Yellowstone volcano: ‘Increased risk’ warning after scientists pinpoint ‘magma intrusion’ #Yellowstone #Magma #USA
YELLOWSTONE researchers have warned there is an “increased risk of hydrothermal explosion” at Steamboat Geyser after pinpointing a body of magma that “intruded” below Norris Geyser Basin years ago.
Scientists used GPS data to model what may have occurred below the surface to explain why an area near the basin has been inflating and deflating by several inches in erratic bursts for the past two decades. Their research, published in the Journal of Geophysical Research, revealed a body of magma had “intruded” beneath Norris in the Nineties. As the fluid got stuck and pressure built up, the ground would rise, and when the fluids were able to escape elsewhere, the ground deflated.
The paper, published in January, reads: “Recent activity has provided new insights into the causes of surface deformation in and around the Yellowstone Caldera, a topic that has been debated since the discovery of caldera floor uplift more than four decades ago.
“An episode of unusually rapid uplift centred near Norris Geyser Basin along the north caldera rim began in late 2013 and continued until an earthquake on March 30, 2014, thereafter, uplift abruptly switched to subsidence.
“Split at rates of several centimetres per year resumed in 2016 and continued at least through to the end of 2018.
“Modelling of GPS and interferometric synthetic aperture radar data suggests an evolving process of deep magma intrusion during 1996–2001.”
Today, the researchers believe magma-derived fluids could sit close to the surface, just a mile or so below the ground.
The study added: “The depth of shallow volatile accumulation appears to have shallowed from the 2014 to the 2016 deformation episode.
“Frequent eruptions of Steamboat Geyser since March 2018 are likely a surface manifestation of this ongoing process.
“Hydrothermal explosion features are prominent in the Norris Geyser Basin area, and the apparent shallow nature of the volatile accumulation implies an increased risk of hydrothermal explosions.”
Co-author Daniel Dzurisin told National Geographic on Friday: “In all likelihood, Norris has been a centre of deformation for a very long time.”
The new research does not indicate that the supervolcano is any closer to erupting.
Instead, these geologic movements may help explain why the park’s Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest active geyser, has been erupting at a record-breaking pace since March 2018.
While the threat of a supereruption remains a reality, the USGS has previously put minds at ease regarding “overdue” claims.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory’s Scientists-in-Charge Jacob Lowenstern said in 2014: “When you see people claiming it’s overdue, usually the numbers they come up with say the last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but it erupts every 600,000 years.
“But, in fact, if you average the eruption intervals, there’s 2.1 million to 1.3 million and then another 640,000 years ago.
“If you average those numbers you come up with something that’s over 700,000 years.
“So, in reality, even if you tried to make this argument, it wouldn’t be overdue for another 70,000 years.”
Courtesy of express.co.uk
‘Throat of fire’ Tungurahua volcano signalling imminent, devastating COLLAPSE in Ecuador #Tungurahua #Volcano #magma #Ecuador
Scientists are warning that the Tungurahua volcano in Ecuador is showing early signs of impending catastrophic collapse, after satellite data showed substantial internal damage from ongoing magma activity.
Tungurahua, has been persistently active since 1999 so wear and tear was inevitable, especially given that the ‘Throat of fire,’ or ‘Black giant’ as the Quechua indigenous people named it, has already collapsed twice before thousands of years ago.
“Using satellite data we have observed very rapid deformation of Tungurahua’s west flank, which our research suggests is caused by imbalances between magma being supplied and magma being erupted,” says geophysical volcanologist James Hickey from the University of Exeter in the UK, whose worrying research was recently published.
Tungurahua previously collapsed at the end of the Late Pleistocene, after which it then rebuilt itself for thousands of years, before collapsing again about 3,000 years ago.
Such collapses can trigger massive landslides and pyroclastic flows, which can travel for tens of kilometers. For example, the collapse 3,000 years ago is thought to have laid waste to an area of roughly 80km sq (11,000 football fields).
Meanwhile, an eruption in 1999 forced the evacuation of some 25,000 people, so the impact on human life in the area should the volcano collapse again would be truly staggering.
The team admits, however, that magma supply is just one of many risk factors which should be closely monitored to mitigate risk and protect life in the area.
“Magma supply is one of a number of factors that can cause or contribute to volcanic flank instability, so while there is a risk of possible flank collapse, the uncertainty of these natural systems also means it could remain stable,” Hickey says.
Courtesy of rt.com
Yellow Alert issued due to unusual rapid inflation beneath Mt. Thorbjorn on Reykjanes peninsula, Iceland #YellowAlert #MountThorbjorn #reykjanes #iceland
The map shows recent earthquake activity in the area. Mt. Thorbjorn is situated just above the black triangle which indicates one of IMO’s seismographs.
Inflation has been detected in the last few days. An earthquake swarm has been ongoing during the same period. A state of uncertainty has been declared. The aviation color code has been raised to yellow for Reykjanes.
An inflation has been detected since January 21st and is centred just west of Mt. Thorbjorn on Reykjanes peninsula. The inflation is unusually rapid, around 3-4 mm per day and has accumulated to 2 cm to date. It has been detected both on continuous GPS stations and in InSAR images. The inflation is most likely a sign of magma accumulation at a depth of just a few km. If magma accumulation is causing the inflation, the accumulation is very small, with the first volume estimate is around 1 million cubic meters (0,001 km3). This is the conclusion of a meeting held with the Scientific council of the Civil Protection at the IMO this morning.
Accurate measurements of crustal deformation on Reykjanes peninsula span approx. three decades. During this period no comparable signal has been measured. This is unusual for this period. An earthquake swarm has been ongoing, since January 21st, alongside the deformation signal just east of the inflation centre (northeast of Grindavík). The largest earthquakes occurred on January 22nd and were of M3,7 and 3,6. They were felt widely on the Reykjanes peninsula and all the way to Borgarnes region. The earthquake swarm is currently in decline. Swarms like this are common and not unusual by itself in the area. The fact that an inflation is occurring alongside the earthquake swarm is a cause for concern and closer monitoring.
The inflation is centred within an active volcanic zone
The inflation is occurring on plate boundaries and within the volcanic system of Svartsengi which is either considered a separate system or part of the Reykjanes volcanic system. The last known eruption was during Reykjanes fires, which occurred between 1210-1240 AD. Within that period a several eruptions occurred within that system, thereof there were three eruptions in Svartsengi system. The eruptions were effusive (non-explosive) fissure eruptions erupting on 1-10 km long fissures. No explosive eruptions are known from this system. The largest eruption in the swarm, from 13th century, formed Arnarseturshraun lava (estimated 0,3 km3 and 20 km2). Historically, the duration of these eruptions spans from a few days up to several weeks. Seismic activity is very common in this area and is linked to the plate boundaries, geothermal activity and possible magma intrusions. The largest earthquakes measured in this area are about M5.5.
Courtesy of en.vedur.is
Courtesy Aaron Merculieff
The National Weather Service issued a SIGMET aircraft safety alert as the ash plume from Shishaldin reached as high as 20,000 feet in elevation and extended up to 90 miles eastward from the volcano.
A lava flow is visible from the northeast flank of the volcano, with a large steam plume moving to the south-southeast visible in webcam imagery on Saturday.
A volcanic cloud is reported to extend up to 90 miles east from Shishaldin, located on Unimak Island in the eastern Aleutian Islands.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Shishaldin is one of the most actives volcanoes in the Aleutian volcanic arc — with 24 confirmed eruptions since 1775.
In April and May of 1999, an eruption at Shishaldin generated an ash column reaching 45,000 ft. about sea level.
Courtesy of ktuu.com