Tag Archives: active

Deep beneath the Pacific, another active Hawaiian volcano waits to emerge

Deep beneath the Pacific, another active Hawaiian volcano waits to emergeAs Hawaii's Kilauea volcano continues to spew lava into neighborhoods and eject foreboding plumes of dark ash into the sky, a nearby underwater volcano named Lo‘ihi patiently waits to rise above the surface.  Like all Hawaiian volcanoes, dead and alive, Lo‘ihi has grown steadily from the depths of the Pacific Ocean as lava spews from it and quickly cools, slowly adding more mass to the underwater mountain. If Lo‘ihi keeps erupting lava, gradually building up its surface area, the active volcano could very well become Hawaii's next Big Island volcano. It's also possible that the volcano could even start its own, brand new Hawaiian island.  SEE ALSO: An astronaut saw Hawaii's Kilauea volcano erupting from space. And he took a picture. "There's every reason to believe this will be the latest chapter in this story going back millions of years," George Bergantz, a volcanologist at the University of Washington, said in an interview.  Volcano scientists, including those at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), consider Lo‘ihi to be an active volcano, because it has erupted in recent history.  The USGS lists Lo‘ihi as having a "very low" threat potential, as it's more than 3,000 feet beneath the Pacific. The red pin marks the summit of the Lō‘ihi seamount.Image: Google Maps"It's definitely an active or potentially active volcano," Erik Klemetti, a volcanologist at Denison University, said in an interview. "But it's hard to be there at the right time to see it [an eruption] happen." In 1996, Lo‘ihi experienced "a pretty significant eruption," Michael Poland, of the USGS's Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, said in an interview. Poland noted that the dramatic, undersea eruption collapsed a portion of the seamount's summit.  Although no one directly witnessed the eruption — as that would mean waiting in a deep-sea submersible at a reasonable distance away — scientists still knew about it. Lo‘ihi sits on the side of the Big Island, so the strong earthquakes that typically accompany eruptions were picked up by Hawaii's seismic monitoring instruments.  "It was one of the most energetic earthquake swarms that we had ever seen in Hawaii," Jackie Caplan-Auerbach, an associate professor of geology at Western Washington University, said in an interview.  Caplan-Auerbach spent a couple years directly studying Lo‘ihi, floating above it in a research vessel and once even taking a submersible down to the volcano.  A deep-sea ocean observatory placed atop Lō‘ihi.Image: NOAA/NOAA Undersea research program"I was hoping to see something," she said, but it appears that since the dramatic 1996 eruption, Lo‘ihi has quieted down — for now. The year after the quake, scientists placed a large, refrigerator-sized "submarine volcano observatory" on Lo‘ihi's summit, connected to shore by a long circuit. It soon stopped working but still provided Caplan-Auerbach and other scientists with months of valuable data. "We saw very little, which was weird," she said. "It was probably the end of a fairly active period." What will become of Lo‘ihi? Each of the Hawaiian islands is composed of at least one volcano.  The Big Island is made up of five, some of which, like 12,000-foot high Moana Loa, are massive, gently-sloping mountains.  "As Moana Loa is today, Lo‘ihi may one day be," Bergantz said, but noted that this isn't, of course, a sure thing. This seamount still has a lot of erupting to do to even breach the surface.  No one has any real idea how long it might take for Lo‘ihi to emerge, but the USGS estimates that if Lo‘ihi continues to layer lava on its summit and flanks at the rate of about 16.5 feet every 1,000 years, the volcano will emerge in some 200,000 years.  The view of Mauna Loa from the top of snow-peaked Mauna Kea, another Big Island volcano.Image: Getty Images/Mint Images RMCaplan-Auerbach has a similar estimate but said that we don't really know how quickly the mountain will grow. Scientists first started monitoring it in the 1970s. "For geologists, this is crazy short," she said. "So we’ll have to wait and see if it does anything exciting." There has been some small quaking activity down there, in around 2000, 2004, and again last year, Caplan-Auerbach said. So perhaps Lo‘ihi is due for some more truly eruptive activity. However, the 1996 didn't help Lo‘ihi's island ambitions any. "The last thing it did was shrink," said Caplan-Auerbach said, referring the the summit collapse in 1996. "It's got to kick into gear if it wants to get into island mode." "Don’t buy property there." WATCH: Exploring volcanoes with robots: a day in the life of Carolyn Parcheta  



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Is the Ring of Fire more active with volcanoes, earthquakes than usual?

Is the Ring of Fire more active with volcanoes, earthquakes than usual?Reports of earthquakes and volcano eruptions in regions along the Ring of Fire might lead some to believe that the level of activity in recent months is above average.



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Hawaii's Most Active Volcano Causes Mass Evacuations. Here's the Latest on the 2018 Kilauea Eruption

Hawaii's Most Active Volcano Causes Mass Evacuations. Here's the Latest on the 2018 Kilauea Eruption'You could just smell sulfur and burning trees'



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Unusual eruptions at world's largest active geyser in Yellowstone

Unusual eruptions at world's largest active geyser in YellowstoneThe world’s largest active geyser has erupted three times in the past six weeks at Yellowstone National Park, including once this week, in a pattern that is unusual but not at all indicative of a more destructive volcanic eruption brewing beneath Wyoming, geologists said on Saturday. Steamboat Geyser, which can shoot water as high as 300 feet (91 meters) into the air, erupted on March 15, April 19 and on Friday. The last time it erupted three times in a year was in 2003, the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory said.



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World’s biggest active geyser erupts at Yellowstone National Park for third time in weeks

World’s biggest active geyser erupts at Yellowstone National Park for third time in weeksSteamboat Geyser, in Yellowstone National Park, erupted at around 6.30am local time on Friday morning, geologists said. The eruption is the latest event in a rare period of activity at the geyser this year, following similar water discharges on March 15 and April 19 this year. Before this year, Steamboat had not erupted since September 2014.



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Active shooter takes three hostages at California veterans home

Active shooter takes three hostages at California veterans homeLaw enforcement authorities from multiple agencies responded to a report in the morning of shots being fired at the Yountville Veterans Home in Napa County, working to clear buildings and establish a perimeter. A sheriff’s deputy exchanged gunfire with the assailant, a California Highway Patrol spokesman said. In the early evening, California Highway Patrol spokesman Sgt Robert Nacke said he knows of no contact on Friday with the gunman or the people who were holed up with him at the veterans home.



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Trump: Active shooter drills 'a very negative thing'

Trump: Active shooter drills 'a very negative thing'President Trump signaled Thursday that he does not believe that active shooter drills at the nation's schools are a good way to address the rash of gun violence plaguing them. 



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Authorities Say the Philippines' Most Active Volcano Could Be Just Hours From Erupting

Authorities Say the Philippines' Most Active Volcano Could Be Just Hours From EruptingAuthorities have raised the alert level for Mount Mayon to four on a scale of five



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Sen. Tom Cotton on Wolff book: Trump has 'been active, engaged and effective leader'

Sen. Tom Cotton on Wolff book: Trump has 'been active, engaged and effective leader'Trump ally Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark), responds to the new book "Fire and Fury" and discusses border wall funding on "This Week."



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'Multiple deputies down' in active situation near Denver

'Multiple deputies down' in active situation near DenverPolice and other emergency workers in an affluent suburban county outside of Denver are responding to reports of multiple officers down.



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