Major eruption in progress at Tavurvur volcano - Rabaul caldera, Papua New Guinea

A major eruption is in progress at Tavurvur volcano, Rabaul caldera, in Papua New Guinea. The eruption started around 17:00 UTC on August 28, 2014 (03:00 local time on August 29). Darwin VAAC reported ash plume rising up to impressive 18.2 km! Aviation color code is on Red. Heavy ash fall is reported.Papuan media rightfully describe it as a major eruptive crisis – this powerful eruption is occurring in populated area and next to a city of Rabaul with nearly 20 000 people. Evacuations of some nearby villages are in progress. Kokopo, south of Tavurvur seems to have been particularly affected by ash fall. Rabaul has erupted several times throughout the 20th Century with its last eruption happening last year. During its… »

Source: Solar News

Bárðarbunga volcano erupts - lava flows observed at surface, Iceland

After nearly two weeks of seismic unrest lava flows from Bárðarbunga volcano were finally observed on the surface. The eruption started at around 00:02 UTC today on an old volcanic fissure on the Holuhraun lava field, between Bárðarbunga and Askja volcano, and peaked between 00:40 and 01:00 UTC. The active fissure was about 600 m in length.Intense earthquake swarm below Bárðarbunga began on August 16. Since then, vast amounts of magma have formed a sheet of freshly cooled rock, called a dyke, that stretches for about 45 kilometers north of Bárðarbunga.Evgenia Ilyinskaya, a volcanologist with the British Geological Survey in Edinburgh, said that the sheer volume of magma involved — perhaps some 0.4 cubic kilomet… »

Source: Solar News

Sailing stones of Death Valley mystery solved

Sailing stones, also called sliding rocks and moving rocks, refer to a geological phenomenon where rocks move and inscribe long tracks along a smooth valley floor without human or animal intervention. The engraved trails of rocks on the nearly flat, dry mud surface have been observed since 1940s and studied in various locations, including Little Bonnie Claire Playa in Nevada, and most notably Racetrack Playa, Death Valley National Park, California.Rock movement has been variously attributed to high winds, liquid water, ice, or ice flotation, but has not been previously observed in action – until now.In a paper published in the journal PLOS ONE on August 27, a team led by Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego, paleobiologist… »

Source: Solar News