Seven volcanoes in six countries erupt within hours of each other

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One of the volcanoes created a new island!

Newly formed Niijima Island – Photo courtesy of Japan Coast Guard

A submarine volcano just off Nishino-Shima Island, Japan, has erupted for the first time in 40 years. The Japanese Navy noticed the explosions as boiling lava met sea water giving rise to plumes of steam and ash.

In Mexico, the Colima volcano blew its top, sending a cloud of steam and ash cloud two miles into the sky. The grumbling mountain could be heard in towns a few miles away.

In Guatemala, ‘Fire Mountain’ belched lava while a moderate ash cloud dropped ash on nearby towns. Shock waves from the explosions could be felt by residents more than 6 miles away.

In Vanuatu, although explosions on Yasur volcano are quite weak, continuous ashfall  is starting to build up on farming land.

On Italy’s Mount Etna, a massive eruption lit up the sky yesterday, sending an ash cloud high enough to force cancellation of flights. The lava flow was the biggest in years. The town of Zafferana, which lay in its path, saw some damage.

In Indonesia, the rumbling Mount Sinabung prompted evacuation of more than over 6000 people as scientists feared a major eruption. There have been no lava flows so far but the ash cloud is growing. Mount Sinabung had lain dormant for hundreds of years.

Still in Indonesia, Mount Merapi on the island of Java exploded yesterday. Hundreds of people were killed when it last erupted in 2010. There is no news of casualties at this point.

“So many volcanoes throwing so much gas, ash and particulates into the air can have an effect on climate,” says the website educateinspirechange. “I’m not saying that these volcanoes herald the start of a new ice age but the planet certainly seems to be getting a bit more active of late.”

Continued large eruptions put a huge amount of particulate matter into the atmosphere, and these particles reflect sunlight away from earth and when there is enough of them the temperatures can drop.

The Mount Pinatubo eruption lowered temperatures by around 0.5°C across the Northern Hemisphere.

Considering that we are in a cooling period anyway, having so many volcanoes going off at the same time is not good. Aside from the devastating effects the lava and ash can have on the lives of those living near to them, the global impacts can be enormous.

Lost crops due to ash fall and lower temperatures can lead to hunger and famine, as happened after the Tambora eruption in 1815.

Economic losses due to lost crops and canceled flights runs into millions of dollars a day, as with the Icelandic eruption of Eyjafjallojkull (pronounced: aya fiat la u cud la) in 2010.


Thanks to Nathan Brazil for this link

Indonesia’s volcanoes- Mount Sinabung and Mount Merapi – erupted Monday,
spewing ash and causing another wave of mass evacuation in the country.

Mount Sinabung had remained inactive for over a century before erupting in 2010.  In September, the volcano erupted again, which led to an evacuation of 14,000 people.

Fuego Volcano (Fire Mountain)

A surge in activity occurred yesterday, with drastically increased numbers of strombolian explosions and lava effusions.

Yasur Volcano

Current status: Erupting.

Mount Etna erupts, showers ash on towns

Mount Etna, Europe’s most active volcano, has erupted again, showering volcanic ash on towns dotting the mountain’s slopes and nearby Taormina.

The eruption Saturday did not force any evacuations, but a highway was closed for half an hour as a precaution. Authorities also briefly closed two of four air corridors serving the nearby Catania airport but air traffic was not interrupted.

Etna’s last major eruption occurred in 1992.

Eruption at Nishino-shima Produces a New Island in the Pacific
A new eruption at Nishino-shima has breached the surface and started to produce a small island of black volcanic tephra.

The new island (called Niijima) looks small, with some reports putting the island at a cozy 200 meters (650 feet) across and 20 meters (65 feet) high.

Colima volcano, Western Mexico

The current eruptive phase continues. Local newspapers report explosions every 30-35 minutes, with plumes up to 2 km high. Lava flows (and incandescent avalanches) descend on the flanks of the volcano.

12 thoughts on “Seven volcanoes in six countries erupt within hours of each other”

  1. Is it perhaps coincidence that this all happens when Comet Ison comes around? It is strange that NASA has so much interest in this comet?

  2. All of the above posts gave us a tremendous amount of facts and good scientific analysis. But none of you will receive government funding because…..

    “Everyone” knows that global warming causes volcanos to erupt.

  3. Last night I viewed a series of videos about volcanoes and some are about the volcanoes in Germany and the rest are about other volcanoes including super volcanoes. Please record the links and watch them at your leisure. A while back there was a report about the west eifel volcanoes at this site that sparked my interest and if you watch the german videos you will see that not only does volcanic gases bubble up at Laacher See but they also are found bubbling up from the bed of the Rhine river near by. That got my attention and in my mind it prompts the questions where else is gas coming to the surface and how big is the mantle plume feeding the system?

    One of the things scientist noticed at Mnt. St. Helens before it blew up was that the increase in volcanic gases was not detected in the atmosphere. Instead the gases mixed with water in the rock to form an acid that altered the rock that made up the volcanoe turning it into clay and aggregates. This enabled the landslide and lateral blast.
    The point is that low levels of detected gas emissions do not always indicate a low levels of volcanic activity.

    There is also a lesson concerning seismic wave interpretation for predicting the eruption of latin american volcanoes. Some of it is a review of what many of you already know but there is some new perspectives on volcanoes that should be interesting.

    German Volcanism

    .Eifel/Germany – Explosive Geology .

    Vulkanausbruch in Deutschland – Was wäre wenn
    45 minute video in German

    Volcanic gas emissions at Laacher See

    Die Vulkaneifel .
    48 minute video in German

    Laacher See unter Wasser .
    Check out the fish in Laacher See
    Non German Volcanism

    Naked Science – Super Volcanoes
    Documentary about the Yellowstone Super Volcanoes

    Volcano Hell (BBC Documentary) .

    PBS NOVA S40E06 Doomsday Volcanoes

  4. Actually, wasn’t there a theory on vulcanism being affected by the sun’s magnetic field? And the sun’s magnetic field in turn affects the earth’s magnetic field…

    Let me posit something here but first an observation, every time and without exception when the earth’s obliquity drops below 23.5 degrees (as we are now 23.42) an ice age develops according to the last million years of the historic record. Is it possible that the earth’s obliquity is influenced by the interaction of the Sun’s and Earth’s magnetic fields?

    Take a gyroscope, spin it and then take a magnet near it at various places, see what happens.

    What may be happening here as the Earth’s axis continues to march towards 22.1 the earth’s crust is deformed differently than at higher axis values creating more vulcanism and hence cooler climate by the eruptions. Then the ice age starts due to this higher amount of vulcanism?

    Normally you expect this much activity in 1 month or more – not in 1 day – and we still have more eruptions.
    This doesn’t look like just a little ice age; this could be far more than that. Remember that all 3 of these cycles are due immediately: Little,(already here) moderate and major ice ages.
    Better store food while we still have a chance !

  6. Add to this the extended period of low solar activity, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean’s oscillations flipping to cooling phase, and huge increase in cosmic rays penetrating earth’s weakening magnetic sphere all indicate little ice age conditions for the northern hemisphere are imminent !!

  7. Aren’t their other volcanoes currently erupting in Russia and Alaska? I just hope Yellowstone doesn’t start up too.

  8. I read somewhere that this happens because tidal forces in the solar system, from the moon, sun and other planets, become aligned in such a way as to exert sufficient force upon the Earth’s fluid interior to cause it to extrude in places. Don’t laugh at this idea, look at what the tiny gravitational tug of the moon does to ocean tides on the Earth.

    1. Consider the pressure of continental ice sheets acting on the canadian shield for example. North Bay, Ontario is abour 400 ft above sea level and yet scientists think that it was at sea level during the last ice age. Some thing has to up lift or squirt out of cracks in the earth when something like that happens. If you have significant volcanic activity during an ice age like the Toba eruption 74,000 years ago the volcanic gases are going to reflect more sunlight and cause a further drop in temperatures. For a time it will make the ice age worse than it would normally be. This came close to wiping out mankind.
      Planetary alignment might be a contributing factor but would also be a transitory one.

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