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Scientists Discover New Volcanic Eruption Trigger

Posted: May 20th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Geology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Scientists Discover New Volcanic Eruption Trigger

Scientists Discover New Volcanic Eruption TriggerScientists say they’ve found a new way to predict when a volcano is about to erupt. Simply; after a measurable pressure drop occurs within a volcano’s internal plumbing, an eruption is likely to follow.

This pressure drop can potentially be used by volcanologists to predict a catastrophic eruption. The researchers say the importance is quite significant, particularly if you are part of a community that lives next door to a volcano, or an airline company mapping flight routes.

The study is hoping to engineer early warning systems so that people can be told with a huge degree of confidence when to get out of the way.

Lead author Dr Janine Kavanagh from the University of Liverpool said with more than 600 million people worldwide living near a volcano at risk of eruptive activity, it is more important than ever that triggering mechanisms are made more accurate. This previously unrecognised trigger could also alleviate the “headache” volcanic eruptions cause civil aviation by providing early and accurate warnings to authorities when they should divert aircraft.

“There is also a strong economic incentive to understand the causes of volcanic activity as demonstrated in 2010 by the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull, Iceland, causing air-traffic disruption across Europe for more than a month, and an estimated $A2.5 billion loss in revenue to the airline industry :: Read the full article »»»»

There’s GOLD in Them There Hills, Termite Hills That Is…

Posted: December 19th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Entomology, Favorite New Thought, Geology, Outside the Box | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on There’s GOLD in Them There Hills, Termite Hills That Is…

Cankler - Theres GOLD in Them There Hills, Termite Hills That Is - Litchfield NT Magnetic Termite MoundsThose superneat boffins at Australia’s science-factory – The CSIRO –  have found that termite mounds could indicate where gold or other mineral deposits lie beneath the surface.

Researchers believe that even small termite mounds could be reliable markers, and that termites themselves may be a cost-effective and environmentally friendly means of finding new mineral deposits.

Termite mounds are abundant across Australia’s north, and the largest ones can stand up to five metres tall. The research was published in science journals PLoS ONE and Geochemistry: Exploration, Environment, Analysis, found that at a test site in the West Australian goldfields termite mounds contained high concentrations of gold. This gold indicates there is a larger deposit underneath :: Read the full article »»»»

Nature Blows, Rattles and Rolls! The Typhoon and Earth Quake Connection

Posted: January 7th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler, Geology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Nature Blows, Rattles and Rolls! The Typhoon and Earth Quake Connection

Nature is a harsh mistress. The more we study the natural world the more we come to understand how the various natural system are inter-connected. Recently scientists from Florida International University have established a connection between large Typhoons and earthquakes. While earthquakes are a complex event with many causes this is one more piece of the puzzle that will help us understand the world we live in.

The most destructive earthquakes are the result of the Earth’s crust being made of a number of separate plates – tectonic plates – that just won’t stand still. As the plates are made of rock and earth they are rough causing friction as they grind together. This friction causes the plates to lock at the edges while the rest of the plate behind continue to move forward, building up pressure where the plates meet – convergent plate boundaries  -. When this pressure is released earthquakes are the result. The amount of energy that is released during an earthquake is astronomical. The total energy released by Japans recent earthquake – total energy or seismic moment – equates to 600 million times the energy released by the Hiroshima atomic bomb. All of that energy had built in the crust and was released in just a few minutes of shaking.

“Very wet rain events are the trigger,” said Wdowinski, associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth’s surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults.” Read the full article »»»»

Rare Moon Mineral Found on Earth

Posted: January 6th, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Applied Science, Cankler Science News, Geology | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Comments Off on Rare Moon Mineral Found on Earth

NASA Apollo 8 - December 24, 1968 - EarthriseA mineral brought back to Earth by the first men on the Moon and long thought to be unique to the lunar surface has been found in Australian rocks more than 1 billion years old. In this month’s issue of Geology, Birger Rasmussen, a geologist at Curtin University in Australia, and his colleagues report that they’ve finally found tranquillityite on our planet.   Named after Apollo 11’s 1969 landing site at the Sea of Tranquility, tranquillityite was one of three minerals first discovered in rocks from the Moon and the only one not to be found, in subsequent years, on Earth.

The West Australian mineral was dated at 1.07 billion years old, more ancient than rocks in the area had previously been thought to be, Rasmussen said tranquillityite would be useful in dating similar rocks in the future.”They were always part of Earth. They haven’t come from the Moon,” Rasmussen said

The discovery has important practical applications, with the mineral proving to be an excellent dating tool which had allowed scientists to pin down the rocks’ ages. “We used this mineral… to date the dolerite which has previously been undated, so that helped us understand the geological history,” Rasmussen said. “It tells you that broadly overall you have similar chemistries and similar processes operating on the Moon as on Earth.” Read the full article »»»»