Monday, June 4, 2018

Volcanoe(s), Earthquakes, is the West Coast Next Up?

Double Volcano Happenings
(Should You Be Nervous?)

* The Big Island is not in the Ring of Fire... the big horseshoe that surrounds the Pacific Coastlines

* Hawaii'a Kilauea and Mauna Loa Volcanoes are linked

Guatemala's Fuego volcano is located within the Ring of Fire

* The May 18, 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in WA was the most destructive in the history of the U.S.

Technically HI is in the Pacific Ocean but not in the
Ring of Fire
My Earth changes forecasts for this year included shaky ground and volcanic activity in the United States. I also pinpointed the state of Alaska and Yellowstone which may turn heads with unusual action creating alerts...and more. Well, more is happening right now, indeed. During the spring, Yellowstone captured scientists’ concern but so has the Big Island in Hawaii. Read on—discover if these two volcanoes are on the road to destruction and how it may affect you.

Super Tremors in Yellowstone
Earthquake and volcano gurus will tell you, Yellowstone National Park—America’s restless supervolcano  is due for another eruption. The power of a supervolcano, they say, is 1,000 times greater than a normal volcano. But Yellowstone, a geologic park, has shown past volcanism and ongoing seismic activity for years. In May, earthquakes and eruptions are creating a buzz about the question, “Will it blow?” After all, the park sits over an active volcano. And Steamboat Geyser has erupted three times which is puzzling scientists.
Monterey Bay Area is a target of faults
between the Pacific and North American plates. 
While a possibility of a great eruption could happen, late geologist Jim Berkland noted back in the early 21st century, it likely could experience renewed volcanic activity-which it is doing. However, he added, it “should not approach the mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time.” And I agree with the maverick scientist who predicted the major 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake four days before it rocked San Francisco and Northern California. But volcanic activity doesn’t stop in Yellowstone.

Hawaii’s Big Island Kilauea Volcano
On Friday evening, May 4, I received a phone call from my sibling. He said with a sound of excitement, “Evacuations are happening in Hawaii. The volcano erupted!” After all, we have family on the Big Island. When I logged onto the computer I was welcomed with a 6.9 earthquake rocked the island. Since it happened on land, there was no tsunami or casualties happened like the Loma Prieta shaker.
But as the volcano continued to erupt while tremors continued, mandatory evacuations took place 30 miles from Hilo. Two rural subdivisions, Leilani Estates and Lanipuna Gardens are in danger because of volcanic bombs (fire), avalanches of hot rock, and lethal gases including carbon dioxide and sulfur dioxide. (On June 4, one interesting report puts the past and present-day Kilauea events and Hawaiian lifestyle  in perspective.)

Is Hawaii’s Volcanic Activity Unusual?
The fact is, Kilauea on Hawaii’s Big Island has spewed lava almost continuously for 35 years since 1983. And it has started acting out again and may not end soon. It is one of the most active volcanoes in the world—erupting on and off for thousands of years. But the question remains, what’s going on?
Conservative geologists and volcanologists will tell you there are not enough details about why—but new magma (lava underground from below the volcano) got injected up into the volcanic mass structure. The consensus is that this region is not stable—and may fall into the Pacific Ocean one day.  Could it cause a tsunami on the West Coast? Experts will tell you there is only a five percent chance of this happening.  But there's more...

Are Yellowstone and Hawaii Volcanic Activity Linked?
Some scientists will tell you the present and future volcanic activity may be a trigger effect and caused by climate change. Centuries ago, past periods of loss of glaciers were followed by a spike in volcanic activity. And history often repeats itself when Earth changes occur. Eruptions caused by the melting of ice at the Antarctic (image of disoriented polar bears come to mind) are making it easier for magma to reach the surface and feed volcanic eruptions.
What’s more, you may be thinking, “Are these two volcanic geological parks linked to the ongoing activity?” Perhaps it is a trigger effect. Back in 1980, on March 27, Mount St. Helens eruption happened; it was followed by the great volcanic blast on May 18. Then, in late May, Mammoth Lakes, California (a dormant volcanic region) began experiencing seismic activity alerting United States Geologic Survey scientists to issue warnings.
While Mammoth Lakes four significant earthquakes in a few days and hundreds of smaller ones didn’t amount to another volcano episode like Mt. St. Helens, it did cause alarm. Also, while it’s better to be safe than sorry, tourism plummeted and the real estate market suffered.

So, Do These Volcanic Events Affect You?
If Yellowstone blows or Kilauea continues to spew lava, these happenings certainly can affect people and the Earth. The sulfur dioxide can have adverse health effects by affecting healthy air quality. In the immediate area people who live nearby can suffer from the ash which can affect people with respiratory problems.
Sulfur dioxide can also effect the environment by wreaking havoc on weather and climate—and cause a cooling effect. Not only can volcanic activity displace people who may not be able to return to their homes, but air travel due to ash clouds and aircraft engines get too hot and can become dangerous.
The worst-case scenario? Well, Kilauea can affect the sea life in the Pacific Ocean and air flow, whereas, Yellowstone can do much worse ending up in a nuclear winter by shrouding the U.S. with ash turning Earth into a volcanic ice age. Go back in time, almost two hundred years after the eruption of Tambora, temperatures dropped, causing crops to die and famines in America and Europe. So, yes, these present-day volcanic happenings can change life as we know it on the earth but hopefully the activity will fizzle and not sizzle this time around.

San Andreas Fault Zone—Tick-Toc

A widely felt 4.5 earthquake rumbled nearby Palm Springs, the region seismologists believe could give us a major 7.8 shaker, well overdue. My prediction: A stronger quake could happen before the summer. The Big Island may start up again with its volcanic activity in June and/or  July. And, an underwater earthquake in the Pacific Ocean—near Hawaii or Japan—could also be sobering events.

Update: On May 17, Kilauea volcano erupted sending plumes 30,000 feet into the sky. The effects are growing but nobody knows how severe this event will be. On June 4th, 500 earthquakes in 24 hours were reported. A downgraded 5.5 was the strongest earthquake.

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