Hawaii’s Kilauea is creating its own weather

May 30, 2018 by  
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Volcanoes can “make their own weather ,” according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS) — and the Kilauea Volcano in Hawaii is doing just that. Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists have observed what are called pyrocumulus clouds, which could possibly turn unstable and cause thunderstorms, over the Kilauea fissure system in Leilani Estates. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = ‘https://connect.facebook.net/en_US/sdk.js#xfbml=1&version=v3.0’; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs);}(document, ‘script’, ‘facebook-jssdk’)); Did you know that volcanoes can make their own weather? #HVO scientists are beginning to observe "pyrocumulus" clouds… Posted by USGS Volcanoes on  Monday, May 28, 2018 Pyrocumulus clouds, or flammagenitus clouds or fire clouds, are often caused by fires. Digging into the science behind the clouds above Kilauea, USGS said they form “when intense heating of the air from the ground induces convection, which causes the air mass to rise to a point of stability, usually in the presence of moisture (which condenses and forms the cloud).” Related: 1,000-foot-long fissure opens on Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano amid fears of an explosive eruption USGS shared a photograph on Facebook of a pyrocumulus cloud above Kilauea’s Fissure 8, and said there was another such cloud above the volcano’s Lower East Rift Zone. That cloud rose up to an estimated 3.7 miles, and they said it was described as “tightly roiling and set apart from other stratus clouds.” In a recent status update , USGS said Fissure 8 fountained as high as 200 feet into the air. Volcanic gas emissions from Kilauea are still high due to fissure eruptions. Since trade winds could return in upcoming days, vog — or smog with volcanic dust and gases — could impact the southern and western sides of the Big Island. Everyday, a team of #USGS scientists canvass areas along Kilauea Volcano’s east Lower Rift Zone. #science #KilaueaErupts #volcano pic.twitter.com/wCug0tF8eF — USGS (@USGS) May 30, 2018 The USGS also said Pele’s hair — threads of volcanic glass named after the Hawaiian goddess of fire and volcanoes — “and other lightweight volcanic glass from high fountaining of Fissure 8 are being transported downwind and falling to the west of the fissure…Residents are urged to minimize exposure to these volcanic particles, which can cause skin and eye irritation similar to volcanic ash.” + USGS Volcanoes Facebook + USGS Kilauea Updates Via Earther Image via U.S. Geological Survey

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Hawaii’s Kilauea is creating its own weather

After 250 earthquakes in 24 hours, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano might erupt

May 3, 2018 by  
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Out of the five volcanoes on Hawaii’s Big Island, Kilauea is the most active — and it’s threatening to erupt. After a collapse event at the Pu’u ‘?’? vent, in the volcano’s East Rift Zone, around 250 earthquakes happened. Authorities are warning people to remain on alert, because scientists observed magma flowing under a main road close to houses. Will Kilauea erupt? Seismic activity could result in a lava breakout, but Hawaiian Volcano Observatory scientists can’t say exactly what time or where it might happen. The crater collapse and earthquakes are “associated with the continued intrusion of magma into the East Rift Zone to locations east of Highway 130. An outbreak of lava from the lower East Rift Zone remains a possible outcome of the continued unrest,” according to the observatory. The Independent said there are homes in that part of the island, and Highway 130 leads to an access point enabling visitors to hike or cycle to a lava viewing area. Related: Mesmerizing volcano “skylights” give a glimpse under the Earth’s surface Local residents have noticed cracks in roads near the Leilani Estates subdivision, but so far neither heat nor steam have been observed escaping from the cracks, which are small. The Hawaii County Civil Defense Agency said areas that could be impacted are Leilani Estates, Nanawale Estates or Kapoho. The Hawaiian Volcano Observatory offered resources for those who want to stay updated about Kilauea ; sign up for notification emails from the Volcano Notification Service at this USGS website or sign up for the Civil Defense Emergency Notification System at the County of Hawaii website . The volcano’s activity hasn’t always been explosive in the past, but a 1924 eruption spewed ash and rocks into the air and killed one man. The summit crater gushed rock and lava across 75 acres in 2008, and a view point was damaged. + Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (1, 2) + County of Hawaii Via The Independent and CNN Images via Depositphotos and U.S. Geological Survey

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After 250 earthquakes in 24 hours, Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano might erupt

Newly discovered link between two faults could lead to a much bigger San Francisco earthquake

October 21, 2016 by  
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San Francisco is expected to be hit with a 6.7 magnitude or higher earthquake before 2032, according to the US Geological Survey (USGS). But USGS scientists just discovered that two fault lines in the area are connected, which could make a Bay Area earthquake much worse. The Rodgers Creek and Hayward fault lines are linked, which means they could rupture together and San Francisco could be rocked with a 7.4 magnitude earthquake. Four USGS scientists found that the Hayward fault, which runs beneath neighborhoods east of San Francisco, and the Rodgers Creek fault, which runs through wine county, are linked. The two connect under the San Pablo Bay, north of the city, and together run 118 miles. If the fault lines rupture together, it could result in an earthquake that releases five times as much energy than if the Hayward fault ruptured on its own. Related: NASA experts say California’s next big earthquake could happen in less than three years Even worse, such an earthquake could come soon – there’s usually 140 years between earthquakes on the Hayward fault, but the last quake along the line was 148 years ago in 1868, when a 6.8 magnitude quake killed 30 people. A earthquake along both fault lines could result in a quake over five times more powerful than a 1989 earthquake along the San Andreas fault . More than 60 people died then, and a portion of the San Francisco – Oakland Bay Bridge collapsed. USGS geophysicist and study lead writer Janet Watt told New Scientist , “The concerning thing with the Hayward and Rodgers Creek faults is that they’ve accumulated enough stress to be released in a major earthquake. They’re, in a sense, primed.” The journal Science Advances published the scientists’ research online this week. What can Bay Area residents do to get ready? University of California, Berkeley fault researcher Roland Bürgmann told New Scientist it’s important to be prepared “at all levels” – from resilient construction techniques to early warning systems to having your own supplies ready if an earthquake occurs. + Science Advances Via New Scientist and Phys.org Images via Pixabay and Wikimedia Commons

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Newly discovered link between two faults could lead to a much bigger San Francisco earthquake

Target is launching in-store vertical farms for fresh, ultra-local produce

October 21, 2016 by  
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Consumers are increasingly demanding access to locally grown produce – even at big box stores. Target heard that call, and they’re answering by offering the freshest and most local produce a customer could possibly want—by installing vertical gardens to grow vegetables and herbs right inside stores . The effort will begin with a series of trials in Spring 2017 and, if successful, Target locations across the country could be growing crispy, leafy greens before you know it. While indoor farming is not new, even for the United States, the act of combining crop production with a retail store is more or less uncharted territory. Target has been quick to pursue hot retail trends, and the chain’s Food + Future CoLab , a collaboration with the MIT Media Lab and Ideo, has been researching in-store micro-farming for nearly a year. While leafy greens are the most common crop for most types of indoor vertical farms, Target could eventually branch out to offer potatoes, beets, and zucchini. Forbes reports that MIT may even allow Target to access ancient seeds for rare tomatoes or peppers. The benefits of indoor farming are almost too numerous to name. The setup, typically aquaponic in nature, uses less water than traditional in-ground farming. Raising vegetables, greens, and herbs in an indoor, climate-controlled environment also means a year-round growing season. Pesticides aren’t required, and the absence of weather means no unexpected crop losses, trimming both the cost and the risk of wasted food and resulting in a consistent source of sustainable food . Related: Berlin grocer reimagines the future of produce departments with in-store vertical micro-farm While a number of enormous indoor farms already exist in the US, only a few big grocers are growing their own produce. Whole Foods in Gowanus, Brooklyn unveiled a massive rooftop greenhouse in late 2013, where 20,000 square feet of vegetables are grown year-round without pesticides. Three years later, with Target just announcing its upcoming pilot program, it’s tough to say how long it might be before those red-and-white aisles offer up fresh crops of their own, but it’s safe to say this is an interesting step forward in the future of retail grocery shopping as well as easy access to locally grown, pesticide-free greens. + Food + Future CoLab Via Forbes Images via MIT OpenAg , Wikipedia and Target Food and Future coLab

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Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

October 21, 2016 by  
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Smartdome constructions developed four types of domes: skydome for elevated applications; aquadome for water landscapes; treedome that incorporates vegetation; and snowdome for wintry environments. The company’s goal is to become the “leading producer of thematic villages,” such as a ski village in the Alps or a Hobbit village in the countryside. The domes are raised on galvanized steel stilts and can be placed on degraded areas, from steep slopes to swamps. Related: Create your own backyard geodesic dome with these super affordable DIY kits “Our aim is to develop new method of living in the country, combining technical efficiency with careful treatment of resources and nature alike,” writes the firm. Each dome is constructed from welded galvanized steel and moisture-resistant plywood. Buyers have the choice between transparent modules with 3D thermoformed polycarbonate or full non-transparent modules filled with 150-millimeter-thick insulating mineral wool. The insulating materials help reduce energy consumption . There is no available price quote on their website , but interested buyers can contact the company for more information. + smartdome constructions Images via smartdome constructions

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Prefab smartdome homes can pop up in degraded, hard-to-reach areas

USGS warns California earthquake swarm could set off a massive quake any day now

October 3, 2016 by  
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Following a swarm of smaller earthquakes near Bombay Beach in southern California, the United States Geological Survey is estimating a 1 in 100 chance of the San Andreas Fault rupturing in southern California before October 4, which could cause a devastating earthquake of epic proportions. The earthquake swarm began September 26 near the Salton Sea and included over 100 small tremors in the first day, the strongest measuring magnitude 4.3. However, the earthquakes didn’t stop, and around 40 more small earthquakes have shaken the region in the days since it began. USGS experts are concerned because the swarm of earthquakes is occurring on a system of fault lines that run perpendicular to the southern terminus of the San Andreas fault, increasing the possibility of agitating the much larger San Andreas fault and tipping off a massive earthquake. Although seismologists can’t predict when or where an earthquake will strike, patterns in plate movement help establish theories about what might happen in the future, but without a specific date or location attached. Just shy of one year ago, a group of NASA geophysicists warned that California could be struck by a “mega earthquake” (one with a magnitude of 5.0 or higher) within the next 2.5 years. A year later, that quake hasn’t happened, but the scientific evidence hasn’t changed in a way that substantially impacts the prediction. Experts still believe a major earthquake in California could happen any day now. Related: NASA experts say California’s next big earthquake could happen in less than 3 years The coastal state has been home to a number of earthquake swarms this year—clusters of tremors mostly registering less than M3.0. Swarms of small earthquakes are somewhat common for California’s central and southern regions, and the vast majority do not result in any substantial damage or injuries. However, this latest swarm near the Salton Sea has lasted longer than typical events, and seismologists are paying close attention as a result. Experts tend to agree that earthquake swarms such as these could agitate larger fault lines, including the famed San Andreas fault , and eventually kick off a much larger tectonic event. Via Gizmodo Images via Wikipedia and USGS

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USGS, EPA investigate link between underground wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s largest earthquake

September 7, 2016 by  
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On Saturday, a magnitude 5.6 earthquake shook north central Oklahoma , prompting the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to investigate whether the quake was caused by the oil and gas industry’s practice of underground wastewater disposal . The quake, which is reportedly the largest in the state’s history, damaged some buildings but there have been no reports of injuries or deaths. Many environmental scientists have long suspected that industrial activities like this are linked to, and can even cause, earthquakes, and hopefully soon the USGS will have answers about what is happening in Oklahoma. Saturday’s earthquake occurred near the city of Pawnee at 8:03 a.m. local time and was reportedly felt in six surrounding states. The quake was somewhat unusual because it occurred on a fault that seismologists didn’t even know existed. In fact, the fault that triggered the quake runs perpendicular to the larger well-known fault system. This is the key feature of the earthquake that piqued the interest of USGS researchers, who suspect that human activity may be partially responsible for kicking off the tremor. The Environmental Protection Agency is also investigating the causes and implications of the earthquake. Related: Surge of earthquakes in Oklahoma puts fracking under fire “Without studying the specifics of the wastewater injection and oil and gas production in this area, the USGS cannot currently conclude whether or not this particular earthquake was caused by industrial-related, human activities,” the USGS said in a statement. “However, we do know that many earthquakes in Oklahoma have been triggered by wastewater fluid injection.” State regulators at the Oklahoma Corporation Commission have ordered oil and gas operators to shut down 35 disposal wells that may have contributed to this weekend’s earthquake in what Governor Mary Fallin has called “a mandatory directive.” The wells located within five miles of a 10-mile section of the fault linked to the quake, and they have been ordered to shut down within seven days, and all the other wells must be shut down within 10 days. Last year, a series of earthquakes in Oklahoma had many scientists and environmentalists pointing fingers at fracking, the common practice in the oil and gas industry of injecting high-pressure liquids underground to open fissures, in an effort to gain access to oil and gas. As industry activity in the state has steadily grown, so too have the number of earthquakes measuring at least 3.0 on the Richter scale. After the  magnitude 5.1 quake between Tulsa and Oklahoma City in February, 2015 , residents feared that the worst was yet to come. With this weekend’s quake now being called the strongest ever in the state, and plenty of oil and gas industry drilling ongoing, nobody is sure at this point what to expect next. Via Fox News and USGS Images via USGS and Shutterstock

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USGS, EPA investigate link between underground wastewater disposal and Oklahoma’s largest earthquake

World’s largest flower parade thrills again with millions of dahlias

September 7, 2016 by  
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According to the parade organizers, each float includes a staggering half a million dahlias. Floats can be as large as 20 meters, or around 65 feet, long and nine meters, nearly 30 feet, tall. Volunteers create the floats beginning in May to get ready for the parade in early September. But the flowers can only be put on the floats during the last three days leading up to the parade, which makes for a crazy few days for the hundreds of people from each of the 20 districts that participate. Related: Millions of blooms revive Van Gogh in breathtaking Corso Zundert flower parade While 20 floats were entered, two weren’t able to roll down the parade route in 2016 due to strong winds. Dangerous Transportation, constructed by the Tiggelaar hamlet, won the day. Floats ranged from rollicking animal designs to a Gothic building caught in a whirlwind to a woman being retouched. One float even offered a commentary on climate change . The statement for second place winner Manpower 12 says, “Human intervention contributes to climate change. It’s not only the force of nature that smashes ships to pieces on a stormy sea, but also the force of mankind.” While around 30 flower parades take place in the Netherlands, Zundert is home to the largest, and it is also where artist Vincent van Gogh was born. Corso Zundert is judged by “an independent and professional jury” comprised of people with backgrounds in theater or art . According to the parade organizers, “…for people in Zundert, winning the parade is among the best experiences in life.” + Corso Zundert Via Colossal Images courtesy of Malou Evers, Werner Pellis, and Erwin Martens/Corso Zundert

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Humans have caused so many earthquakes that scientists had to update their maps

March 30, 2016 by  
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Those at the United States Geological Survey have noticed such a spike in manmade earthquakes they had to change their maps. For the first time ever, researchers have begun producing earthquake hazard maps with manmade earthquakes alongside natural seismic activity. Between this, the collapse of bee colonies, and climate change in general we can say with confidence that humans seem too be hellbent on destroying the planet. Read the rest of Humans have caused so many earthquakes that scientists had to update their maps

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Fracking suspect in Oklahoma’s third-strongest earthquake

February 15, 2016 by  
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The third strongest earthquake ever reported in Oklahoma struck Saturday morning. Registering a 5.1 on the Richter scale, the quake was followed by several aftershocks, including one with a magnitude 3.9, according to the U.S. Geological Survey. There has been an increase in seismic activity in the state in recent years, matched by a flurry of hydraulic fracturing and horizontal drilling. Seismologists warn that fracking could be the direct cause of the earthquakes . Read the rest of Fracking suspect in Oklahoma’s third-strongest earthquake

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