Fire Earth

Earth is fighting to stay alive. Mass dieoffs, triggered by anthropogenic assault and fallout of planetary defense systems offsetting the impact, could begin anytime!

Posts Tagged ‘south pacific ocean’

Sky Photos IV

Posted by feww on August 30, 2013

Cloud Formations Over South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans

sky photo 4
Cloud formations over South Pacific, Indian and Southern Oceans, August 30, 2013 at 12:00UTC. Source: MTSAT-2/Digital Typhoon.

Previous Sky Photos

Posted in Pacific Ring of Fire | Tagged: , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Sky Photos

Posted by feww on November 27, 2010

Spiral Cloud Formations Over North and South Pacific Ocean


Spiral cloud formation over the North Pacific Ocean on November 26, 2010 at 3:00UTC. Source: MTSAT-1R/Digital Typhoon.


Spiral cloud forming simultaneously over the South Pacific Ocean on November 26, 2010 at 3:00UTC. Source: MTSAT-1R/Digital Typhoon.


Full view.  Click image to enlarge.

Posted in cloud pattern, environment, Pacific Ring of Fire | Tagged: , , , | 1 Comment »

Eco-Terrorism and Dead Rare Sunfish

Posted by feww on June 27, 2009

Guilty of Eco-Terrorism: Tourists and Tour Operators

Eco-Tourists [sic] and Eco Tour Operators [sic] are systematically destroying the fragile marine environment in the south Pacific and Southern [Antarctic] oceans.

“Eco-tourists” love dead natural beauty, at least according to a short article in New Zealand Nelson Mail:

“Tourists being guided along Farewell Spit were mesmerised by more than just the area’s natural beauty yesterday.

“A large sunfish, about 2 metres long, and 2m wide from fintip to fintip, was spotted as Farewell Spit Eco Tours driver John Stevens was heading towards the spit with a busload of tourists.”

Dead Rare SunfishDo the eco-terrorists get a warm sensation rushing through their body knowing they are alive and can spot the dad rare sunfish, but the dead fish can’t see them?

Look What We Caught! [Original caption: STRANGE FIND.  Shelley Climo from the Farewell Spit Eco Tours office with the sunfish, found near Puponga township.] Photo: PADDY GILLOOLY/Farewell Spit Eco Tour (Via Nelson Mail). Image may be subject to copyright.

According to Farewell Spit Eco Tours owner Paddy Gillooly “the sunfish fascinated the tourists.”

“It was quite a good way to start the day. It’s one of the biggest ones I’ve seen.”

“The day before, tourists had seen a small dead minke whale that had washed up on the spit, and had since been washed away again.” The Nelson Mail said.

How very revealing!

“Mr Gillooly said he had seen about half a dozen sunfish washed up at the spit over the years. Because they could not manoeuvre easily, they could get washed into shallow water and stuck there.”

But do they all die of natural causes [sic]?

They were also a “very hard fish”, he said.

“Boaties and yachts sometimes [very often] run into them, and the yacht will [sometimes] come off second best.”

Source:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/environment/2542883/Sunfish-a-rare-sight

The world cannot survive with the impact of airline industry and tourism, but the “economy” can cope without the two!

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Posted in eco-terrorism, Farewell Spit, marine ecology, sunfish, tasman sea massacre | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Tonga’s Metis Shoal may be erupting

Posted by feww on February 3, 2009

Metis Shoal Submarine Volcano May Be Erupting

1. FEWW seismic analysis of Tonga Islands region in south Pacific Ocean (SPO) indicate that Metis Shoal, a submarine volcano located midway between the islands of Kao and Late (about 50 km NNE of Kao), may be about to erupt, or is currently undergoing a period of unrest.

2. Metis Shoal’s last known eruption occurred in 1995, which produced an island with a diameter of about 300 m and a height of 43 m after a solid lava dome was formed above the surface of water in SPO.

3. Since 1851 some 8 episodes of unrest have been recorded. In three, possibly five, of those occasions new islands were created (1858, 1967-68, 1979, 1995).

Metis Shoal

  • Country:  Tonga
  • Region:  Tonga Islands, SPO
  • Volcano Type:  Submarine volcano
  • Last Known Eruption:  1995
  • Summit Elevation:  43 m asl
  • Latitude: 19.18°S   19°11’0″S
  • Longitude:  174.87°W   174°52’0″W

4. Metis Shoal, a submarine volcano midway between the islands of Kao and Late, has produced a series of ephemeral islands since the first confirmed activity in the mid-19th century. An island, perhaps not in eruption, was reported in 1781 and subsequently was eroded away. During periods of inactivity following 20th-century eruptions, waves have been observed to break on rocky reefs or sandy banks with depths of 10 m or less. Dacitic tuff cones formed during the first 20th-century eruptions in 1967 and 1979 were soon eroded beneath the sea surface. An eruption in 1995 produced an island with a diameter of 280 m and a height of 43 m following growth of a lava dome above the surface. [Caption: GVP]


5. Waves break over Metis Shoal on February 19, 1968, more than a month after the end of a submarine eruption that began in December 1967 and produced an ephemeral island. Metis Shoal has produced a series of small islands during eruptions observed since the mid-19th century. Most recently, an eruption in 1995 produced a lava dome that built up to 43 m above sea level. Photo by Charles Lundquist, 1968 (Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory). Caption: GVP


6. Map of the Tonga Islands, showing the island groups and location of Metis Shoal, which re-emerged as an island in June 1995. Source: GVP

Other Photos of Metis Shoal


7. Metis Shoal, sea level view. Source: MTU


8. Metis shoal, aerial view. Source: MTU


9. Metis Shoal aerial photo dated December 7,  2006. Source: GVP

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Content of this post: 424 words, 9 paras/captions, 5 images, 1 list w/9 bullets

Posted in fumarolic activity, Submarine eruption, tephra, volcanic unrest, volcanoes | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Mt Ruapehu Eruption Alert

Posted by feww on May 3, 2008

Submitted by a reader

Will one or both of New Zealand islands break up and sink in the south-western Pacific Ocean?

Update [June 30, 2008]: Ruapehu crater lake temperatures remain high

Increased risk of eruptions on Mt Ruapehu

Scientists are alarmed by an increased risk of eruptions on Mt Ruapehu. Climbers are warned about the increased gas concentrations near the Ruapehu’s crater lake that will affect some people.

In a moderate-sized eruption last year, William Pike, a geography teacher, lost part of his leg after a lahar partially buried him under tons of debris.

The crater lake temperature normally rises and drops in regular cycles. However, since the last eruption, the temperatures have remained above the of 34 – 38 °C range, a Conservation Department scientist said.

“Since September there’s been a long period of heating in the volcano, which is unusual. Normally the crater lake temperature goes up and down every nine to 15 months.

“But it has been hovering around 34-38 degrees when it normally should be lower than this.

“Basically, the temperature has stayed hot for longer this time.

“There’s no clear pattern – before the last two eruptions it was at the bottom of the cycle.”

Predicting how close the mountain was to erupting involves monitoring numerous factors, especially the crater lake temperature, the scientist said.

“It’s a combination of gas, lake temperature and magma temperature… We are issuing a warning that people should be alert if they go into the summit hazard zone.” (Source)

A train passes over a bridge over the Whangaehu River at the scene of the historic Tangiwai Rail incident after a mud flow from the crater lake of Mount Ruapehu, in the central North Island, New Zealand, Sunday, March 18, 2007. A potentially lethal mix of mud, acidic water and rocks tore down the slope of New Zealand’s Mount Ruapehu on Sunday, emergency officials said, but there was no immediate threat to life. Credit: AP Photo/NZPA, Stephen Barker (Source and Caption: Live Science) Image may be subject to copyright. See Fair Use Notice!

What’s a Lahar?

A lahar is a type of mudflow composed of pyroclastic material and water that flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley. The term ‘lahar’ originated in the Javanese language of Indonesia.

Lahars have the consistency of concrete: fluid when moving, then solid when stopped. Lahars can be huge: the Osceola lahar produced 5,600 years ago by Mount Rainier in Washington produced a wall of mud 140 metres (460 ft) deep in the White River canyon and extends over an area of over 330 square kilometres (130 sq mi) for a total volume of 2.3 cubic kilometers (0.55 cubic miles).

Lahars can be extremely dangerous, because of their energy and speed. Large lahars can flow several dozen meters per second and can flow for many kilometres, causing catastrophic destruction in their path. The lahars from the Nevado del Ruiz eruption in Colombia in 1985 caused the Armero tragedy, which killed an estimated 23,000 when the city of Armero was buried under 5 metres (16 ft) of mud and debris. The 1953 Tangiwai incident in New Zealand was caused by a lahar. (Source)


Photo Credit: N. Banks on December 18, 1985 (USGS)

The only remaining buildings in Armero, Colombia, 72 km dowstream from Nevado del Ruiz volcano, destroyed and partially buried by lahars on November 13, 1985. Lahars reached Armero about 2.5 hours after an explosive eruption sent hot pyroclastic flows across the volcano’s broad ice- and snow-covered summit area. Although flow depths in Armero ranged only from 2 to 5 m, three quarters of its 28,700 inhabitants perished. (Caption: USGS)

Plate tectonics

Plate tectonics is a theory of geology that explains the observed evidence for large scale movements of the Earth’s lithosphere. The theory encompassed and superseded the older theory of continental drift from the first half of the 20th century and the concept of seafloor spreading developed during the 1960s. (Source)


The tectonic plates of the world (as of second half of the 20th century). (USGS)

Convergent boundary

In plate tectonics, a convergent boundary – also known as a convergent plate boundary or a destructive plate boundary – is an actively deforming region where two (or more) tectonic plates or fragments of lithosphere move toward one another and collide. (Source)

Will a magnitude 9.8 (MW) earthquake centered at 42° 00′ 59″ South, 175° 05′ 07″ East herald the end of New Zealand Islands?

alpine-fault
New Zealand’s Alpine Fault. Image may be subject to copyright. SEE Fair Use Notice!

Topography of New Zealand (NASA Visible Earth)

PIA06662
Credit: NASA Image courtesy JPL/National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

New Zealand straddles the juncture of the Australian and Pacific tectonic plates. The Australian Plate is on the west side of the boundary, while the Pacific Plate is on the eastern side. The two plates converge in a scissor-like pattern. In the northern part of the boundary, the Australian plate overrides the Pacific plate, and in the southern part of the plate boundary, the Pacific plate overrides the Australian plate. New Zealand sits in the area around the cross point of this tectonic scissor pattern. (For help visualizing the process, take two index cards and arrange them side by side. On the left-hand card make a cut from the middle of the right edge toward the center. Lift up the top “flap” created by the cut and slide the right-hand card into the cut. Let go of the flap. The left-hand card is the Australian Plate; the right-hand card is the Pacific Plate.)

The collision of the two plates has built two major islands that together exhibit active volcanoes and fault systems, and these geologic features are very evident in the topographic pattern. The image above shows a topographic map of the North and South Islands of New Zealand made from radar data collected by the Space Shuttle Endeavor. Elevation is color-coded, with green at the lower elevations, rising through yellow and tan, to white at the highest elevations. Shading reveals the direction of slopes. Northwest slopes appear bright, and southeast slopes appear dark.

The North Island lies at the southern end of the west-over-east (Australian over Pacific) plate convergence.
Here, the Pacific plate dives under the North Island, and the immense heat and pressure created by this subduction process melts the deep rock. The melted rock (magma) rises to the surface through the North Island’s volcanoes and other geothermal features. Most notable are Mount Egmont on the west coast, and Mounts Ruapehu, Ngauruhoe, and Tongariro, clustered just south of the island’s center. The Rotorua geothermal field is northeast of that cluster of volcanoes, and the field appears as a scattering of bumps created by smaller volcanic eruptions.

The South Island straddles the “cross point” of the subduction scissor pattern. To the north of the cross point, the Pacific Plate goes under the Australian Plate; to the south of the cross point, it goes over top. This area around this cross point is not in either subduction zone, which explains why it lacks the volcanic activity of the North Island.

Instead, South Island features a fault system that connects the northern subduction zone to the southern one, which occurs south of South Island. The Alpine fault is the major strand of this fault system along most of the length of the island, near and generally paralleling the west coast. Its impact upon the topography is unmistakable, forming an extremely sharp and straight northwest boundary to New Zealand’s tallest mountains, the Southern Alps. Along the Alpine Fault, the plates are sliding past each other (moving horizontally) somewhere between 35-40 millimeters per year. Vertical differences between the two plates increase at a rate of about 7 millimeters per year, which is consistent with the ongoing uplift of the Southern Alps.

Elevation data used in this image were acquired by the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission aboard the Space Shuttle Endeavour, launched on Feb. 11, 2000. SRTM used the same radar instrument that comprised the Spaceborne Imaging Radar-C/X-Band Synthetic Aperture Radar (SIR-C/X-SAR) that flew twice on the Space Shuttle Endeavour in 1994. SRTM was designed to collect 3-D measurements of the Earth’s surface. To collect the 3-D data, engineers added a 60-meter (approximately 200-foot) mast, installed additional C-band and X-band antennas, and improved tracking and navigation devices. The mission is a cooperative project between NASA, the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) of the U.S. Department of Defense and the German and Italian space agencies. It is managed by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif., for NASA’s Earth Science Enterprise, Washington, D.C.  Caption: Visible Earth.

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Posted in energy, environment, health, Tourism, Travel | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 31 Comments »