300+ Mind Expanding Documentaries

mind expanding docs

I watch a lot of documentaries. I think they are incredible tools for learning and increasing our awareness of important issues. The power of an interesting documentary is that it can open our minds to new possibilities and deepen our understanding of the world. On this list of mind expanding documentaries you will find different viewpoints, controversial opinions and even contradictory ideas. Critical thinking is recommended. I’m not a big fan of conspiracy documentaries but I do like films that challenge consensus reality and provoke us to question the everyday ideas, opinions and practices we usually take for granted.

Watching documentaries is one of my favorite methods of self-education. If I find a documentary inspiring, I usually spend more time researching the different ideas and interesting people interviewed in the film.

I hope you find these documentaries as enlightening as I did!

If you notice that a link is broken, please let me know in the comments and I’ll update it.

Thanks to Kyle Pearce & DIY Genius for this awesome list!

[1] Life In The Biosphere

Explore the wonder and interconnectedness of the biosphere through the magic of technology.

1. Home
2. How Many People Can Live on Planet Earth
3. The Magical Forest
4. Ants: Nature’s Secret Power
5. Mt. Everest: How It Was Made
6. Mariana’s Trench: The Deepest Spot On Earth
7. Natural World: The Andes
8. Shining Mountains: The Rockies
9. Grand Canyon: How It Was Made
10. The Intelligence of Plants

[2] Creativity and Design:

Learn about all the amazing things that people create with their imaginations.

1. Everything Is A Remix
2. The Creative Brain: How Insight Works
3. Blow Your Mind
4. Design: The New Business
5. PressPausePlay: Art and Creativity in the Digital Age
6. Infamy: A Graffiti Documentary
7. Influencers: How Trends and Creativity Become Contagious
8. RIP: A Remix Manifesto
9. Design: e² – Sustainable Architecture
10. The Genius Of Design

[3] The Education Industrial Complex:

The modern school where young minds are moulded into standardized citizens by the state.

1. The College Conspiracy
2. Declining by Degrees: Higher Education at Risk
3. The Forbidden Education
4. Default: The Student Loan Documentary
5. College Inc.
6. Education For A Sustainable Future
7. Networked Society: The Future of Learning
8. The Ultimate History Lesson With John Taylor Gatto
9. The Education System in Communist China
10. The War On Kids

[4] The Digital Revolution:

The Internet is now the driving force behind change and innovation in the world.

1. Download: The True Story of the Internet
2. The Age of Big Data
3. Resonance: Beings of Frequency
5. Life In A Day
6. Networked Society: On The Brink
7. Us Now: Social Media and Mass Collaboration
8. WikiRebels: The WikiLeaks Story
9. The Virtual Revolution: The Cost of Free
10. How Hackers Changed the World

[5] A New Civilization:

We are at the dawn of a new golden age of human inventiveness.

1. THRIVE: What On Earth Will It Take?
2. Zeitgeist III: Moving Forward
3. Paradise or Oblivion
4. 2012: Time For Change
5. The Crisis of Civilization
6. The Collective Evolution II
7. The Quickening: Awakening As One
8. 2012 Crossing Over: A New Beginning
9. Collapse
10. The Awakening

[6] Politics:

Explore the politics of power and control and how it affects your life.

1. Owned and Operated
2. UnGrip
3. The Power Principle
4. The True Story of Che Guevara
5. Earth Days
6. Capitalism Is The Crisis
7. WikiLeaks: The Secret Life of a Superpower
8. The Putin System
9. The War On Democracy
10. Rise Like Lions: Occupy Wall Street and the Seeds of Revolution

[7] Biographies of Genius:

The biographies of modern geniuses who pushed humanity forward.

1. Isaac Newton: The Last Magician
2. Nikola Tesla: The Greatest Mind of All Time
3. The Unlimited Energy of Nicola Tesla
4. The Missing Secrets Of Nikola Tesla
5. Richard Feynman: No Ordinary Genius
6. How Albert Einstein’s Brain Worked
7. The Extraordinary Genius of Albert Einstein
8. The Biography of Albert Einstein
9. Da Vinci: Unlocking The Genius
10. Leonardo Da Vinci: The Man Who Wanted to Know Everything

[8] War:

War is history’s oldest racket for stealing from the powerless and redistributing resources to the powerful.

1. Psywar: The Real Battlefield Is Your Mind
2. The History of World War II
3. The Secret History of 9/11
4. Robot Armies in the Future
5. The Never Ending War in Afghanistan
6. Shadow Company: Mercenaries In The Modern World
7. World War II From Space
8. Why We Fight
9. The Fog Of War
10. The Oil Factor: Behind The War On Terror

[9] Economics:

Learn about the financial system works and how people and societies are enslaved through debt.

1. The Corporation: The Pathological Pursuit of Profit and Power
2. Overdose: The Next Financial Crisis
3. The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of The World
4. The One Percent
5. Quants: The Alchemists of Wall Street
6. The Last Days Of Lehman Brothers
7. The Four Horsemen
8. Inside Job: The Biggest Robbery In Human History
9. Capitalism A Love Story
10. Money and Life

[10] Digital Entrepreneurship:

Profiles of the entrepreneurs who used technology to change the world.

1. The Life Of A Young Entrepreneur
2. Profile: Google’s Larry Page and Sergey Brin
3. Profile: Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg
4. Starting-Up in America
5. The Biography of Bill Gates
6. Inside Google: The Billion Dollar Machine
7. Steve Jobs: One Last Thing
8 . Steve Jobs: The Billion Dollar Hippy
9. Elon Musk: Risk Takers
10. The Story of Twitter

[11] Sports:

Watch the inspiring stories of amazing athletes.

1. Fearless: The Jeb Corliss Story
2. Carts of Darkness
3. The Two Escobars
4. Usain Bolt: The World’s Fastest Man
5. Wayne Gretzky: The Life and Times
6. When We Were Kings
7. Mike Tyson: Beyond the Glory
8. Birdmen
9. The Legacy Of Michael Jordan
10. We Ride: The Story of Snowboarding

[12] Technology:

Find out more about the impact of exponential growth and the approaching Singularity.

1. Ray Kurzweil: The Transcendent Man
2. How Robots Will Change the World
3. Human 2.0
4. Tomorrow’s World: Life In The Future
5. Trance-Formation: The Future of Humanity
6. The Venus Project: Future By Design
7. Bionics, Transhumanism And The End Of Evolution
8. The Singularity Is Near
9. Car Technology Of The Future
10. Powering The Future: The Energy Revolution

[13] Origins of Religion:

Explore the original religious experience of mankind at the dawn of civilization.

1. Entheogen: Awakening the Divine Within
2. Manifesting the Mind: Footprints of the Shaman
3. Ancient Egypt and The Alternative Story of Mankind’s Origins
4. The Hidden Knowledge of the Supernatural
5. Re-Awaken: Open Your Heart, Expand Your Mind
6. Shamans of the Amazon
7. The Root of All Evil: The God Delusion
8. Ancient Knowledge
9. The Naked Truth
10. Before Babel: In Search of the First Language

[14] Western Religion:

The fascinating history of the three Abrahamic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam.

1. Secret Quest: The Path of the Christian Gnostics
2. The Secret Gate of Eden
3. Forbidden Knowledge: Lost Secrets of the Bible
4. Banned From The Bible: Secrets Of The Apostles
5.  The Life of Prophet Muhammad
6. The Road To Armageddon
7. The Most Hated Family In America
8. Muhammad: The Legacy of a Prophet
9. A Complete History of God
10. Gnosis: The Untold History of the Bible

[15] Eastern Religion:

Expand your mind by also studying the entirely different religious worldviews of the East.

1. Inner Worlds, Outer Worlds
2. The Life Of The Buddha
3. The Seven Wonders of the Buddhist World
4. Mysteries of the Cosmic OM: Ancient Vedic Science
5. Where Science and Buddhism Meet
6. The Yogis of Tibet
7. Taj Mahal: Secrets To Blow Your Mind
8. Light at the Edge of the World: Tibetan Science of the Mind
9. Myths of Mankind: The Mahabharata
10. Ayurveda: The Art of Being

[16] Consciousness:

Learn about the basic unity of existence and the miracle of consciousness.

1. Athene’s Theory of Everything
2. Theory of Everything: GOD, Devils, Dimensions, Dragons & The Illusion of Reality
3. The God Within: Physics, Cosmology and Consciousness
4. 5 Gateways: The Five Key Expansions of Consciousness
5. Return to the Source: Philosophy and The Matrix
6. The Holographic Universe
7. DMT: The Spirit Molecule
8. What Is Consciousness?
9. Kymatica
10. Neuroplasticity: The Brain That Changes Itself

[17] Mysteries:

Indiana Jones-style explorations into the unsolved mysteries of the past.

1. Alchemy: Sacred Secrets Revealed
2. The Day Before Disclosure
3. The Pyramid Code
4. The Secret Design of the Egyptian Pyramids
5. Decoding the Past: Secrets of the Dollar Bill
6. The Lost Gods of Easter Island
7. Origins of the Da Vinci Code
8. Forbidden Knowledge: Ancient Medical Secrets
9. Secret Mysteries of America’s Beginnings: The New Atlantis
10. Secrets in Plain Sight

[18] Mass Culture:

Learn about how our thoughts and opinions are influenced by mass culture.

1. The Century of the Self
2. All Watched Over By Machines Of Loving Grace
3. The Power Of Nightmares
4. The Trap: What Happened To Our Dreams of Freedom
5. Starsuckers: A Culture Obsessed By Celebrity
6. Human Resources: Social Engineering in the 20th Century
7. Obey: The Death of the Liberal Class
8. Motivational Guru: The Story of Tony Robbins
9. Bob Marley: Freedom Road
10. Radiant City

[19] Corporate Media:

Discover how the mass media and advertisers channel our irrational impulses.

1. Weapons of Mass Deceptions
2. Secrets of the Superbrands
3. Orwell Rolls in his Grave
4. The Esoteric Agenda
5. Propaganda
6. The Myth of the Liberal Media: The Propaganda Model of News
7. Manufacturing Consent: Noam Chomsky and the Media
8. Symbolism in Logos: Subliminal Messages or Ancient Archetypes
9. Edward Snowden: A Truth Unveiled
10. Outfoxed: Rupert Murdoch’s War on Journalism

[20] Art and Literature:

Explore the lives of famous artists and how art opens people’s minds.

1. Lord Of The Rings: Facts Behind The Fiction
2. Cosm: Alex Gray’s Visionary Art
3. Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop
4. New Art and the Young Artists Behind It
5. Salvador Dali: A Master of the Modern Era
6. How Art Made The World: More Human Than Human
7. The Day Pictures Were Born
8. Guns, Germs and Steel
9. Off-Book: Digital Age Creativity
10. This Is Modern Art

[21] Health:

Explore issues in health, how our bodies work and the incredible power of our brains.

1. The Human Brain
2. The Truth About Vitamins
3. How To Live To 101
4. America’s Obesity Epidemic
5. The War On Health
6. The Beautiful Truth
7. Food Inc.
8. The Truth About Food
9. Addicted To Pleasure: Sugar
10. The Living Matrix

[22] Drugs:

Documentaries on the effect of drugs — legal and illegal — on the body and mind.

1. The Union: The Business Behind Getting High
2. The Drugging Of Our Children
3. How Marijuana Affects Your Health
4. Making a Killing: The Untold Story of Psychotropic Drugging
5. Clearing the Smoke: The Science of Cannabis
6. LSD: The Beyond Within
7. The War on Drugs: The Prison Industrial Complex
8. Are Illegal Drugs More Dangerous Than Legal Drugs?
9. The Prescription Drug Abuse Epidemic
10. Run From The Cure: The Rick Simpson Story

[23] Environment:

Thought-provoking documentaries on the environmental movement and the growing threats to our biosphere.

1. Earthlings
2. Blue Gold: World Water Wars
3. Tapped
4. Shift: Beyond the Numbers of the Climate Crisis
5. All Things Are Connected
6. The Fight For Amazonia
7. Flow: For Love Of Water
8. Here Comes the Sun
9. The World According To Monsanto
10. The Story of Stuff

[24] Cosmos:

Expand your mind by exploring our indescribably large and beautiful Cosmos.

1. The Search for Planets Similar to Earth
2. Inside the Milky Way Galaxy
3. Cosmic Journeys : The Largest Black Holes in the Universe
4. Beyond The Big Bang
5. The Mystery of the Milky Way
6. Fractals: The Hidden Dimension
7. Into The Universe With Stephen Hawking: The Story of Everything
8. Pioneer Science: Discovering Deep Space
9. Carl Sagan’s Cosmos
10. The Strangest Things In The Universe

[25] Science:

The history of scientific discovery and how scientific instruments expand our perception.

1. The Complete History of Science
2. The Quantum Revolution
3. Secret Universe: The Hidden Life of the Cell
4. Stephen Hawking: A Brief History of Time
5. Quantum Mechanics: Fabric of the Cosmos
6. The Light Fantastic
7. DNA: The Secret of Life
8. Parallel Universes, Alternative Timelines & Multiverse
9. What Is The Higgs Boson?
10. Infinity

[26] Evolution:

The story of our evolution and the emergence of self-aware human beings.

1. The Origin of Life
2. Homo Sapiens: The Birth of Humanity
3. Beyond Me
4. The Global Brain
5. Metanoia: A New Vision of Nature
6. Birth Of A New Humanity
7. Samsara
8. Ape Man: Adventures in Human Evolution
9. The Incredible Human Journey
10. The Human Family Tree

[27] Psychology and The Brain:

New research is shining a spotlight on how we can improve our brains.

1. How Smart Can We Get?
2. The Science of Lust
3. The Secret You
4. What Are Dreams?
5. A Virus Called Fear
6. Beyond Thought (Awareness Itself)
7. The Human Brain
8. Superconscious Mind: How To Double Your Brain’s Performance
9. How Does Your Memory Work?
10. Secrets of the Mind

[28] Modern History:

The story of the Enlightenment, the Industrial Revolution and the rise of the modern world.

1. The Entrepreneurs Who Built America
2. History of the World in Two Hours
3. The Industrial Revolution
4. The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich
5. The Adventure of the English Language
6. The French Revolution
7. Big Sugar
8. The Spanish Inquisition
9. The American Revolution
10. The Mexican American War

[29] Pre-Modern History:

The story of the Americas and European history in the pre-modern world.

1. America Before Columbus
2. The Dark Ages
3. Socrates, Aristotle and Plato
4. The Medici: The Most Influencial Family In The World
5. Rome: The Rise And Fall Of An Empire
6. History of Britain: The Myth of the Anglo-Saxon Invasion
7.  A History of Celtic Britain
8. The Crusades: Victory and Defeat
9. The Vikings: Voyage To America
10. Copernicus and the Scientific Revolution

[30] Current Events:

Become more informed about current events that are shaping the world.

1. Syria: The Reckoning
2. Empire: Putin’s Russia
3. The New Arms Race
4. The Killing of Yasser Arafat
5. Egypt In Crisis
6. Inside Obama’s Presidency
7. The Untouchables: How Obama Protected Wall Street
8. Behind The Rhetoric: The Real Iran
9. A History of the Middle East since WWII
10. Climate Wars

[31] Ancient Civilizations:

Fascination explorations into the ancient civilizations of our past.

1. When God Was a Girl: When Goddesses Ruled The Heavens and Earth
2. The Persian Empire : Most Mysterious Civilization in the Ancient World
3. What The Ancients Did For Us
4. What the Ancients Knew
5. Egypt: Beyond the Pyramids
6. Secrets of the Ancient Empires
7. Constellations & Ancient Civilizations
8. Graham Hancock’s Quest For The Lost Civilization
9. Atlantis: The Lost Continent
10. Seven Wonders of the Ancient World

I hope you enjoy watching some of these mind expanding documentaries! If you have a personal favorite, please share it with everyone in the comments.

Thousands flee explosive eruption at Mt. Kelud

Mt. Kelud

© Wikimedia Commons
Mount Kelud in Kediri, East Java.

Thousands of people were reported to have fled their homes in the East Java district of Kediri when Mount Kelud erupted late on Thursday night.

The eruption shot a column of smoke 10 kilometers into the atmosphere, according to Surono, the former head of the Volcanology and Disaster Mitigation Center (PVMBG), as quoted by Viva, and sent gravel raining down as far as 50 kilometers from the crater of the volcano.

The eruption at 10:50 p.m. was preceded by a seismic earthquake was felt as far away as the Central Java town of Solo, the Jakarta Globe’s Ari Susanto reported, and heard as far away as Yogyakarta, 200 kilometers away, according to Tempo.

Experts had warned that any eruption would be particularly explosive, given how quickly the volcanic activity had escalated at Kelud since Feb. 2. The eruption occurred less than two hours after authorities raised the alert to the highest level on the four-point scale, although residents had already begun evacuating since Thursday afternoon, MetroTVNews reported.

Sutopo Purwo Nugroho, a spokesman for the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB), told Republika that “thousands” of people had left the area and evacuation efforts were still ongoing.

He said authorities had imposed a 10-kilometer exclusion radius around the crater, double the five kilometers established earlier this week.

Supeno, the head of the East Java office of the National Search and Rescue Agency (Basarnas), told Viva that there were no reports yet of casualties as a result of the eruption, and that his office was focused on getting everyone out of the 10-kilometer exclusion radius.

The story continues to develop.

Two dead and 200,000 told to evacuate as Indonesia’s Mount Kelud erupts

Mount Kelud eruption

© AP
A pedicab makes its way on a street covered with volcanic ash from an eruption of Mount Kelud, in Solo, Central Java, Friday. Volcanic ash from a major eruption in Indonesia shrouded a large swath of the country’s most densely populated island on Friday and closed three nearby international airports.

A spectacular volcanic eruption in Indonesia has killed at least two people and forced mass evacuations, disrupting long-haul flights and closing international airports Friday.

Mount Kelud, considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes on the main island of Java, spewed red-hot ash and rocks high into the air late Thursday night just hours after its alert status was raised.

TV images showed ash and rocks raining down on nearby villages, while AFP correspondents at the scene saw terrified locals covered in ash fleeing in cars and on motorbikes towards evacuation centres.

A man and a woman, both in their 60s, were crushed to death after volcanic material blanketed rooftops, causing their separate homes in the sub-district of Malang to cave in, National Disaster Mitigation Agency Spokesman Sutopo Purwo Nugroho said.

“The homes were poorly built and seemed to have collapsed easily under the weight,” he said.

Some 200,000 people in a 10-kilometre (six-mile) radius from the volcano were ordered to evacuate, according to national disaster officials, though many tried to return to their homes to gather clothing and valuables — only to be forced back by a continuous downpour of volcanic materials.

“A rain of ash, sand and rocks is reaching up to 15 kilometres (nine miles)” from the volcano’s crater, Nugroho said.

Virgin Australia said it had cancelled all its flights to and from Phuket, Denpasar, Christmas Island and Cocos Island on Friday, saying in a statement that “the safety of our customers is the highest priority” and that the airline would keep monitoring the plume.

Australian nurse Susanne Webster, 38, was on a late-morning Virgin flight from Sydney to Bali that was turned around.

“About two hours in, the pilot announced over in Indonesia there was a volcano that erupted and that we were turning the plane back,” she told AFP, adding they were still in Australian airspace at the time.

“We will have to call them this afternoon for rescheduling, but I doubt we will be travelling soon,” she said.

A spokeswoman for Australian airline Qantas said that Friday flights between Jakarta and Sydney had been pushed back to Saturday.

“Flight paths from Australia to Singapore have been altered as a result of the volcanic ash cloud in Java,” she said.

The ash has blanketed the Javanese cities of Surabaya, Yogyakarta and Solo, where international airports have been closed temporarily, Transport Ministry director general of aviation Herry Bakti told AFP, while Metro TV showed images of grounded planes covered in ash.

“All flights to those airports have been cancelled, and other flights, including some between Australia and Indonesia, have been rerouted,” Bakti said.

“We will reassess the situation tonight regarding reopening the airports, but at the moment, it’s too dangerous to fly anywhere near the plume.”

On the outskirts of Yogyakarta, authorities closed Borobudur — the world’s largest Buddhist temple, which attracts hundred of tourists daily — after it was also rained upon with dust from the volcano some 200 kilometres east.

At a temporary shelter in the village of Bladak, roughly 10 kilometres from the volcano’s crater, around 400 displaced people, including children, slept on the floor wearing safety masks.

The Center for Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation said there was little chance of another eruption as powerful as Thursday night’s, but tremors around the volcano could still be felt Friday as volcanic materials continued to blanket the rooftops of entire villages.

Communities within the affected 15-kilometre radius began clearing piles of grey ash as high as five centimetres from roads, Nugroho said.

The National Search and Rescue Agency warned residents not to return home as lava was still flowing through some villages, while sulphur was lingering in the air in others.

The 1,731-metre (5,712-foot) Mount Kelud has claimed more than 15,000 lives since 1500, including around 10,000 deaths in a massive 1568 eruption.

It is one of some 130 active volcanoes in Indonesia, which sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, a belt of seismic activity running around the basin of the Pacific Ocean.

Earlier this month another volcano, Mount Sinabung on western Sumatra island, unleashed an enormous eruption that left at least 16 people dead and has been erupting on an almost daily basis since September.

Global Warming? Freezes Venice. Lake Superior Will Freeze Over this Winter

How to explain record cold temperatures? Well, global warming has “paused,” according to warmist scientists.

EPA Administrator: We ‘Look at Climate Change As Something Where We … Can Grow Jobs’

‘Gina McCarthy, administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asked scientists at a climate change conference on Thursday in Arlington, Va., to explain the science of climate change.

She also said that the EPA looks at climate change as an opportunity to grow the economy and create jobs.

“Scientists, you folks help us understand our world,” McCarthy said at the 14th National Conference and Global Forum on Science, Policy and the Environment: Building Climate Solutions, sponsored by the National Council for Science and the Environment (NCSE). “You help EPA to meet our mission of public health protection and environmental protection.’

 

lakesuperior

They cite a study published in the Nature Climate Change journal. It says increased trade winds in the central and eastern areas of the Pacific have forced warm surface water deep within the ocean and that has reduced the amount of heat released into the atmosphere.

The warming pause was taken up by the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). It declared in its 2013 climate report that the Earth is going through a solar minimum and the oceans are sucking up most of the heat.

Not to worry, though. “This hiatus could persist for much of the present decade if the trade wind trends continue, however rapid warming is expected to resume once the anomalous wind trends abate,” the Nature Climate Change report states.

Here’s another anomaly. For the first times in decades, Lake Superior, the largest body of fresh water in the world, is predicted to freeze over this winter. A sheet of ice will form over the surface of the three-quadrillion-gallon lake. The mean thickness of the ice, reports the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, will be over 10 inches.

According to Jay Austin, associate professor at the Large Lakes Observatory in Duluth, Minnesota, the ice will produce an “air conditioning” effect this summer. “Typically, the lake will start warming up in late June, but it will be August before we see that this year,” Austin told CNSNews.com.

In September, there was a 29 percent increase in the amount of ocean covered with ice over the previous year. An unbroken ice sheet more than half the size of Europe stretched from the Canadian islands to the north shores of Russia, The Telegraph reported. The Northwest Passage, the route through the Canadian Arctic Archipelago that links the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, was clogged with ice all last year.

And then somebody at the IPCC leaked a report last year that had scientists reversing their convictions on global warming. Some now believe we’re in for a period of global cooling, not warming.

For now, it looks like civilization will not have to be dismantled to save us from the threat of “human-induced” global warming. Instead, civilization will benefit from more efficient ways to keep humans warm as the “hiatus” continues.

Severe winter storm hits Northeast US, heavy snow warnings for the Oregon Cascades and the California Sierras

An unusually heavy winter storm set up on Monday night over southwestern Kansas peaked over Kansas City on Tuesday, February 4, bringing heavy snow and disrupting traffic. The system moved through the central United States and headed north-east into Pennsylvania, New York and New England. By Wednesday evening almost a million homes and businesses were without power. Some 5 579 US flights were delayed, and 3 208 canceled across the country.

The storm system forced the closing of many state offices and schools in Kansas, where Governor Sam Brownback declared a state of “disaster emergency.” Authorities in Kansas and neighboring Missouri advised residents to stay in their homes and the National Weather Service (NWS) warned of “extremely difficult travel conditions.” (Reuters)

The hardest-hit state was Pennsylvania. Gov. Tom Corbett said that late on Wednesday there were still about 586 000 customers without power, down from a peak of 849 00 earlier in the day.

Corbett said he has signed a disaster emergency proclamation, freeing up state agencies to use all available resources and personnel. “People are going to have to have some patience at this point,” Corbett said, warning that an overnight refreeze could cause more problems on the roads Thursday. (AP)

Officials in New York and New Jersey warned they were starting to run short of the rock salt used by road crews to keep ice from building up on highways and local roads.

Other affected states were Maryland, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Delaware, and Ohio.

Video courtesy News USA / ABC

According to NWS, very cold temperatures and dangerous wind chills will settle into the central U.S. for the next few days. Meanwhile, an active weather pattern will bring much needed rain and snow to parts of the western U.S. Additionally, warm, dry and windy conditions will increase fire weather concerns across south-central Alaska through the weekend.

…Snow will come to an end in the Northeast tonight as Arctic air surges down into much of the northern and eastern two-thirds of the country…

…Low pressure systems from the Pacific will bring unsettled weather into the West…

A winter storm currently bringing moderate snowfall across much of the Northeast is expected to move steadily eastward this evening and will move away from the region later tonight.

Behind the storm, a large Arctic high pressure system will then build southward from Canada and become the dominant weather system for the eastern two-thirds of the country through the end of this week.

Temperatures will once again drop well below normal.

The coldest air is expected to settle across the High Plains where temperatures of lower than 40 degrees below normal are expected through Thursday.

By Friday, the center of the Arctic high should reach the Ohio Valley. A return flow from the south will begin a moderating trend across the Plains. Over the central and southern Rockies and into Oregon, areas of light snow are expected to linger as the Arctic front becomes nearly stationary. Meanwhile, a series of Pacific low pressure systems will then approach and move onshore into the West Coast on Thursday. This will bring a period of unsettled weather across California and Oregon on Thursday and Friday, and increase the coverage of snow in the Rockies on Friday.

In the Deep South, moisture appears to begin pushing northward from the Gulf of Mexico on Thursday, bringing scattered light rain into the Gulf Coast. The rain may reach as far north as northern Georgia Thursday evening where snow may even mix in. By Friday, the rain should push farther east into the Atlantic but could continue near the Texas coast.

Valid 00:00 UTC Thursday, February 6 – 00:00 UTC Saturday, February 8, 2014

Issued: Wednesday, February 5 – 21:00 UTC

Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center

Latest NWS Short Range Forecast Discussion, issued 07:50 UTC today:

…Heavy snow for the Oregon Cascades and the California Sierras…

…Temperatures will be 20 to 40 degrees below average from the foothills of the Rockies to the Mississippi Valley…

Energy moving onshore over the California Coast will race to the Southern Plains by Friday evening. Onshore flow associated with the system will aid in producing coastal rain and higher elevation snow over California and Oregon through to Friday, with moderate to heavy precipitation by Friday evening. Snow will also extend into parts of the Great Basin/Central Rockies along the associated stationary front. Snow will blossom over parts of the Southwest and Southern Rockies on Friday as well.

In addition, upper-level energy over Western Texas will advance quickly eastward to off the Mid-Atlantic Coast by Friday morning. The energy will produce snow over parts of Texas on Thursday morning. Upper-level jet dynamics along the Gulf Coast will aid in producing scattered rain over parts of the Central/Eastern Gulf Coast and the Southeast Thursday evening into Friday evening. Elsewhere, cold high pressure over the Northern High Plains/Central Plains will move eastward to the Ohio Valley by Friday evening.

Valid 12:00 UTC Thursday, February 6 – 12:00 UTC Saturday, February 8, 2014

Issued: Thursday, February 6  – 07:50 UTC

Short Range Forecast Discussion
NWS Weather Prediction Center

Featured image: NASA Aqua – acquired February 5, 2014

 

Active volcanoes in the world: January 29 – February 4, 2014

New activity was observed at 6 volcanoes in last 7 days, ongoing activity was reported for 9 volcanoes. This report covers active volcanoes in the world from January 29 – February 4, 2014 based on Smithsonian/USGS criteria.

New activity/unrest: | Asosan, Kyushu | Kavachi, Solomon Islands | Kelut, Eastern Java (Indonesia) | Shishaldin, Fox Islands | Sinabung, Sumatra (Indonesia) | Tungurahua, Ecuador | Ubinas, Perú

Ongoing activity: | Dukono, Halmahera | Etna, Sicily (Italy| Karymsky, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia) | Kilauea, Hawaii (USA) | Nyamuragira, Democratic Republic of Congo | Nyiragongo, Democratic Republic of Congo | Sakurajima, Kyushu | Shiveluch, Central Kamchatka (Russia) | Suwanosejima, Ryukyu Islands and Kyushu

The Weekly Volcanic Activity Report is a cooperative project between the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program. Updated by 23:00 UTC every Wednesday, notices of volcanic activity posted on these pages are preliminary and subject to change as events are studied in more detail. This is not a comprehensive list of all of Earth’s volcanoes erupting during the week, but rather a summary of activity at volcanoes that meet criteria discussed in detail in the “Criteria and Disclaimers” section. Carefully reviewed, detailed reports on various volcanoes are published monthly in the Bulletin of the Global Volcanism Network.

New activity/unrest

ASOSAN, Kyushu
32.881°N, 131.106°E; summit elev. 1592 m

Based on pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 29 January an ash plume from Asosan rose to an altitude of 2.7 km (9,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted NW. Later that day a plume rose to an altitude of 1.5 km (5,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N. JMA reported that a very small explosion from Naka-daka Crater occurred on 31 January. An off-white plume rose 100 m above the crater rim and drifted S. The Alert Level remained at 2 (on a scale of 1-5).

Geologic summary: The 24-km-wide Aso caldera was formed during four major explosive eruptions from 300,000 to 80,000 years ago. These produced voluminous pyroclastic flows that covered much of Kyushu. A group of 17 central cones was constructed in the middle of the caldera, one of which, Naka-dake, is one of Japan’s most active volcanoes. It was the location of Japan’s first documented historical eruption in 553 AD. The Naka-dake complex has remained active throughout the Holocene. Several other cones have been active during the Holocene, including the Kometsuka scoria cone as recently as about 210 AD. Historical eruptions have largely consisted of basaltic to basaltic-andesite ash emission with periodic Strombolian and phreatomagmatic activity. The summit crater of Naka-dake is accessible by toll road and cable car, and is one of Kyushu’s most popular tourist destinations.

KAVACHI, Solomon Islands
9.02°S, 157.95°E; summit elev. -20 m (submarine)

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a plume of discolored water E of Kavachi, likely from lava fragments and dissolved gases. A bright area above the submerged peak suggested churning water. There was no sign that the volcano had breached the sea surface.

Geologic summary: Kavachi, one of the most active submarine volcanoes in the SW Pacific, occupies an isolated position in the Solomon Islands far from major aircraft and shipping lanes. Kavachi, sometimes referred to as Rejo te Kvachi (“Kavachi’s oven”), is located S of Vangunu Island only 30 km N of the site of subduction of the Indo-Australian plate beneath the Pacific plate. The shallow submarine basaltic-to-andesitic volcano has produced ephemeral islands up to 150 m long at least eight times since its first recorded eruption during 1939. The roughly conical volcano rises from water depths of 1.1-1.2 km on the N and greater depths to the S.

KELUT, Eastern Java (Indonesia)
7.93°S, 112.308°E; summit elev. 1731 m

PVMBG reported that during 1 January-2 February the number of shallow volcanic earthquakes at Kelut increased, with peaks of seismicity occurring during 15-16 January, 28 January, and 2 February. The number of volcanic earthquakes also fluctuated but increased overall. Earthquakes occurred 2-8 km below Kelut. The temperature in the crater lake increased 5.5 degrees Celsius since 10 September 2013. On 2 February the Alert Level was raised to 2 (on a scale of 1-4).

Geologic summary: The relatively inconcspicuous 1,731-m-high Kelut stratovolcano contains a summit crater lake that has been the source of some of Indonesia’s most deadly eruptions. A cluster of summit lava domes cut by numerous craters has given the summit a very irregular profile. More than 30 eruptions have been recorded from Gunung Kelut since 1000 AD. The ejection of water from the crater lake during Kelut’s typically short, but violent eruptions has created pyroclastic flows and lahars that have caused widespread fatalities and destruction. After more than 5,000 people were killed during the 1919 eruption, an ambitious engineering project sought to drain the crater lake. This initial effort lowered the lake by more than 50 m, but the 1951 eruption deepened the crater by 70 m, leaving 50 million cubic meters of water after repair of the damaged drainage tunnels. After more than 200 people were killed in the 1966 eruption, a new deeper tunnel was constructed, lowering the lake’s volume to only about 1 million cubic meters prior to the 1990 eruption.

SHISHALDIN, Fox Islands
54.756°N, 163.97°W; summit elev. 2857 m

On 30 January, AVO raised the Aviation Color Code for Shishaldin to Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level to Advisory based on increased surface temperatures detected at the summit crater by satellite images over the previous few days, as well as increased steam emissions observed on 29 January in satellite and web-camera images. No steam emissions were observed during 30-31 January. Elevated surface temperatures were again detected on 1 February.

Geologic summary: The beautifully symmetrical volcano of Shishaldin is the highest and one of the most active volcanoes of the Aleutian Islands. The 2,857-m-high, glacier-covered volcano is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes along an E-W line in the eastern half of Unimak Island. Constructed atop an older glacially dissected volcano, Shishaldin is Holocene in age and largely basaltic in composition. Remnants of an older ancestral volcano are exposed on the W and NE sides at 1,500-1,800 m elevation. Shishaldin contains over two dozen pyroclastic cones on its NW flank, which is blanketed by massive aa lava flows. Frequent explosive activity, primarily consisting of Strombolian ash eruptions from the small summit crater, sometimes producing lava flows, have been recorded since the 18th century.

SINABUNG, Sumatra (Indonesia)
3.17°N, 98.392°E; summit elev. 2460 m

PVMBG described activity at Sinabung during 24-31 January based on observations from a post in the Ndokum Siroga village, 8.5 km away. On 24 January dense white plumes rose as high as 1 km. During 25-26 and 28-31 January dense grayish-white plumes rose 0.1-1.5 km; on 27 January plumes rose 4 km. Each day pyroclastic flows traveled 0.5-4.5 km SE and S. Incandescent material was observed 0.2-1.5 km SE of the vent. Seismicity remained high, with constant tremor, hybrid earthquakes indicating a growing lava dome, and volcanic earthquakes. The number of low-frequency earthquakes continued to decrease. The Alert Level remained at 4 (on a scale of 1-4). Visitors and tourists were prohibited from approaching the crater within a radius of 5 km.

Badan Nacional Penanggulangan Bencana (BNPB) reported on 31 January that since activity at Sinabung had not increased residents from 16 villages outside of the 5-km radius were allowed to return to their homes. At 1030 on 1 February a large dome collapse generated pyroclastic flows that traveled 4.5 km S, killing 15 and injuring two people that had entered the 5-km exclusion zone without permission. On 4 February the number of displaced people reached 31,739 (9,915 families) in 42 evacuation centers, many from outside of the exclusion zone.

Geologic summary: Gunung Sinabung is a Pleistocene-to-Holocene stratovolcano with many lava flows on its flanks.  The migration of summit vents along a N-S line gives the summit crater complex an elongated form.  The youngest crater of this conical, 2460-m-high andesitic-to-dacitic volcano is at the southern end of the four overlapping summit craters.  An unconfirmed eruption was noted in 1881, and solfataric activity was seen at the summit and upper flanks of Sinabung in 1912, although no confirmed historical eruptions were recorded prior to 2010.

TUNGURAHUA, Ecuador
1.467°S, 78.442°W; summit elev. 5023 m

IG reported that during the morning of 30 January the seismic network recorded an increase in the number of events at Tungurahua including some low-magnitude explosions, long-period events, and seismic tremor. Ashfall was reported in Pungal (40 km SSW), Penipe (15 km SW), and Palictahua in the district of Penipe. Cloud cover prevented ground observations, but IG noted that satellite images indicated the presence of ash plumes and thermal anomalies. The number and size of explosions increased at night during 30-31 January, and then a sharp decline in activity was noted on 31 January, characterized by very low seismicity. At 1701 an explosion generated an ash plume that rose 2 km and drifted SE and SW.

On 1 February, between 0800 and 1700, a swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred in the upper conduit. Two moderately-sized explosions, at 1712 and 1732, generated ash plumes that rose 5 km, and pyroclastic flows that traveled 500 m down the NE and NW flanks. A larger explosion at 1739 produced an ash plume that rose 8 km and drifted SE and possibly SSE. Based on reports from IG, satellite images, pilot observations, web-camera images, and the Guayaquil MWO, the Washington VAAC reported that the ash plume rose to an estimated altitude of 13.7 km (45,000 ft) a.s.l., and drifted S at high altitudes and SW at lower altitudes. IG noted that pyroclastic flows traveled 7-8 km, reaching the base of the volcano and traveling over the Achupashal Baños- Penipe highway. Continuous ash-and-gas emissions followed; ash fell in multiple areas and total darkness was reported in Chacauco (NW). Explosions occurred every minute and vibrated structures in local towns. Pyroclastic flows descended the SW, W, NW, and NE flanks, and stopped short of towns and infrastructure. Ash emissions were sustained through the rest of the evening, and Strombolian explosions ejected incandescent blocks 800 m above the crater that fell and rolled 500 m down the flanks.

Activity gradually declined at 1900 until 2100 when explosions became more sporadic. On 2 February explosions at 0659, 0723, and 0801 were followed by ash emissions. During 2-3 February at least 10 explosions occurred and were heard in areas several kilometers away. On 3 February an ash plume rose 4 km and drifted N, reaching Quito as a mist of suspended very fine material that lingered most of the day.

Geologic summary: The steep-sided Tungurahua stratovolcano towers more than 3 km above its northern base. It sits ~140 km S of Quito, Ecuador’s capital city, and is one of Ecuador’s most active volcanoes. Historical eruptions have all originated from the summit crater. They have been accompanied by strong explosions and sometimes by pyroclastic flows and lava flows that reached populated areas at the volcano’s base. The last major eruption took place from 1916 to 1918, although minor activity continued until 1925. The latest eruption began in October 1999 and prompted temporary evacuation of the town of Baños on the N side of the volcano.

UBINAS, Perú
16.355°S, 70.903°W; summit elev. 5672 m

IGP reported that two earthquake swarms at Ubinas were detected: the first during 8-9 January and the second on 25 January. An emission was observed on 23 January. Seismicity increased again during 30-31 January. The Buenos Aires VAAC reported that, although a pilot reported an ash plume on 2 February, there was no ash detected in satellite images. The next day a pilot observed steam emissions with small amounts of ash; satellite images confirmed the presence of ash.

Geologic summary: A small, 1.2-km-wide caldera that cuts the top of Ubinas, Peru’s most active volcano, gives it a truncated appearance. Ubinas is the northernmost of three young volcanoes located along a regional structural lineament about 50 km behind the main volcanic front of Peru. The upper slopes of the stratovolcano, composed primarily of Pleistocene andesitic lava flows, steepen to nearly 45 degrees. The steep-walled, 150-m-deep summit caldera contains an ash cone with a 500-m-wide funnel-shaped vent that is 200 m deep. Debris-avalanche deposits from the collapse of the SE flank of Ubinas extend 10 km from the volcano. Widespread Plinian pumice-fall deposits from Ubinas include some of Holocene age. Holocene lava flows are visible on the volcano’s flanks, but historical activity, documented since the 16th century, has consisted of intermittent minor explosive eruptions.

Ongoing activity

DUKONO, Halmahera
1.68°N, 127.88°E; summit elev. 1335 m

Based on analyses of satellite imagery and wind data, the Darwin VAAC reported that on 29 January ash plumes from Dukono rose to an altitude of 3.7 km (12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 75 km SE. During 31 January-4 February ash plumes rose to an altitude of 2.1 km (7,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted 55-185 km S, SE, and E.

Geologic summary: Reports from this remote volcano in northernmost Halmahera are rare, but Dukono has been one of Indonesia’s most active volcanoes. More-or-less continuous explosive eruptions, sometimes accompanied by lava flows, occurred from 1933 until at least the mid-1990s, when routine observations were curtailed. During a major eruption in 1550, a lava flow filled in the strait between Halmahera and the N-flank cone of Gunung Mamuya. Dukono is a complex volcano presenting a broad, low profile with multiple summit peaks and overlapping craters. Malupang Wariang, 1 km SW of Dukono’s summit crater complex, contains a 700 x 570 m crater that has also been active during historical time.

ETNA, Sicily (Italy)
37.734°N, 15.004°E; summit elev. 3330 m

INGV reported that on 28 January there was a gradual but steady decrease of activity at Etna’s New Southeast Crater (NSEC). Weak and sporadic Strombolian explosions were detected at night, but then the thermal cameras recorded no anomalies associated with Strombolian activity. Lava flows from two vents at the base of the NSEC cone continued to effuse at a very low rate. Weather conditions almost entirely prevented observations of Etna from the morning of 30 January until the evening of 3 February. Late on 3 February observers noted that the lava flow remained active and was several hundred meters long. Almost continuous ash emissions from NSEC began at about 1300 on 4 February and continued into the night; about 5-10 ash puffs were separated by steam emissions. Ash plumes drifted E. After sunset jets of hot material were observed rising 100 m above the crater rim. At 2000 the ash emissions and injection of incandescent material ceased, but the lava flow continued and reached 1 km long.

Geologic summary: Mount Etna, towering above Catania, Sicily’s second largest city, has one of the world’s longest documented records of historical volcanism, dating back to 1500 BC. Historical lava flows cover much of the surface of this massive basaltic stratovolcano, the highest and most voluminous in Italy. Two styles of eruptive activity typically occur at Etna. Persistent explosive eruptions, sometimes with minor lava emissions, take place from one or more of the three prominent summit craters, the Central Crater, NE Crater, and SE Crater. Flank eruptions, typically with higher effusion rates, occur less frequently and originate from fissures that open progressively downward from near the summit. A period of more intense intermittent explosive eruptions from Etna’s summit craters began in 1995. The active volcano is monitored by the Instituto Nazionale di Geofisica e Volcanologia (INGV) in Catania.

KARYMSKY, Eastern Kamchatka (Russia)
54.05°N, 159.45°E; summit elev. 1536 m

KVERT reported that Vulcanian and Strombolian activity at Karymsky continued during 24-31 January. Satellite images detected a daily bright thermal anomaly on the volcano. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geologic summary: Karymsky, the most active volcano of Kamchatka’s eastern volcanic zone, is a symmetrical stratovolcano constructed within a 5-km-wide caldera that formed about 7,600-7,700 radiocarbon years ago. Construction of the Karymsky stratovolcano began about 2,000 years later. The latest eruptive period began about 500 years ago, following a 2,300-year quiescence. Much of the cone is mantled by lava flows less than 200 years old. Historical eruptions have been Vulcanian or Vulcanian-Strombolian with moderate explosive activity and occasional lava flows from the summit crater. Most seismicity preceding Karymsky eruptions has originated beneath Akademia Nauk caldera, which is located immediately S of Karymsky volcano and erupted simultaneously with Karymsky in 1996.

KILAUEA, Hawaii (USA)
19.421°N, 155.287°W; summit elev. 1222 m

During 29 January-4 February 2014 HVO reported that the circulating lava lake occasionally rose and fell in the deep pit within Kilauea’s Halema’uma’u Crater. The plume from the vent continued to deposit variable amounts of ash, spatter, and Pele’s hair onto nearby areas. At Pu’u ‘O’o Crater, glow emanated from spatter cones on the N and S portions of the crater floor. A lava pond was active in the NE spatter cone. The 7.8-km-long Kahauale’a 2 lava flow (based on a satellite image from 27 January), fed by the NE spatter cone, was active with scattered break-out flows 4.8 and 6.7 km NE of Pu’u ‘O’o that burned the forest. On 31 January a few brief lava overflows occurred from two of the cones.

Geologic summary: Kilauea, one of five coalescing volcanoes that comprise the island of Hawaii, is one of the world’s most active volcanoes. Eruptions at Kilauea originate primarily from the summit caldera or along one of the lengthy E and SW rift zones that extend from the caldera to the sea. About 90% of the surface of Kilauea is formed of lava flows less than about 1,100 years old; 70% of the volcano’s surface is younger than 600 years. A long-term eruption from the East rift zone that began in 1983 has produced lava flows covering more than 100 sq km, destroying nearly 200 houses and adding new coastline to the island.

NYAMURAGIRA, Democratic Republic of Congo
1.408°S, 29.20°E; summit elev. 3058 m

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a gas-and-steam plume rising from Nyamuragira.

Geologic summary: Africa’s most active volcano, Nyamuragira (Also spelled Nyamulagira) is a massive basaltic shield volcano N of Lake Kivu and NW of Nyiragongo volcano. Lava flows from Nyamuragira cover 1,500 sq km of the East African Rift. The 3058-m-high summit is truncated by a small 2 x 2.3 km summit caldera that has walls up to about 100 m high. About 40 historical eruptions have occurred since the mid-19th century within the summit caldera and from numerous fissures and cinder cones on the volcano’s flanks. A lava lake in the summit crater, active since at least 1921, drained in 1938. Twentieth-century flank lava flows extend more than 30 km from the summit, reaching as far as Lake Kivu.

NYIRAGONGO, Democratic Republic of Congo
1.52°S, 29.25°E; summit elev. 3470 m

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, a satellite image acquired on 29 January showed a gas-and-steam plume rising from Nyiragongo.

Geologic summary: One of Africa’s most notable volcanoes, Nyiragongo contained an active lava lake in its deep summit crater that drained catastrophically through its outer flanks in 1977. In contrast to the low profile of its neighboring shield volcano, Nyamuragira, Nyiragongo displays the steep slopes of a stratovolcano. Benches in the steep-walled, 1.2-km-wide summit crater mark the levels of former lava lakes, which have been observed since the late 19th century. About 100 parasitic cones are located on the volcano’s flanks and along a NE-SW zone extending as far as Lake Kivu. Monitoring is done from a small observatory building located in Goma, ~18 km S of the Nyiragongo crater.

SAKURAJIMA, Kyushu
31.585°N, 130.657°E; summit elev. 1117 m

JMA reported that during 27-31 January five explosions from Sakurajima’s Showa Crater ejected tephra as far as 1,300 m. The Alert Level remained at 3 (on a scale of 1-5). The Tokyo VAAC reported that on 29 January and during 31 January-2 February and on 4 February ash plumes rose to altitudes of 1.5-4.9 km (5,000-12,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted N, NE, and E.

Geologic summary: Sakura-jima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow was associated with the formation of the 17 x 23-km-wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4,850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu’s largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.

SHIVELUCH, Central Kamchatka (Russia)
56.653°N, 161.360°E; summit elev. 3283 m

KVERT reported that during 24-31 January a newer lava dome continued to extrude onto the NW part of Shiveluch’s older lava dome. Lava-dome extrusion was accompanied by hot avalanches, incandescence, and fumarolic activity. A thermal anomaly was detected daily in satellite images, and ash plumes rose to altitudes of 7-8 km (23,000-26,200 ft) a.s.l. on 23 January and drifted N. The Aviation Color Code remained at Orange.

Geologic summary: The high, isolated massif of Shiveluch volcano (also spelled Sheveluch) rises above the lowlands NNE of the Kliuchevskaya volcano group and forms one of Kamchatka’s largest and most active volcanoes. The currently active Molodoy Shiveluch lava-dome complex was constructed during the Holocene within a large breached caldera formed by collapse of the massive late-Pleistocene Strary Shiveluch volcano. At least 60 large eruptions of Shiveluch have occurred during the Holocene, making it the most vigorous andesitic volcano of the Kuril-Kamchatka arc. Frequent collapses of lava-dome complexes, most recently in 1964, have produced large debris avalanches whose deposits cover much of the floor of the breached caldera. Intermittent explosive eruptions began in the 1990s from a new lava dome that began growing in 1980. The largest historical eruptions from Shiveluch occurred in 1854 and 1964.

SUWANOSEJIMA, Kyushu
29.635°N, 129.716°E; summit elev. 799 m

Based on JMA notices and pilot observations, the Tokyo VAAC reported that on 2 February ash plumes from Suwanosejima rose to altitudes of 1.8-3 km (6,000-10,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted SE and SSE.

Geologic summary: The 8-km-long, spindle-shaped island of Suwanose-jima in the northern Ryukyu Islands consists of an andesitic stratovolcano with two historically active summit craters. Only about 50 persons live on the sparsely populated island. The summit of the volcano is truncated by a large breached crater extending to the sea on the east flank that was formed by edifice collapse. Suwanose-jima, one of Japan’s most frequently active volcanoes, was in a state of intermittent strombolian activity from On-take (Otake), the NE summit crater, that began in 1949 and lasted until 1996, after which periods of inactivity lengthened. The largest historical eruption took place in 1813-14, when thick scoria deposits blanketed residential areas, and the SW crater produced two lava flows that reached the western coast. At the end of the eruption the summit of On-take collapsed forming a large debris avalanche and creating the horseshoe-shaped Sakuchi caldera, which extends to the eastern coast. The island remained uninhabited for about 70 years after the 1813-1814 eruption. Lava flows reached the eastern coast of the island in 1884.

Source: GVP

TransCanada Pipeline Explosion Shuts Off Gas For 4,000 Residents In Sub-Zero Temperatures

explosionCREDIT: YOUTUBE/ROBERTO GOMEZ

A natural gas pipeline operated by TransCanada Corp. exploded and caught fire in the Canadian province of Manitoba on Saturday, shutting off gas supplies for as many as 4,000 residents in sub-zero temperatures.

“We could see these massive 200- to 300-meter high flames just shooting out of the ground and it literally sounded like a jet plane,” resident Paul Rawluk told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp.

Watch a video of the explosion here:

 

 

There were no injuries and the area was evacuated as a precaution, according to the National Energy Board. TransCanada said the fire was extinguished by Saturday afternoon, more than 12 hours after it started, but in order to repair the line, they shut off the natural gas supply to several municipalities.

Temperatures dropped to -20 degrees Celsius overnight.

Niverville Deputy Mayor John Funk said that “service is expected to be lost for minimum of 24 hours to multiple days” in a statement on the town’s website. Funk also said that “Manitoba Hydro is asking residents to turn down thermostats and minimize use of electric heaters.”

There is no timeline for when restoring regular natural gas services so in the interim, compressed natural gas is being trucked in to the area. “The initial supply will be used to provide gas to critical services such as personal care homes and hospitals, as well as schools or churches being used as emergency warming centers,” the CBC reported.

TransCanada has also been pushing for the approval of its controversial Keystone XL pipeline to transport Canadian tar sands to refineries on the U.S. Gulf coast. Oil began flowingthrough the southern leg of the pipeline this week and in a conference call marking the announcement, CEO Russ Girling called Keystone XL “the safest oil pipeline built in America to date.”

As of November, TransCanada had already fixed 125 sags and dents in the southern leg of the pipeline, according to a report by non-profit consumer rights group Public Citizen. And while Girling told reporters on this week’s conference call that the company had “voluntarily agreed” to 57 conditions with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration (PHMSA), Jeffrey Weise, the agency’s head of pipeline safety, said last year that his agency “has very few tools to work with” and as a result, the regulatory process he oversees is “kind of dying.”

Indeed, a Wall Street Journal analysis released this week found that people discover pipeline spills far more often than the leak-detection technology touted by companies. Based on PHMSA data for 251 pipeline incidents over four years, the WSJ found that nearby residents or company employees were nearly three times as likely to detect a pipeline leak. Leak-detection software, special alarms and 24/7 control room monitoring, on the other hand, discovered leaks just 19.5 percent of the time.