Unprecedented flurry of earthquakes linked to widespread volcanic activity

Unprecedented flurry of earthquakes linked to widespread volcanic activityThere has been an unprecedented flurry of earthquakes impacting the globe over the last two and a half weeks that may be linked to widespread volcanic activity.

No one single scientist predicted anything like it.

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reports strong volcanic tremor at Plosky Tolbachik (Kamchatka Peninsula) again today. The eruptive plume height fluctuates (probably more due to atmospheric conditions than eruptive output) between 3 km and 4 km.

Some earthquake activity continues beneath the Coso Volcanic Field (CA) with events ranging from M0.0 to M2.5 averaging one every one to two hours.
Three periods of earthquake activity struck Yellowstone Caldera overnight (station YFT).

Exhalations of gas and ash (in very minor amounts) occur at an average rate of more than two per hour at Popocatepetl volcano (Mexico).

Judging by the fact that “tremor” began yesterday and ended overnight nearly simultaneously at Guatemalan volcanoes Pacaya, Fuego, and Santa Maria volcanoes, it appears that wind noise rather than volcanic activity was the cause of the curious signal on seismograms recorded at those volcanoes yesterday (See yesterdays report). Today, the Pacaya seismogram (station PCG) is relatively quieter with numerous small volcanic earthquakes and a few pulses of true volcanic tremor. The same can be said of the seismogram recorded at nearby Fuego volcano (station FG3) where low level volcanic tremor predominates. A relatively “loud” tremor signal continues at Santa Maria volcano (station STG6). This may be in fact true volcanic tremor since the volcano is in a heightened state of activity with production of lava flows and strong degassing. The Santa Maria edifice is much larger (higher) and may also still be affected by wind from a nearby weather system lingering at higher altitude.

Periods of banded tremor (or is it wind too?) appeared overnight at San Cristobal volcano (Nicaragua) (station CRIN). A period of higher amplitude tremor has eased overnight at nearby Masaya volcano (station MASN).

Spasmodic tremor occurred late yesterday at Nevado Del Ruiz volcano (Colombia) (station OLLZ). Today small volcanic earthquakes and bursts of tremor affect the volcano. Numerous small earthquakes periodically rattled Machin volcano (station CIMA) during the same period.

Numerous small volcanic earthquakes continued overnight at Tungurahua volcano (Ecuador) (station RETU). The earthquakes likely reflect input of new (hotter) volcanic fluids beneath the cone. Stand-by! Another strong pulse of volcanic tremor and volcanic earthquakes shook Reventador volcano (station CONE) overnight. the volcano has since returned to relative quiet.

Trains of small “chugging” earthquakes continue at Tongariro volcano (New Zealand) and small local earthquakes have resumed (after taking a short break at the end of November) at Ruapehu volcano. Relatively strong, continuous volcanic tremor shudders within White Island volcano again today.

A weak SO2 plume hovering over Nevado Del Ruiz volcano is the only volcanic plume visible in recent satellite imagery of the Pacific rim.

In Russia, KVERT, on behalf of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology is responsible for providing information on volcanic activity to international air navigation services for the airspace users.

KVERT scientists are available in the office from 8:30 AM till 6:00 PM (KST) 7 days in week and by phone during the evenings since 2005.

KVERT analyses daily satellite imagery (since 2002 till now); information from remote scientific observation stations; real-time seismic data for 11 Kamchatkan volcanoes (data from the Kamchatkan Branch of Geophysical Survey RAS); and other information to monitor activity at Kamchatkan and Northern Kuriles Volcanoes.

The situation around the globe appears to have caught many experts by surprise.

The Guardian Express will continue to update you on this and other relative news as soon as it’s available.

One Response to Unprecedented flurry of earthquakes linked to widespread volcanic activity

  1. Boris Behncke December 16, 2012 at 5:00 am

    There’s nothing unprecedented in this activity – active volcanoes do produce volcanic tremor, and there are at least 50-60 volcanoes that erupt every year globally, and many more that don’t erupt but show unrest like seismic activity.

    What is indeed unprecedented is the amount of instrumental monitoring data now available to both scientists and the public. Thirty years ago, who would have thought to record volcanic tremor at Fuego, Santiaguito, Masaya, Nevado del Ruiz and most other volcanoes that are now intensely monitored?

    Reply

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