Friday Flotsam: Australian volcano watch continued, the impact of the Siberian Traps and the threat from Hualalai

News to finish up your week:


Summit area of Hualalai in Hawai'i

  • Another day, another "threat" of volcanic eruption in Australia. I'm impressed with the abject fear Aussies seem to have for this perceived increased threat of an eruption - or at least what the press wants you to believe. This time, watch out near Bundaberg, Townsville and Cooktown in southeast Queensland!
  • In more press-related exaggeration, the Siberian Traps - a flood basalt eruption from, well, thousands of rift/vents in Siberia - is boiled down to being one Siberian volcano by the Telegraph. Dr. Mark Sephton of the Imperial College London has found more evidence that the Traps, which erupted ~251 million years ago, could have had a very significant effect on global climate, possibly being the cause of the great Permian Extinction. The research itself sounds fascinating, but as usual, the science journalism drops the ball. If you want to read a little less dramatic version of the research, try here.
  • Hawaii 24/7 has a short piece on the threat posed by Hualalai. The volcano is definitely still considered "active" and last erupted in 1801, but there have been a number of earthquake swarms at the volcano since then. Hualalai is on the tail-end of its active Hawaiian volcanism lifespan, but can still pose a real threat to communities near the volcano.

More like this

The Atherton Tablelands in Far North Queensland, Australia. Nothing makes me shudder like any article titled "Blankety-blank volcano is overdue". Typically the article that follows is full of nothing but vapid speculation and media fear-mongering. So, it wasn't too surprising that an article titled…
The weekend! No updates until next Tuesday - I'll be off to give a talk at Western Michigan University. Coal-erupting volcanoes defeat the Permian dinosaurs ... according to FOX News. Anyway... You know that mainstream media (FOXNews) must have done something appalling when even I can't write about…
Here it is, my attempt to recap a year's worth of volcanic events. By no means is this supposed to capture every event, but rather the highlight/lowlights and what most captivated me during 2009. I'll be announcing the winner of the 2009 Pliny for Volcanic Event of the Year tomorrow. Waimangu…
Etna Week Part 1 Mount Etna - Brief Anatomy of an Exceptional Volcano By guest blogger Dr. Boris Behncke. Italy truly deserves to be called "the Cradle of Volcanology" - not only because it hosts virtually all existing types of volcanoes and volcanic rock compositions, and seven of its volcanoes…

Which Australian rag is promoting eruptions in Australia? I've never seen much interest in such things except for the odd person who may have believed the fairytale and repeated it. I've never encountered any that were afraid anything would happen.

By MadScientist (not verified) on 02 Oct 2009 #permalink

I guess those quakes are at the other end of the valley near Lone Pine. But 243 earthquakes in the past week would be a swarm.

By theroachman (not verified) on 02 Oct 2009 #permalink

Appreciate the gentle invective. We all tire of hearing that the sky is falling. False alarms (or overstated alarms) are a serious disserviece to our fellow man.

In regards to the Siberian traps:

Has anyone here looked at in detail that trap formation is related to major impact events? The theory (hope I don't butcher it too badly here) is that shock waves from a comet / asteroid impact coalesce at a point opposite of the point of impact causing the crust to rupture (and forming a mantle plume).

Basically, the Permian ended with a double whammy of a massive impact and massive volcanic eruption.

By Hell_Is_Like_Newark (not verified) on 03 Oct 2009 #permalink

Cleveland volcano erupted today: link.

Has anyone noted the difference in the two articles on the Fungus.

The Telegraph has Professor Sephton saying:
"The worry for us scientists at the moment is we are now seeing the sixth through manmade global warming - and this one could be the quickest."

But Science Daily makes no mention of this.

I wonder why?

Fitz, thanks a lot for that link!! Absolutely fascinating stuff. Does anybody have any more stuff related to this research?

For a long time I haven't been able to get away from the suspicion that magma genesis is fuelled less so by convectional upwelling of material from deeper in the earth than it is by the interaction of seismic energy, declining pressure and rising temperature.

This impact theory, which postulates LIPs as the antipodal expression of an impact, i.e. LIPs are the product solely of focused seismic energy, reinforces this suspicion. I still can't quite get my head around it but I have a feeling there is something in it. If anyone is able to explain to me how this focused seismic energy would lead (apparently even with a delay of a couple of million years) to the ponding of huge amounts of melt, I'd be most grateful.

By bruce stout (not verified) on 04 Oct 2009 #permalink

There is a hotspot under Bass Strait. Burnie (N. coast of Tasmania) has a hot spring in a park that's fueled by it. One tiny, little, hot trickle that spills into a storm-water drain.

By Katkinkate (not verified) on 04 Oct 2009 #permalink

There is a hypothesis that there might be a hotspot under the Adirondacks in upstate NY. Nobody is really sure why the Adirondacks are rising (faster than the Himalayas by some measurements). There are no subduction zones or major faults that could be causing the mountains to rise.

By Hell_Is_Like_Newark (not verified) on 05 Oct 2009 #permalink

I'd never heard that idea for the Adirondacks. My guess would be that uplift in that part of the US would be glacial rebound - that is, the land recovering from the weight of glaciers during the last ice age.

As for the asteroid-impact-LIP connection, that theory is floating around, but I have yet to see an argument that truly cements it all together for me. It is still a little bit too much "correlation equals causation" for me, but it is definitely a fascinating subject to examine.

Has anyone done any recordings of the Adirondacks and compared them to lava-flow harmonics? Why not? How many vulcanologists live in the Adirondacks - or have all the rats left the ship?

By gail durand (not verified) on 12 Jun 2010 #permalink

What a great story, and not just for the success of the team. The way they all work and volunteer together is wonderful, and teaches more about life than many of their classes.

What's up, maybe these are at bay industry though anyways, patient exploring in the vicinity of your web blog irritated feels significantly genuinely fresh. Now i'm developing a very new post and then having trouble keeping up to really make it look good, everytime my personal hint an issue my husband and i spoil it. Just how problematic could be the item to put together net? Could maybe individual just like me not having a see do this, along with add in people post to documents without requiring destroying that will each time?

Just proves the old adage. It's an ill wind that blows no good. - They've finally come up with the perfect office computer. If it makes a mistake, it blames another computer. Attributed to Milton Berle

What you said made . Yet, consider this, what happens if you offered a little bit more? I am talking about, I don't tend to tell you how to write ur blog, but if you actually added something which can easily get peoples awareness? Just simply like a video or simply a snapshot or few to get people interested concerning what you mentioned.

Hello webmaster, commenters and all people else !!! The blog was absolutely incredible! Plenty of great data and inspiration, both of which all of us need!b Maintain 'em coming... you all do such an ideal job at such Concepts... cannot let you know how much I, for one respect all you do!