Norşuntepe the enigmatic tel in Turkey

Norşuntepe is a Tell in Turkey , about 25 km from Elazig near the Euphrates river. It is now in situated at the middle of the Keban dam , so little more than an island in the lake is left. The crown of the hill, had an area of approximately 500 m to 300 m, within which settlement traces were detectable.

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The site was excavated in 1968 by the German Archaeological Institute. The project had to be finished by 1974 because of the construction of the Keban Dam works and rising water level.

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During the excavations 40 settlement layers could be identified from the late Chalcolithic through all phases of the Bronze Age through to a Urartian settlement in the Iron Age ranged. After the Iron Age, which also supplied several richly furnished graves, the settlement was abandoned and destroyed by fire.

 

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More Unusual “Activity” at Yellowstone Super Volcano! Releasing Thousand More Times Of Helium Steam Than Anticipated

yellowstone-geyser-shutterstock-537x356 copy

February 19, 2014 — (TRN) — Some worrying developments are taking place at the Super Volcano located beneath Yellowstone National Park; the kind of developments that were seen shortly before other volcanoes erupted.  Not only was there a sudden rise in the elevation of the ground, and development of new cracks, but a gas called Helium-4, a very rare type of Helium, has begun coming out of the surface.  It is the presence of this gas that has scientists quite concerned.  If the Yellowstone Super Volcano were to erupt, it would be 2,000 times bigger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in the 1980′s.  Everything within 500 miles would be dead or destroyed within minutes, 2/3rds of the entire United States would be covered in volcanic ash and the climate of the entire planet would cool within a month.  On top of that, just this past week, the largest earthquake in the US took place just a few miles from Yellowstone proving hot magma is on the move.  Here’s what has scientists concerned:

Since late summer 2013, the Yellowstone GPS network has tracked a small ” ground deformation episode” in north-central Yellowstone National Park.

During the past five months, the NRWY GPS station has recorded about 3.5 cm (1.4 in) of uplift (the ground is rising) and about 1 cm (0.4 in) of southeastward ground movement, relative to a stable reference station north of the Park.

Measurements from other GPS stations in northern Yellowstone show smaller displacements, forming a circular pattern of deformation (circular — as in the round mouth of a volcano) consistent with a minor pressurization (building-up underground), about 6 to 10 km (4-6 miles) deep, near Norris Junction.

What has scientists very concerned is that Yellowstone has suddenly begun emitting massive amounts of Helium-4.  Helium-4 seems to be the predictor of activity, as proved with other volcanos.

For instance, as the volcanic island of El Hierro, the smallest of Spain’s Canary Islands, rumbled and groaned over the course of seven months in 2011 and 2012, gases silently percolated up through the island’s soil and groundwater.

Eventually, a spectacular plume appeared off the southern coast of the island, a sign that El Hierro volcano, an underwater volcano just offshore, had finally erupted.

[link to www.livescience.com]

The team’s analyses show that, as the El Hierro volcano began to stir, the crust fractured and helium, mostly from the mantle, flowed to the surface. As the actual eruption began, gas flow at the surface increased dramatically, and gas pressure beneath the island dropped. Then as seismic activity at El Hierro picked up again, the crust fractured and deformed extensively, and helium-4 became a larger component of the total helium released on the island. 

Looking at the past ratios of helium at Yellowstone 1978:

Helium isotope ratios (³He/4He) in Lassen Park and Yellowstone Park volcanic gases show large ³He enrichments relative to atmospheric and crustal helium indicating the presence of a dominant mantle-helium component.

[link to onlinelibrary.wiley.com]

Study released today on Yellowstone helium:

[link to www.nature.com]

The scientists who revealed today’s information report the quantity of helium-4 in Yellowstone’s gas emissions is hundreds to thousands of times greater than it should be — a sign that the crust is releasing its ancient stores of the rare isotope, the researchers said.”However, much of the helium emitted from this region is actually radiogenic helium-4 produced within the crust by decay of uranium and thorium. Today’s report shows by combining gas emission rates with chemistry and isotopic analyses, that crustal helium-4 emission rates from Yellowstone exceed (by orders of magnitude) any conceivable rate of generation within the crust.”  This means the Helium -4 is coming from very far beneath the ground, a clear signal that something big is happening that hasn’t happened in Yellowstone in our lifetime.

From LA Times

It’s up, up and away for ancient trapped helium at Yellowstone

LATimes:By Monte Morin

February 19, 2014, 10:15 a.m.

yellowstone

Steam plumes rise above thermal features along the Firehole River at Yellowstone National Park. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey determined that the famed national park was releasing hundreds — if not thousands — of times more helium than anticipated. (Ken McGee / U.S. Geological Survey )

 

In areas where there is little groundwater or movement in Earth’s crust, helium-4 can remain trapped and build up over time. This is especially true at Yellowstone, where inactive rocks, or what geologists call “craton,” have been estimated to be 2.5 billion years old. (The park is located primarily in Wyoming.)   Things began to change roughly 2 million years ago, however, when hot magma intruded on the crustal system from below and triggered several enormous volcanic eruptions, the most recent about 640,000 years ago.

For scientists, there are important implications to the recent developments at Yellowstone. Helium and other noble gases are used to estimate groundwater residence times—for example, scientists assume that the more helium-4 present in water, the longer that water has been sitting in the rocks surrounding it.

But the study of helium at Yellowstone shows that some of these assumptions—specifically helium-4 produced by the steady decay of elements found only within the rocks and sediments of the local aquifer — aren’t quite right. Helium can suddenly come into a system from unexpected places—a pocket of ancient rock, for instance, or a  magma source — so the dates in past calculations, particularly those from aquifers in volcanic regions or near earthquake faults, might be way off because of that extra helium.  Scientists, though, are used to dealing with new data that changes long-held theories; that’s the nature of science, after all.

One of the largest earthquakes in the US this week, at just M3.6, occurred close to Yellowstone crater, on 11 February. The area, which overlies a hotspot (where hot magma from the mantle rises to the surface) is characterized by frequent earth tremors, which often occur in clusters (or ‘swarms’) such as those of 2004, 2009 and 2010.

WHAT TO TAKE AWAY FROM THIS NEWS

1) The ground inside the gigantic mouth of the Yellowstone Super Volcano is rising and moving southeastward.

2) Helium -4,  not normally present, has suddenly appeared at Yellowstone  in unbelievably large amounts never seen before.

3) When Helium -4 was seen at other volcanoes, it appeared shortly before major eruptions of those volcanoes.

4) Prior to most volcanic eruptions, earthquakes occur near the volcano and just this past week, one of the largest earthquakes in the US  at just  M3.6, occurred close to Yellowstone crater, on 11 February.

Naysayers beware, the evidence is stacking up.  if you’re waiting for an mass-media announcement….it has now happened and wont get any more direct. These words don’t come lightly from experts who appreciate that such statements – if wrong – can undermine the jobs these scientists do.

We have previously (within the last week) been warned an eruption could occur suddenly with no warning….that was the warning!

All those living locally should not expect anything more but the evidence above!!

Tectonically speaking, Yellowstone lies to the east of most of the major earthquake zones which characterize western North America and the earthquake swarms around Yellowstone are related to movements of the magma which lies beneath.

Residents of the Yellowstone area, however, probably wish researchers would just hurry up and figure out whether or not the supervolcano that’s simmering below them and last erupted 640,000 years ago is going to blow again anytime soon.

Read more on related topic: Yellowstone indications of severe earthquake/eruption ,Yellowstone trembles againYellowstone ground raises 10 inches

Article Source TRN  Referencing Article LA Times

Fukushima radiation levels underestimated by five times – TEPCO

AFP Photo / IAEAAFP Photo / IAEA

TEPCO has revised the readings on the radioactivity levels at the Fukushima No. 1 nuclear plant well to 5 million becquerels of strontium per liter – both a record, and nearly five times higher than the original reading of 900,000 becquerels per liter.

Strontium-90 is a radioactive isotope of strontium produced by nuclear fission with a half-life of 28.8 years. The legal standard for strontium emissions is 30 becquerels per liter. Exposure to strontium-90 can cause bone cancer, cancer of nearby tissues, and leukemia.

Tokyo Electric Power Co. originally said that the said 900,000 becquerels of beta-ray sources per liter, including strontium – were measured in the water sampled on July 5 last year.

However, the company noted on Friday that the previous radioactivity levels had been wrong, meaning that it was also likely reading taken from the other wells at the disaster-struck plant prior to September were also likely to have been inaccurate, the Asahi Shimbum newspaper reported.

The Japanese company has already apologized for the failures, which they said were a result of the malfunctioning of measuring equipment.

TEPCO did not mention the radioactivity levels of other samples of both groundwater and seawater taken from between June and November last year – which totaled some 140.

However, the erroneous readings only pertain to the radiation levels measured in water – readings taken to measure the radiation levels in air or soil are likely to have been accurate.

In the basement of the station, the drainage system and special tanks have accumulated more than 360,000 tons of radioactive water. The leakage of radioactive water has been an ongoing problem in the wake of the accident at the Fukushima-1 nuclear power plant.

TEPCO also said on Thursday that 600 liters of contaminated water – which had 2,800 becquerels of beta-ray sources per liter in it, leaked from piping leading to a tank at the Fukushima nuclear plant.

A record high level of beta rays released from radioactive strontium-90 was detected at the crippled Fukushima nuclear power plant beneath the No. 2 reactor’s well facing the ocean, according to the facility’s operator who released news of the measurements mid-January.

TEPCO measured the amount of beta ray-emitting radioactivity at more than 2.7 million becquerels per liter, Fukushima’s operator said as reported in the Japanese media.

In March 2011, an earthquake triggered a tsunami that hit Japan’s coast, damaging the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. The catastrophe caused the meltdown of three nuclear reactors at the facility, leading to the worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl.

The water used to cool the reactors has been leaking into the soil and contaminating the ground water ever since. Some of the radioactive water has been escaping into the Pacific Ocean.

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.

Never before seen levels of radiation reported near Pacific

Operator of crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear complex said on Thursday, February 14, that the latest samples of water tested inside the complex contained radioactive cesium at levels never seen before by the embattled utility.

TEPCO, while admitting there may be a new leak at the site of a well located just 50 meters from the adjacent Pacific Ocean, confirmed that the levels of cesium found in its groundwater samples were as high as 54,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 137 and 22,000 becquerels per liter of cesium 134.

The levels of cesium are 600 times higher than the government regulation for contaminated wastewater allowed to be released into the ocean, with the samples testing 30 000 times higher for cesium 137, compared to samples taken just a week earlier. (Xinhua)

A spokesperson for TEPCO said that radioactive water is probably leaking from underground trenches that link the stricken reactor buildings to the sea.

Although TEPCO received a fresh injection of capital from the Japanese government (4 trillion yen / 38.3 billion U.S. dollars) they are still considering dumping toxic water into the Pacific Ocean as it fails to contain it in makeshift storage tanks.

According to AFP, the UN nuclear watchdog, IAEA, urged Japan to consider “controlled discharges” into the sea of contaminated water used to cool the crippled reactors at Fukushima.

USS Reagan sailors vs. TEPCO

Charles Bonner, attorney representing US sailors exposed to Fukushima radioactive releases during Operation Tomodachi [humanitarian] said:

We intend to put the nuclear industry on trial here, because it is the misrepresentation from the nuclear industry that nuclear energy is safe that has allowed this particular incident to occur. There’s this false sense of security that these for-profit energy companies such as Tepco, created in the public (NuclearHotSeat).

Featured image: Imagery © 2014 Cnes/Spot Image, DigitalGlobe, Landsat, Map data ©2014 Google, ZENRIN

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.

Satellites Glimpse Ultra-Powerful “Black hole” Whirlpools in Atlantic

Satellites Glimpse Ultra-Powerful “Black hole” Whirlpools in Atlantic

Satellites have shown two mysterious ‘black hole’ whirlpools in the South Atlantic ocean – ultra powerful “vortexes” which suck water down into the depths.

The whirpools – never witnessed before – would suck down ships, debris and even living creatures, moving 1.3 million cubic metres of water per second.

Two of the black holes – or “maelstroms” – have been sighted in three months by physicists from Zurich and Miami.

The powerful vortices of current have been described as ‘maelstroms’ and are ‘mathematical analogues’ for black holes – which is to say they do exactly the same with water that black holes do with light.

 

A whirlpool pictured by NASA.

A whirlpool pictured by NASA.

The discovery could give new insights into how oceanic currents transport debris and may even have implications for climate change studies.

Astronomical black holes bend space and time into a perpetually collapsing vortex. Light itself bends around them, which enables astronomers to recognise their existence.

Similarly, these oceanic maelstroms funnel current into an almost permanent spiral, trapping debris, oil and potentially living creatures in a body of water. Hardly anything leaks out.

The scientists used Edgar Allen Poe’s 1841 story ‘A descent into a Maelstrom’ to describe their discovery:
“The edge of the whirl was represented by a broad belt of gleaming spray; but no particle of this slipped into the mouth of the terrific funnel…”

The ability to apply the same mathematical principles to water currents on earth as black holes in space is an unexpected side-effect of the theory of general relativity.

This phenomenon has been observed in the South Atlantic and South-western Indian Ocean, using satellite imagery designed to spot the aquatic equivalent of black hole currents. According to scientists, the maelstroms are prevalent in this area thanks to the southbound Agulhas current in the Indian Ocean.

In a three-month period, two perfect matches were found to mimic black hole behaviour, “We have found exceptionally coherent material belts in the South Atlantic, filled with analogues of photon spheres around black holes,” said George Haller, from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich and Francisco Beron-Vera at the University of Miami in Florida, who worked on the study.

 

Top panel: Evolution of black-hole eddies (extracted from 3 months of data) in the South Atlantic over a period …

Top panel: Evolution of black-hole eddies (extracted from 3 months of data) in the South Atlantic over a period …

 

The phrase ‘photon spheres’ refers to the light that is trapped around astronomical black holes, and in this instance is comparable to the rings of debris that are forming around these ocean maelstroms. As Haller and Beron-Vera’s findings note, ‘these vortices will capture and swallow nearby passively floating debris.’In their research findings, Haller and Beron-Vora express their surprise at finding real-world examples that hold so closely to the theoretical equations. ‘Vortices in turbulence are often envisaged as rotating bodies of fluid, traveling as coherent islands in an otherwise incoherent ambient flow. This… …view is appealingly simple, yet challenging to apply in actual vortex detection.’

The maelstroms are detected by their rotating edges, which the scientists found were reliable indicators of the vortex within, based on pioneering research carried out by Stephen Hawking on black holes: ‘Intuitively, one expects that any…vortex in the fluid must contain such a singularity in its interior, just as all black holes are expected to contain Penrose-Hawking singularities. This expectation turns out to be correct’.

The singularities, as they have been termed, last for months at a time, moving across the ocean without interference from other currents.Thus they can transport water of different temperatures and salinity to other areas of the ocean, potentially influencing the regional climate.

Haller and Beron-Vera found that the vortices transported water in a north-western direction 30% faster than had previously been reckoned – at a rate equating to 1.3 million cubic metres of water per second.

In addition, the maelstroms were found to occur four times deeper in the ocean than previously estimated; the study found examples as deep as 2000m below the surface.