Scientists have created the highest resolution map yet of the ocean floor, revealing thousands of underwater mountains and extinct volcanoes that were previously unknown. In a study published Thursday in Science, researchers say the new map is at least twice as accurate as the previous version assembled nearly 20 years ago even though it can only resolve features that are a mile high and bigger. “You might think, that’s not so much better, but instead of seeing 5,000 old volcanoes down there, now we can see 10,000,” said David Sandwell, a geophysics professor at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego who led the study.
The sudden eruption of Mount Ontake over the weekend, which is believed to have killed dozens of people, was a reminder of Japan’s vulnerability to its many active volcanoes. Gas continued to pour from the ruptured crater Monday as emergency workers tried to reach the bodies of hikers trapped on the peak when it roared into life. Ontake is one of 110 live volcanoes dotted throughout the seismically-active country, including Mount Fuji, the country’s tallest mountain and a UNESCO World Heritage Site that welcomes some 300,000 climbers each year.
The number of volcanoes that are erupting continues to rise, and scientists cannot seem to explain why this is happening. In 2013, we witnessed the most volcanic eruptions worldwide that we have ever seen in a single year, and this increased activity has carried over into 2014. In recent months, we have seen major volcanoes roar to life in Russia, Peru, Hawaii, Reunion Island, Indonesia, and all over Alaska.
The Karymsky volcano on the far-eastern Kamchatka Peninsula has emitted an ash plume reaching 3,000 meters high, and the cloud has drifted over 40 kilometers from the volcano, Russia’s Emergency Situations Ministry said Tuesday. The volcano has been assigned a “yellow” aviation code for “signs of elevated unrest,” the ministry said in a statement. (Read the rest of the story here…)
Melted roads, the strongest earthquake in more than 30 years, spiking gas emissions from hot springs, animals purportedly “fleeing” the park’s boundaries — all those events must be signs that the supervolcano lying dormant beneath Yellowstone National Park is poised for the first eruption in 70,000 years, right? Wrong. As the head of the U.
Ice over Iceland’s rumbling Bardarbunga volcano has melted to reveal a row of one-kilometer wide “cauldrons,” possibly due to a sub-glacial eruption, the country’s meteorological office said late on Wednesday. Rumblings at Iceland’s largest volcano system for about a week have raised worries of an eruption that could spell trouble for air travel. In 2010, an ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajokull volcano closed much of Europe’s airspace for six days.
An intense earthquake swarm continues to rattle Iceland’s Bardarbunga volcano, adding to fears that a potential eruption could disrupt the region’s air traffic. Weather officials say they detected about 1,000 small quakes through Tuesday night, which were triggered by an unusually strong earthquake on Monday. The tremors are tied to the increasing movement of magma underground.