.

Japan Meterological Agency (JMA) posted no No tsunami warning, however, it advised that slight sea level changes may occur.

Earthquake Details

  • Magnitude: 6.4
  • Date-Time:
    • Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 00:18:00 UTC
    • Wednesday, August 05, 2009 at 09:18:00 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 24.232°N, 125.007°E

10-degree Map Centered at 25°N,125°E

Earthquake Location Map. USGS

  • Depth: 35 km (21.7 miles) set by location program
  • Region: Southwestern RyuKyu Islands, Japan
  • Distances:
    • 84 km (52 miles) ESE (103°) from Ishigaki-jima, Ryukyu Islands, Japan
    • 322 km (200 miles) E (97°) from Su-ao, Taiwan
    • 343 km (213 miles) SW (232°) from Naha, Okinawa, Japan
    • 1150 km (714 miles) NNE (21°) from MANILA, Philippines
  • Location Uncertainty:  horizontal +/- 5.1 km (3.2 miles); depth fixed by location program
    Parameters NST=159, Nph=159, Dmin=366 km, Rmss=0.9 sec, Gp= 40°,  M-type=teleseismic moment magnitude (Mw), Version=6
  • Source: USGS NEIC (WDCS-D)
  • Event ID: us2009jyab

Historic Seismicity Magnitude 7 and Greater Earthquakes Since 1900
[Source: USGS]

neic_jyab_7 -- us2009jyab

Seismic Hazard Map [Source: USGS]

neic_jyab -- us2009jyab
Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green

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Posted in Okinawa Islands, Plate Tectonics, Seismic Hazard, Su-ao, tsunami warning | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Chaitén: A New Phase of Activity?

Posted by feww on June 29, 2009

Magnitude 5.3 quake strikes off the coast of Isen, Chile

A magnitude 5.3 quake struck off coast of Isen, Chile, at a depth of 10km on Monday. FEWW believes that the quake could be followed by more shocks, a number of which could be larger in magnitude, along the Chile Ridge, near the coast of Chile and about the subducting Nazca Plate. Additional seismic activity in the region could result in a new, more intense phase of activity in Chaitén, or prime other regional volcanoes for eruption.

Chaitén volcano as seen from the city of Chaitén (May 5, 2008)

Chaitén volcano ejects a plume of ash as seen from the city of Chaitén, 1,200km south from Santiago, Chile, on May 5, 2008. (ALVARO VIDAL/AFP/Getty Images). Image may be subject to copyright.

Earth’s Tectonic Plates with their movement vectors.

Detailed world map in English showing the tectonic plates with their movement vectors. For licensing details see: Attribution and Share-Alike

World geologic provinces

Source: USGS


Magnitude: 5.3
Date-Time: Monday, June 29, 2009 at 03:07:32 UTC
Location:  45.619°S, 76.605°W
Depth: 10 km (6.2 miles) set by location program

  • 355 km (220 miles) W of Coihaique, Chile
  • 385 km (240 miles) SW of Castro, Chile
  • 1440 km (900 miles) SSW of SANTIAGO, Chile

Location Uncertainty: horizontal +/- 13.5 km (8.4 miles); depth fixed by location program
Parameters: NST= 40, Nph= 40, Dmin=733.6 km, Rmss=1.54 sec, Gp=133°, M-type=body wave magnitude (Mb), Version=6
Event ID: us2009ilah

Earthquake Location


Major Tectonic Boundaries: Subduction Zones -purple, Ridges -red and Transform Faults -green. Source: USGS.

Related Links:

Posted in COAST OF ISEN, Nazca Plate, oceanic tectonic plate, orogeny, Plate Tectonics | Tagged: , , , , | 1 Comment »