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Japan’s Newest Island Is Now Eight Times Bigger
Japan’s newest island keeps on growing, and it has now taken on a cartoonish look.
Previously called Niijima, the volcanic island that first broke above the Pacific Ocean on November 20 has merged with a neighboring uninhabited island called Nishino Shima as it continues to expand.
The small volcanic island sits about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of Tokyo in Japanese waters, part of a chain of about 30 small islands called the Bonin Islands, or the Ogasawara chain.
The newest island is now about eight times bigger than it was when it first emerged. On November 20, it was about 1,640 feet (500 meters) off Nishino Shima, but the two islands have joined together, their growing connection marked by a narrow pool of reddish seawater.
Since the name Nishino Shima predates the newest part of the island, convention dictates sticking with that name for the combined landmass.
Regardless of the name, observers online have suggested that aerial photos of the new landmass show it resembles the outline of the classic cartoon character Snoopy.
Twitter user @etienneeshrdlu quipped: “Exactly as Nostradamus predicted. A new Snoopy-shaped island rises from the sea near Tokyo.” Twitter user @astralpouch wrote: “Holy crap … Snoopy island … I don’t care what they say I’m going over there.”
The island formed from the action of an underwater volcano, which released billowing smoke, steam, ash, and rocks from an explosive crater. (Watch video.)
In November, Japanese scientists were unsure how long the island would last, as the ocean often reclaims such volcanic islets within a short time.
But last month, Japanese scientists said they expect the island tosurvive for at least several years, if not permanently.
According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, the volcano last erupted in 1973 and 1974.
The new island mass lies about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the nearest inhabited island. While most people in Japan live on its four large islands, the nation is actually made up of thousands of islands, some of which have been involved in territorial disputes with China. 
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Japan’s Newest Island Is Now Eight Times Bigger

Japan’s newest island keeps on growing, and it has now taken on a cartoonish look.

Previously called Niijima, the volcanic island that first broke above the Pacific Ocean on November 20 has merged with a neighboring uninhabited island called Nishino Shima as it continues to expand.

The small volcanic island sits about 600 miles (970 kilometers) south of Tokyo in Japanese waters, part of a chain of about 30 small islands called the Bonin Islands, or the Ogasawara chain.

The newest island is now about eight times bigger than it was when it first emerged. On November 20, it was about 1,640 feet (500 meters) off Nishino Shima, but the two islands have joined together, their growing connection marked by a narrow pool of reddish seawater.

Since the name Nishino Shima predates the newest part of the island, convention dictates sticking with that name for the combined landmass.

Regardless of the name, observers online have suggested that aerial photos of the new landmass show it resembles the outline of the classic cartoon character Snoopy.

Twitter user @etienneeshrdlu quipped: “Exactly as Nostradamus predicted. A new Snoopy-shaped island rises from the sea near Tokyo.” Twitter user @astralpouch wrote: “Holy crap … Snoopy island … I don’t care what they say I’m going over there.”

The island formed from the action of an underwater volcano, which released billowing smoke, steam, ash, and rocks from an explosive crater. (Watch video.)

In November, Japanese scientists were unsure how long the island would last, as the ocean often reclaims such volcanic islets within a short time.

But last month, Japanese scientists said they expect the island tosurvive for at least several years, if not permanently.

According to NASA’s Earth Observatory, the volcano last erupted in 1973 and 1974.

The new island mass lies about 80 miles (130 kilometers) from the nearest inhabited island. While most people in Japan live on its four large islands, the nation is actually made up of thousands of islands, some of which have been involved in territorial disputes with China

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WHAT IS AN AGATE?

Agates are semi-precious gemstones that are a variegated form of chalcedony (pronounced kal-sed’-nee), which is silicon dioxide in the form of microscopic fibrous quartz crystals. Agates naturally develop when an empty pocket inside a host rock fills in molecule-by-molecule, layer-by-layer as these microcrystals self organize to form concentric bands or other patterns. The colors and arrangement of the microcrystals are influenced by changes in pressure, temperature, and mineral content that occur during the formation process. Unlike other gemstones, each agate is unique. Even slabs cut from the same specimen will vary in color and design.

HOW DO AGATES FORM?

Agates develop as secondary deposits in hollow cavities, called vesicles. Although they can form in all types of host rock, most of the world’s agates developed in ancient volcanic lava. When the continents were first forming, layers of molten lava pushed toward the earth’s surface through rift zone cracks, volcanoes, and other geologic events. Within the lava, there were pockets of trapped gases. Later, these gases escaped through cracks that formed as the igneous rock cooled and hardened, leaving hollow cavities. Other cracks and seams also formed when adjoining sections of lava cooled at different rates.

These empty cavities and seams filled with fluids rich in dissolved and suspended quartz molecules (silica), as well as other mineral impurities. When the silica concentration became supersaturated, it developed a gelatin-like consistency either throughout the pocket or in a layer that served as the active crystallization front. Over time, the silica molecules began to form miniature fibrous microcrystals that attached to the sides of the cavity or seam. During the filling-in process other mineral impurities collected at the inside of the chalcedony silica band, forming intervening and often contrasting bands. This pattern repeated until the entire vesicle was filled in, or until all the silica rich solution was used up. If there was the proper balance of silica and mineral impurities, then the entire cavity filled with alternating bands. If there was an insufficient quantity of mineral impurity or if the pressures and temperatures changed, the cavity completed filling in with macrocrystalline quartz, or another form of silica.

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First photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/92003338@N04/10275488393/in/pool-97068393@N00/ 

Boulder opal split in two
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Boulder opal split in two

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"American Contra Luz Opal"The piece has a botryoidal jasper formation which forms a unique inclusion.http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21032/lot/1403/

"American Contra Luz Opal"
The piece has a botryoidal jasper formation which forms a unique inclusion.

http://www.bonhams.com/auctions/21032/lot/1403/

We used to think that an eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano would cover thousands of square miles in thick ash, with a thin dusting reaching as far as New York. We thought it would have world-wide climate implications and be an unprecedented disaster. We were wrong. It would be much worse.As it turns out, it’s nearly three times larger than we thought!(Thankfully, no eruption seems imminent in the foreseeable future.)Read more about the discovery here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25312674
sourced through ASAT, which is changing it’s facebook page to Science That
We used to think that an eruption of Yellowstone’s supervolcano would cover thousands of square miles in thick ash, with a thin dusting reaching as far as New York. We thought it would have world-wide climate implications and be an unprecedented disaster. 

We were wrong. It would be much worse.
As it turns out, it’s nearly three times larger than we thought!
(Thankfully, no eruption seems imminent in the foreseeable future.)

Read more about the discovery here:http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25312674
sourced through ASAT, which is changing it’s facebook page to Science That

Big Pic: An Overactive Russian Volcano Covers Kamchatka In Ash

Russia’s Klyuchevskaya volcano, one of the most active in the world, has been erupting since mid-August. Last month, it became even more intense, spewing ash from its summit (16,000 feet above sea level) in a plume that reached 32,000 feet above the Earth, along with fountains of lava. NASA’s Landsat 8 satellite grabbed a shot of Klyuchevskaya, located on Russia’s volcano-dense Kamchatka peninsula, in late October after its most explosive activity had calmed down.

This false-color image shows snow and ice as blue-green, ash, clouds and steam as gray, and lava as red.

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This is Trinitite, a remnant of the first ever atomic bomb blast. Also known as Alamogordo glass, it was left on the desert floor after the Trinity nuclear bomb test on 16 July 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The glass is mostly made up of arkosic sand and quartz that was melted by the atomic blast. It’s usually green, but there are also rare black versions, which contain iron from the tower constructed for the test, and red versions, which contain copper from the device used in the blast.Image: Shaddack/Wikimedia
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This is Trinitite, a remnant of the first ever atomic bomb blast. Also known as Alamogordo glass, it was left on the desert floor after the Trinity nuclear bomb test on 16 July 1945, near Alamogordo, New Mexico. The glass is mostly made up of arkosic sand and quartz that was melted by the atomic blast. It’s usually green, but there are also rare black versions, which contain iron from the tower constructed for the test, and red versions, which contain copper from the device used in the blast.

Image: Shaddack/Wikimedia

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5 of the most Amazingly Beautiful (and absolutely terrifying) Sinkholes Life is rather chaotic. On any given day, we are plagued by a number of unexpected and frightening events—divorce, death, sickness, accidents—the list goes on and on. And this list doesn’t even include any of the natural disasters that spring up: tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions. Yet, when all is said and done, there is one thing you can rely on…the ground beneath your feet. Although it may quake and tremble from time to time, for the most part, we have solid soil to stand on. And even through the Earth my rumble, we know that it’s not really going anywhere. At least, it seems that way…but unfortunately, the Earth is not quite as stable as it seems.Sinkholes: These terrifying monsters are massive holes that open up in the Earth without warning. They can be as small as a car, or they can span hundreds of acres. Some dip just a few meters into the earth, while others are over 600 meters (2,000 feet) deep. These beasts have swallowed people, cars, trees, and even entire houses or city blocks. Sinkholes are terrifying; they are unstoppable; they are deadly; and they are almost entirely unpredictable.Learn about some of the most amazing sinkholes at: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/5-of-the-most-amazingly-beautiful-and-absolutely-terrifying-sinkholes/
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5 of the most Amazingly Beautiful (and absolutely terrifying) Sinkholes 

Life is rather chaotic. On any given day, we are plagued by a number of unexpected and frightening events—divorce, death, sickness, accidents—the list goes on and on. And this list doesn’t even include any of the natural disasters that spring up: tornadoes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions. Yet, when all is said and done, there is one thing you can rely on…the ground beneath your feet. Although it may quake and tremble from time to time, for the most part, we have solid soil to stand on. And even through the Earth my rumble, we know that it’s not really going anywhere. At least, it seems that way…but unfortunately, the Earth is not quite as stable as it seems.

Sinkholes: These terrifying monsters are massive holes that open up in the Earth without warning. They can be as small as a car, or they can span hundreds of acres. Some dip just a few meters into the earth, while others are over 600 meters (2,000 feet) deep. These beasts have swallowed people, cars, trees, and even entire houses or city blocks. Sinkholes are terrifying; they are unstoppable; they are deadly; and they are almost entirely unpredictable.

Learn about some of the most amazing sinkholes at: http://www.fromquarkstoquasars.com/5-of-the-most-amazingly-beautiful-and-absolutely-terrifying-sinkholes/

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The island of Socotra is one of the most isolated non-volcanic landforms in the world. Sitting 240 km east of the Horn of Africa and 380 km south of the Arabian Peninsula, its geographic isolation over millions of years has ensured that a third of its plant species are found nowhere else on Earth. Clockwise from the top are dragon blood trees, desert roses, and a native succulent, Dorstenia gigas. Read more: http://bit.ly/45ptJq Images: (Top and right) Jan Vandorpe (left) Denis Romanov 
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The island of Socotra is one of the most isolated non-volcanic landforms in the world. Sitting 240 km east of the Horn of Africa and 380 km south of the Arabian Peninsula, its geographic isolation over millions of years has ensured that a third of its plant species are found nowhere else on Earth. Clockwise from the top are dragon blood trees, desert roses, and a native succulent, Dorstenia gigas. 

Read more: http://bit.ly/45ptJq 

Images: (Top and right) Jan Vandorpe (left) Denis Romanov
 

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‘Megaquakes’ cause volcanoes to sink into the Earth, researchers say


The scientists used satellite data to look for misshapen ground around the volcanoes before and after the massive Tohoku earthquake in Japan and Maule earthquake in Chile.


Science Recorder | Jonathan Marker | Monday, July 01, 2013

The two earthquakes that struck Japan and Chile in 2010 and 2011 have yielded new evidence to scientists on the potential damage that so-called “megaquakes” can cause – in addition to spawning tsunamis, crumbling buildings, massive loss of life, and opening up holes in the surface of the Earth.  In addition to the billions of dollars in damage and the loss of human lives, the earthquakes in Chile and Japan caused a number of big volcanoes to sink up to six inches into the ground, according to the study’s authors.
Following the 8.8 magnitude Maule earthquake in Chile in 2010, and the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake in Chile in 2011, scientists analyzed captured satellite data to look for markers of increased volcanic activity.  What they found instead was that the volcanoes appeared to react to the earthquakes by sinking slightly.  These two teams of scientists, who worked independently on researching volcanoes in Chile and Japan, published their respective papers in the online journal Nature Geoscience, which came out on June 30, 2013.
According to Matthew Pritchard of Cornell University, lead author of “Subsidence without eruption of Chilean volcanoes induced by the 2010 Maule earthquake,” “We use satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and night-time thermal infrared data to [analyze] subtle changes in ground deformation and thermal activity at volcanoes in the southern volcanic zone since 2010. We document unprecedented subsidence of up to [6 inches] in five volcanic areas within weeks of the earthquake, but no detectable thermal changes. We suggest that the deformation is related to coseismic release of fluids from hydrothermal systems documented at three of the five subsiding regions. The depth and shape of these hydrothermal reservoirs can also be constrained by our deformation data, implying that coseismic volcano subsidence could be used to prospect for geothermal resources. Similar subsidence observed at Japanese volcanoes following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake suggests this phenomenon is widespread.”
The scientists used satellite data to look for misshapen ground around the volcanoes before and after the massive Tohoku earthquake in Japan and Maule earthquake in Chile.  However, Pritchard stated that the find may have been nothing more than a fluke, saying, “There’s probably nothing special about it…Similar subsidence is probably happening after the biggest quakes in Alaska, Indonesia and other major subduction zones in which megaquakes are possible.  These two events are just the first to be detected because they happened when the right instruments were in orbit to get the data.”

Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/megaquakes-cause-volcanoes-to-sink-into-the-earth-researchers-say/#ixzz2XpwG0sBZ
 

‘Megaquakes’ cause volcanoes to sink into the Earth, researchers say

The scientists used satellite data to look for misshapen ground around the volcanoes before and after the massive Tohoku earthquake in Japan and Maule earthquake in Chile.

Science Recorder | Jonathan Marker | Monday, July 01, 2013

The two earthquakes that struck Japan and Chile in 2010 and 2011 have yielded new evidence to scientists on the potential damage that so-called “megaquakes” can cause – in addition to spawning tsunamis, crumbling buildings, massive loss of life, and opening up holes in the surface of the Earth.  In addition to the billions of dollars in damage and the loss of human lives, the earthquakes in Chile and Japan caused a number of big volcanoes to sink up to six inches into the ground, according to the study’s authors.

Following the 8.8 magnitude Maule earthquake in Chile in 2010, and the 9.0 magnitude Tohoku earthquake in Chile in 2011, scientists analyzed captured satellite data to look for markers of increased volcanic activity.  What they found instead was that the volcanoes appeared to react to the earthquakes by sinking slightly.  These two teams of scientists, who worked independently on researching volcanoes in Chile and Japan, published their respective papers in the online journal Nature Geoscience, which came out on June 30, 2013.

According to Matthew Pritchard of Cornell University, lead author of “Subsidence without eruption of Chilean volcanoes induced by the 2010 Maule earthquake,” “We use satellite Interferometric Synthetic Aperture Radar (InSAR) and night-time thermal infrared data to [analyze] subtle changes in ground deformation and thermal activity at volcanoes in the southern volcanic zone since 2010. We document unprecedented subsidence of up to [6 inches] in five volcanic areas within weeks of the earthquake, but no detectable thermal changes. We suggest that the deformation is related to coseismic release of fluids from hydrothermal systems documented at three of the five subsiding regions. The depth and shape of these hydrothermal reservoirs can also be constrained by our deformation data, implying that coseismic volcano subsidence could be used to prospect for geothermal resources. Similar subsidence observed at Japanese volcanoes following the 2011 Tohoku earthquake suggests this phenomenon is widespread.”

The scientists used satellite data to look for misshapen ground around the volcanoes before and after the massive Tohoku earthquake in Japan and Maule earthquake in Chile.  However, Pritchard stated that the find may have been nothing more than a fluke, saying, “There’s probably nothing special about it…Similar subsidence is probably happening after the biggest quakes in Alaska, Indonesia and other major subduction zones in which megaquakes are possible.  These two events are just the first to be detected because they happened when the right instruments were in orbit to get the data.”




Read more: http://www.sciencerecorder.com/news/megaquakes-cause-volcanoes-to-sink-into-the-earth-researchers-say/#ixzz2XpwG0sBZ