Tagged: Volcanology Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • richardmitnick 10:55 am on September 20, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Climate Change Will Alter Cooling Effects of Volcanic Eruptions", , , , Volcanology   

    From Eos: “Climate Change Will Alter Cooling Effects of Volcanic Eruptions” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    Michael Allen

    The eruption of Mount Pinatubo, Philippines, in June 1991 was one of the most powerful of the 20th century. Credit: Dave Harlow, USGS.

    Volcanic eruptions can have a massive effect on Earth’s climate. Volcanic ash and gases from the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, Indonesia, for example, contributed to 1816 being the “year without a summer,” with crop failures and famines across the Northern Hemisphere. In 1991, the eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines cooled the climate for around 3 years.

    Large volcanic eruptions like Tambora and Pinatubo send plumes of ash and gas high into the atmosphere. Sulfate aerosols from these plumes scatter sunlight, reflecting some of it back into space. This scattering warms the stratosphere but cools the troposphere (the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere) and Earth’s surface.

    Now new research published in Nature Communications has found that climate change could increase the cooling effect of large eruptions like these, which typically occur a couple of times every century. The study also found, however, that the cooling effects of smaller, more frequent eruptions could be reduced dramatically.

    “What really matters is whether these [volcanic aerosols] are injected into the stratosphere—that is, above 16 kilometers in the tropics under current climate conditions and closer to 10 kilometers at high latitudes,” explained Thomas Aubry, a geophysicist at The University of Cambridge (UK) and lead author of the new study. “If [aerosols] are injected at these altitudes, they can stay in the atmosphere for a couple of years. If they are injected at lower altitudes, they are essentially going to be washed out by precipitation in the troposphere. The climatic effect will only last for a few weeks.”

    The power of a volcanic eruption influences the elevation at which gases enter the atmosphere, with stronger eruptions injecting more aerosols into the stratosphere. The buoyancy of the gases also contributes to the elevation at which they settle in the atmosphere. Climate change could affect this buoyancy: As the atmosphere warms, it becomes less dense, increasing the elevation at which aerosols reach neutral buoyancy.

    Modeling Mount Pinatubo

    Aubry and his colleagues used models of both climate and volcanic plumes to simulate what happens to aerosols emitted by a volcanic eruption in the present climate and how that could change by the end of the century with continued global warming. In their models, all the eruptions occurred at Mount Pinatubo.

    They found that for moderate-magnitude eruptions, the height at which sulfate aerosols settle in the atmosphere remained the same in a warmer climate. But the cooling effect of such eruptions was reduced by around 75%. This discrepancy has less to do with volcanic emissions and more to do with the atmosphere: The height of the stratosphere is predicted to increase with climate change. Aerosols from moderate volcanic eruptions will therefore be more likely to remain in the troposphere and be removed by rain, reducing their potency.

    For large eruptions, models indicated that volcanic plumes will rise around 1.5 kilometers higher in the stratosphere in a warmer climate. This change in elevation will result in the aerosols spreading faster around the world. This increase in aerosol spread is mainly due to a predicted acceleration of the Brewer-Dobson circulation, which moves air in the troposphere upward into the stratosphere and then toward the poles. The change in Brewer-Dobson circulation is associated with climate change.

    In addition to enhancing the global cooling effect of the aerosols, the increase in aerosol spread reduces the rate at which the sulfate particles bump into each other and grow. This further increases their cooling effect by allowing them to better reflect sunlight.

    “There is a sweet spot in terms of the size of these tiny and shiny particles where they are very efficient at scattering back the sunlight,” explained Anja Schmidt, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Cambridge and coauthor of the paper. “It happens to be that in this global warming scenario that [we] simulated, these particles grow close to the size where they are very efficient in terms of scattering.”

    “We find that the radiative forcing (the amount of energy removed from the planet system by the volcanic aerosol) would be 30% larger in the warm climate, compared to the present-day climate,” Aubry said. “Then we suggest that would amplify the surface cooling by 15%.”

    Stefan Brönnimann, a climate scientist at the The University of Bern [Universität Bern](CH) who was not involved in the new research, said that the study is interesting because “it makes us think about the processes involved [between volcanic emissions and climate] in a new way.”

    Brönnimann noted, however, that the simulations limited their models to eruptions of Mount Pinatubo in the summer. It would be interesting to see whether the conclusions still hold for eruptions at different latitudes and in different seasons, he said.

    A Changing Stratosphere

    It is difficult to say whether the amplified cooling from large volcanic eruptions or the decrease in cooling from smaller eruptions will have a net effect on climate, Aubry said.

    Schmidt said that current increases in the frequency and intensity of forest fires could also alter the climatic effects of volcanic eruptions because they are affecting the composition of the stratosphere. “There is really a lot of aerosol pollution in the stratosphere, probably on a scale that we’ve never seen before.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 10:56 am on September 19, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Iceland's volcanic eruption the longest in half a century", , Mount Fagradalsfjall, , Volcanology   

    From phys.org : “Iceland’s volcanic eruption the longest in half a century” 

    From phys.org

    September 18, 2021

    The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the south west of Reykjavik.

    It will be six months on Sunday that the volcanic eruption currently mesmerising spectators near Reykjavik first began, making it the longest Iceland has witnessed in more than 50 years.

    The first lava began spewing out of a fissure close to Mount Fagradalsfjall on the evening of March 19 on the Reykjanes peninsula to the southwest of Reykjavik.

    And the ensuing spectacle—ranging from just a slow trickle of lava at times to more dramatic geyser-like spurts of rocks and stones at others—has become a major tourist attraction, drawing 300,000 visitors so far, according to the Iceland Tourist Board.

    Iceland’s sixth volcanic eruption in 20 years is already longer than the preceding one in Holuhraun, in the centre-east of the island, which lasted from the end of August 2014 until the end of February 2015.

    “Six months is a reasonably long eruption,” volcanologist Thorvaldur Thordarson told AFP.

    The lava field that has formed this time has been christened “Fagradalshraun”—which can be translated as “beautiful valley of lava”—and takes its name from nearby Mount Fagradalsfjall.

    Almost 143 million cubic metres of lava have been spewed out so far.

    But that is actually comparatively small, representing just under a tenth of the volume of the Holuhraun eruption, which spewed out the biggest basalt lava flow in Iceland in 230 years.

    Iceland’s sixth volcanic eruption in 20 years has already lasted longer than the preceding one in Holuhraun, in the centre-east of the island.

    The latest eruption is “special in the sense that it has kept a relatively steady outflow, so it’s been going quite strong,” said Halldor Geirsson, a geophysicist at the Institute of Earth Science.

    “The usual behaviour that we know from volcanoes in Iceland is that they start really active and pour out lava, and then the outflow sort of decreases over time until it stops,” he said.

    Iceland’s longest-ever eruption took place more than 50 years ago—on Surtsey island just off the southern coast—and lasted nearly four years, from November 1963 until June 1967.

    No end in sight

    After subsiding for nine days, the lava reappeared at Fagradalshraun in early September, occasionally spurting red-hot from the crater and accompanied by a powerful plume of smoke.

    It also accumulated in fiery tunnels beneath the solidified surface, forming pockets that eventually gave way and unfurled like a wave onto the shore.

    The real number of visitors trekking to the rough hills to view the spectacle is probably even higher than the estimated 300,000, as the first counter installed on the paths leading to the site was only set up five days after the eruption.

    In the first month, 10 fissures opened up, forming seven small craters, of which only two are still visible.

    Only one crater is still active, measuring 334 metres (1,100 feet), according to the Institute of Earth Science, just a few dozen metres short of the highest peak in the surrounding area.

    Nevertheless, the volcano is showing no sign of fading anytime soon.

    “There seems to be still enough magma from whatever reservoir the eruption is tapping. So it could go on for a long time,” said Geirsson.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    About Science X in 100 words
    Science X™ is a leading web-based science, research and technology news service which covers a full range of topics. These include physics, earth science, medicine, nanotechnology, electronics, space, biology, chemistry, computer sciences, engineering, mathematics and other sciences and technologies. Launched in 2004 (Physorg.com), Science X’s readership has grown steadily to include 5 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Science X publishes approximately 200 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Science X community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.
    Mission 12 reasons for reading daily news on Science X Organization Key editors and writers include 1.75 million scientists, researchers, and engineers every month. Phys.org publishes approximately 100 quality articles every day, offering some of the most comprehensive coverage of sci-tech developments world-wide. Quancast 2009 includes Phys.org in its list of the Global Top 2,000 Websites. Phys.org community members enjoy access to many personalized features such as social networking, a personal home page set-up, RSS/XML feeds, article comments and ranking, the ability to save favorite articles, a daily newsletter, and other options.

  • richardmitnick 5:25 pm on September 14, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "What Lies Beneath-Volcanic Secrets Revealed – “We’ve Been Misled and Geologically Deceived”, , , , , , Volcanology   

    From University of Queensland (AU) via SciTechDaily : “What Lies Beneath-Volcanic Secrets Revealed – “We’ve Been Misled and Geologically Deceived” 


    From University of Queensland (AU)



    September 14, 2021

    Basaltic lava flow. Credit: The University of Queensland (AU)

    Lava samples have revealed a new truth about the geological make-up of the Earth’s crust and could have implications for volcanic eruption early warning systems, a University of Queensland-led study has found.

    UQ volcanologist Dr. Teresa Ubide said it was previously understood that cooled lava from so-called ‘hot spot’ volcanoes was ‘pristine’ magma from the melting mantle, tens of kilometers under the Earth’s surface.

    “This isn’t quite the case – we’ve been misled, geologically deceived,” Dr. Ubide said.

    “For decades, we have considered hot spot volcanoes to be messengers from the earth’s mantle, offering us a glimpse into what’s happening deep under our feet.

    “But these volcanoes are extremely complex inside and filter a very different melt to the surface than what we’ve been expecting. This is due to the volcano’s intricate plumbing system that forces many minerals in the magma to crystallize.”

    Dr. Ubide said the minerals are being recycled by the rising magma, changing their overall chemistry to ‘appear’ pristine, which is an important new piece of the jigsaw to better understand how ocean island volcanoes work.

    “We have discovered that hot spot volcanoes filter their melts to become highly eruptible at the base of the Earth’s crust, situated several kilometers below the volcano,” she said.

    “The close monitoring of volcanoes can indicate when magma reaches the base of the crust, where this filtering process reaches the ‘tipping point’ that leads to eruption.

    “Our results support the notion that detection of magma at the crust-mantle boundary could indicate an upcoming eruption.

    “This new information takes us one step closer to improving the monitoring of volcanic unrest, which aims to protect lives, infrastructure, and crops.”

    Hot spot volcanoes make up some of the world’s most beautiful landscapes, such as the Canary Islands in the Atlantic and Hawaii in the Pacific.

    The international team of researchers analyzed new rock samples from the island of El Hierro, in Spain’s Canary Islands, just south-west of Morocco. This data was combined with hundreds of published geochemical data from El Hierro, including the underwater eruption in 2011 and 2012. The team then tested the findings on data from ocean island hot spot volcanoes around the world, including Hawaii.

    Dr. Ubide said hot spot volcanoes are also found in Australia.

    “South-east Queenslanders would be very familiar with the Glass House Mountains or the large Tweed shield volcano, which includes Wollumbin (Mount Warning) in New South Wales,” she said.

    “Hot spot volcanoes can pop up ‘anywhere’, as opposed to most other volcanoes that occur due to tectonic plates crashing into each other, like the Ring of Fire volcanoes in Japan or New Zealand, or tectonic plates moving away from each other, creating for example the Atlantic Ocean.

    “South-east Queensland hot spot volcanoes were active millions of years ago. They produced enormous volumes of magma and make excellent laboratories to explore the roots of volcanism.

    “There are even dormant volcanoes in South Australia, that could erupt with little warning, that would benefit from better geological markers for early detection.”

    Science paper:

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The University of Queensland (AU) is a public research university located primarily in Brisbane, the capital city of the Australian state of Queensland. Founded in 1909 by the Queensland parliament, UQ is one of the six sandstone universities, an informal designation of the oldest university in each state. The University of Queensland was ranked second nationally by the Australian Research Council in the latest research assessment and equal second in Australia based on the average of four major global university league tables. The University of Queensland is a founding member of edX, Australia’s leading Group of Eight and the international research-intensive Association of Pacific Rim Universities.

    The main St Lucia campus occupies much of the riverside inner suburb of St Lucia, southwest of the Brisbane central business district. Other University of Queensland campuses and facilities are located throughout Queensland, the largest of which are the Gatton campus and the Mayne Medical School. University of Queensland’s overseas establishments include University of Queensland North America office in Washington D.C., and the University of Queensland-Ochsner Clinical School in Louisiana, United States.

    The university offers associate, bachelor, master, doctoral, and higher doctorate degrees through a college, a graduate school, and six faculties. University of Queensland incorporates over one hundred research institutes and centres offering research programs, such as the Institute for Molecular Bioscience, Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre, the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology, and the University of Queensland Dow Centre for Sustainable Engineering Innovation. Recent notable research of the university include pioneering the invention of the HPV vaccine that prevents cervical cancer, developing a COVID-19 vaccine that was in human trials, and the development of high-performance superconducting MRI magnets for portable scanning of human limbs.

    The University of Queensland counts two Nobel laureates (Peter C. Doherty and John Harsanyi), over a hundred Olympians winning numerous gold medals, and 117 Rhodes Scholars among its alumni and former staff. University of Queensland’s alumni also include The University of California-San Francisco (US) Chancellor Sam Hawgood, the first female Governor-General of Australia Dame Quentin Bryce, former President of King’s College London (UK) Ed Byrne, member of United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Council for Science and Technology Max Lu, Oscar and Emmy awards winner Geoffrey Rush, triple Grammy Award winner Tim Munro, the former CEO and Chairman of Dow Chemical, and current Director of DowDuPont Andrew N. Liveris.


    The University of Queensland has a strong research focus in science, medicine and technology. The university’s research advancement includes pioneering the development of the cervical cancer vaccines, Gardasil and Cervarix, by University of Queensland Professor Ian Frazer. In 2009, the Australian Cancer Research Foundation reported that University of Queensland had taken the lead in numerous areas of cancer research.

    In the Commonwealth Government’s Excellence in Research for Australia 2012 National Report, University of Queensland’s research is rated above world standard in more broad fields than at any other Australian university (in 22 broad fields), and more University of Queensland researchers are working in research fields that ERA has assessed as above world standard than at any other Australian university. University of Queensland research in biomedical and clinical health sciences, technology, engineering, biological sciences, chemical sciences, environmental sciences, and physical sciences was ranked above world standard (rating 5).

    In 2015, University of Queensland is ranked by Nature Index as the research institution with the highest volume of research output in both interdisciplinary journals Nature and Science within the southern hemisphere, with approximately twofold more output than the global average.

    In 2020 Clarivate named 34 UQ professors to its list of Highly Cited Researchers.

    Aside from disciplinary-focused teaching and research within the academic faculties, the university maintains a number of interdisciplinary research institutes and centres at the national, state and university levels. For example, the Asia-Pacific Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, the University of Queensland Seismology Station, Heron Island Research Station and the Institute of Modern Languages.

    With the support from the Queensland Government, the Australian Government and major donor The Atlantic Philanthropies, The University of Queensland dedicates basic, translational and applied research via the following research-focused institutes:

    Institute for Molecular Bioscience – within the Queensland Bioscience Precinct which houses scientists from the CSIRO-Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (AU) and the Community for Open Antimicrobial Drug Discovery

    Translational Research Institute, which houses The University of Queensland’s Diamantina Institute, School of Medicine and the Mater Medical Research Institute
    Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology
    Institute for Social Science Research
    Sustainable Mineral Institute
    Global Change Institute
    Queensland Alliance for Environmental Health Science
    Queensland Alliance for Agriculture and Food Innovation
    Queensland Brain Institute
    Centre for Advanced Imaging
    Boeing Research and Technology Australia Centre
    UQ Dow Centre

    The University of Queensland plays a key role in Brisbane Diamantina Health Partners, Queensland’s first academic health science system. This partnership currently comprises Children’s Health Queensland, Mater Health Services, Metro North Hospital and Health Service, Metro South Health, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, The Queensland University of Technology (AU), The University of Queensland and the Translational Research Institute.

    International partnerships

    The University of Queensland has a number of agreements in place with many of her international peers, including: Princeton University (US), The University of Pennsylvania (US), The University of California (US), Washington University in St. Louis (US), The University of Toronto (CA), McGill University (CA), The University of British Columbia (CA), Imperial College London (UK), University College London (UK), The University of Edinburgh (SCT), Balsillie School of International Affairs (CA), Sciences Po (FR), Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich [Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München](DE), Technical University of Munich [Technische Universität München] (DE), The University of Zürich [Universität Zürich ](CH), The University of Auckland (NZ), The National University of Singapore [universiti kebangsaan singapura] (SG), Nanyang Technological University [Universiti Teknologi Nanyang](SG),Peking University [北京大学](CN), The University of Hong Kong [香港大學] (HKU) (HK), The University of Tokyo[(東京大] (JP), The National Taiwan University [國立臺灣大學](TW), and The Seoul National University [서울대학교](KR).

  • richardmitnick 10:02 am on September 10, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Anticipating Climate Impacts of Major Volcanic Eruptions", , , , , , In the event of future eruptions on par with or larger than those at El Chichón and Pinatubo, Major volcanic eruptions inject large amounts of gases; aerosols; and particulates into the atmosphere., Meanwhile NASA’s Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET); Micro-Pulse Lidar Network (MPLNET); and Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes (SHADOZ) would provide real-time observations from the ground., NASA recently developed a volcanic eruption response plan to maximize the quantity and quality of observations it makes following eruptions., National Aeronautics Space Agency (US)’s rapid response plan for gathering atmospheric data amid major volcanic eruptions paired with efforts to improve eruption simulations will offer better views , Rapid mobilization of NASA’s observational and research assets will permit scientists to make early initial estimates of potential impacts., Rapid responses to major volcanic eruptions enable scientists to make timely initial estimates of potential climate impacts to assist responders in implementing mitigation efforts., The threshold amount of volcanic SO2 emissions required to produce measurable climate impacts is not known exactly., Volcanology   

    From Eos: “Anticipating Climate Impacts of Major Volcanic Eruptions” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    31 August 2021

    Simon A. Carn
    Paul A. Newman
    Valentina Aquila
    Helge Gonnermann
    Josef Dufek

    National Aeronautics Space Agency (US)’s rapid response plan for gathering atmospheric data amid major volcanic eruptions, paired with efforts to improve eruption simulations, will offer better views of these events’ global effects.

    A thick cloud of volcanic ash and aerosols rises into the atmosphere above the north Pacific Ocean on 22 June 2019. An astronaut aboard the International Space Station captured this image of the plume during an eruption of Raikoke Volcano in the Kuril Islands. Credit: ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center.

    This year marks the 30th anniversary of the most recent volcanic eruption that had a measurable effect on global climate. In addition to devastating much of the surrounding landscape and driving thousands of people to flee the area, the June 1991 eruption at Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines sent towering plumes of gas, ash, and particulates high into the atmosphere—materials that ultimately reduced average global surface temperatures by up to about 0.5°C in 1991–1993. It has also been more than 40 years since the last major explosive eruption in the conterminous United States, at Mount St. Helens in Washington in May 1980. As the institutional memory of these infrequent, but high-impact, events fades in this country and new generations of scientists assume responsibility for volcanic eruption responses, the geophysical community must remain prepared for coming eruptions, regardless of these events’ locations.

    Rapid responses to major volcanic eruptions enable scientists to make timely initial estimates of potential climate impacts (i.e., long-term effects) to assist responders in implementing mitigation efforts, including preparing for weather and climate effects in the few years following an eruption. These events also present critical opportunities to advance volcano science [National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM), 2017], and observations of large events with the potential to affect climate and life globally are particularly valuable.

    Recognizing this value, NASA recently developed a volcanic eruption response plan to maximize the quantity and quality of observations it makes following eruptions [NASA, 2018*], and it is facilitating continuing research into the drivers and behaviors of volcanic eruptions to further improve scientific eruption response efforts.

    *See References below

    How Volcanic Eruptions Affect Climate

    Major volcanic eruptions inject large amounts of gases; aerosols; and particulates into the atmosphere. Timely quantification of these emissions shortly after they erupt and as they disperse is needed to assess their potential climate effects. Scientists have a reasonable understanding of the fundamentals of how explosive volcanic eruptions influence climate and stratospheric ozone. This understanding is based on a few well-studied events in the satellite remote sensing era (e.g., Pinatubo) and on proxy records of older eruptions such as the 1815 eruption of Tambora in Indonesia [Robock, 2000]. However, the specific effects of eruptions depend on their magnitude, location, and the particular mix of materials ejected.

    To affect global climate, an eruption must inject large quantities of sulfur dioxide (SO2) or other sulfur species (e.g., hydrogen sulfide, H2S) into the stratosphere, where they are converted to sulfuric acid (or sulfate) aerosols over weeks to months (Figure 1). The sulfate aerosols linger in the stratosphere for a few years, reflecting some incoming solar radiation and thus reducing global average surface temperatures by as much as about 0.5°C for 1–3 years, after which temperatures recover to preeruption levels.

    Fig. 1. In the top plot, the black curve represents monthly global mean stratospheric aerosol optical depth (AOD; background is 0.004 or below) for green light (525 nanometers) from 1979 to 2018 from the Global Space-based Stratospheric Aerosol Climatology (GloSSAC) [Kovilakam et al., 2020; Thomason et al., 2018]. AOD is a measure of aerosol abundance in the atmosphere. Red dots represent annual sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions in teragrams (Tg) from explosive volcanic eruptions as determined from satellite measurements [Carn, 2021]. The dashed horizontal line indicates the 5-Tg SO2 emission threshold for a NASA eruption response. Vertical gray bars indicate notable volcanic eruptions and their SO2 emissions. From left to right, He = 1980 Mount St. Helens (United States), Ul = 1980 Ulawun (Papua New Guinea (PNG)), Pa = 1981 Pagan (Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands), El = 1982 El Chichón (Mexico), Co = 1983 Colo (Indonesia), Ne = 1985 Nevado del Ruiz (Colombia), Ba = 1988 Banda Api (Indonesia), Ke = 1990 Kelut (Indonesia), Pi = 1991 Mount Pinatubo (Philippines), Ce = 1991 Cerro Hudson (Chile), Ra = 1994 Rabaul (PNG), Ru = 2001 Ulawun, 2002 Ruang (Indonesia), Re = 2002 Reventador (Ecuador), Ma = 2005 Manam (PNG), So = 2006 Soufriere Hills (Montserrat), Ra = 2006 Rabaul (PNG), Ka = 2008 Kasatochi (USA), Sa = 2009 Sarychev Peak (Russia), Me = 2010 Merapi (Indonesia), Na = 2011 Nabro (Eritrea), Ke = 2014 Kelut (Indonesia), Ca = 2015 Calbuco (Chile), Am = 2018 Ambae (Vanuatu). In the bottom plot, circles indicate satellite-measured SO2 emissions (symbol size denotes SO2 mass) and estimated plume altitudes (symbol color denotes altitude) for volcanic eruptions since October 1978 [Carn, 2021].

    Although this direct radiative effect cools the surface, the aerosol particles also promote warming in the stratosphere by absorbing outgoing longwave radiation emitted from Earth’s surface as well as some solar radiation, which affects atmospheric temperature gradients and thus circulation (an indirect advective effect). This absorption of longwave radiation also promotes chemical reactions on the aerosol particles that drive stratospheric ozone depletion [Kremser et al., 2016], which reduces absorption of ultraviolet (UV) radiation and further influences atmospheric circulation. The interplay of aerosol radiative and advective effects, which both influence surface temperatures, leads to regional and seasonal variations in surface cooling and warming. For example, because advective effects tend to dominate in winter in the northern midlatitudes, winter warming of Northern Hemisphere continents—lasting about 2 years—is expected after major tropical eruptions [Shindell et al., 2004].

    Eruptions from tropical volcanoes like Pinatubo typically generate more extensive stratospheric aerosol veils because material injected into the tropical stratosphere can spread into both hemispheres. However, major high-latitude eruptions can also have significant climate impacts depending on their season and the altitude that their eruption plumes reach [Toohey et al., 2019].

    The effects of volcanic ash particles are usually neglected in climate models because the particles have shorter atmospheric lifetimes than sulfate aerosols, although recent work has suggested that persistent fine ash may influence stratospheric sulfur chemistry [Zhu et al., 2020]. This finding provides further motivation for timely sampling of volcanic eruption clouds.

    The threshold amount of volcanic SO2 emissions required to produce measurable climate impacts is not known exactly. On the basis of prior eruptions, NASA considers that an injection of roughly 5 teragrams (5 million metric tons) of SO2 or more into the stratosphere has sufficient potential for climate forcing of –1 Watt per square meter (that is, 1 Watt per square meter less energy is put into Earth’s climate system as a result of the stratospheric aerosols produced from the SO2) and warrants application of substantial observational assets.

    Since the dawn of the satellite era for eruption observations in 1978, this threshold has been surpassed by only two eruptions: at El Chichón (Mexico) in 1982 and Pinatubo in 1991 (Figure 1), which reached 5 and 6, respectively, on the volcanic explosivity index (VEI; a logarithmic scale of eruption size from 0 to 8). Since Pinatubo, the observational tools that NASA employs have greatly improved.

    In the event of future eruptions on par with or larger than those at El Chichón and Pinatubo, rapid mobilization of NASA’s observational and research assets, including satellites, balloons, ground-based instruments, aircraft, and modeling capabilities, will permit scientists to make early initial estimates of potential impacts. Capturing the transient effects of volcanic aerosols on climate would also provide critical data to inform proposed solar geoengineering strategies that involve introducing aerosols into the atmosphere to mitigate global warming [NASEM, 2021].

    NASA’s Eruption Response Plan

    In the United States, NASA has traditionally led investigations of eruptions involving stratospheric injection because of the agency’s global satellite-based observation capabilities for measuring atmospheric composition and chemistry and its unique suborbital assets for measuring the evolution of volcanic clouds in the stratosphere.

    Under its current plan, NASA’s eruption response procedures will be triggered in the event an eruption emits at least 5 teragrams of SO2 into the stratosphere, as estimated using NASA’s or other satellite assets [e.g., Carn et al., 2016]. The first phase of the response plan involves a review of near-real-time satellite data by a combined panel of NASA Headquarters (HQ) science program managers and NASA research scientists in parallel with initial modeling of the eruption plume’s potential atmospheric evolution and impacts.

    The HQ review identifies relevant measurement and modeling capabilities at the various NASA centers and among existing NASA-funded activities. HQ personnel would establish and task science leads and teams comprising relevant experts from inside and outside NASA to take responsibility for observations from the ground, from balloons, and from aircraft. The efforts of these three groups would be supplemented by satellite observations and modeling to develop key questions, priority observations, and sampling and deployment plans.

    Implementing the plan developed in this phase would likely result in major diversions and re-tasking of assets, such as NASA aircraft involved in meteorological monitoring, from ongoing NASA research activities and field deployments. Ensuring that these diversions are warranted necessitates that this review process is thorough and tasking assignments are carefully considered.

    The second phase of NASA’s volcanic response plan—starting between 1 week and 1 month after the eruption—involves the application of its satellite platforms, ground observations from operational networks, and eruption cloud modeling. Satellites would track volcanic clouds to observe levels of SO2 and other aerosols and materials. Gathering early information on volcanic aerosol properties like density, particle composition, and particle size distribution would provide key information for assessing in greater detail the potential evolution and effects of the volcanic aerosols. Such assessments could provide valuable information on the amount of expected surface cooling attributable to these aerosols, as well as the lifetime of stratospheric aerosol particles—two factors that depend strongly on the aerosols’ size distribution and temporal evolution.

    Meanwhile NASA’s Aerosol Robotic Network (AERONET); Micro-Pulse Lidar Network (MPLNET); and Southern Hemisphere Additional Ozonesondes (SHADOZ) would provide real-time observations from the ground. Eruption cloud modeling would be used to calculate cloud trajectories and dispersion to optimize selection of ground stations for balloon launches and re-tasking of airborne assets.

    The third phase of the response plan—starting 1–3 months after an eruption—would see the deployment of rapid response balloons and aircraft (e.g., from NASA’s Airborne Science Program). The NASA P-3 Orion, Gulfstream V, and DC-8 aircraft have ranges of more than 7,000 kilometers and can carry heavy instrumentation payloads of more than 2,500 kilograms to sample the middle to upper troposphere. A mix of in situ and remote sensing instruments would be employed to collect detailed observations of eruption plume structure, evolution, and optical properties.

    NASA’s high-altitude aircraft (ER-2 and WB-57f) provide coverage into the stratosphere (above about 18 kilometers) with payloads of more than 2,200 kilograms. These high-altitude planes would carry payloads for measuring the evolving aerosol distributions along with trace gas measurements in situ to further understand the response of stratospheric ozone and climate forcing to the eruption. In particular, the high-altitude observations would include data on the particle composition and size distribution of aerosols, as well as on ozone, SO2, nitrous oxide and other stratospheric tracers, water vapor, and free radical species. Instrumented balloons capable of reaching the stratosphere could also be rapidly deployed to remote locations to supplement these data in areas not reached by the aircraft.

    The third phase would be staged as several 2- to 6-week deployments over a 1- to 2-year period that would document the seasonal evolution, latitudinal dispersion, and multiyear dissipation of the plume from the stratosphere. These longer-term observations would help to constrain model simulations of the eruption’s impacts on the global atmosphere and climate.

    Enhancing Eruption Response

    An effective eruption response is contingent on timely recognition of the hallmarks of a major volcanic eruption, namely, stratospheric injection and substantial emissions of SO2 (and H2S) amounting to more than 5 teragrams, using satellite data. However, it may take several hours to a day after an event for satellites to confirm that emissions have reached this level. By then, time has been lost to position instruments and personnel to effectively sample the earliest stages of an eruption, and it is already too late to observe the onset of the eruption.

    Hence, a key element in efforts to strengthen eruption responses is improving our recognition of distinctive geophysical or geochemical eruption precursors that may herald a high-magnitude event. Observations of large, sulfur-rich eruptions such as Pinatubo have led to scientific consensus that such eruptions emit “excess” volatiles—gas emissions (especially sulfur species, but also other gases such as water vapor and carbon dioxide) exceeding those that could be derived from the erupted magma alone. Excess volatiles, in the form of gas bubbles derived from within or below a magma reservoir that then accumulate near the top of the reservoir, may exacerbate climate impacts of eruptions and influence magmatic processes like magma differentiation, eruption triggering and magnitude, and hydrothermal ore deposition [e.g., Edmonds and Woods, 2018]. They may also produce detectable eruption precursors and influence eruption and plume dynamics, although how remains largely unknown.

    With support from NASA’s Interdisciplinary Research in Earth Science program, we (the authors) have begun an integrated investigation of eruption dynamics focused on understanding the fate of excess volatiles from their origins in a magma reservoir, through underground conduits and into a volcanic plume, and, subsequently, as they are dispersed in the atmosphere. The satellite observations we use are the same or similar to those required for rapid assessment and response to future high-magnitude events (with a VEI of 6 or greater).

    Our investigation is using data from previous moderate-scale eruptions (VEI of 3–5) with excellent satellite observational records that captured instances in which gases and aerosols displayed disparate atmospheric dispersion patterns. Among the main questions we are examining is whether excess volatile accumulation in magma reservoirs can drive large eruptions and produce enhanced aerosol-related climate impacts resulting from these eruptions. Using numerical model simulations of eruptions involving variable quantities of excess volatiles, we will endeavor to reproduce the specific atmospheric distributions of gases and aerosols observed by satellites after these events and thus elucidate how volatile accumulation might influence plume dispersion and climate impacts.

    We are currently developing a framework to simulate a future eruption with a VEI of 6+. Over the coming year, we hope to produce benchmark simulations that track the fate of volcanic gases as they travel from a subsurface magmatic system into the atmosphere to be distributed globally. This simulation framework will comprise a coupled suite of subsystem-scale numerical models, including models of magma withdrawal from the magma reservoir, magma ascent within the volcanic conduit, stratospheric injection within the volcanic plume, and atmospheric dispersion and effects on climate.

    With these tools, NASA will have gained important capabilities in simulating volcanic eruptions and understanding their potential precursors. These capabilities will complement NASA’s satellite and suborbital observations of volcanic eruptions as they unfold—an important advance for volcano science and a powerful means to assess the climate impacts of future large explosive eruptions.


    Carn, S. A. (2021), Multi-Satellite Volcanic Sulfur Dioxide L4 Long-Term Global Database V4, USA, Goddard Earth Sci. Data and Inf. Serv. Cent., Greenbelt, Md., https://doi.org/10.5067/MEASURES/SO2/DATA405.

    Carn, S. A., L. Clarisse, and A. J. Prata (2016), Multi-decadal satellite measurements of global volcanic degassing, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 311, 99–134, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2016.01.002.

    Edmonds, M., and A. W. Woods (2018), Exsolved volatiles in magma reservoirs, J. Volcanol. Geotherm. Res., 368, 13–30, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2018.10.018.

    Kovilakam, M., et al. (2020), The Global Space-based Stratospheric Aerosol Climatology (version 2.0): 1979–2018, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 12(4), 2,607–2,634, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-12-2607-2020.

    Kremser, S., et al. (2016), Stratospheric aerosol—Observations, processes, and impact on climate, Rev. Geophys., 54(2), 278–335, https://doi.org/10.1002/2015RG000511.

    NASA (2018), NASA Major Volcanic Eruption Response Plan, version 11, Greenbelt, Md., acd-ext.gsfc.nasa.gov/Documents/NASA_reports/Docs/VolcanoWorkshopReport_v12.pdf.

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) (2017), Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing, Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, D.C., https://doi.org/10.17226/24650.

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) (2021), Reflecting Sunlight: Recommendations for Solar Geoengineering Research and Research Governance, Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, D.C., https://doi.org/10.17226/25762.

    Robock, A. (2000), Volcanic eruptions and climate, Rev. Geophys., 38(2), 191–219, https://doi.org/10.1029/1998RG000054.

    Shindell, D. T., et al. (2004), Dynamic winter climate response to large tropical volcanic eruptions since 1600, J. Geophys Res., 109, D05104, https://doi.org/10.1029/2003JD004151.

    Thomason, L. W., et al. (2018), A global space-based stratospheric aerosol climatology: 1979–2016, Earth Syst. Sci. Data, 10(1), 469–492, https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-10-469-2018.

    Toohey, M., et al. (2019), Disproportionately strong climate forcing from extratropical explosive volcanic eruptions, Nat. Geosci., 12(2), 100–107, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41561-018-0286-2.

    Zhu, Y., et al. (2020), Persisting volcanic ash particles impact stratospheric SO2 lifetime and aerosol optical properties, Nat. Commun., 11, 4526, https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-18352-5.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 7:56 am on September 6, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present", , , , , Volcanology   

    From Curtin University (AU) : “Study reveals threat of catastrophic supervolcano eruptions ever-present” 

    From Curtin University (AU)

    6 September 2021

    Lucien Wilkinson
    Media Consultant
    Tel: +61 8 9266 9185
    Mob: +61 401 103 683

    Vanessa Beasley
    Deputy Director
    Tel: +61 8 9266 1811
    Mob: +61 466 853 121

    Curtin scientists are part of an international research team that studied an ancient supervolcano in Indonesia and found such volcanoes remain active and hazardous for thousands of years after a super-eruption, prompting the need for a rethink of how these potentially catastrophic events are predicted.

    Lake Toba, which filled the Toba caldera after the super-eruption.

    Associate Professor Martin Danišík, lead Australian author from the John de Laeter Centre based at Curtin University, said supervolcanoes often erupted several times with intervals of tens of thousands of years between the big eruptions but it was not known what happened during the dormant periods.

    “Gaining an understanding of those lengthy dormant periods will determine what we look for in young active supervolcanoes to help us predict future eruptions,” Associate Professor Danišík said.

    “Super-eruptions are among the most catastrophic events in Earth’s history, venting tremendous amounts of magma almost instantaneously. They can impact global climate to the point of tipping the Earth into a ‘volcanic winter’, which is an abnormally cold period that may result in widespread famine and population disruption.

    “Learning how supervolcanos work is important for understanding the future threat of an inevitable super-eruption, which happen about once every 17,000 years.”

    Associate Professor Danišík said the team investigated the fate of magma left behind after the Toba super-eruption 75,000 years ago, using the minerals feldspar and zircon, which contain independent records of time based on the accumulation of gasses argon and helium as time capsules in the volcanic rocks.

    “Using these geochronological data, statistical inference and thermal modelling, we showed that magma continued to ooze out within the caldera, or deep depression created by the eruption of magma, for 5000 to 13,000 years after the super-eruption, and then the carapace of solidified left-over magma was pushed upward like a giant turtle shell,” Associate Professor Danišík said.

    “The findings challenged existing knowledge and studying of eruptions, which normally involves looking for liquid magma under a volcano to assess future hazard. We must now consider that eruptions can occur even if no liquid magma is found underneath a volcano – the concept of what is ‘eruptible’ needs to be re-evaluated.

    “While a super-eruption can be regionally and globally impactful and recovery may take decades or even centuries, our results show the hazard is not over with the super-eruption and the threat of further hazards exists for many thousands of years after.

    “Learning when and how eruptible magma accumulates, and in what state the magma is in before and after such eruptions, is critical for understanding supervolcanoes.”

    The study was led by researchers from The Oregon State University (US), and co-authored by researchers from Ruprecht Karl University of Heidelberg [Ruprecht-Karls-Universität Heidelberg](DE), the Geological Agency, Indonesian Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources (BGL ESDM)(IDSA), and by Dr Jack Gillespie from Curtin’s School of Earth and Planetary Sciences and The Institute for Geoscience Research (TIGeR), Curtin’s flagship earth sciences research institute.

    Science paper:
    Communications Earth & Environment

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Curtin University (AU) (formerly known as Curtin University of Technology and Western Australian Institute of Technology) is an Australian public research university based in Bentley and Perth, Western Australia. The university is named after the 14th Prime Minister of Australia, John Curtin, and is the largest university in Western Australia, with over 58,000 students (as of 2016).

    Curtin would like to pay respect to the indigenous members of our community by acknowledging the traditional owners of the land on which the Perth campus is located, the Wadjuk people of the Nyungar Nation; and on our Kalgoorlie campus, the Wongutha people of the North-Eastern Goldfields.

    Curtin was conferred university status after legislation was passed by the Parliament of Western Australia in 1986. Since then, the university has been expanding its presence and has campuses in Singapore, Malaysia, Dubai and Mauritius. It has ties with 90 exchange universities in 20 countries. The University comprises five main faculties with over 95 specialists centres. The University formerly had a Sydney campus between 2005 & 2016. On 17 September 2015, Curtin University Council made a decision to close its Sydney campus by early 2017.

    Curtin University is a member of Australian Technology Network (ATN), and is active in research in a range of academic and practical fields, including Resources and Energy (e.g., petroleum gas), Information and Communication, Health, Ageing and Well-being (Public Health), Communities and Changing Environments, Growth and Prosperity and Creative Writing.

    It is the only Western Australian university to produce a PhD recipient of the AINSE gold medal, which is the highest recognition for PhD-level research excellence in Australia and New Zealand.

    Curtin has become active in research and partnerships overseas, particularly in mainland China. It is involved in a number of business, management, and research projects, particularly in supercomputing, where the university participates in a tri-continental array with nodes in Perth, Beijing, and Edinburgh. Western Australia has become an important exporter of minerals, petroleum and natural gas. The Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao visited the Woodside-funded hydrocarbon research facility during his visit to Australia in 2005.

  • richardmitnick 3:32 pm on September 3, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Making the Most of Volcanic Eruption Responses", , , , , Volcanology   

    From Eos: “Making the Most of Volcanic Eruption Responses” 

    From AGU
    Eos news bloc

    From Eos

    31 August 2021

    Tobias P. Fischer
    Seth C. Moran
    Kari M. Cooper
    Diana C. Roman
    Peter C. LaFemina

    A simulated eruption at Mount Hood, part of the Cascade Volcanic Arc, in Oregon, seen here, was the subject of a November 2020 virtual eruption response exercise intended to optimize scientific data collection. The exercise proved to be a valuable practice run for an actual eruption of Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano the following month. Credit: Robert DuVernet, CC BY-SA 3.0

    Mount St. Helens, hidden away in a remote forest midway between Seattle, Wash., and Portland, Ore., had been putting out warning signals for 2 months. Still, the size and destruction of the 18 May 1980 eruption took the United States by surprise. The blast spewed ash into the air for more than 9 hours, and pyroclastic density currents and mudflows wiped out surrounding forests and downstream bridges and buildings. Fifty-seven people died as a result of the volcanic disaster, the worst known in the continental United States.

    In addition to its immediate and devastating effects, the 1980 eruption spurred efforts to study volcanic processes and their impacts on surrounding landscapes more thoroughly and to advance monitoring and forecasting capabilities. It also prompted further cooperation among agencies and communities to better prepare for and respond to future volcanic eruptions.

    Mount St. Helens erupts in 1980. Credit: Geological Survey (US).

    According to a 2018 U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report, there are 161 potentially active volcanoes in the United States and its territories, including 55 classified as high or very high threat [Ewert et al., 2018*].

    *All cited papers in References below.

    Over the past century, especially since 1980, integrated studies of active volcanic systems have shed light on magmatic and volcanic processes that control the initiation, duration, magnitude, and style of volcanic eruptions. However, because there have been few continuously monitored volcanic eruptions with observations that span the entire sequence before, during, and after eruption, our understanding of these processes and the hazards they pose is still limited.

    This limited understanding, in turn, hampers efforts to forecast future eruptions and to help nearby communities prepare evacuation plans and to marshal and allocate resources during and after an event. Thus, a recent consensus study about volcanic eruptions by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [2017] highlighted the need to coordinate eruption responses among the broad volcanological and natural hazard scientific community as one of three grand challenges.

    The Community Network for Volcanic Eruption Response (CONVERSE) initiative, which began in 2018 as a 3-year Research Coordination Network supported by the National Science Foundation (US), is attempting to meet this challenge. The charge of CONVERSE is to maximize the scientific return from eruption responses at U.S. volcanoes by making the most efficient use possible of the relatively limited access and time to collect the most beneficial data and samples. This goal requires looking for ways to better organize the national volcano science community.

    A critical component of this organization is to facilitate cooperation between scientists at academic institutions and the U.S. Geological Survey, which is responsible for volcano monitoring and hazard assessment at domestic volcanoes. Since 2019, CONVERSE has conducted several workshops to allow groups representing the various disciplines in volcanology to formulate specific science questions that can be addressed with data collected during an eruption response and assess their capacities for such a response. Most recently, in November 2020, we conducted a virtual response scenario exercise based on a hypothetical eruption of Mount Hood in the Oregon Cascades. A month later, Hawaii’s Kīlauea volcano erupted, allowing us to put what we learned from the simulation to use in a coordinated response.

    A Virtual Eruption at Mount Hood

    To work through a simulated response to an eruption scenario at Mount Hood, our CONVERSE team had planned an in-person meeting for March 2020 involving a 2-day tabletop exercise. Travel and meeting restrictions enacted in response to the COVID-19 pandemic required us to postpone the exercise until 16–17 November, when we conducted it virtually, with 80 scientists participating for one or more days. The goal of the exercise was to test the effectiveness of forming a science advisory committee (SAC) as a model for facilitating communications between responding USGS volcano observatories and the U.S. academic community.

    Mount Hood, located near Portland, Ore., is relatively accessible through a network of roads and would attract a lot of scientific interest during an eruption. Thus, we based our eruption scenario loosely on a scenario developed in 2010 for Mount Hood for a Volcanic Crisis Awareness training course.

    Because a real-life eruption can happen at any time at any active volcano, participants in the November 2020 workshop were not informed of the selected volcano until 1 week prior to the workshop. Then we sent a simulated “exercise-only” USGS information statement to all registrants noting that an earthquake swarm had started several kilometers south of Mount Hood’s summit. In the days leading up to the workshop, we sent several additional information statements containing status updates and observations of the volcano’s behavior like those that might precede an actual eruption.

    During the workshop, participants communicated via videoconference for large group discussions and smaller breakout meetings. We used a business communications platform to share graphics and information resources and for rapid-fire chat-based discussions.

    The workshop started with an overview of Mount Hood’s eruptive history and monitoring status, after which the scenario continued with the volcano exhibiting escalating unrest and with concomitant changes in USGS alert level. Participants were asked to meet in groups representing different disciplines, including deformation, seismicity, gas, eruption dynamics, and geochemistry, to discuss science response priorities, particularly those that required access to the volcano.

    As the simulated crisis escalated at the end of the first day of the workshop, non-USGS attendees were told they could no longer communicate with USGS participants (and vice versa). This break in communication was done to mimic the difficulty that external scientists often encounter communicating with observatory staff during full-blown eruption responses, when observatory staff are fully consumed by various aspects of responding to the eruption. Instead, scientific proposals had to be submitted to a rapidly formed Hood SAC (H-SAC) consisting of a USGS liaison and several non-USGS scientists with expertise on Mount Hood.

    The H-SAC’s role was to quickly evaluate proposals submitted by discipline-specific groups on the basis of scientific merit or their benefit for hazard mitigation. For example, the geodesy group was approved to install five instruments at sites outside the near-field volcanic hazard zone to capture a deep deflation signal more clearly, an activity that did not require special access to restricted areas. On the other hand, a proposal by the gas group to climb up to the summit for direct gas sampling was declined because it was deemed too hazardous. Proposals by the tephra sampling group to collect ash at specific locations were also approved, but only if the group coordinated with a petrology group that had also submitted a proposal to collect samples for characterizing the pressure-temperature and storage conditions of the magma.

    The H-SAC then provided recommendations to the Cascade Volcano Observatory (CVO) scientist-in-charge, with that discussion happening in front of all participants so they could understand the considerations that went into the decisionmaking. After the meeting, participants provided feedback that the SAC concept seemed to work well. The proposal evaluation process that included scientific merit, benefit for hazard mitigation, and feasibility was seen as a positive outcome of the exercise that would translate well into a real-world scenario. Participants emphasized, however, that it was critical that SAC members be perceived as neutral with respect to any disciplinary or institutional preferences and that the SAC have broad scientific representation.

    Responding to Kīlauea’s Real Eruption

    Just 1 month after the workshop, on 20 December 2020, Kīlauea volcano began erupting in real life, providing an immediate opportunity for CONVERSE to test the SAC model. The goals of CONVERSE with respect to the Kīlauea eruption were to facilitate communication and coordination of planned and ongoing scientific efforts by USGS scientists at the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO) and external scientists and to broaden participation by the academic community in the response.

    Kīlauea’s volcanic lava lake is seen here at the start of the December 2020 eruption. Credit: Matthew Patrick, USGS.

    These goals were addressed through two types of activities. First, a Kīlauea Scientific Advisory Committee (K-SAC), consisting of four academic and three USGS scientists, was convened within a week of the start of the eruption. This committee acted as the formal point of contact between HVO and the external scientific community for the Kīlauea eruption, and it solicited and managed proposals for work requiring coordination between these groups.

    The K-SAC evaluated proposals on the basis of the potential for scientific gain and contributions to mitigating hazards. For example, one proposal dealt with assessing whether new magma had entered the chamber or whether the eruption released primarily older magma already under the volcano. The K-SAC also identified likely benefits and areas of collaboration between proposing groups, and it flagged potential safety and logistical (including permitting from the National Park Service) concerns in proposals as well as resources required from HVO.

    Proposals recommended by the K-SAC were then passed to HVO staff, who consulted with USGS experts about feasibility, potential collaborations, and HVO resources required before making decisions on whether to move forward with them. One proposal supported by the K-SAC involved the use of hyperspectral imaging to quantify in real time the proportion of crystalline material and melt in the active lava lake to help determine the lava’s viscosity, a critical parameter for hazard assessment.

    The second major activity of CONVERSE as the Kīlauea eruption progressed was to provide a forum for communication of science information via a business communications platform open to all volcano scientists. In addition, we posted information about planned and current activities by HVO and external scientists online and updated it using “living documents” as well as through virtual information sessions. As part of this effort, the K-SAC developed a simple spreadsheet that listed the types of measurements that were being made, the groups making these measurements, and where the obtained data could be accessed. For example, rock samples collected from the eruption were documented, and a corresponding protocol on how to request such samples for analytical work was developed. We held virtual town hall meetings, open to all, to discuss these topics, as well as updates from HVO K-SAC members on the status of the eruption and HVO efforts.

    The Future of CONVERSE

    The recent virtual exercise and the experience with the Kīlauea eruption provided valuable knowledge in support of CONVERSE’s mandate to develop protocols for coordinating scientific responses to volcanic eruptions. These two events brought home to us the importance of conducting regular, perhaps yearly or even more frequent, tabletop exercises. Such exercises could be held in person or virtually to further calibrate expectations and develop protocols for scientific coordination during real eruptions and to create community among scientists from different institutions and fields. Currently, workshops to conduct two scenario exercises are being planned for late this year and early next year. One will focus on testing deformation models with a virtual magma injection event; the other will focus on a response to an eruption occurring in a distributed volcanic field in the southwestern United States.

    Future exercises should build on lessons learned from the Hood scenario workshop and the Kīlauea eruption response. For example, although the SAC concept worked well in principle, the process required significant investments of time that delayed some decisions, possibly limiting windows of opportunity for critical data collection at the onset of the eruption. Although CONVERSE is focused on coordination for U.S. eruptions, its best practices and protocols could guide future international eruption responses coordinated among volcano monitoring agencies of multiple countries.

    A critical next step will be the development of a permanent organizational framework and infrastructure for CONVERSE, which at a minimum should include the following:

    A mechanism for interested scientists to self-identify and join CONVERSE so they can participate in eruption response planning and activities, including media and communications training.

    A national-level advisory committee with accessibility to equitable decisionmaking representation across scientific disciplines and career stages. The committee would be responsible for coordinating regular meetings, planning and conducting activities, liaising with efforts like the SZ4D and Modeling Collaboratory for Subduction initiatives, and convening eruption-specific SACs.

    Dedicated eruption SACs that facilitate open application processes for fieldwork efforts, including sample collection, distribution, and archiving. The SACs would establish and provide clear and consistent protocols for handling data and samples and would act as two-way liaisons between the USGS observatories and external scientists.

    A dedicated pool of rapid response instruments, including, for example, multispectral cameras, infrasound sensors, Global Navigation Satellite System receivers, uncrewed aerial vehicles, and gas measuring equipment. This pool could consist of permanent instruments belonging to CONVERSE and housed at an existing facility as well as scientist-owned distributed instruments available on demand as needed.

    The SAC structure holds great promise for facilitating collaboration between U.S. observatories and external science communities during eruptions and for managing the many requests for information from scientists interested in working on an eruption. It also broadens participation in eruption responses beyond those who have preexisting points of contact with USGS observatory scientists by providing a point of contact and process to become engaged.

    We are confident that when the next eruption occurs in the United States—whether it resembles the 1980 Mount St. Helens blast, the recent effusive lava flows from Kīlauea, or some other style—this structure will maximize the science that can be done during the unrest. Such efforts will ultimately help us to better understand what is happening at the volcano and to better assist communities to prepare for and respond to eruptions.


    Ewert, J. W., A. K. Diefenbach, and D. W. Ramsey (2018), 2018 update to the U.S. Geological Survey national volcanic threat assessment, U.S. Geol. Surv. Sci. Invest. Rep., 2018-5140, 40 pp., https://doi.org/10.3133/sir20185140.

    National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (2017), Volcanic Eruptions and Their Repose, Unrest, Precursors, and Timing, Natl. Acad. Press, Washington, D.C., https://doi.org/10.17226/24650.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    Eos is the leading source for trustworthy news and perspectives about the Earth and space sciences and their impact. Its namesake is Eos, the Greek goddess of the dawn, who represents the light shed on understanding our planet and its environment in space by the Earth and space sciences.

  • richardmitnick 2:16 pm on August 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Earthquake swarm rocks the ground at Hawai'i's Kilauea volcano", , , , , , Volcanology   

    From Live Science (US): “Earthquake swarm rocks the ground at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano” 

    From Live Science (US)

    Harry Baker

    A lava lake inside the Pu’u ‘Ō’ō crater in Kilauea’s’ eastern rift zone during a previous eruption. (Image credit: Shutterstock)

    Kilauea volcano gave scientists and local Hawaiians a scare this week, when a swarm of more than 140 earthquakes in just 12 hours prompted authorities to raise the alarm over a possible imminent eruption.

    But now, Kilauea’s brief rumble is over; the volcano did not erupt and is barely registering any earthquakes.

    The Geological Survey (US) made this report on Thursday (Aug. 26).

    However, Kilauea’s flare of activity set scientists on edge. The earthquake swarm occurred between 4:30 p.m. local time (10:30 p.m. EDT) Monday (Aug. 23) and 4:30 a.m. local time (10:30 a.m. EDT) Tuesday (Aug. 24) beneath the south part of Kilauea’s summit caldera, with a peak in activity around 1:30 a.m. local time (7:30 a.m. EDT) Wednesday.

    This is according to the USGS.

    The earthquakes were tiny; most registered at below magnitude 1.0, with the most violent reaching magnitude 3.3. The tectonic activity also coincided with a shift in the ground formation to the west of the swarm, which the USGS said “may indicate an intrusion of magma occurring about 0.6 to 1.2 miles (1 to 2 kilometers) beneath the south caldera.”

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 8:40 am on August 28, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "How a Volcanic Surge 56 Million Years Ago Cut Off The Arctic Ocean From The Atlantic", , , , , , Volcanology   

    From Science Alert (US) : “How a Volcanic Surge 56 Million Years Ago Cut Off The Arctic Ocean From The Atlantic” 


    From Science Alert (US)

    28 AUGUST 2021

    Credit: SinghaphanAllB/Moment/Getty Images.

    Travel back in time 56 million years, and you’d arrive during a period of heightened volcanic activity on Earth. The activity triggered significant shifts in the planet’s climate, effectively turning some parts of the far north into a tropical paradise.

    The outpouring of carbon dioxide is one cause for this warming, but it seems there’s more to the story. According to a new study, the volcanism plugged up the seaway between the Arctic and Atlantic, changing how the oceans’ waters mixed.

    While the Paleocene-Eocene Thermal Maximum (PETM) is a well-known event in the geological history of Earth, the remote area of northeast Greenland studied here hasn’t been the subject of much geological research – even though it lies at a crucial point for volcanic activity and the flow of water between the Arctic and the Atlantic.

    Through a combination of sedimentary analysis across hundreds of kilometers, the study of microfossils, and the charting of geological boundaries through seismic imaging, a team of researchers led by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS) found that an uplifting of the geology in the area at this time caused a level of fragmentation that more or less cut two major oceans off from one another.

    “We found that volcanic activity and the resulting uplift of the edge of the Greenland continent 56 million years ago led to the formation of a new tropical landscape and narrowing of the seaway connecting the Atlantic and Arctic oceans,” says paleontologist Milo Barham from Curtin University (AU).

    “So not only did the spike in volcanic activity produce an increase in greenhouse gases, but the restriction of the seaway also reduced the flow of water between the oceans, disturbing heat distribution and the acidity of the deeper ocean.”

    The uplift, created through a combination of tectonic plate movements and rock made from cooling lava, would have narrowed the seaway separating Greenland and Norway (which is much bigger than it used to be). Deep waters would have been transformed into shallow estuaries, rivers, and swamps.

    Then as now, these ocean connections play a major role in shaping the circulation of winds and weather around the globe. In this case, the waters of the Arctic would have been almost entirely isolated from the waters of the Atlantic, compounding the warming that was already happening.

    There was another consequence, though: more land meant more migration options for the flora and fauna of the area. The researchers think many animals may have taken advantage of the extra space to move to cooler locations.

    “The volcanic surge also changed the shape of Earth’s continents, creating land bridges or narrowed straits, and enabling crucial migration responses for mammalian species such as early primates, to survive climate change,” says geologist Jussi Hovikoski from GEUS.

    Fast forward to today: While we don’t have molten lava extending the size of the continents, the oceans and the air currents that move above them are just as important in terms of managing the climate of the planet.

    The current climate crisis means some of the crucial weather patterns that we’ve come to rely on are now starting to collapse. As and when they do, that will mean severe consequences for how the planet continues to cool down or warm up in the future.

    Our current condition has drawn many comparisons with the PETM – a time when there were palm trees in the Arctic – and through understanding how the climate has shifted in the past, we should be able to better prepare for the future.

    “Recent studies have reported alarming signs of weakening ocean circulation, such as the Gulf Stream, which is an ocean current important to global climate and this slowing may lead to climatic tipping points or irreversible changes to weather systems,” says Barham.

    “As fires and floods increasingly ravage our ever-warming planet, the frozen north of eastern Greenland would seem an unlikely place to yield insights into a greenhouse world. However, the geological record there provides crucial understanding of environmental and ecological responses to complex climate disturbances.”

    The research has been published in Communications Earth & Environment.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

  • richardmitnick 12:08 pm on August 27, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Volcanic eruptions may have spurred first ‘whiffs’ of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere", , , , , The University of Michigan (US), The University of Washington (US), Volcanology   

    From University of Washington (US) : “Volcanic eruptions may have spurred first ‘whiffs’ of oxygen in Earth’s atmosphere” 

    From University of Washington (US)

    August 25, 2021
    Hannah Hickey

    Roger Buick in 2004 at the Mount McRae Shale in Western Australia. Rocks drilled near here show “whiffs” of oxygen occurred before the Great Oxidation Event, 2.4 billion years ago. New analyses show a slightly earlier spike in the element mercury emitted by volcanoes, which could have boosted populations of single-celled organisms to produce a temporary “whiff” of oxygen.Credit: Roger Buick/University of Washington.

    A new analysis of 2.5-billion-year-old rocks from Australia finds that volcanic eruptions may have stimulated population surges of marine microorganisms, creating the first puffs of oxygen into the atmosphere. This would change existing stories of Earth’s early atmosphere, which assumed that most changes in the early atmosphere were controlled by geologic or chemical processes.

    Though focused on Earth’s early history, the research also has implications for extraterrestrial life and even climate change. The study [PNAS] led by the University of Washington, The University of Michigan (US) and other institutions was published in August.

    “What has started to become obvious in the past few decades is there actually are quite a number of connections between the solid, nonliving Earth and the evolution of life,” said first author Jana Meixnerová, a UW doctoral student in Earth and space sciences. “But what are the specific connections that facilitated the evolution of life on Earth as we know it?”

    In its earliest days, Earth had no oxygen in its atmosphere and few, if any, oxygen-breathing lifeforms. Earth’s atmosphere became permanently oxygen-rich about 2.4 billion years ago, likely after an explosion of lifeforms that photosynthesize, transforming carbon dioxide and water into oxygen.

    But in 2007, co-author Ariel Anbar at The Arizona State University (US) analyzed rocks from the Mount McRae Shale in Western Australia, reporting a short-term whiff of oxygen about 50 to 100 million years before it became a permanent fixture in the atmosphere. More recent research has confirmed other, earlier short-term oxygen spikes, but hasn’t explained their rise and fall.

    In the new study, researchers at the University of Michigan, led by co-corresponding author Joel Blum, analyzed the same ancient rocks for the concentration and number of neutrons in the element mercury, emitted by volcanic eruptions. Large volcanic eruptions blast mercury gas into the upper atmosphere, where today it circulates for a year or two before raining out onto Earth’s surface. The new analysis shows a spike in mercury a few million years before the temporary rise in oxygen.

    These are drill-cores of rocks from the Mount McRae Shale in Western Australia. Previous analysis showed a “whiff” of atmospheric oxygen preceding the Great Oxidation Event, 2.4 billion years ago. New analyses show a slightly earlier spike in minerals produced by volcanoes, which may have fertilized early communities of microbes to produce the oxygen.Credit: Roger Buick/University of Washington.

    “Sure enough, in the rock below the transient spike in oxygen we found evidence of mercury, both in its abundance and isotopes, that would most reasonably be explained by volcanic eruptions into the atmosphere,” said co-author Roger Buick, a UW professor of Earth and Space Sciences.

    Where there were volcanic emissions, the authors reason, there must have been lava and volcanic ash fields. And those nutrient-rich rocks would have weathered in the wind and rain, releasing phosphorus into rivers that could fertilize nearby coastal areas, allowing oxygen-producing cyanobacteria and other single-celled lifeforms to flourish.

    “There are other nutrients that modulate biological activity on short timescales, but phosphorus is the one that is most important on long timescales,” Meixnerová said.

    Today, phosphorus is plentiful in biological material and in agricultural fertilizer. But in very ancient times, weathering of volcanic rocks would have been the main source for this scarce resource.

    “During weathering under the Archaean atmosphere, the fresh basaltic rock would have slowly dissolved, releasing the essential macro-nutrient phosphorus into the rivers. That would have fed microbes that were living in the shallow coastal zones and triggered increased biological productivity that would have created, as a byproduct, an oxygen spike,” Meixnerová said.

    The precise location of those volcanoes and lava fields is unknown, but large lava fields of about the right age exist in modern-day India, Canada and elsewhere, Buick said.

    “Our study suggests that for these transient whiffs of oxygen, the immediate trigger was an increase in oxygen production, rather than a decrease in oxygen consumption by rocks or other nonliving processes,” Buick said. “It’s important because the presence of oxygen in the atmosphere is fundamental – it’s the biggest driver for the evolution of large, complex life.”

    Ultimately, researchers say the study suggests how a planet’s geology might affect any life evolving on its surface, an understanding that aids in identifying habitable exoplanets, or planets outside our solar system, in the search for life in the universe.

    Other authors of the paper are co-corresponding author Eva Stüeken, a former UW astrobiology graduate student now at the The University of St Andrews (SCT) in Scotland; Michael Kipp, a former UW graduate student now at The California Institute of Technology (US); and Marcus Johnson at The University of Michigan (US). The study was funded by National Aeronautics Space Agency (US), the NASA-funded UW Virtual Planetary Laboratory team and the MacArthur Professorship to Blum at the University of Michigan.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition


    The University of Washington (US) is one of the world’s preeminent public universities. Our impact on individuals, on our region, and on the world is profound — whether we are launching young people into a boundless future or confronting the grand challenges of our time through undaunted research and scholarship. Ranked number 10 in the world in Shanghai Jiao Tong University rankings and educating more than 54,000 students annually, our students and faculty work together to turn ideas into impact and in the process transform lives and our world. For more about our impact on the world, every day.

    So what defines us —the students, faculty and community members at the University of Washington? Above all, it’s our belief in possibility and our unshakable optimism. It’s a connection to others, both near and far. It’s a hunger that pushes us to tackle challenges and pursue progress. It’s the conviction that together we can create a world of good. Join us on the journey.

    The University of Washington (US) is a public research university in Seattle, Washington, United States. Founded in 1861, University of Washington is one of the oldest universities on the West Coast; it was established in downtown Seattle approximately a decade after the city’s founding to aid its economic development. Today, the university’s 703-acre main Seattle campus is in the University District above the Montlake Cut, within the urban Puget Sound region of the Pacific Northwest. The university has additional campuses in Tacoma and Bothell. Overall, University of Washington encompasses over 500 buildings and over 20 million gross square footage of space, including one of the largest library systems in the world with more than 26 university libraries, as well as the UW Tower, lecture halls, art centers, museums, laboratories, stadiums, and conference centers. The university offers bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees through 140 departments in various colleges and schools, sees a total student enrollment of roughly 46,000 annually, and functions on a quarter system.

    University of Washington is a member of the Association of American Universities(US) and is classified among “R1: Doctoral Universities – Very high research activity”. According to the National Science Foundation(US), UW spent $1.41 billion on research and development in 2018, ranking it 5th in the nation. As the flagship institution of the six public universities in Washington state, it is known for its medical, engineering and scientific research as well as its highly competitive computer science and engineering programs. Additionally, University of Washington continues to benefit from its deep historic ties and major collaborations with numerous technology giants in the region, such as Amazon, Boeing, Nintendo, and particularly Microsoft. Paul G. Allen, Bill Gates and others spent significant time at Washington computer labs for a startup venture before founding Microsoft and other ventures. The University of Washington’s 22 varsity sports teams are also highly competitive, competing as the Huskies in the Pac-12 Conference of the NCAA Division I, representing the United States at the Olympic Games, and other major competitions.

    The university has been affiliated with many notable alumni and faculty, including 21 Nobel Prize laureates and numerous Pulitzer Prize winners, Fulbright Scholars, Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars.

    In 1854, territorial governor Isaac Stevens recommended the establishment of a university in the Washington Territory. Prominent Seattle-area residents, including Methodist preacher Daniel Bagley, saw this as a chance to add to the city’s potential and prestige. Bagley learned of a law that allowed United States territories to sell land to raise money in support of public schools. At the time, Arthur A. Denny, one of the founders of Seattle and a member of the territorial legislature, aimed to increase the city’s importance by moving the territory’s capital from Olympia to Seattle. However, Bagley eventually convinced Denny that the establishment of a university would assist more in the development of Seattle’s economy. Two universities were initially chartered, but later the decision was repealed in favor of a single university in Lewis County provided that locally donated land was available. When no site emerged, Denny successfully petitioned the legislature to reconsider Seattle as a location in 1858.

    In 1861, scouting began for an appropriate 10 acres (4 ha) site in Seattle to serve as a new university campus. Arthur and Mary Denny donated eight acres, while fellow pioneers Edward Lander, and Charlie and Mary Terry, donated two acres on Denny’s Knoll in downtown Seattle. More specifically, this tract was bounded by 4th Avenue to the west, 6th Avenue to the east, Union Street to the north, and Seneca Streets to the south.

    John Pike, for whom Pike Street is named, was the university’s architect and builder. It was opened on November 4, 1861, as the Territorial University of Washington. The legislature passed articles incorporating the University, and establishing its Board of Regents in 1862. The school initially struggled, closing three times: in 1863 for low enrollment, and again in 1867 and 1876 due to funds shortage. University of Washington awarded its first graduate Clara Antoinette McCarty Wilt in 1876, with a bachelor’s degree in science.

    19th century relocation

    By the time Washington state entered the Union in 1889, both Seattle and the University had grown substantially. University of Washington’s total undergraduate enrollment increased from 30 to nearly 300 students, and the campus’s relative isolation in downtown Seattle faced encroaching development. A special legislative committee, headed by University of Washington graduate Edmond Meany, was created to find a new campus to better serve the growing student population and faculty. The committee eventually selected a site on the northeast of downtown Seattle called Union Bay, which was the land of the Duwamish, and the legislature appropriated funds for its purchase and construction. In 1895, the University relocated to the new campus by moving into the newly built Denny Hall. The University Regents tried and failed to sell the old campus, eventually settling with leasing the area. This would later become one of the University’s most valuable pieces of real estate in modern-day Seattle, generating millions in annual revenue with what is now called the Metropolitan Tract. The original Territorial University building was torn down in 1908, and its former site now houses the Fairmont Olympic Hotel.

    The sole-surviving remnants of Washington’s first building are four 24-foot (7.3 m), white, hand-fluted cedar, Ionic columns. They were salvaged by Edmond S. Meany, one of the University’s first graduates and former head of its history department. Meany and his colleague, Dean Herbert T. Condon, dubbed the columns as “Loyalty,” “Industry,” “Faith”, and “Efficiency”, or “LIFE.” The columns now stand in the Sylvan Grove Theater.

    20th century expansion

    Organizers of the 1909 Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition eyed the still largely undeveloped campus as a prime setting for their world’s fair. They came to an agreement with Washington’s Board of Regents that allowed them to use the campus grounds for the exposition, surrounding today’s Drumheller Fountain facing towards Mount Rainier. In exchange, organizers agreed Washington would take over the campus and its development after the fair’s conclusion. This arrangement led to a detailed site plan and several new buildings, prepared in part by John Charles Olmsted. The plan was later incorporated into the overall University of Washington campus master plan, permanently affecting the campus layout.

    Both World Wars brought the military to campus, with certain facilities temporarily lent to the federal government. In spite of this, subsequent post-war periods were times of dramatic growth for the University. The period between the wars saw a significant expansion of the upper campus. Construction of the Liberal Arts Quadrangle, known to students as “The Quad,” began in 1916 and continued to 1939. The University’s architectural centerpiece, Suzzallo Library, was built in 1926 and expanded in 1935.

    After World War II, further growth came with the G.I. Bill. Among the most important developments of this period was the opening of the School of Medicine in 1946, which is now consistently ranked as the top medical school in the United States. It would eventually lead to the University of Washington Medical Center, ranked by U.S. News and World Report as one of the top ten hospitals in the nation.

    In 1942, all persons of Japanese ancestry in the Seattle area were forced into inland internment camps as part of Executive Order 9066 following the attack on Pearl Harbor. During this difficult time, university president Lee Paul Sieg took an active and sympathetic leadership role in advocating for and facilitating the transfer of Japanese American students to universities and colleges away from the Pacific Coast to help them avoid the mass incarceration. Nevertheless many Japanese American students and “soon-to-be” graduates were unable to transfer successfully in the short time window or receive diplomas before being incarcerated. It was only many years later that they would be recognized for their accomplishments during the University of Washington’s Long Journey Home ceremonial event that was held in May 2008.

    From 1958 to 1973, the University of Washington saw a tremendous growth in student enrollment, its faculties and operating budget, and also its prestige under the leadership of Charles Odegaard. University of Washington student enrollment had more than doubled to 34,000 as the baby boom generation came of age. However, this era was also marked by high levels of student activism, as was the case at many American universities. Much of the unrest focused around civil rights and opposition to the Vietnam War. In response to anti-Vietnam War protests by the late 1960s, the University Safety and Security Division became the University of Washington Police Department.

    Odegaard instituted a vision of building a “community of scholars”, convincing the Washington State legislatures to increase investment in the University. Washington senators, such as Henry M. Jackson and Warren G. Magnuson, also used their political clout to gather research funds for the University of Washington. The results included an increase in the operating budget from $37 million in 1958 to over $400 million in 1973, solidifying University of Washington as a top recipient of federal research funds in the United States. The establishment of technology giants such as Microsoft, Boeing and Amazon in the local area also proved to be highly influential in the University of Washington’s fortunes, not only improving graduate prospects but also helping to attract millions of dollars in university and research funding through its distinguished faculty and extensive alumni network.

    21st century

    In 1990, the University of Washington opened its additional campuses in Bothell and Tacoma. Although originally intended for students who have already completed two years of higher education, both schools have since become four-year universities with the authority to grant degrees. The first freshman classes at these campuses started in fall 2006. Today both Bothell and Tacoma also offer a selection of master’s degree programs.

    In 2012, the University began exploring plans and governmental approval to expand the main Seattle campus, including significant increases in student housing, teaching facilities for the growing student body and faculty, as well as expanded public transit options. The University of Washington light rail station was completed in March 2015, connecting Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood to the University of Washington Husky Stadium within five minutes of rail travel time. It offers a previously unavailable option of transportation into and out of the campus, designed specifically to reduce dependence on private vehicles, bicycles and local King County buses.

    University of Washington has been listed as a “Public Ivy” in Greene’s Guides since 2001, and is an elected member of the American Association of Universities. Among the faculty by 2012, there have been 151 members of American Association for the Advancement of Science, 68 members of the National Academy of Sciences(US), 67 members of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 53 members of the National Academy of Medicine(US), 29 winners of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, 21 members of the National Academy of Engineering(US), 15 Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigators, 15 MacArthur Fellows, 9 winners of the Gairdner Foundation International Award, 5 winners of the National Medal of Science, 7 Nobel Prize laureates, 5 winners of Albert Lasker Award for Clinical Medical Research, 4 members of the American Philosophical Society, 2 winners of the National Book Award, 2 winners of the National Medal of Arts, 2 Pulitzer Prize winners, 1 winner of the Fields Medal, and 1 member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Among UW students by 2012, there were 136 Fulbright Scholars, 35 Rhodes Scholars, 7 Marshall Scholars and 4 Gates Cambridge Scholars. UW is recognized as a top producer of Fulbright Scholars, ranking 2nd in the US in 2017.

    The Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU) has consistently ranked University of Washington as one of the top 20 universities worldwide every year since its first release. In 2019, University of Washington ranked 14th worldwide out of 500 by the ARWU, 26th worldwide out of 981 in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, and 28th worldwide out of 101 in the Times World Reputation Rankings. Meanwhile, QS World University Rankings ranked it 68th worldwide, out of over 900.

    U.S. News & World Report ranked University of Washington 8th out of nearly 1,500 universities worldwide for 2021, with University of Washington’s undergraduate program tied for 58th among 389 national universities in the U.S. and tied for 19th among 209 public universities.

    In 2019, it ranked 10th among the universities around the world by SCImago Institutions Rankings. In 2017, the Leiden Ranking, which focuses on science and the impact of scientific publications among the world’s 500 major universities, ranked University of Washington 12th globally and 5th in the U.S.

    In 2019, Kiplinger Magazine’s review of “top college values” named University of Washington 5th for in-state students and 10th for out-of-state students among U.S. public colleges, and 84th overall out of 500 schools. In the Washington Monthly National University Rankings University of Washington was ranked 15th domestically in 2018, based on its contribution to the public good as measured by social mobility, research, and promoting public service.

  • richardmitnick 9:15 pm on August 24, 2021 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "Volcanoes acted as a safety valve for Earth’s long-term climate", , , , Extensive chains of volcanoes have been responsible for both emitting and then removing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) over geological time., The study casts doubt on a long-held concept that Earth’s climate stability over tens to hundreds of millions of years reflects a balance between weathering of the seafloor and continental interiors, The team constructed a novel “Earth network” incorporating machine-learning algorithms and plate tectonic reconstructions., The team found that continental volcanic arcs were the most important driver of weathering intensity over the past 400 million years., Today continental arcs comprise chains of volcanoes in for example the Andes in South America and the Cascades in the US., , Volcanology, Weathering of the Earth’s surface serves as a geological thermostat.   

    From University of Southampton (UK) : “Volcanoes acted as a safety valve for Earth’s long-term climate” 

    U Southampton bloc

    From University of Southampton (UK)

    23 August 2021

    Scientists at the University of Southampton have discovered that extensive chains of volcanoes have been responsible for both emitting and then removing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) over geological time. This stabilised temperatures at Earth’s surface.

    Present-day continental arc volcano in the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Photo: Dr. Tom Gernon.

    The researchers, working with colleagues at The University of Sydney (AU), The Australian National University (AU), The University of Ottawa (CA) and The University of Leeds (UK), explored the combined impact of processes in the solid Earth, oceans and atmosphere over the past 400 million years. Their findings are published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

    Natural break-down and dissolution of rocks at Earth’s surface is called chemical weathering. It is critically important because the products of weathering (elements like calcium and magnesium) are flushed via rivers to the oceans, where they form minerals that lock up CO2. This feedback mechanism regulates atmospheric CO2 levels, and in turn global climate, over geological time.

    “In this respect, weathering of the Earth’s surface serves as a geological thermostat”, says lead author Dr Tom Gernon, Associate Professor in Earth Science at the University of Southampton, and a Fellow of the Turing Institute. “But the underlying controls have proven difficult to determine due to the complexity of the Earth system”.

    “Many Earth processes are interlinked, and there are some major time lags between processes and their effects”, explains Eelco Rohling, Professor in Ocean and Climate Change at ANU and co-author of the study. “Understanding the relative influence of specific processes within the Earth system response has therefore been an intractable problem”.

    To unravel the complexity, the team constructed a novel “Earth network” incorporating machine-learning algorithms and plate tectonic reconstructions. This enabled them to identify the dominant interactions within the Earth system, and how they evolved through time.

    Continental volcanic arc in Kamchatka, Russia. Photo: Dr.Tom Gernon.

    The team found that continental volcanic arcs were the most important driver of weathering intensity over the past 400 million years. Today continental arcs comprise chains of volcanoes in for example the Andes in South America and the Cascades in the US. These volcanoes are some of the highest and fastest eroding features on Earth. because the volcanic rocks are fragmented and chemically reactive, they are rapidly weathered and flushed into the oceans.

    Martin Palmer, Professor of Geochemistry at the University of Southampton and co-author of the study, said: “It’s a balancing act. On one hand, these volcanoes pumped out large amounts of CO2 that increased atmospheric CO2 levels. On the other hand, these same volcanoes helped remove that carbon via rapid weathering reactions.”

    The study casts doubt on a long-held concept that Earth’s climate stability over tens to hundreds of millions of years reflects a balance between weathering of the seafloor and continental interiors. “The idea of such a geological tug of war between the landmasses and the seafloor as a dominant driver of Earth surface weathering is not supported by the data,” Dr Gernon states.

    “Unfortunately, the results do not mean that nature will save us from climate change”, stresses Dr Gernon. “Today, atmospheric CO2 levels are higher than at any time in the past 3 million years, and human driven emissions are about 150 times larger than volcanic CO2 emissions. The continental arcs that appear to have saved the planet in the deep past are simply not present at the scale needed to help counteract present-day CO2 emissions”.

    But the team’s findings still provide critical insights into how society might manage the current climate crisis. Artificially enhanced rock weathering¾where rocks are pulverised and spread across land to speed up chemical reaction rates¾could play a key role in safely removing CO2 from the atmosphere. The team’s findings suggest that such schemes may be deployed optimally by using calc-alkaline volcanic materials (those containing calcium, potassium and sodium), like those found in continental arc environments.

    “This is by no means a silver bullet solution to the climate crisis ¾ we urgently need to reduce CO2 emissions in line with IPCC mitigation pathways, full stop. Our assessment of weathering feedbacks over long timescales may help in designing and evaluating large-scale enhanced weathering schemes, which is just one of the steps needed to counteract global climate change”, Dr Gernon concludes.

    See the full article here .


    Please help promote STEM in your local schools.

    Stem Education Coalition

    U Southampton campus

    The University of Southampton (UK) is a world-class university built on the quality and diversity of our community. Our staff place a high value on excellence and creativity, supporting independence of thought, and the freedom to challenge existing knowledge and beliefs through critical research and scholarship. Through our education and research we transform people’s lives and change the world for the better.

    Vision 2020 is the basis of our strategy.

    Since publication of the previous University Strategy in 2010 we have achieved much of what we set out to do against a backdrop of a major economic downturn and radical change in higher education in the UK.

    Vision 2020 builds on these foundations, describing our future ambition and priorities. It presents a vision of the University as a confident, growing, outwardly-focused institution that has global impact. It describes a connected institution equally committed to education and research, providing a distinctive educational experience for its students, and confident in its place as a leading international research university, achieving world-wide impact.

Compose new post
Next post/Next comment
Previous post/Previous comment
Show/Hide comments
Go to top
Go to login
Show/Hide help
shift + esc
%d bloggers like this: