I will be posting updates to volcanic activity that I think is significant on this page.
Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano (06-01-12)
BBC NEWS Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano has blasted a tower of ash over nearby towns and villages prompting authorities to consider the possibility of evacuations.
Popocatepetl sits roughly halfway between Mexico City and the city of Puebla, meaning some 25 million people live within a 90-km (60-mile) radius of the volcano.
Over a month ago, the volcanic eruptions started growing larger…Click BBC News link for Video and more
Update: El Hierro Volcano, Canary Islands (11-19-11)
John Seach at Volcano Live writes on Saturday 19th November 2011
Earthquake activity has increased at El Hierro volcano, Canary Islands. A magnitude 3.7 earthquake occurred at 15:32 hr (UT) on 18th November in the El Golfo region. The focus was at a depth of 23 km. Between midnight and 14:30 hr there were 32 earthquakes. Beaches between Puerto Naos and La Restinga have been closed due gas emissions. A 4 km radius around the eruption site is closed to navigation. Area of upwelling is over 200 m in diameter.
The UK Mail has some pictures HERE posted on 10 November 2011.
Katla caldera earth swarms as of 11-19-11 the dropped significantly.
The number of 3 + magnitude earth quakes in the caldera have decreased significantly, along with swarms of smaller quakes. It seem to me this would indicate the magma movement has slowed. Stay Tuned, this maybe the quiet before the store. .
Why worry about large volcano eruptions like Katla?
The World Climate Report has some insight, taken from an article on the impact of aerosols in climate modeling.
When large volcanic eruptions occur, they can inject particulates into the upper atmosphere (stratosphere) where they are largely unaffected by the weather (which occurs in the lower level of the atmosphere called the troposphere) and thus can remain suspended for months to years, rather than days to weeks (the typical time that a particular aerosols particle remains suspended in the troposphere). These suspended particulates in the stratosphere primarily act as dirty little mirrors and reflect away some of the incoming radiation from the sun. This leads to a general cooling of the earth’s average temperature. The more aerosols in the stratosphere, the more cooling. Fairly major volcanic eruptions (such as El Chichon in 1982 and Mt. Pinatubo in 1991) can lead to perhaps a degree or so of cooling of the earth’s average surface temperature for maybe a year or so. The cooling effect attenuates as the aerosols eventually are removed from the stratosphere.
John Seach has this to say about Katla on his volcano blog.
Eruptions at Katla volcano are phreatomagmatic, and produce high eruption columns and catastrophic meltwater floods. Historically large eruptions have occurred at regular intervals about every 50 years.
Holocene eruptions at Katla volcano have been characterised by three types.
1) Basaltic explosive eruptions inside the caldera have occurred twice per century.
2) Silicic explosive eruptions in or near the caldera occur less frequently.
3) Large effusive basaltic fissure eruptions, producing volumes of 10 cubic km have occurred on two occasions during the Holocene
Katla Volcano Eruptions in recorded history:
2011?, 1999, 1955, 1918, 1860, 1823, 1755-56, 1721, 1660-61, 1625, 1612, 1580
This was moved from a previous post. Katla Swarm information in down the page.
Volcanism has been associated with climate change during the Little Ice Age when the sun was quiet, with few, or no sunspots. In the past when the earth has cooled due to natural variation, the addition of volcanic dust and aerosols in the atmosphere can block more of the Sun’s rays, intensify the economic and social misery of humans on earth.
This morning The Jakarta Post reports that the Indonesian Geophysical Disaster Mitigation Center has raised the alert on 22 volcanos.
The government has requested that local administrations remain on the alert for severe risks of volcanic eruptions, as the number of volcanoes showing abnormal activity continued to raise.
As of Friday, activity in 22 volcanoes was categorized as above normal, with six at alert level three and 16 at level two. Volcano status ranges from level one, which is normal, to four, which is the highest alert.
The Volcanology and Geophysical Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG) raised the status of Papandayan, one of the major tourist destinations in Garut, West Java, to alert level three on Friday.
“There were 48 shallow volcanic earthquakes detected, with one deep volcanic earthquake and a white cloud emitted as high as 20 meters on Thursday,” National Disaster Management Agency (BNPB) spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.
On Thursday, the government elevated the status of three volcanoes: Tombora, Lewatobi Perempuan and Anak Rakana in Nusa Tenggara.
Tombora, in Bima Regency, experienced 14 shallow volcanic earthquakes.
Tambora erupted in 1815, killing about 71,000.
The eruption emitted some 100 cubic kilometers of volcanic material across Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Java and Maluku.
Activity at Lewotobi Perempuan in Flores increased as well, experiencing 24 earthquakes on Thursday. There were only five the day before.
Lewotobi last erupted in 1935.
The effects of Tambora’s eruption was felt around the world, resulting in the year with out a summer in 1816. In 1816, severe summer climate abnormalities caused average global temperatures to decrease by about 0.7–1.3 °F resulting in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere. More details on the year with out a summer here.
However, the Indonesian volcanoes are not the only one to be worried about. Katla in Iceland recently experienced a series of earthquakes and tremors indicating the magma chamber inside one of Iceland most massive volcanos is filling, rising fears it could erupt soon producing an ash plume that would continue for weeks, if not months. I check Katla’s activity here several times a day.
Last year, the country’s president Ólafur Grímsson warned “the time for Katla to erupt is coming close, Iceland has prepared and it is high time for European governments and airline authorities all over Europe and the world to start planning for the eventual Katla eruption”.
It is believed that Katla – with a magma chamber about 10 times the size of neighbouring Eyjafjallajokull – has the potential to be much stronger and disruptive than the last two Icelandic volcanic eruptions that caused chaos across Europe’s air space.
See entire article at Click Green here.
I have found two peer-reviewed papers now that indicated a link between a quiet sun and increased vulcanism. While it is an interesting idea, I could not find any smoking gun evidence, the links in the papers seem to be rather weak. More study needed.
Katla Earth Quake Swarm – 30+ in last 24 hr (6 September)
Here is the latest on the Katla earth quake swarm at 3:PM on the 6th September. Note most of the activity is in the caldera. Stay Tuned