Volcanic eruptions in Chile and Africa disrupt aviation; Arizona fire nears record

By: Dr. Jeff Masters , 3:23 PM GMT on June 13, 2011

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Eastern Arizona's massive Wallow Fire grew to 700 square miles over the weekend, bringing it very close to being Arizona's largest fire on record. The 2002 Rodeo-Chediski fire (732 square miles) currently holds that distinction. However, NOAA's Storm Prediction Center forecasts that critical fire conditions will spread over Eastern Arizona and Western New Mexico this afternoon. Strong southwesterly winds of 15 - 20 mph are expected, with very low relative humidities of 5 - 15%. With the Wallow Fire just 10% contained, this means that the fire will likely expand significantly today and become Arizona's largest fire on record. Firefighting conditions are expected to improve on Tuesday and Wednesday, with much weaker winds, but stronger winds may return again on Thursday. A separate fire burning in Southeast Arizona, the Horseshoe Two fire, has grown to 200 square miles, and is 40% contained. This is Arizona's 5th largest fire on record.


Figure 1. Smoke from the Horseshoe Two fire in Southeast Arizona, taken on Friday, June 10, 2011. Image credit: wunderphotographeer rixx.

The Earth is active
We now have two volcanic eruptions that are emitting large ash clouds causing significant disruptions to aircraft flights. Last week, the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano in Chile erupted, sending aloft an ash cloud that circled the Southern Hemisphere, canceling flights thousands of miles away in Australia and New Zealand. At approximately 5pm EDT on Sunday, a new major eruption occurred in Africa at Eritrea's Nabro volcano. This volcano has no eruptions in historical records, but sent an ash plume over 21,000 feet (13 km) high over Eritrea after an earthquake of magnitude 5.7 rocked the area. The ash has now spread to the northwest over Sudan, and is expected to spread to the north over Egypt later today. On Tuesday, the ash is expected to get caught in a west-to-east jet stream flow, and spread over much of the Middle East. The latest forecasts from Meteo France (Figure 3) show impacts to Israel, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, and Iraq on Tuesday morning. The latest MODIS image from NASA shows the plume nicely.


Figure 2. Eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano, Chile as seen by NASA's Aqua satellite at 18:05 UTC on June 12, 2011. Image credit: NASA.


Figure 3. Forecast issued at 8am EDT by Meteo France showing the expected spread of the ash plume from Eritrea's Nabro volcano. Ash between 35,000 and 45,000 feet altitude (light dashed lines) is predicted to move over the Middle East, including southern Israel, by 2am EDT (0600 Z) on Tuesday, June 14. The volcano is mis-identified as the Dubbi volcano on this image.

The Atlantic is quiet
In the Atlantic, none of the reliable computer models is predicting tropical cyclone development over the next seven days.

Jeff Masters

Horseshoe 2 fire smoke (rixx)
Smoke from the Horseshoe 2 fire in the Chiricahua Mountains, SE Arizona Late in the day.
Horseshoe 2 fire smoke

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Quoting shoreacres:


Watch it. Some of us remember that chicken and that egg! ;-)


Don't make fun off Grothar and press like that...
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www.earthquake-report.com has the scoop--as much as anybody knows. emcf30 posted a great audio report with pics and maps on the previous blog.
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U guys do realize that iceberg is nowhere near TX, or the GoM, even....
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Quoting BahaHurican:
So potentially, at least, a theory could be posited whereby vulcanism acts as a thermostatic kind of mechanism which increases when world temperatures become too high or low to maintain life of a certain type on the planet.....

This could be a very interesting idea if spun the right way.....

Thanks 4 the input / idea, all.....


Thats actually a good theory, wood cool the earth down by blocking the sun, but if the earth gets to a certain temperature the gas has more effect as a greenhouse gas? that's what you are saying?
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Quoting spathy:


I know :O)
Just looked like an icebreaker was needed.
Thanks for acknowledging my dry humor.


crap
Just what we need now, someone coming in and chipping away at the lone iceberg still intact here. ;>)
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
So potentially, at least, a theory could be posited whereby vulcanism acts as a thermostatic kind of mechanism which increases when world temperatures become too high or low to maintain life of a certain type on the planet.....

This could be a very interesting idea if spun the right way.....

Thanks 4 the input / idea, all.....
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Quoting beell:


Gee, sounds kinda like the chicken/egg thing.


Watch it. Some of us remember that chicken and that egg! ;-)
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


They can, they just mean an earthquake isn't going to open a hole and lava come out of it. The earthquake can weaken the land which is holding down the lava dome which is pushing up on it. The earthquake weakens it, and allows the pressure of the magma to overwhelm the land on top and start an eruption.


Lava domes generally erupt because of buildup of gases which eventually break through the crust. The seismicity involved is normally a result of the gases and liquid moving through venting chambers.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting spathy:


I know :O)
Just looked like an icebreaker was needed.
Thanks for acknowledging my dry humor.


Always my pleasure. having a good evening?
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Quoting Chicklit:
After a year of unprecedented flooding, fires, tornadoes and droughts, it is reassuring somehow that a volcano that has not erupted in 11,000 plus years would belch its contents into the atmosphere in perhaps Mother Earth's attempt to cool the planet.
Evening... nice post. You're a good writer.
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I think the earthquake / volcano thing will always be conflated to a certain extent because they are both the outcome of plate techtonics. Well it appears that way to me.... both occur at plate boundaries, and the processes that relate to the movement of plates seem to result in earthquakes, vulcanism, or both...
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Quoting spathy:
Geesh tough crowd tonight.



Sorry Spathy, we are in serious GW talk mode :p
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:

of course not, night chicklit

night VA.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
Quoting BahaHurican:
Question: would volcanicism in a snow-bound earth be more likely to increase or decrease temperatures [I'm thinking globally, not locally]?

I'm not nitpicking; I'm now curious about the impacts. I understand the potential for cooling from a certain amount / extent of volcanic activity in a particular location. Now Chicklet's speculation has made me wonder about the converse.


Well they know that volcano's were what allowed the earth to create another atmosphere during Snowball Earth.

Edit :Or allowed the greenhouse effect to start again. Not create another atmosphere. misworded.
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424. beell
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


They can, they just mean an earthquake isn't going to open a hole and lava come out of it. The earthquake can weaken the land which is holding down the lava dome which is pushing up on it. The earthquake weakens it, and allows the pressure of the magma to overwhelm the land on top and start an eruption.


Gee, sounds kinda like the chicken/egg thing.
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Question: would volcanicism in a snow-bound earth be more likely to increase or decrease temperatures [I'm thinking globally, not locally]?

I'm not nitpicking; I'm now curious about the impacts. I understand the potential for cooling from a certain amount / extent of volcanic activity in a particular location. Now Chicklet's speculation has made me wonder about the converse.
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Quoting Chicklit:
I am reminded of Plato's Cave.
Anyway, goodnight all.
No hard feelings.
Love the World.

of course not, night chicklit
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421. Tygor
Glad that some of the Floridian folk are receiving spotted showers. If you aren't one of the lucky ones, just act like a Texan and give up on rain altogether. 103 all week and no rain in sight.
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I am reminded of Plato's Cave.
Anyway, goodnight all.
No hard feelings.
Love the World.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
Quoting beell:
FAQs - Earthquake Myths
« Previous FAQ | All FAQ's | Next FAQ »

Q: Do earthquakes cause volcanoes?
A:

No, there are different earth processes responsible for volcanoes. Earthquakes may occur in an area before, during, and after a volcanic eruption, but they are the result of the active forces connected with the eruption, and not the cause of volcanic activity.
USGS Earthquake Myths


They can, they just mean an earthquake isn't going to open a hole and lava come out of it. The earthquake can weaken the land which is holding down the lava dome which is pushing up on it. The earthquake weakens it, and allows the pressure of the magma to overwhelm the land on top and start an eruption.
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Quoting Levi32:




I wonder, if by the end of the month, TCHP will rival, or even surpass that of last years.

That would not be good thing with potential development in that time frame.
Member Since: July 6, 2010 Posts: 113 Comments: 32024
hey, u science guys out there heckling Chicklet.... nobody said run out and get a grant. It's an interesting speculation... with enough of a scientific "sound" to it to make quite good science fiction with one or two adjustments.... hmmm.....

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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Its pretty clear I think, a 5.0m earthquake hit further south at 19:20utc causing the stress that caused the 5.7m earthquake that hit at 21:03utc and allowing the volcano to blow.

I disagree. While my chicken egg thing was meant to show the common argument, most earthquakes associated with volcano are the result of the forces connected with the eruption, but do not actually cause the eruption.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


Its pretty clear I think, a 5.0m earthquake hit further south at 19:20utc causing the stress that caused the 5.7m earthquake that hit at 21:03utc and allowing the volcano to blow.

The variables are far too complex to attribute a simple causality.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
414. beell
FAQs - Earthquake Myths
« Previous FAQ | All FAQ's | Next FAQ »

Q: Do earthquakes cause volcanoes?
A:

No, there are different earth processes responsible for volcanoes. Earthquakes may occur in an area before, during, and after a volcanic eruption, but they are the result of the active forces connected with the eruption, and not the cause of volcanic activity.
USGS Earthquake Myths
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


It was caused by the 5.7m earthquake that hit the area.
the 5.7 was the eruption at four points or areas within the crater there is no know history of this volcano eruption type and this may only be a lead time to a more violent event yet to come this could be anything we simply do not know as always we wait watch see
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Quoting Chicklit:
What is also interesting is this volcano has not erupted since the Holocene period. When there was, by the way, a dramatic rise in global temperatures. The current eruption of Nabro may be an event which occurs in response to a warming planet. Additionally, the term "trigger" may be appropriate to use in the situation that a warming planet would cause Nabro to erupt.

More:



LinkWiki

p.s. those of you who are familiar with WUground know I am neither a scientist nor a climatologist or meteorologist and have only limited understanding of the technical side of these disciplines. I am merely stating the last time this volcano erupted was during this period, when there was a sharp rise in the global temperatures; you are of course free to draw your own conclusions. But this I found interesting.
Chick, I guess it would be called a correlation... and an interesting one it is at that... very interesting indeed the idea that vulcanic eruptions might be responding to subtle temperature gradients in overall earth temperature...

Quoting PcolaDan:


I noticed that too. Interesting thing, go to Google translate and look and LISTEN to the translations of accident and incident. They sound very similar in French. Wonder if they have similar meanings in French!
Was about to say there is probably some similarity in meaning in French.... like in spanish "aventura" doesn't translate to "adventure" or "embarazada" doesn't mean "embarrassed".... words looking similar don't automatically mean the same thing.
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Quoting PcolaDan:


A chicken and egg thing. Did the earthquake cause a crack to allow magma and gases to move, or did the magma and gases push through a weak area creating a crack which ultimately ended in an eruption?


Its pretty clear I think, a 5.0m earthquake hit further south at 19:20utc causing the stress that caused the 5.7m earthquake that hit at 21:03utc and allowing the volcano to blow.
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After a year of unprecedented flooding, fires, tornadoes and droughts, it is reassuring somehow that a volcano that has not erupted in 11,000 plus years would belch its contents into the atmosphere in perhaps Mother Earth's attempt to cool the planet.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


It was caused by the 5.7m earthquake that hit the area.


A chicken and egg thing. Did the earthquake cause a crack to allow magma and gases to move, or did the magma and gases push through a weak area creating a crack which ultimately ended in an eruption?
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting PcolaDan:


Kind of amazing the effect it's having after so much time and distance.


plus blocks the sun just that tad bit, reducing incoming radiation.
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Quoting barrygilmour:

ash cloud circling the globe


Kind of amazing the effect it's having after so much time and distance.
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
Quoting PcolaDan:


I noticed that too. Interesting thing, go to Google translate and look and LISTEN to the translations of accident and incident. They sound very similar in French. Wonder if they have similar meanings in French!


True looked at etymology, and it states that it used to mean "an unexpected happening or event" so that probably why.
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Quoting beell:


Extremely localized increases in temperature have been noted very near erupting volcanoes.


Yes i'm sure due to the fact most things volcanos eject are thousands of degrees. Volcano's still went off when we were in what was called "snowball earth" That's how the planet recovered by creating an atmosphere.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


I never understood why they call it an accident...


I noticed that too. Interesting thing, go to Google translate and look and LISTEN to the translations of accident and incident. They sound very similar in French. Wonder if they have similar meanings in French!
Member Since: August 22, 2008 Posts: 12 Comments: 6010
400. beell
Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


True, but there is absolutely no correlation between air temperatures and volcano eruptions.


Extremely localized increases in temperature have been noted very near erupting volcanoes.
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Quoting Chicklit:

I am simply looking at history and stating a fact.
The last time this volcano erupted the planet was warming.


True, but there is absolutely no correlation between air temperatures and volcano eruptions.
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Quoting twincomanche:
The cause and effect should make some huge grants ready to rock and roll. Hee Haw, more research less teaching!

This argument is so weak it does not even warrant a response.
However, I will tell you that I was administrative assistant to a physicist and M.D. at Yale for six years and can tell you first-hand that he was totally dedicated to his work. People paid him to think, observe, and then publish what he found. This is a fact, yes.
Furthermore, the people who are great thinkers, like the doctor (Ph.D., M.D.) who I worked for and also right here on this blog, Dr. Masters, are not in the commercial world that you mention where they sell their ideas for a pot of gold.
Instead, they are paid to say what they think because they have credibility and are trusted minds who value truth and honesty and are sincerely looking for ways to make life better for people and life on this planet.
This is my first-hand experience.
If you think otherwise, then that is your prerogative.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
Quoting twincomanche:
The cause and effect should make some huge grants ready to rock and roll. Hee Haw, more research less teaching!


It was caused by the 5.7m earthquake that hit the area.
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Quoting CaicosRetiredSailor:
I "heard a rumor" that the brownies taste "smokey" this evening...


LOL They're not too bad.
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Quoting VAbeachhurricanes:


stop it... you cant be serious?

I am simply looking at history and stating a fact.
The last time this volcano erupted the planet was warming.
Member Since: July 11, 2006 Posts: 14 Comments: 11322
393. Skyepony (Mod)
It rained on me in Melbourne, FL today. Only .01" but I'll take anything. Earlier a car wrecked near by & caused a transformer to blow, setting the woods on fire, knocking out power for more than 3 hrs in the heat of the day. At one point, noticed the outside temp was 103.6ºF.

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Jeff co-founded the Weather Underground in 1995 while working on his Ph.D. He flew with the NOAA Hurricane Hunters from 1986-1990.

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