Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

NASA data show earthquakes may quickly boost regional volcanoes

12.04.2007
Scientists using NASA satellite data have found strong evidence that a major earthquake can lead to a nearly immediate increase in regional volcanic activity.

The intensity of two ongoing volcanic eruptions on Indonesia’s Java Island increased sharply three days following a powerful, 6.4-magnitude earthquake on the island in May 2006. The increased volcanic activity persisted for about nine days.

"During this period, we found clear evidence that the earthquake caused both volcanoes to release greater amounts of heat, and lava emission surged to two to three times higher than prior to the tremor," said study lead author Andrew Harris, University of Hawaii, Honolulu. The research was recently published in the American Geophysical Union's Geophysical Research Letters.

While scientists have long debated whether earthquakes can trigger new volcanic eruptions, this study linked an earthquake to enhanced volcanic activity at two ongoing eruptions that were being closely monitored by satellite-based sensors on a daily basis.

At the time of the earthquake, each volcano was being checked for changes in heat output by satellite sensors as part of a routine global "hot spot" monitoring effort that uses near real-time satellite data from NASA's Terra and Aqua satellites.

Maps of worldwide hot spot activity are created with data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) instrument on these satellites, pinpointing locations where surface temperatures are much hotter than their surroundings. The scientists combined these data with other details about the Indonesian volcanoes gathered by the satellites to analyze temperature and lava output rates at both volcanoes over a 35-day period spanning the earthquake.

The two volcanoes, Merapi and Semeru, are about 260 kilometers (162 miles) apart and roughly 50 kilometers (31 miles) north and 280 kilometers (174 miles) east of the earthquake epicenter, respectively. Given these distances, the researchers believe underground stresses from the earthquake's seismic waves likely acted to pump magma -- molten rock beneath the surface -- into the conduit to the surface, ultimately increasing eruption rates.

"The responses at Merapi and Semeru lagged about three days behind the triggering earthquake, which may reflect the time it took the change felt by magma residing at deeper levels to be transmitted to the surface," said Harris.

The researchers concluded that regional earthquake events have sufficient power to modify the intensity of activity at ongoing eruptions, although they may not always be able to trigger new volcanic eruptions.

They also noted that the Java earthquake had a significant influence on the volcanoes for a relatively short period of several days, suggesting that catching the effect of a quake on an eruption requires careful observation. "Eruptions must be closely and continuously monitored in the days immediately before, during and after an earthquake if we are to link any earthquake with enhanced volcanic activity," added Harris.

Satellite monitoring may be able to play a predictive role in eruptions, rather than just its more traditional responsive role, according to the study. Instruments on today's advanced satellites are providing new and considerably more data to help scientists better track and understand volcanic eruptions.

"The satellite data we have now -- from MODIS, NASA's Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer and the Landsat-7 satellite -- give us fresh insights into the behavior of volcanic systems around the entire globe," said Harris. "This worldwide perspective would not have been possible using ground-based sensors; there are too many unmonitored sectors and periods. We simply could not have uncovered our results without the continuous and global data provided by MODIS."

The researchers are currently reviewing older MODIS hot spot data, which extends back to 2000, to uncover additional earthquake-induced responses at erupting volcanoes in hope of identifying patterns that might be used to build a predictive model for forecasting earthquake-induced changes in activity at erupting volcanoes.

Mike Bettwy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/news/topstory/2007/earthquake_volcano.html

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Climate change in a warmer-than-modern world: New findings of Kiel Researchers
24.04.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Tiny microenvironments in the ocean hold clues to global nitrogen cycle
23.04.2018 | University of Rochester

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.

Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...

Im Focus: Molecules Brilliantly Illuminated

Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.

Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Complete skin regeneration system of fish unraveled

24.04.2018 | Life Sciences

Scientists create innovative new 'green' concrete using graphene

24.04.2018 | Materials Sciences

BAM@Hannover Messe: innovative 3D printing method for space flight

24.04.2018 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>