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Posts Tagged ‘Sierra Nevada’

Disastrous: Western U.S. Snowpack

Posted by feww on April 12, 2015

 Western U.S. Snowpack Shrinks to Record Low

Well-below-average precipitation and abnormally warm temperatures over most of the Intermountain West including nearly all mountain areas have left Western US snowpack at record lows. “Most mountain areas received 25–75% of average precipitation, with the Wasatch Range seeing yet another very dry month with 25–50% of average,” according to Intermountain West Climate Dashboard.


30-day Precip as % Avg  (HPRCC)


Current Snowpack as % Median
(NRCS)

Highlights [from Intermountain West Climate Dashboard]

  • March was disastrous for the region’s snowpack and the expected spring–summer runoff. Snow conditions and forecast runoff are now similar to 1977, 2002, and 2012 in many parts of the region, particularly in Utah.
  • Since early March, the snowpack has significantly declined relative to normal conditions across the region. Most basins are now reporting less than 70% of median snow water equivalent (SWE), and the majority of individual SNOTEL sites are below the 5th percentile for SWE.
  • The April 1 spring-summer runoff forecasts are lower or much lower than the March 1 forecasts across the region. Most forecast points are now expected to see much-below-average (50–69%), far-below-average (25–49%) or extremely low (<25%) runoff, with Utah seeing generally lower forecasts than Colorado and Wyoming.


Mountain Snowpack as of April 1, 2015. (WCC/NRCS/USDA)

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Sierra Nevada Snowpack Virtually Vanished

Posted by feww on April 4, 2015

‘NO Snow Whatsoever’ at Phillips Snow Course—first time in 75 years

No snow whatsoever was found at 6,800 feet (2,073m) in the Sierra Nevada this week, reported the California Department of Water Resources (DWR). This was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips Station in 75 years.

04-01-15-Snow_Survey_3
At an elevation of 6,800 feet, Phillips Station in the Sierra has been measured since 1941, with an average April 1 snow depth of 66.5 inches. Today was the first early-April measurement that found no snow at Phillips, an indication, Governor Brown said, of the drought’s extreme severity. Statewide, the snowpack’s water content is just 5 percent of average for April 1, breaking the previous record of 25 percent in 1977 and 1991. Brown observed the manual survey, which confirmed electronic readings showing the statewide snowpack with less water content than any early-April since 1950. DWR Photography Kelly Grow and Florence Low.  Copyright © 2015 State of California.

  • The Sierra snowpack traditionally is at its peak in early April before it begins to melt.
  • The statewide snowpack currently holds less than 1.4 inches of water content, or less than 5 percent of the historical average of 28.3 inches for April 1.
  • The previous low for the date was 25 percent in 2014 and 1977.
  • The Phillips snow course has averaged 66.5 inches in early April since first readings in 1941.

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No Federal Water for California Farmers

Posted by feww on March 1, 2015

California facing worst drought in  160 years

The Bureau of Reclamation has announced that many California farmers will not receive federal water imports for the second consecutive year because of the persistent drought.

California is experiencing its fourth consecutive year of below-average precipitation, and the Governor’s Emergency Drought Proclamation, issued January 17, 2014, remains in effect. Without unusually heavy precipitation over the next few months, extreme drought conditions are forecasted to persist throughout the Central Valley, said the Bureau of Reclamation in a statement.

The bureau announced Friday the initial 2015 water supply allocation for Central Valley Project agricultural contractors and municipal and industrial contractors. The allocation reflects current reservoir storages, precipitation and snowpack conditions in the Central Valley and Sierra Nevada. The California Department of Water Resources reports snowpack is below average for this date with the snow water content statewide currently at 20 percent or less of average for this time of year.

Many agricultural water contractors may face a second year of receiving no water from the project – an unprecedented situation.

In addition, urban uses should expect reduced amounts of water from the CVP, said the statement

Reclamation began Water Year 2015 in October 2014, with only 3.1 million acre-feet of carryover storage in six key CVP reservoirs. This was only 26 percent of capacity and 47 percent of the 15-year average for October 1.

Meantime, January 2015 was the driest January in recorded history for northern California.

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Massive Wildfire Threatens Thousands of California Homes

Posted by feww on September 18, 2014

EXTREME WEATHER & CLIMATIC HAZARDS
MEGA DISASTERS
STATES OF EMERGENCY
HISTORIC DROUGHT
RISING TEMPERATURES
DESTRUCTIVE WILDFIRES
MASS EVACUATIONS
LOSS OF HABITAT
MASS DISPLACEMENTS
LOSS OF CROPS & LIVESTOCK
SCENARIOS 900, 800, 555, 444, 111, 101, 100, 080, 071, 070, 03, 02
.

Ferocious Wildfire Prompts another State of Emergency Declaration in California

A major blaze burning in the Sierra Nevada Mountains is threatening more than 2,000 homes and 1,500 other structures.

Thousands of residents in areas threatened by the King Fire wildfire have been evacuated.

Gov. Brown declared yet another state of emergency in El Dorado and Siskiyou counties in response to the destructive fires, late Wednesday local time.

“The wildfires in Northern California serve as a reminder that dry conditions can be the precursor to devastating loss,” said Mr Brown.

The Boles Fire wildfire in Siskiyou County has burned at least 150 homes and a Catholic Church, as it tore through the logging town of Weed.

The Courtney Fire wildfire in Madera County has destroyed at least three dozen structures.

About a dozen major fires fueled by the Golden State’s historic drought are burning across the state.

The following details are provided by Cal Fire:

Date/Time Started: September 13, 2014 4:32 pm
County: El Dorado County
Location: Near Pollock Pines
Acres Burned – Containment: ~ 71,000 acres [~ 28,700 hectares] – 5% contained
Structures Threatened: 2,007  residences and 1,505 other structures
Evacuations:

Evacuations: See Cal Fire website for a list of areas under Mandatory Evacuation Orders and  Voluntary Evacuation Advisories.

Total Fire Personnel: 3,695
Total Fire Engines: 299
Total Fire crews: 88
Total Helicopters: 15
Total Dozers: 49
Total Water Tenders: 68
Conditions: The King Fire is burning in steep terrain in the South Fork of the American River Canyon and Silver Creek Canyon, north of the community of Pollock Pines. This afternoon the fire made a significant run to the northwest necessitating the mandatory evacuation order for Quintette and Volcanoville.

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LAST CHANCE TO ‘DECORPORATIZE,’ ‘REHUMANIZE’

Posted by feww on April 26, 2014

EXTREME CLIMATIC EVENTS
WORSENING DROUGHT
CRITICALLY LOW SNOWPACK WATER CONTENT
WATER FAMINE
CROP DISASTERS
NIGHTMARE SCENARIO 03
2ND STATE OF EMERGENCY PROCLAIMED
LAST CHANCE TO DECORPORATIZE & REHUMANIZE

.

Gov Brown Issues Second Drought Emergency Proclamation for the Golden State

With California’s driest months ahead, Governor Brown has issued a second executive order in just three month to “redouble state drought actions, and has called on all Californians to redouble their efforts to conserve water,” according to the governor’s website.

“The driest months are still to come in California and extreme drought conditions will get worse,” said Brown. “This order cuts red tape to help get water to farmers more quickly, ensure communities have safe drinking water, protect vulnerable species and prepare for an extreme fire season. I call on every city, every community, every Californian to conserve water in every way possible.”

Excerpts  From Brown’s Drought Emergency Proclamation II

Commercial establishments such as hotel and restaurants should take steps to reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought through measures such as offering drinking water only upon request and providing customers with options to avoid daily washing of towels or sheets.

Brown says the drought is related to global climate change, adding that conditions will continue to worsen under current fossil fuel dependency.

“We are playing Russian roulette with our environment.” Brown said.

In January, the Governor declared a drought state of emergency. Since then, the reservoirs, rainfall totals and the snowpack have remained critically low. Current statewide snowpack water content is less than 16 percent of average.

WORSENING DROUGHT in CALIFORNIA

Drought conditions expanded in California leaving the entire state in moderate to exceptional drought this week for the first time since U.S. Drought Monitor began collecting data 15 years ago.

  • Nearly 77 percent of the state faces Extreme to Exceptional drought, compared with 0.0 percent last year.
  • More than 96 percent of the Golden State faces severe to exceptional drought, compared with only 30 percent 12 months ago.
  • About 25 percent of California is experiencing exceptional drought, compared with 0.0 percent a year ago.

Calif drought 22apr14
California Drought Map. Source: US Drought Monitor. Map Enhanced by FIRE-EARTH Blog.

30 Percent of California Water Comes from Snowpack

Snowpack provides about a third of the water used by California’s cities and farms. As of April 25, 2014, the California statewide water content of snowpack stood at only 16% of normal for this date, and 14%  of April 1 average, according to the Department of Water Resource.

Drought causes water famine leading to crop disasters. It degrades water quality, and leads to surface and groundwater level declines, land subsidence, soil erosion, intense wildfires, humongous dust storms, and spread of disease.

Snow Water Equivalents – Statewide Summary

Provided by the California Cooperative Snow Surveys – Updated 04/25/2014 06:57PDT

Average snow water equivalent:  4″
Percent of April 1 average: 14%
Percent of normal for this date: 16%

 Drought Information

Water years 2012 and 2013 were dry statewide, especially in parts of the San Joaquin Valley and Southern California. Water year 2014 continues this trend.

California’s Water Year 2014 (October 1, 2013 through September 30, 2014) has been one of the driest in decades and follows two consecutive dry years throughout the state. In most years, California receives about half of its precipitation in the months of December, January and February, with much of that precipitation falling as snow in the Sierras. Only a handful of large winter storms can make the difference between a wet year and a dry one.

In normal years, the snowpack stores water during the winter months and releases it through melting in the spring and summer to replenish rivers and reservoirs. However, relatively dry weather conditions this year have reduced the amount of snowpack in California’s mountains. Each of this season’s first four snow surveys – conducted in early January, late January, late February and early April – found a statewide snowpack water equivalent (WEQ) far below average for the dates of the surveys.  —Calif. DoWR

First State of Emergency Issued in January

Governor Brown proclaimed a State of Emergency on January 27  amid the worsening statewide drought.  He called the “really serious,” adding that 2014 could be California’s third consecutive dry year. “In many ways it’s a mega-drought.”

California State Resources

FIRE-EARTH 2009 Forecast: Desertification of California in the Near Future Is Almost a Certainty

[NOTE: The above forecast and most of the links posted below have previously been filtered/censored by Google, WordPress and others. Editor]

Related Links

The text of the executive order is below:

A PROCLAMATION OF A CONTINUED STATE OF EMERGENCY

WHEREAS on January 17, 2014, I proclaimed a State of Emergency to exist in the State of California due to severe drought conditions; and

WHEREAS state government has taken expedited actions as directed in that Proclamation to minimize harm from the drought; and

WHEREAS California’s water supplies continue to be severely depleted despite a limited amount of rain and snowfall since January, with very limited snowpack in the Sierra Nevada mountains, decreased water levels in California’s reservoirs, and reduced flows in the state’s rivers; and

WHEREAS drought conditions have persisted for the last three years and the duration of this drought is unknown; and

WHEREAS the severe drought conditions continue to present urgent challenges: water shortages in communities across the state, greatly increased wildfire activity, diminished water for agricultural production, degraded habitat for many fish and wildlife species, threat of saltwater contamination of large fresh water supplies conveyed through the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta, and additional water scarcity if drought conditions continue into 2015; and

WHEREAS additional expedited actions are needed to reduce the harmful impacts from the drought as the state heads into several months of typically dry conditions; and

WHEREAS the magnitude of the severe drought conditions continues to present threats beyond the control of the services, personnel, equipment, and facilities of any single local government and require the combined forces of a mutual aid region or regions to combat; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8558(b) of the Government Code, I find that conditions of extreme peril to the safety of persons and property continue to exist in California due to water shortage and drought conditions with which local authority is unable to cope; and

WHEREAS under the provisions of section 8571 of the Government Code, I find that strict compliance with the various statutes and regulations specified in this proclamation would prevent, hinder, or delay the mitigation of the effects of the drought.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, EDMUND G. BROWN JR., Governor of the State of California, in accordance with the authority vested in me by the Constitution and statutes of the State of California, including the Emergency Services Act and in particular Government Code section 8567, do hereby issue this Executive Order, effective immediately, to mitigate the effects of the drought conditions upon the people and property within the State of California.

IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT:

1. The orders and provisions contained in Proclamation No. 1-17-2014, dated January 17, 2014, remain in full force and effect except as modified herein.

2. The Department of Water Resources and the State Water Resources Control Board (Water Board) will immediately and expeditiously process requests to move water to areas of need, including requests involving voluntary water transfers, forbearance agreements, water exchanges, or other means. If necessary, the Department will request that the Water Board consider changes to water right permits to enable such voluntary movements of water.

3. Recognizing the tremendous importance of conserving water during this drought, all California residents should refrain from wasting water:
a. Avoid using water to clean sidewalks, driveways, parking lots and other hardscapes.
b. Turn off fountains and other decorative water features unless recycled or grey water is available.
c. Limit vehicle washing at home by patronizing local carwashes that use recycled water.
d. Limit outdoor watering of lawns and landscaping to no more than two times a week.

Recreational facilities, such as city parks and golf courses, and large institutional complexes, such as schools, business parks and campuses, should immediately implement water reduction plans to reduce the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation.

Commercial establishments such as hotel and restaurants should take steps to reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought through measures such as offering drinking water only upon request and providing customers with options to avoid daily washing of towels or sheets.

Professional sports facilities, such as basketball arenas, football, soccer, and baseball stadiums, and hockey rinks should reduce water usage and increase public awareness of the drought by reducing the use of potable water for outdoor irrigation and encouraging conservation by spectators.

The Water Board shall direct urban water suppliers that are not already implementing drought response plans to limit outdoor irrigation and other wasteful water practices such as those identified in this Executive Order. The Water Board will request by June 15 an update from urban water agencies on their actions to reduce water usage and the effectiveness of these efforts. The Water Board is directed to adopt emergency regulations as it deems necessary, pursuant to Water Code section 1058.5, to implement this directive.

Californians can learn more about conserving water from the Save Our Water campaign (SaveOurH2O.org).

4. Homeowners Associations (commonly known as HOAs) have reportedly fined or threatened to fine homeowners who comply with water conservation measures adopted by a public agency or private water company. To prevent this practice, pursuant to Government Code section 8567, I order that any provision of the governing document, architectural or landscaping guidelines, or policies of a common interest development will be void and unenforceable to the extent it has the effect of prohibiting compliance with the water-saving measures contained in this directive, or any conservation measure adopted by a public agency or private water company, any provision of Division 4, Part 5 (commencing with section 4000) of the Civil Code notwithstanding.

5. All state agencies that distribute funding for projects that impact water resources, including groundwater resources, will require recipients of future financial assistance to have appropriate conservation and efficiency programs in place.

6. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will immediately implement monitoring of winter-run Chinook salmon in the Sacramento River and its tributaries, as well as several runs of salmon and species of smelt in the Delta as described in the April 8, 2014 Drought Operations Plan.

7. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will implement projects that respond to drought conditions through habitat restoration and through water infrastructure projects on property owned or managed by the Department of Fish and Wildlife or the Department of Water Resources for the benefit of fish and wildlife impacted by the drought.

8. The Department of Fish and Wildlife will work with other state and federal agencies and with landowners in priority watersheds to protect threatened and endangered species and species of special concern and maximize the beneficial uses of scarce water supplies, including employment of voluntary agreements to secure instream flows, relocation of members of those species, or through other measures.

9. The Department of Water Resources will expedite the consideration and, where appropriate, the implementation, of pump-back delivery of water through the State Water Project on behalf of water districts.

10. The Water Board will adopt statewide general waste discharge requirements to facilitate the use of treated wastewater that meets standards set by the Department of Public Health, in order to reduce demand on potable water supplies.

11. The Department of Water Resources will conduct intensive outreach and provide technical assistance to local agencies in order to increase groundwater monitoring in areas where the drought has significant impacts, and develop updated contour maps where new data becomes available in order to more accurately capture changing groundwater levels. The Department will provide a public update by November 30 that identifies groundwater basins with water shortages, details remaining gaps in groundwater monitoring, and updates its monitoring of land subsidence and agricultural land fallowing.

12. The California Department of Public Health, the Office of Emergency Services, and the Office of Planning and Research will assist local agencies that the Department of Public Health has identified as vulnerable to acute drinking water shortages in implementing solutions to those water shortages.

13. The Department of Water Resources and the Water Board, in coordination with other state agencies, will provide appropriate assistance to public agencies or private water companies in establishing temporary water supply connections to mitigate effects of the drought.

14. For the protection of health, safety, and the environment, CAL FIRE, the Office of Emergency Services, the Department of Water Resources, and the Department of Public Health, where appropriate, may enter into contracts and arrangements for the procurement of materials, goods, and services necessary to quickly mitigate the effects of the drought.

15. Pursuant to the drought legislation I signed into law on March 1, 2014, by July 1, 2014, the California Department of Food and Agriculture, in consultation with the Department of Water Resources and Water Board, will establish and implement a program to provide financial incentives to agricultural operations to invest in water irrigation treatment and distribution systems that reduce water and energy use, augment supply, and increase water and energy efficiency in agricultural applications.

16. To assist landowners meet their responsibilities for removing dead, dying and diseased trees and to help landowners clear other trees and plants close to structures that increase fire danger, certain noticing requirements are suspended for these activities. Specifically, the requirement that any person who conducts timber operations pursuant to the exemptions in Title 14, California Code of Regulations sections 1038 (b) and (c) submit notices to CAL FIRE under the provisions of Title 14, California Code of Regulations, section 1038.2 is hereby suspended. Timber operations pursuant to sections 1038(b) and (c) may immediately commence operations upon submission of the required notice to CAL FIRE and without a copy of the Director’s notice of acceptance at the operating site. All other provisions of these regulations will remain in effect.

17. The Water Board will adopt and implement emergency regulations pursuant to Water Code section 1058.5, as it deems necessary to prevent the waste, unreasonable use, unreasonable method of use, or unreasonable method of diversion of water, to promote water recycling or water conservation, and to require curtailment of diversions when water is not available under the diverter’s priority of right.

18. In order to ensure that equipment and services necessary for drought response can be procured quickly, the provisions of the Government Code and the Public Contract Code applicable to state contracts, including, but not limited to, advertising and competitive bidding requirements, are hereby suspended for directives 7 and 14. Approval by the Department of Finance is required prior to the execution of any contract entered into pursuant to these directives.

19. For several actions called for in this proclamation, environmental review required by the California Environmental Quality Act is suspended to allow these actions to take place as quickly as possible. Specifically, for actions taken by state agencies pursuant to directives 2, 3, 6¬-10, 13, 15, and 17, for all actions taken pursuant to directive 12 when the Office of Planning and Research concurs that local action is required, and for all necessary permits needed to implement these respective actions, Division 13 (commencing with section 21000) of the Public Resources Code and regulations adopted pursuant to that Division are hereby suspended. The entities implementing these directives will maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which these provisions are suspended. This suspension and that provided in paragraph 9 of the January 17, 2014 Proclamation will expire on December 31, 2014, except that actions started prior to that date shall not be subject to Division 13 for the time required to complete them.

20. For several actions called for in this proclamation, certain regulatory requirements of the Water Code are suspended to allow these actions to take place as quickly as possible. Specifically, for actions taken pursuant to directive 2, section 13247 of the Water Code is suspended. The 30-day comment period provided in section 1726(f) of the Water Code is also suspended for actions taken pursuant to directive 2, but the Water Board will provide for a 15-day comment period. For actions taken by state agencies pursuant to directives 6 and 7, Chapter 3 of Part 3 (commencing with section 85225) of the Water Code is suspended. The entities implementing these directives will maintain on their websites a list of the activities or approvals for which these provisions are suspended.

I FURTHER DIRECT that as soon as hereafter possible, this Proclamation shall be filed in the Office of the Secretary of State and that widespread publicity and notice be given to this Proclamation.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 25th day of April, 2014

__________
EDMUND G. BROWN JR.
Governor of California

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Global Disasters/ Significant Events – Nov. 22, 2013

Posted by feww on November 22, 2013

32 dead, dozens buried after Latvia mall collapse

At least 32 people have reportedly been killed and dozens more trapped in the rubble after the roof of a shopping mall collapsed in Riga, the Latvian capital.

More than 500 square meters of the roof collapsed at the ‘Maxima’ building in Riga in two separate stages, with the second collapse killing several rescue workers, according to reports.

“At least 70 people may still be trapped in the rubble, according to the latest data,” Riga’s mayor told reporters.

riga shopping mall
Large sections of the roof collapsed at Maxima shopping center on Priedaines Street in Riga. Photo credit:@SergioYurtaev)

Pipeline explodes killing 22 in E China

At least 22  people were killed after a leaky pipeline caught fire and exploded Friday morning in the coastal city of Qingdao in east China’s Shandong Province, officials said.

132910114_11n -xinhua
Original caption: Photo taken with a mobile phone shows the site of a pipeline explosion in Qingdao, east China’s Shandong Province, Nov. 22, 2013. A fire broke out and the blast occurred around 10 a.m. in the Huangdao District when workers were repairing a petroleum pipeline which broke and resulted in an oil leakage around 3 a.m. (Xinhua)

Fog stops ships on Houston Channel: U.S. Coast Guard

Sea fog reduced visibility to unsafe levels along the Houston Ship Channel, forcing vessel pilots to stop steering all ships early Friday (UTC), said the U.S. Coast Guard, Reuters reported.

Pilots stopped steering ships along the 53-mile (85-kilometer) channel from the Gulf of Mexico to the busiest U.S. petrochemical port, said the report.

High winds kill two, leave thousands without power in San Francisco area

“The Napa County Sheriff’s Office ordered an unknown number of people evacuated after a fallen power line sparked a wildfire that grew to between 100 and 200 acres, a dispatcher said,” Reuters reported.

There may have been some gusts in the 50- and 55-miles-per-hour range closer to the coast, but the very strongest winds, including one gust of 120 miles per hour, were in the high terrain of the Sierra Nevada,” said a meteorologist at NWS.

Dangerous Sierra Wind Storm Friday Night through Early Saturday

The National Weather Service (NWS)in Sacramento has issued a High Wind Warning: “Strong high pressure building into the Pacific Northwest
combined with a deep low pressure system off the southern California coast will bring strong east winds to the Sierra and Coastal Mountains … The strongest winds are expected Tonight.”

This post would be updated throughout the day, if additional information becomes available.

Posted in Global Disaster watch, global disasters, global disasters 2013, Significant Event Imagery, significant events | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Earthquake Swarm Rattles Buller Mountain

Posted by feww on May 1, 2011

Hundreds of small- to medium-sized quakes strike near Hawthorne, Nevada


A large swarm of earthquakes has rattled the Buller Mountain area near Hawthorne, Nevada since March 5, 2010. At least 400 small- and medium-sized earthquakes measuring between M1.0 and M4.6 have struck a 10 sq km area since April 10., NASA-EO reported.  “This map shows earthquake locations (white circles) from March 5, 2011, through the early morning of April 27, superimposed on a natural-color satellite image from September 19, 2002…  Several abandoned mines are visible as bright scars on the landscape, and the lava flows of Mud Springs Volcano are dark gray. The image was acquired by the Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) aboard Landsat 7. ” The earthquake swarm is said to be tectonic in origin. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.  Download largest image (3 MB, JPEG) 

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VolcanoWatch Weekly [30 September 2009]

Posted by feww on October 2, 2009

VOW: Golden Trout Creek

A cluster of 66 shocks have rocked a a 15 square km area centered about 36.392°N, 117.861°W, some 41 km east of the Golden Trout Creek volcano field in central California, in the past few days. Although most of the quakes were tremors measuring less than M 3.0, the largest shock measured 5.2.

Volcano Details:

Country:  United States
Region:  California (USA)
Volcano Type: Volcanic field
Volcano Status: Tephrochronology
Last Known Eruption: 5550 BC ± 1000 years
Summit Elevation: 2,886 m  (9,468 feet)
Latitude: 36.358°N   (36°21’30″N)
Source: Global Volcanism Program (GVP)


The Golden Trout Creek volcanic field consists of a group of Quaternary alkali olivine basaltic cinder cones and lava flows in the Toowa valley of the Sierra Nevada about 25 km south of Mount Whitney. Lava flows from the Golden Trout Creek volcanic field erupted through Mesozoic granitic rocks of the Sierra Nevada batholith during several episodes dating back to about 743,000 years ago, when the Little Whitney cinder cone and lava flows were erupted. The South Fork cone was erupted about 176,000 years ago and produced the largest lava flow of the volcanic field, which traveled 10 km to the west, possibly as far as the floor of Kern Canyon. Tunnel cone to the north of South Fork (Red Hill) cone is undated, but its lava flow is overlain by glacial deposits and it is thought to be only slightly younger than South Fork cone. The youngest lava flow, from Groundhog cone, is unglaciated and thought to be about 5-10,000 years old (Moore and Lanphere 1983). The lava flow from Groundhog cone traveled 6 km west down Golden Trout Creek on top of the older flow from South Fork cone.—GVP.  
Photo: Rick Howard, 2002 (courtesy of Del Hubbs, U S Forest Service).

SI /USGS Weekly Volcanic Activity Report
(23 September – 29 September 2009)

New activity/Unrest:

News From GVP:

CVGHM reported that on 26 September a “thunderous” noise from Dieng was heard from 2 km away. The next day, a phreatic eruption from an unspecified crater ejected mud as far away as 140 m S.

KVERT reported that on 17 and 22 September a weak thermal anomaly over Karymsky was detected in satellite imagery. Scientists flying near Karymsky in a helicopter on 22 September saw ash plumes that rose to an altitude of 1.7 km (5,600 ft) a.s.l. and drifted E. —GVP

Ongoing Activity:

Related Links:

FEWW Volcanic Activity Forecast

Other Related Links:

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