Sunday, February 23, 2014

MAJOR GLOBAL VOLCANISM ALERT: The Super Volcano That Could Blow Up America - Yellowstone Belches Ancient Helium, A THOUSAND TIMES More Than Anticipated; Days After Sudden Rise In Elevation And Development Of New Cracks!

February 23, 2014 - YELLOWSTONE, UNITED STATES -  Some worrying developments are taking place at the Super Volcano located beneath Yellowstone National Park; the kind of developments that were seen shortly before other volcanoes erupted.

Not only was there a sudden rise in the elevation of the ground, and development of new cracks, but a gas called Helium-4, a very rare type of Helium, has begun coming out of the surface.  It is the presence of this gas that has scientists quite concerned.  If the Yellowstone Super Volcano were to erupt, it would be 2,000 times bigger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the 1980′s.  Everything within 500 miles would be dead or destroyed within minutes, 2/3rds of the entire United States would be covered in volcanic ash and the climate of the entire planet would cool within a month.  On top of that, just this past week, the largest earthquake in the US took place just a few miles from Yellowstone proving hot magma is on the move. 

Here’s what has scientists concerned:
Since late summer 2013, the Yellowstone GPS network has tracked a small ” ground deformation episode” in north-central Yellowstone National Park.

During the past five months, the NRWY GPS station has recorded about 3.5 cm (1.4 in) of uplift (the ground is rising) and about 1 cm (0.4 in) of southeastward ground movement, relative to a stable reference station north of the Park.

Measurements from other GPS stations in northern Yellowstone show smaller displacements, forming a circular pattern of deformation (circular — as in the round mouth of a volcano) consistent with a minor pressurization (building-up underground), about 6 to 10 km (4-6 miles) deep, near Norris Junction.

What has scientists very concerned is that Yellowstone has suddenly begun emitting massive amounts of Helium-4.  Helium-4 seems to be the predictor of activity, as proved with other volcanoes.

For instance, as the volcanic island of El Hierro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, rumbled and groaned over the course of seven months in 2011 and 2012, gases silently percolated up through the island’s soil and groundwater.

Eventually, a spectacular plume appeared off the southern coast of the island, a sign that El Hierro volcano, an underwater volcano just offshore, had finally erupted. [link to]

Gas stored in the Earth’s crust for hundreds of millions of years is released by volcanic hotspot.

The team’s analyses show that, as the El Hierro volcano began to stir, the crust fractured and helium, mostly from the mantle, flowed to the surface. As the actual eruption began, gas flow at the surface increased dramatically, and gas pressure beneath the island dropped. Then as seismic activity at El Hierro picked up again, the crust fractured and deformed extensively, and helium-4 became a larger component of the total helium released on the island. 

Looking at the past ratios of helium at Yellowstone 1978:

Helium isotope ratios (³He/4He) in Lassen Park and Yellowstone Park volcanic gases show large ³He enrichments relative to atmospheric and crustal helium indicating the presence of a dominant mantle-helium component. [link to]

Study released today on Yellowstone helium:
[link to]
The scientists who revealed today’s information report the quantity of helium-4 in Yellowstone’s gas emissions is hundreds to thousands of times greater than it should be — a sign that the crust is releasing its ancient stores of the rare isotope, the researchers said.”However, much of the helium emitted from this region is actually radiogenic helium-4 produced within the crust by decay of uranium and thorium. Today’s report shows by combining gas emission rates with chemistry and isotopic analyses, that crustal helium-4 emission rates from Yellowstone exceed (by orders of magnitude) any conceivable rate of generation within the crust.”  This means the Helium -4 is coming from very far beneath the ground, a clear signal that something big is happening that hasn’t happened in Yellowstone in our lifetime.

Plumes of steam rise up from many spots along the Firehole River in Yellowstone National Park.
(Ken McGee, U.S. Geological Survey).

 In areas where there is little groundwater or movement in Earth’s crust, helium-4 can remain trapped and build up over time. This is especially true at Yellowstone, where inactive rocks, or what geologists call “craton,” have been estimated to be 2.5 billion years old. (The park is located primarily in Wyoming.)  

Things began to change roughly 2 million years ago, however, when hot magma intruded on the crustal system from below and triggered several enormous volcanic eruptions, the most recent about 640,000 years ago.

For scientists, there are important implications to the recent developments at Yellowstone. Helium and other noble gases are used to estimate groundwater residence times—for example, scientists assume that the more helium-4 present in water, the longer that water has been sitting in the rocks surrounding it.

But the study of helium at Yellowstone shows that some of these assumptions—specifically helium-4 produced by the steady decay of elements found only within the rocks and sediments of the local aquifer — aren’t quite right. Helium can suddenly come into a system from unexpected places—a pocket of ancient rock, for instance, or a  magma source — so the dates in past calculations, particularly those from aquifers in volcanic regions or near earthquake faults, might be way off because of that extra helium.  Scientists, though, are used to dealing with new data that changes long-held theories; that’s the nature of science, after all.

One of the largest earthquakes in the US this week, at just M3.6, occurred close to Yellowstone crater, on 11 February. The area, which overlies a hotspot (where hot magma from the mantle rises to the surface) is characterized by frequent earth tremors, which often occur in clusters (or ‘swarms’) such as those of 2004, 2009 and 2010.

Gas bubbling up through a hot spring in Yellowstone National Park is collected through a funnel.
Credit: J. Lowenstern, U.S. Geological Survey.

1) The ground inside the gigantic mouth of the Yellowstone Super Volcano is rising and moving southeastward.

2) Helium -4,  not normally present, has suddenly appeared at Yellowstone  in unbelievably large amounts never seen before.

3) When Helium -4 was seen at other volcanoes, it appeared shortly before major eruptions of those volcanoes.

4) Prior to most volcanic eruptions, earthquakes occur near the volcano and just this past week, one of the largest earthquakes in the US  at just  M3.6, occurred close to Yellowstone crater, on 11 February.

Naysayers beware, the evidence is stacking up.  if you’re waiting for an mass-media announcement….it has now happened and wont get any more direct. These words don’t come lightly from experts who appreciate that such statements – if wrong – can undermine the jobs these scientists do.

We have previously (within the last week) been warned an eruption could occur suddenly with no warning….that was the warning!

All those living locally should not expect anything more but the evidence above!!

Tectonically speaking, Yellowstone lies to the east of most of the major earthquake zones which characterize western North America and the earthquake swarms around Yellowstone are related to movements of the magma which lies beneath.

Residents of the Yellowstone area, however, probably wish researchers would just hurry up and figure out whether or not the supervolcano that’s simmering below them and last erupted 640,000 years ago is going to blow again anytime soon. - PWU.

NOTE: Post contributed by Pam & Pat.

MONUMENTAL GEOLOGICAL UPHEAVAL: The Island That "Grew Back" - Pacific Isle That Disappeared After Devastating Typhoon REAPPEARS 100 YEARS After Its Destruction! [PHOTOS]

February 23, 2014 - PACIFIC OCEAN - In 1905 a devastating typhoon swept over the Nadikdik atoll in the middle of the Pacific ocean, killing the majority of inhabitants and washing away most of the island.

In 1905 a devastating typhoon swept over the Nadikdik Atoll in the middle of the Pacific ocean, killing the majority of inhabitants and washing away most of the island, but since then, the island has regenerated (pictured)

Just two people survived the storm, but just over a century on, the islands have ‘grown back’ from a sandy deposit to lush reef islands.

Now, researchers from New Zealand have studied the reformation of the atoll, which is part of the remote Marshall Islands, to show how islands can form in relatively short periods of time.

 A University of Auckland study published in the journal Geomorphology documented the changes that have occurred in the Nadikdik atoll, also known as the Knox atoll, since the terrible typhoon, where large sections of reef were decimated.

 Dr Murray Ford and Professor Paul Kench studied aerial images of the islands from 1945 up until 2010 and found that a new island has grown from remains, The New Zealand Herald reported.

Researchers at the University of Auckland studied aerial images (pictured) of the islands from 1945 up until
2010 and found that a new island has grown from decimated remains.

Nadikdik Atoll (pictured) - otherwise known as Knox Atoll - is an uninhabited coral atoll of
18 islands in the Pacific Ocean.

In just over 60 years the island has grown lush vegetation and by studying the aerial photographs they found that patches of vegetation on the once barren landmass have grown by almost 25 per cent, the NZCity website reported.

The Nadikidik atoll has grown up from a ruined deposit of sandy and coral into a collection of islands including a fully vegetated and stable landmass as well another larger island composed of once separates smaller islands.

Nadikdik atoll - otherwise known as Knox atoll - is an uninhabited coral atoll of 18 islands in the Pacific Ocean.

It is the southernmost atoll of the Ratak Chain of the Marshall Islands.

The total land area is only 0.38square miles (98sq km) but it encloses a largely sand-filled lagoon with an area of 1.32 square miles (3.42 sq km).

The Knox atoll was claimed by the Empire of Germany along with the rest of the Marshall Islands in 1884.

After World War I, the island came under the South Pacific Mandate of the Empire of Japan.

Following the end of World War II, it came under the control of the United States until the independence of the Marshall Islands in 1986.

On 30 June 1905 the atoll of Nadikdik was completely washed over by a huge typhoon that stripped the atoll down to the bare coral.

All of the some 60 inhabitants perished, save two boys who survived a 24-hour drift voyage clinging to a breadfruit tree.

The researchers think this rapid regeneration was made possible because the sea around the sandy deposits was so healthy.

‘The storm obviously generated huge amounts of sediment and threw up large amounts of coral on to the islands, which has helped them to re-organise themselves,’ the scientists said.

 ‘They change, they move, they shift - you'll have a period of erosion on one part and a period of accretion on the other.’

Dr Ford, who lived in the Marshall Islands for three years, said the changes were rapid and indicate that reef island formation can occur quickly.

In just over 60 years the island has grown lush vegetation and by studying the aerial photographs they
found that patches of greenery on the once barren islands have grown by almost 25 per cent.
Similar vegetation on the island of Ailuk atoll in the Marshall Islands is pictured.

Studying small islands will help scientists better understand how new islands are created, which is of particular
interest as many people are worried that small islands will disappear under rising sea levels, triggered by
global warming. An aerial view of Bora Bora Island in the French Polynesia archipelago is pictured.

‘Evidence suggests that despite the typhoon occurring over a century ago the geomorphic adjustment of islands is still on-going,’ he said.

‘The take-home message is really that a high magnitude event can both destroy the islands, and set about a series of processes that enables them to return.’

They hope the study of the small island will help scientists better understand how new islands are created, which is of particular interest as many people are worried that small islands will disappear under rising sea levels, triggered by global warming.

Sea levels in the Pacific Ocean near the Marshall Islands are thought to have risen at a rate of 2.2mm a year since 1946. - Daily Mail.

PROTESTS & SOCIETAL COLLAPSE: Major Rival Protests Staged In Venezuela - Police And Anti-Government Protesters Confront Each In The Capital Caracas!

February 23, 2014 - VENEZUELA - Venezuelans have held a new wave of demonstrations as both supporters of the government and opposition staged major rallies in a country that has been roiled by violence in recent days.

Supporters of opposition leader Leopoldo Lopez stand at a barricade during a protest against President
Nicolas Maduro's government, in a middle-class neighbourhood in Caracas February 20, 2014.
(Reuters / Carlos Garcia Rawlins )

Pro-government "Chavista women" held a march "against fascism" on Saturday in Caracas, while the opposition staged a rally for "peace".

At a pro-government rally in the capital, where an Al Jazeera correspondent estimated thousands in attendance, Caridad Blanco, a retired person, told Al Jazeera: "The opposition is causing the violence. I am afraid to go to Chacao [a pro-opposition area]. We are rallying here for peace and our homeland."

"My life had improved greatly. In 1999, there were 300,000 pensioners. Now there are three million.

"My mother worked as an ironing lady. She had no pension before but now she does. This is an example of what our government has done," she added.

Daisy Perez, a cleaning lady and government supporter, told Al Jazeera: "We have created more employment [during the socialist period], schools and universities have been built."

'Social crisis'

An hour into the opposition rally, thousands of demonstrators had gathered, our correspondent estimated, but thousands more were seen heading towards the rally on foot and via the subway.

"At some point, the government will have to sit down and have proper discussions with the opposition," Alexis Perez, a student from Simon Bolivar University at the opposition rally, told Al Jazeera. "We are facing a social crisis."

Al Jazeera's Chris Arsenault, reporting from the capital, said: "Today represents a classic show of force by both camps.

"They are trying to prove they have public support in what has become a drawn-out battle.

"I don't imagine there will be serious violence today in Caracas because the rallies are happening in opposite zones of the city."

Venezuela's President Nicolas Maduro greets supporters during a rally in Caracas February 18, 2014.
(Reuters / Miraflores Palace)

A woman waves a banner depicting Venezuela's national flag at the National Pantheon of Heroes in Asuncion,
where anti-government protesters gathered Saturday.  Jorge Saenz/AP

Henrique Capriles, governor of Miranda state and a main opposition leader, says that planned events are intended as peaceful protests to show public discontent over high crime, food shortages and other problems facing Venezuela.

Capriles has called on marchers to focus on demanding that authorities disarm pro-government "collectives" blamed for attacking demonstrators.

At least eight people have died and more than 100 have been injured in violence connected to the protests that initially began peacefully.

President Nicolas Maduro's government warned it could cut off gas supplies to restless areas.

Protests began on February 2 in the western city of San Cristobal led by students angry over the soaring crime rate. Social media campaigns helped unrest spread to Caracas and other major cities, intensifying over the past two week.

Maduro, who denies any links to the armed groups, says the protests are part of a "coup d'etat in development" instigated by Washington and conservative ex-Colombian president Alvaro Uribe.

Call for dialogue

US President Barack Obama earlier urged the Venezuelan government to address the "legitimate grievances" of protesters; remarks which Maduro said were interference in Venezuela's internal affairs.

Maduro challenged Obama on Friday to meet him for talks. "I call a dialogue with you, President Obama... between the patriotic and revolutionary Venezuela and the United States and its government," he said.

"Accept the challenge and we will start a high-level dialogue and put the truth on the table," Maduro told a news conference with foreign reporters.

WATCH: Mass rival protests staged in Venezuela.


Caracas and Washington have not exchanged ambassadors since their respective envoys were withdrawn in 2010. Venezuela has expelled eight US diplomats over the past year, including three on February 16.

Oil-rich Venezuela's main customer for its key export is the US, yet strained relations between the countries have worsened under Maduro.

Venezuela has the world's largest proven oil reserves, but under Maduro and his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez, the economy has faltered, violent crime has increased and inflation is some of the highest in the region.

Supporters of the elected government say their situation has improved because of subsidised food programmes, new universities, and health centres built by the state in long-neglected poor areas. - Al Jazeera.

SIGNS IN THE HEAVENS: Comet ISON Hosted A Rare Kind Of Nitrogen - Hinting At Reservoirs In Young Solar System!

February 23, 2014 - SPACE - Comet ISON — that bright comet last year that broke up around Thanksgiving weekend — included two forms of nitrogen in its icy body, according to newly released observations from the Subaru Telescope.

Photo of Comet ISON taken Nov. 15 from Charleston, Rhode Island. Credit: Scott MacNeill.

Of the two types found, the discovery of isotope 15NH2 was the first time it’s ever been seen in a comet. Further, the observations from the Japanese team of astronomers show “there were two distinct reservoirs of nitrogen [in] the massive, dense cloud … from which our Solar System may have formed and evolved,” stated the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan.

Besides being pretty objects to look at, comets are considered valuable astronomical objects because they’re a sort of time capsule of conditions early in the universe. The “fresh” comets are believed to come from a vast area of icy bodies called the Oort Cloud, a spot that has been relatively untouched since the solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago. Spying elements inside of comets can give clues as to what was present in our neighborhood when the sun and planets were just coming to be.

“Ammonia (NH3) is a particularly important molecule, because it is the most abundant nitrogen-bearing volatile (a substance that vaporizes) in cometary ice and one of the simplest molecules in an amino group (–NH2) closely related to life. This means that these different forms of nitrogen could link the components of interstellar space to life on Earth as we know it,” NAOJ stated.

You can read more details about the finding at the NAOJ website. - Universe Today.