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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 »»»»

Australian Marsupials Make Meal of Toxic Toads

Posted: January 22nd, 2012 | Author: | Filed under: Cankler Science News | Tags: , , , , , , | Comments Off on Australian Marsupials Make Meal of Toxic Toads

Australian Marsupials Make Toxic Toads - Northern QuollA study has revealed that some small carnivorous marsupials in Northern Australia instinctively know how to avoid being poisoned by cane toads – Bufo Marinus. The University of Sydney’s Dr Jonathan Webb and his team have found that red-cheeked dunnarts from the Kimberley in Western Australia are naturally wary of cane toads.

The discovery was made when scientists trapped the dunnarts and filmed their first encounters with toads. The marsupials’ killer bites were aimed at the heads of the toads, avoiding their toxic glands and a likely death by poisoning. The research team found that the dunnarts quickly learn that eating other parts of the toad is dangerous. During subsequent encounters the “toad-educated” dunnarts sniff the toads from a distance before rejecting them. The results support another project being run by the team in the Northern Territory which uses cane toad sausages to teach endangered Northern quolls to avoid eating the poisonous amphibians.

The northern quoll – Dasyurus Hallucatus – is an endangered marsupial predator that was once common throughout Northern Australia. The major threat to northern quolls is the highly toxic cane toad that is currently invading northern Australia. Like other native predators, northern quolls lack physiological resistance to toad toxins, and consequently, most quolls die after attacking large toads. Since cane toads invaded northern Australia, quoll populations have plummeted, and the species faces extinction on the mainland. Cane toads cannot be eradicated, and they will soon invade Western Australia. Read the full article »»»»