Geology News:  





What are supervolcanoes, and how catastrophic can they be? Learn how supervolcanoes form, where supervolcanoes are located, and how their destructive capabilities can make way for new life. More




Avoid Actions of Disasters — Expect Unexpected 


A supercell near Booker, TX 


7 Stunning Natural Wonders 

National Geographic

Anti-Creationism   3-JAN-2013

Video by Bill Nye, The Planetary Society: 


Volcanic gases deplete our stratospheric ozone layer, report presented June 12, 2012 

SELFOSS, ICELAND—Giant volcanic eruptions in Nicaragua over the past 70,000 years could have injected enough gases into the atmosphere to temporarily thin the ozone layer, according to new research by GEOMAR in Kiel, Germany (Kirstin Krüger, Steffen Kutterolf et al.) presented at the American Geophysical Union’s Chapman Conference on Volcanism and the Atmosphere today at a scientific conference in Selfoss, Iceland). If it happened today, a similar explosive eruption could do the same, releasing more than twice the amount of ozone-depleting halogen gases currently in stratosphere due to manmade emissions.

Bromine and chlorine are gases that “react — especially with ozone,” said Kirstin Krüger. “If they reach the upper levels of the atmosphere, they have a high potential of depleting the ozone layer.” 



Volcanic electricity, the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic chain,
central Chile, June 4, 2011 (click; 1 year later ) 

Scientific American, August 2011 issue, page 9, reports about the volcanic explosion with lightnings during the eruption at the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex, a chain of volcanoes in central Chile, located on a hot spot similar to that of Yellowstone, Wyoming, U.S.A... The ash clouds reached 45,000 feet = 13.7 km, the bottom of stratosphere, in early June. The Stratospheric Volcanic Mushroom is shown below.



The plume from the eruption — the volcanoe's first in more than two decades — spread in a wide stripe at the southern latitudes 40°±10° (see the animation below) eastwards. By 18 June, the ash cloud had completed its first circle around the globe. An estimated one hundred million tons of ash, sand and pumice were ejected - requiring the energy equivalent of 70 Hiroshima atomic bombs. The ash forced air lines to cancel hundreds of international and domestic flights, causing travel chaos and costing hundreds millions $.

The very high altitude of the ash (in the stratosphere) may influence the weather on the southern hemisphere over the period of a few years (a climatic effect). First, through a shadowing of the Sun radiation — the mean year temperature may decrease by 1 to 2 °C, secondly, through particle (and perhaps sulphuric acid microdroplets) contamination, which provides condensation nuclei for more clouds and more precipitation.



NASA Earth Observatory report, AQUA satellite view.

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History, Global Volcanism Program, geologic PCCVC characteristics.

Normal clouds consist of fine water droplets, their merging results into rain fall and may, by reduced specific surface, form strong static electricity discharging into lightnings.

Particles in fine dispersion systems, such as in clouds, hold their surface electrically charged, however, spread on a large area of their great specific surface. The particle coalescing enlarges them and, this way, reduces their specific surface. This is how the electrical charge concentrates on the smaller area, its voltage increases.

A similar specific surface reduction must occur during the explosive evolution of a very hot volcanic ash. During its first stage, it consists of very fine droplets of high-temperature (>1000°C) silicate magma with low viscosity. Just this low viscosity supports the second stage, the fine droplets merging into larger ones, so that the great specific surface area decreases cumulating the strong static electricity, which discharges into lightnings. Another source of static electricity is the friction in convection currents, causing displacement of the charges. The current speed is proportional to the density gradient caused by temperature differences mostly.  


Acute vision in the giant Cambrian predator Anomalocaris and the 
origin of compound eyes 

The meter-long swimming invertebrate Anomalocaris was top predator in the oceans 500 million years ago. Well-preserved fossils revealing giant fly-like eyes confirm that Anomalocaris is related to the 
arthropods and that compound eyes evolved before hard exoskeletons. 


Earthquakes, especially near Fukushima, Japan,
March 11, 2011 (click)

An earthquake is a vibration of the Earth (Moon - a moonquake, and similarly the quakes of other bodies, such as planets, their satellites and the Sun). The Earth is an inhomogeneous body: even its uppermost solid layer, the crust, consists of about 7 large blocks called plates and many smaller ones, called microplates, terranes etc.. All the blocks are slowly drifting, each with a various speed (centimeters per year) and direction. The forces driving the plates are assumed to be related to deep (mantle) convection and differential tidal (gravitational) attractivities. Relatively, there are two mutual motion directions:

  1. divergent, in which the plates and microplates are separated by a growing new crust, e.g., the Midatlantic ridge. This relative motion is associated with a "smooth" release of magma — a "peaceful" volcanism. There is no accumulation of pressure, and, no vibration and earthquake.
  2. convergent, in which one of the plates is pressing on (or submerging beneath) the other one — a so-called subduction. The convergence creates pressure, which may, at places, culminate in a breakage. The breakages are places of abrupt shifts — starting vibrations which propagate through the plates as earthquakes. Shifts of the ocean floor may produce tsunamis — special water waves with unusually long wavelengths (see below). 

Vibrational energy dissipates from the point of the earthquake's focus (origin) with the distance in a mostly horizontal direction. Therefore, the energy decreases with distance to the power of 2. Sometimes, the dissipation is also downward, which increases the dissipation's distance exponent up to about 2.5 .

Destructive effects are due to the response of solid bodies on the Earth's surface: various rocks, having different density, react differently due to their specific inertia and usually anisotropic hardness and may deform and even separate as they encounter discontinuities. The protection of human property and lives is based on our knowledge of the territory's mechanical properties, partially revealed by their earthquake history. One principle of protection attempts to mechanically separate our property (structures, etc.) from the ground expected to vibrate. The ideal separation may be visualized as being suspension in the air, e.g., suspended from a baloon — in an atmosphere of easily compressible gas with minimum possible friction (viscosity). Even this impractible example illustrates well the protective method. 

Visit historical earthquakes here (click). 

New Tectonic Plate Discovered: Tibet(i)an Plate (click). 


Old Geology News from (click)

  • Nitrates in drinking water in the Sembach area
  • MAG 7.7 Earthquake shakes the Banda Sea floor
  • Replacement of Microscopes
  • Dangerous Phenomena such as Hurricans
  • MAG 7.2 Earthquake shakes Japanese coast,
  • MAG 9.0 - 4th Strongest Earthquake since 1960: Sunday, 26-DEC-04, off the west coast of northern Sumatra
  • Astronomic View at the Involved Geologic Phenomena
  • How do Earthquakes Generate Tsunamis?
  • Earthquake MAG 5.4 in South-West Germany Early Sunday, 5-DEC-04
  • Earth's Inner Core is Layered ...