Summer Schedule Part 2

Well, the summer is rapidly coming to an end - classes start here at Denison on August 30. So, we are trying to squeeze what we can out of the season and to that end, I'll be on one of these things called "vacations" for the next couple weeks. (Oh yeah, and I will be going through Yellowstone, so I'll personally check on those earthquakes, OK?)

That means Eruptions will be operating on the second summer schedule. No new posts until August 23, but some upcoming (automatically posted) articles including the answers to your questions for Sally Kuhn Sennert of the Global Volcanism Program and next week ... it is Etna Week with a week's worth of entries from guest blogger Dr. Boris Behncke.

(Oh yeah, and coming up after the break: Big news from Eruptions ... )

More like this

As a part of my continuing Q&A series, I am pleased to announce that Sally Kuhn Sennert, compiler and author of the weekly Global Volcanism Program Volcanic Activity Reports, is the next up to take your questions. A little bit about Sally: Sally Kuhn Sennert graduated with a Bachelor's degree…
I am back from our trip into the Mountain West - and it was great (see some of the pictures below). We hit Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, the Tobacco Root Mountains, Glacier and Craters of the Moon - and the weather held out on us just fine. This week is the last week before classes start here at…
Sorry about the lack of posts - I've been not only frantically prepping for class and my Eyja talk, but also I'm somewhat under the weather with an ill-timed sickness, so even though there is stuff to talk about, I haven't really had time/wherewithal to deal with it. However, expect big things from…
The first Q&A with Dr. Jonathan Castro was such a success, I'm going to try to make this a regular feature. On that note, Eruptions reader Dr. Boris Behncke has volunteered to be the second geologist to take the plunge. Here is a little about Boris and his work: I've studied geology first in…

Be sure to take a trip to yellowstone lake. :)

The tremors are increasing around the lake. Maybe a new EQ on the way?

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Holy cow, yep. We're nearing that winter solstice period when quakes have been very high at yellowstone the last 2 years. Maybe another swarm on the way before then?

Even if you got to the Yellowstone region and look at the stations around the lake the tremors are steadily picking up.

Look at stations YTP, YLA, LKW and YLT.

YFT is also showing signs of increased tremors. It is a bit west of the lake.

Probably just normal behaviour but still..Gets my interest..;)

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Actually scratch my last comment in the post above. Looking at the YTP station it reminds me of Jóns helicorders when it was picking up harmonic tremors.

Sooo..What is it?

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

A very nice link here if someone wants to look at all the graphs at the same time in Yellowstone. They are clickable as well and placed geographically on the map matching the stations they represent.

A few graphs were a bit interesting.

1. Madison River (YMR) which showed alot of tremor but then i realized it was only 125 microvolts and much of it can probably be explained by weather, wind or manmade.

2. The Promontory (YTP) also captured my eye since it seems to be a perfect example of harmonic tremors (as far as I have learned). AND it is 1600 microvolts. this could shurely not be manmade or weather/wind since it is so consistent.

3. Upper falls (YUF). Same as no.2. Just that it is 1428,57 Microvolts.

Another interesting thing is that these three examples are located in three different locations divided by a good distance. And lets not forget Teton (Indian meadows) same pattern just in a different scale (only 100 microvolts) but still very very consistent for many many hours.

By Daniel_swe (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Dunno how excited I wo0uld get about that whole "activity verses solstice" idea... a preliminary look at the data doesn't seem to support it.

I was on the Lunar phase vs quake idea for a while and actually got a pretty decent correlation for the time period that I tallied quakes. I ran out of patience with juggling 130K+ quake events and gave up after 5 years of data. While looking at it, I ran the Sun's Right Ascension verses the same data. Sure, you'll see some spikes in activity, but those are more closely associated with large events that happened during some period of the the data set... such as the Bander Ace mega thrust and all the aftershocks that went with it.

As for Yellowstone... no discernible up-tick in activity verses the Solstice shows up... at least as far as I can see.

This is a graph of the quake energy for the sample period, 1998 to 2010. Blue dots are individual quakes, the red line is a 51 point moving average. The general trend seems to be an overall decline.

Caveat: I am not a geologist. I just graph stuff.

Just to round things out... since I have the spreadsheet open, here is a depth plot of the same dataset.

Yellowstone was also covered here back on 28 Jan 2010 when Dr. Klemetti noted that the quakes of that swarm were getting deeper.…

This was before I was aware of this site, and I had seen the same thing in my plots and thought it was odd at the time. The previous swarm had started under Yellowstone lake and had progressed North to a region under the north shore, somewhat north of Fishing Bridge. The general talk at the time was that a hydrothermal event might be following, but it never happened.

hi i once read this thing on yellow stone and according to one man the chance of this ever erupting to size we expecting it to, is very slim he stated that it will never in our life time or children/childrens life time i will find this link and post it here as soon as i find it.

Hi there! Well, if we were to chose between Yellowstone and Katla, my bet goes for the latter. :)

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 11 Aug 2010 #permalink

Well, I've been reading Yellowstone for quite some time. There is a hotspot down there, I don't think it's petering out the way that some experts believe, but I don't think we have a
"supervolcano" event coming any time soon. Major hydrothermal events? Sure, well within reason. Effusive events? Sure, that's what volcanoes do. But when there is another large scale event, it's going to be further up the track, likely North or North East of Yellowstone lake based on the track of previous caldera forming events. Even this recent spat of quakes down south in Wyoming fit with that logic. As the hot spot moves along, it leaves a wake of seismic activity. The Wyoming quakes fall right inside of that "wake zone" as the terrain relaxes.

Just my 2 cents.

Thanks for the link, Lurking. This post from that thread in February is interesting. Do you think it might suggest that the current deep activity under Yellowstone might be linked to the deep quakes on the opposite side of the earth? See below, from Keith:
I have looked at the new Yellowstone "Plume" articles published in 12-09. It shows the plume extending downward to the northwest towards Montana from around 40 miles to a depth of 410 miles. The geologists that published the plume document think it goes to the core/mantle boundary. The magma chamber below Yellowstone is around 4 miles to 10 miles deep and is fed by "blobs" of hot rock breaking off the plume and rising upwards to the chamber at 10 miles deep.

The below UTAH http site shows that the 2/2-2010 earthquakes are now at a depth of around 5 km, which puts the most recent quakes in the magma chamber. In your most recent 1-28-2010 entry above, you state that the quakes are around 10 km and don't seem to be moving up to the chamber.

How do you read the data from early February that shows the quakes possibly moving upwards to the magma chamber around 5 km?

Earthquake info below

yellowstone magma plume article below

Posted by: Keith | February 2, 2010 11:29 PM

@Alyson [12]

Well, I'm just part of the viewing public, but my take on it is that the Yellowstone Hotspot is the trailing end of the turbulence from the final subduction of the Farallon plate. The back portion of it went under the west coast subduction zone â29 myr ago. At about 17.4 myr, the Columbia Flood basalts started to form. This is on the northern side of where the subducting slab went in, my guess is that as it detached from the Juan de Fuca, Explorer, and Gorda plates (the remnants of the Farralon) the turbulence from this detachment and final plunge caused and upwelling that gave us that formation, which took about 10 myr to make with it's various individual flows.

At about the same time, (shortly after the onset of the CFB), the first of the Snake River "supervolcano" calderas formed at about 15 myr (centered at 42° 2'11.99"N). At (roughly 14, 12, 11, 10, 6 and 4 myr, a new caldera eruption would form, tracking up what it now the Snake River plain. The last 3 ended at what we now call Yellowstone. (Island Park - 2.1 myr, Henry's Fork - 1.3 myr, and Yellowstone - 640 kyr) By now, what was Farallon plate is now sitting in a slab graveyard deep under the East Coast of the US.

What I find interesting, and don't have an explanation for, is that the Pac NW might be caldera prone. Prior to the Columbia Flood Basalts, and the Snake River marching caldera... (grin) there was a caldera (on the scale of Yellowstone) that formed roughly centered on the Ochoco mountians. I found this out by mentioning a quake cluster that seemed out of place north of Madras Oregon and Passerby pointed out the info a couple of
weeks ago.

Anyway, that's my take on it.

Info pointing out evidence that the CFB is a plume head:

The quakes north of Madras came up at post [107] in…

See post [120] for the info windfall from Passerby about the Crooked River caldera. (â29.5 myr ago)

As for a connection, only from the standpoint that it's the same planet. All those defunct plates/slabs have to collect somewhere while they melt and mix back into the mantle.

@11 im going to agree with that ,But maybe the Earth's core Expanding outwards in all directions i think i spoke of this before.

One of the most informative geological maps the USGS has ever produced. Period.

Look at the small volcanic rock map figure, right-hand side of the graphic. See where the motherlode of volcanic activity has occurred?.

Now look at the big map, same area. What is the age group color? See legend.

Thin crust, major melting, deep diving, folding and remixing of that ancient plate mentioned in Lurking's comment, above.

It's one of the reasons that we are *lovingly* exploring the topic of plate subduction and (island and continental) arc volcanism of the Pacific Ring of Fire (PRoF).

Cascadia Subduction Zone Volcanism

There is only one place in the world that ranks of equal importance to the PRoF, in the Big Picture of Global Effects, and that is Iceland, a topic we have also explored in depth here this Spring.

Open the jpg file in your favorite graphics programs. Overlay the next map as a semi-transparent layer, for geographical reference.

Put the resulting composite graphic on your desktop.
Study it at your leisure. Carefully.

Background webpage that helps put put eastern Pacific plate subduction into perspective:

Cascades Volcano Observatory is offline. The Wikipage will have do to until CVO is back in action, because there's a couple of USGS articles we need to read.

Juan de Fuca Subduction volanoes is one of them.

Fortunately, wikipedia can fill the gap for now.

At your leisure, you should read this article and take a good look at the figures. If you download the text body (2_text.pdf), the document has links to the figures if click with your pointer on the figure legends boxes at the end of the article.

Start with figure 1.

Now we should be set up to explore Aleutian Chain subduction mechanics, in the Open Thread.

@#7 Hmm, yes your graph doesn't seem to show any correlation to the solstice on a world wide scale. Could be activity is more locally affected rather than globally but it's funny about no uptick activity at yellowstone at or around the winter solstice. You would think the Madison plateau swarm would show up. But I was suspicious about the solstice due to the fact that yellowstone swarms became increasingly active over the last two winters, however it's a relatively small time scale to deal with could just be a couple of isolated coincidences.

It's funny how people keep finding the most esoteric outside causes for earthquakes, when the strongest outside forces, sun & moon's gravity (tide) show no correlation to earthquakes or volcano eruptions.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 12 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi #19, I do agree with you - earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happen because of internal processes within the Earth, very much of which is plate tectonics. These processes alone are sufficient to make quakes and eruptions happen. Maybe - just maybe - solar activity, moon phases, and planetary constellations can slightly influence the timing of such events, but certainly a fault must be just about ready to rupture and a volcano just about ready to erupt, otherwise whatever cosmic constellations will NOT trigger an earthquake or an eruption. So the speculations about whether and how much those outside forces influence quakes and eruptions do not really help us understanding when potentially devastating geological events will happen, and where, and with what characteristics. Working as a team of geologists and geophysicists in a seismically and volcanically active area (Sicily), we rely foremost on the signs that come from within this planet, and from within the volcanoes that we are keeping an eye on. Those signs, especially in the case of the volcanoes, are sometimes extremely helpful, but we've never established any whatsoever correlation with outside forces.

Well, the moon does, and you get the correlation every time you graph it.

Regular as clock work.

Mostly, it's an artifact of how much time the Moon spends as each phase of it's orbit, naturally, if the Moon is at a slow part of the orbit and spends more time there, then there will be a higher count of earthquakes. It's not that the Moon slows down, it's just that it takes longer to transition across either the New Moon or Full Moon than it does the other portions of the phase. Even that is more of a perception issue than anything else... but, if you invert this "dwell time" and back it out of the data, you get a curve that shows that quake incidence slowly goes up as you approach Full Moon, then spike and come back down, decreasing in incidence until you approach New Moon, then you have a tighter spike. Along the way, there are bumps in the curve that (pure conjecture here) I think may be related to the angular relationships of the Sun-Earth-Moon system.

But, the one thing you have to remember, is that I only used five years of data, and this graph is a product of me being bored @#$@less for two weeks. Nothing more.

@19 It's not esoteric. It's an interesting idea to explore I didn't say it was fact. But it sounds like to me you're telling us the moon and the sun have no geological effects on earth at all, I find that actually a little harder to believe.

@Chris [22]

It does have an effect, but it only really shows up in large quantities of data. For me, the phenomena is more of an entertainment issue.

Lets suppose that someone manages to accumulate all available earthquake data, and is then able to obtain the Sun-Earth-Moon positional relationship (the lunar phase serves well as a proxy since it's based on that) and were then able to do a binning, or summing of all quakes that occurred at a particular lunar phase. What they would get is a curve similar to the one I had, with spike on either end. Then, if they back out the dwell time, they get that last curve I posted.

Now, what are you going to do with the data? What bit of science can you do with it? "Somewhere there will be an extra quake mixed in with all the other quakes because we are at Full (or new) Moon."

It's handy knowledge but only so far as being able to do something with it. Personally, I think there is something to the angle relationships that show up as those bumps on the curve, but I can't prove anything, and it could all be a statistical fluke.

I've even gone as far as measuring off the major dimensions of some of the worlds larger plates in degrees to see if I could find a relationship. I'm sure there is one, but it's like trying to predict how the shell of an egg is going to behave when struck with a hammer.

Astronomical effects are excruciatingly small when compared to the amount of energy in an earthquake. Can there be an effect? Yes. Can you point to it and say "See, that's it over there!" No. Nothing proves that. The best that I could come up with it just some odd graphs. Berkley made a press release about a year or so ago that leaned towards there being an effect of the Moon on the San Andreas.

Again. What are you going to do with the data once you know it? How can it help the human condition?

I'm gonna stop now, I'm starting to yammer.

A question for you - we monitor EQs, strain and a host of other measurements. Do we measure temperature variations within the earths crust at differing depths at key locations around the globe?

To my way of thinking, all of these 'esoteric' factors have an effect on the earth that translate to temperature effects (however marginal) through translation of magnetic, gravimetric energy etc into kinetic energy via resultant friction effects, generating heat. Whilst these effects may be very small in themselves, they would be cumulative over time - unless the added energy was immediately released via increased temperatures at the earths surface.

With global warming and warmer oceans, there should be a slower rate of heat loss from the mantle to the earth's surface, as the temperature differential between the two is reduced, which would mean that increases in magnetic/ gravimetric sources of energy combined with global warming could/ should result in an increase in the earths energy and core temperatures as a whole, even if we are only talking about fractions of a degree at a time.

It is worth remembering that this heat transfer from the core to the surface accounts for approximately 50% of the earth's heat, with the remainder arriving from the sun.

Logically (to my mind) any increase in the earth's kinetics and thus core temperature would translate into icreased movement of tectonic plates in the earths crust, and increased kinetics should directly correlate to an increase in quakes and eruptions - but we are probably talking about effects that would only be measurable over decades or centuries, so we would need decades of data to see any correlation, as these accumulation of these effects would initially be very, very slow.

So the question is, are we measuring this temeperature data and ahs anyone looked at this? Hope this made sense.

My apologies for typos above. Brain works faster than fingers!

This nicely written article does a reasonable job of explaining the physics of indirect effects of delta-LOD on shallow earthquakes, through ocean mass (and probably coastal erosional deposition, although it's not mentioned here) loading on coastlines.

Note that lunisolar forces could play a role in deep focus earthquakes.

>The maximum value of the lunisolar stress within the depth range of earthquakes is â¼ 103 N/m2. This value is reached however at the depth of 500-600 km only.

Vargas et al. Proceed Journées Systèmes Référence Spatio-Temporels" Warsaw. Section 3.3. (2005).

I just recently saw some Dokus about the earth magnetic field and the influences solar storms have on it and so on.
Just a question: Could the earth magnet field and the spacequakes have any influence? The magma contains a lot of iron after all.
If you say no absolutely not. Cool, and very interesting.

@Birgit [32]

I'll take a stab at it if you will provide a definition of the term "spacequake."

I fear that it's a media term designed to heighten the appeal of whatever story they are pushing... much like "supervolcano."

There is the field of helioseismology that explores the vibrations occurring on the Sun. They look at things like doppler shifts at differing locations and layers on the Sun, wiggles in the spectral lines (most notably zeeman splitting in the presence of a magnetic field) etc.

The press also seems happy with coming up with terms like "Solar Tsunami"... okay, whatever. It was a large wave, I'll grant you that, but to call a wave with a peak to trough distance greater than the diameter of the Earth as a "tsunami" is a reach in my book.

Now, if you are trying to get at the iron or other conductive minerals attaining heat from the inbound fluctuations in the magnetic or RF field... yes, that is possible, but the amount of heating is far below the amount of heat that is lost/dissipated through other means. Add to that the slight problem of deeper strata being shielded by the overlying strata, the amount of power/heat added will drop off quite fast for RF energy induced heating. LF/VLF/ULF have the ability to penetrate deeper, but the power just isn't there. This is mostly just my opinion, but I did run the numbers verses the power level available from HAARP, a much maligned facility up in Alaska. If the Sun is putting out enough energy to do that on the Earth, radio communications as we know it would not exist. Marconi and Tesla would have given up.

Gravitational and Magnetic interactions are more likely, they both have deeper penetrating power. But if you start looking at magnetic energy levels capable of causing a readily observable phenomena in heating the crust, kiss your magnetic tape goodbye. The same goes for any floppy discs that were ever made. Again, there might be a long range wide scale effect, but I don't think there is enough juice there to cause an individual quake.

Gravity, well, gravity is a different critter. Gravity gives us tidal effects, moves large stuff in almost imperceptible ways. If there is an effect on quakes from outside or away from the earth, Gravity might fit the bill.

I will give you a caveat though, I have done a couple of plots (an old one and a revised version) that pitted worldwide Magnitude 4.5 and larger quakes vs the K index. It proves nothing, but it is an interesting plot.

Since the K Index background has to be spliced to make this plot, this is the last one of these I'll make.

Now, for a really odd thing discovered by watching Zeeman splitting:

"Sunspots may vanish by 2015"
William Livingston, Matthew Penn…

Essentially, they measure the magnetic field inside the sunspots and have noticed that it's falling. If the field intensity drops too low, a spot/active region will be unable to evacuate the flux tube of plasma... and will not show up as a spot.

Strange thing in the Teton Region of Yellowstone, all of the seismographs there stopped giving any readings a few hours ago but all of the stations in Yellowstone are working though.

Does anybody have any idea why?

Interesting about the mag field of the sun weakening and sunspots disappearing, personally I don't buy it. Reminds me of the silly movie Sunshine where the sun is burning out and they have to re-ignite it, interesting plot but quite unbelieveable.

Interesting about the yellowstone recorders, I wouldn't jump to any conclusions though.

Lots of quakes in Nevada popping up, funny though every time I hear of Nevada I think of military installations so I would connect any small quake there with underground weapons testing. I haven't plotted the locations it's only a thought, haven't explored the idea yet.


Buy it or not, it takes about 1500 gauss to evacuate a flux tube enough to where it appears black.

Sunquakes: Probing the Interior of the Sun; J. B. Zirker

All Livingston and Penn have done, is to take measurements of the Zeeman effect in and around the sunspots for the last few years. They don't make any assertion as to where this will go, since they don't know if it's a transitory effect coupled with the Sunspot Cycle or not.

Another oddity, is that in October 2005, the Ap index showed an apparent step change... almost as if something switched off. No idea what that was.…

@32: outdated watts blog info.

Cycle 24 has started, sunspot number is slowly inching up, but interestingly, global geomagnetic flux is lagging.

We'll get to the consequences of that, later on.

You may have remembered my post of a few days ago, talking about the Russian fires, cause of the record heat wave, and also ongoing discussion of atmospheric angular momentum and climate teleconnections of jetstream flows and anticlone blocking. I mentioned their connection to the flooding in Pakistan and China. And also now, record fires and heat in Portugal. These are extreme events. They are not coincidental and they are not entirely man-made nor natural. Read this.

We are making progress in the Big Picture.

@7@24 i can give you dates for september 21/22/23 2010 maybe that can be of some help meaning keep these date somewere and remember them and use that as a starting point for your research/experiment that the next phases for high g-factor sun/moon/planets ect as there nothing for august not saying this a fact.. but when lady E and katla was increasing EQuakes on the 30th june 10 again there was a phase going on at the same time.can it be or can it not be?

@ leon [38]

I can do you one better than that. On 21 Sep 2010 the Lunar Phase will be 94.8% and the Sun will be at 177.9164° R/A (as of 00000 UT)

22nd - Lunar phase 98.1% and Solar R/A 178.8938°
23rd - Lunar phase 99.7% and Solar R/A 179.8716°

Referring back to the plots that I posted in this thread, you can look up the quake incidence as compared to all the other Lunar phases and Solar R/A values on the plot. If there is anything to it, you should (might) see a correlation. Personally, I don't see anything to get really excited about. But there it is if you wish to try and prognosticate off of it.

Oh, and about that Livingston and Penn sunspot data. Dr. Leif Svalgaard maintains a running plot of the observations. So far, even with the current uptick of spots, they still fall on the trend line of declining magnetic intensity. That might also be why the rahter busy magnetogram images of the Solar disk don't match up with visible sunspots.

See for those images if you wish to compare.

Okay.... finger dyslexia got me. "rather"

@Renato Rio - Good article. I imagine that getting a good grasp on the amount of decay going on will give them firm data to back up other estimates of the amount of radioisotopes contained in the Earth.

By Lurking... nea… (not verified) on 12 Aug 2010 #permalink

There is an ongoing swarm SW to the Azores, on Mid Atlantic Ridge. So far more than 7 quakes, most of them 5+ mag. There are 13 active volcanoes over the archipelago, some of them, submarine. Could it be another on the way?

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 13 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Lurking and everyone
Found this website and thought you would like it. There are links to former events in Iceland, quake plots, and nice pics. Just found it during my daily web browsing, but it seems trustful to me, but I'm not an expert to tell.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 13 Aug 2010 #permalink

Hey everyone, all Yellowstone and Teton Region seismic monitors are off now, I'm not sure why though.

I see, only Teton region is offline. Maybe someone tripped over the internet plug?

Passerby @ #37

The reason for the warming in Russia is simple, ash aerosol absorbs Ultraviolet. The sunspots make it, and there aren't many/any reflective sulfates in the NH stratosphere presently. Eyjafjallajökull loaded the troposphere with water vapor, ash and particulate. That is not global warming, its regional warming.

Whoâll Stop The Rain Lyrics - Creedence Clearwater Revival

Long as I remember
the rain been comin' down
Clouds of mystery pourin' confusion on the ground.
Good men through the ages tryin' to find the sun.
And I wonder still I wonder who'll stop the rain...…

'Fogerty objected to what he regarded as a misuse of his music in an NPR interview: "Folks..don't remember all the really poor movies that Fantasy Records stuck Creedence music into: car commercials, tire commercials. I'm remembering a paint thinner ad at one point, the song "Who'll Stop the Rain". Oh, boy. That's clever, isn't it?"

In the big picture of Northern Hemisphere hydrologic budget, the Icelandic eruption was a drop in the bucket. The aerosols produced by the eruption were transported out of the region and dissipated long ago.

It's hemispheric warming with regional complications, but the core causes of the fires is drought from altered jetstream flows and landuse changes. The Indus River is shared by Pakistan and India, as source supply for municipal and agriculture. The elevation profile of the basin and over-withdrawal of irrigation water by both countries reduced the flow of the Indus. Without enough water to carry the copious sediment load, it was deposited in the river and in canals, dikes and behind the many dams and diversions that convey surface water throughout the valley.

That caused channels to silt-up, and when record rains finally came, the river had very little excess capacity to absorb the flows. The Indus River basin is heavily populated; the affected population had very few options to escape the floods.

China has had similar issues with river management, soil erosion, and increased urban development in regions that have slope stability issues.

The unusually stagnant jetstream conditions originated in the US in June and hit Europe, Central Asia. They affected temperature and humidity circulation right across the continent to Japan (heat wave and deaths in July, although we heard little of it), trapping jetstream circulation and shifting and concentrating the moonsoon rains.

"The unusually stagnant jetstream conditions originated in the US in June and hit Europe, Central Asia."

I'd like to see proof that the US is the point of origin.

Funny thing about that jetstream, when ever it parks over a really high CAPE area that is already bursting forth in thunderstorms, it tends to act like a venturi and draw the moisture up faster and higher... making tornadic conditions even more prone to larger/stronger tornadoes.

I've seen storm front after storm front exhibit this little coincidence.

Actually, thats a typo. The Jetstream can persist for a thousand miles or more, but that isn't the case here.

" the US in June and similar blocking patterns hit..."

>Funny thing about that jetstream, when ever it parks over a really high CAPE area that is already bursting forth in thunderstorms, it tends to act like a venturi and draw the moisture up faster and higher... making tornadic conditions even more prone to larger/stronger tornadoes.

Where in particular? Were you a radar specialist in the Navy?

"Where in particular? Were you a radar specialist in the Navy?"

Funny you should ask. Electronic Warfare (ret). 20+ years

Usually you can see this anywhere from the Central Plains to the Gulf Coast. Nothing to do with radar, but more with watching the patterns. As for the radar, the echo tops generally run much higher when this occurs (via Nexrad)

Continuing our off-topic ramble.

Thought so (career specialist). Maybe we should clue people in on the CAPE abbreviation.

Q: What does "CAPE" stand for?

A: You won't typically come across the term CAPE when watching your local weathercast, but this acronym for "convective available potential energy" makes severe thunderstorm forecasters' eyes light up. It's one of the many index values that forecasters look at when determining whether thunderstorms will be severe, containing damaging winds and hail as well as tornadic potential.

CAPE is a measure of the atmosphere's instability, and its units are given in joules per kilogram. Since joules are units of energy, CAPE essentially tells a forecaster how much energy is available in an air mass. The higher the CAPE value, the stronger the thunderstorms might be. When CAPE values exceed 2500 J/kg for a particular location, severe thunderstorms will be likely.

CAPE can sometimes increase when the atmosphere is "capped."

Excellent descriptive webpage with graphics, describes exactly the situation to which Lurking refers, in #52:

I second the description of that site, very good info.

For the cursory observer... weather has a dramatic effect on how well a radar works. This is mainly due to how much bending (refraction) the radar experiences, and that is strongly dependent on the characteristics of the radar (frequency), the humidity and temperature. And, as many of you already know, this can change with altitude. Get enough of a change in the different layers and you get trapping and ducting. Personally, I have made radar intercepts (detections) at over 450 miles against land based surface to air missile radar systems... something that should have been physically impossible. This was due to the really weird surface ducting in the area.

How this relates to volcanoes is beyond me.

Ref my last, substitute "casual" for "cursory." It's late and beer is good.

I haven't forgotten about posting the Aleutian Arc technical info.

Your post, #57, relates to the detection of ash plumes, perhaps.

Possible that ash could have an effect, but surface ducts are down near the sea-atmosphere interface. Drop a temperature inversion over top of that and you get really weird propagation. Things like a boat 5 miles away not showing up because your radar is above the layer and the boat is below it. Some radars have specialized antenna shapes to try and *burn through that effect.

(* not burn in the the literal sense, just overpower it)

I imagine that since ash has it's own absorptive/transmissive properties, it could wreak havoc with the refractive index.

Dielectric constant of Manganese Dioxide 5 to 5.2, Magnesium Oxide 9.7, Silicon Dioxide 4.5, Silica Sand 2.5-3.5.

Fortunately, not a whole lot of people are really interested in doing operations in and around an ash cloud. Not that this will totally hose up a radar, just that oddities in it's operation might occur more often... as if sand blasting the aircraft part's isn't enough.

Dielectric constants were found here:

If you will recall, atmospheric blocking pushes air masses (and ash) towards the ground. A primary concern of air traffic safety is engine damage during variable throttle and engine air intake environment, on take-off and landing.

@55 Lurking, It's a small world, I was a Radar/Electronic Warfare Technician in the Canadian Navy for 15 years and I miss it dearly, I got interested in geology while I was building Magnetic and Gravity Radars for a Geophysical company. After looking at the effects of earthquakes compared to oil and natural gas being extracted I have been building a power generator drive unit that can run any generator using no fossil fuels and giving no emissions, it should be done in a few more weeks. If less oil and gas are taken the earth's crust will keep the pressure that has been there for millions of years and not weaken it.

@40thanks i will have a look and see, it take me a day or two to get bk to you on this having a weekend off.and for the jet stream it had move to far south in 09/10 winter and for blocking effect had started then also in2009 spring but i need to check my records as the weather/climate/climate change/extreme is my main area/hobby/
@41 thats the link i posted weeks ago thats when i was worry bout Katla sending a big wave to Scotland/northern Ireland coast line if she erupted.@62 i also thought the same at one point like extracting the juice from an orange, the orange became squishy lol

@R.Hurst [62]

Very cool... and I agree on the small world part. We had a Canadian from your profession cross deck to us from the HMCS Iroquois on one of our deployments. He kept lauding the "Moose Milk." (nothing like that is available on US ships)

I do have to admit, the displays on your gear were much more appealing that what we had at the time, so much more data can be expressed in color than phosphor green.

@Lurking 64, I was on the HMCS Iroquois for a short time but I was in the gulf on HMCS Algonquin and had the chance to be on the boarding party searching ships, man what a adrenaline rush, as for Moose Milk, it was always a big hit at Pearl Harbor. I fully agree on the colour being more appealing, the green always made my eyesight blurry for hours.


I'm sure you remember the (very old) WLR-1? On my first ship I had a the gear on the freq indicator servo pot fall off, the indicator would just free spin. The only way to fix it was to hoist the display unit (IP-480) and partially suspend it from the overhead, and while it was turned on, re-attach the gear and set screw with the indicator held to the correct freq. Cumbersome and dangerous, it worked. I had two guys standing by with brooms just in case I got tangled up in the live voltages, but I don't know how effective they would have been.

@Lurking, Oh yeah, I remember it, we called it the "Whilry", I couldn't stand that thing. You must have seen some pretty good volcanoes in some foreign ports, I saw some great ones in Japan and Indonesia, when I was working for the Geophysical company I was able to go on top of a dormant volcano in Saudi Arabia, that one was great.

Continuing in OT-mode.

>If less oil and gas are taken the earth's crust will keep the pressure that has been there for millions of years and not weaken it.

Extraction usually employs displacing gas and liquids. Most of the subsidence (fall in land surface elevation due to removal of liquid) occurs from chronically pumping groundwater supply faster than it can replenished from horizontal flow or vertical percolation.

A primary concern over rapid depletion of petroleum and coal reserves is how to replace the natural source of petrochemical stocks necessary for making and packaging just about everything we produce in developed economies.

I'm now advocating rationing supply for future chemical production, until such time that we have technology for replacement through microbial manipulation of waste biomass.

It leaves us with an interesting conundrum on what to use for making and repairing road surfaces. Asphalt stock supply is already dwindling quickly.

Passerby #68, the scarcity-we-are-running-out meme is problemmatic given the abundance on Earth and human ingenuity. Please see E.M. Smith on the resources aplenty we got: He has more on the variety of possibilities.

From my experience over many years, the scarcity meme usually is pushed by those who have big bucks to gain through cornering the market on the the politically favored energy, e.g., wind, solar, ethanol from corn, anything inefficient. (For another example of fixed outcomes, see AGW, IPCC, Cap and Trade, and the CCX.) Rationing also can bring about a similar outcome, and it means, of course, some governmental power controlled by the few to put the system in place.

Reasonable or rational environmentalism, yes. Authoritarian fiat, no.

By pyromancer76 (not verified) on 15 Aug 2010 #permalink

Thanks for the link to E.M.Smith's article + following discussion. Although it is not this blog's forum, I think we all should be aware of implications and hazards of human's quest for energy.
I don't wholy agree with your statement "the scarcity-we-are-running-out meme is problemmatic given the abundance on Earth and human ingenuity", for one simple reason: there's a huge unbalance between "human ingenuity and human lucidity" which puts the concept of ingenuity itself at stake. But I do agree that there's too much of "authoritarian fiat" and ill-trended explotation of environmental issues (we can see it happening now here, in Brazil).
As for Smith's conclusion statement: "A wealthy society can afford to set large parts of the planet aside for parks; a poor one can notâ¦", I consider it a very, very, simplified and dangerous one, for the same reasons formerly discussed over this thread. To begin with, what can be considered a wealthy society? Hmmm, we need a whole new blog to keep up with all implications here.
But thanks again for the healthy argument.

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 15 Aug 2010 #permalink

The quest for alternative energy/fuel is full of bad ideas and outright stupidity, with many side orders of fraud.

Work = mass through a distance. Greatly simplified, but that's the core of it. No one seems to want to deal with that central part of the problem. The only thing that you can do, is to increase the efficiency of how you do work. 30 tons of stuff will always be 30 tons of stuff. How you move it from point "A" to point "B" is the next part of the issue. In commerce, the entity moving it is going to want to minimize the cost of doing that, so forcing them to take a higher cost hurts their business, no matter what method you use.

In just about every bio-fuel that I've seen touted, the bio version has less energy density than straight up normal fuel. As an example, E10 gasoline has only about 96.6% of the energy per unit volume of regular gasoline (85.1% of premium). Biowillie, a B20 fuel branded with Willie Neslon, has only 96.8% of the energy of pure diesel. Now, there is nothing inherently wrong with using or augmenting the fuel with a bio version, as long as the cost, both in energy of production and real money, can be kept low enough to make it worth the effort. Subsidizing it with money from other parts of society is ludicrous, and should be criminal. The net effect is line the pockets of the company getting the subsidy and to derive no real gain for the society as a whole. (Hello Archer Daniels Midland).

Reducing the amount of additional mass to move the "stuff" is another method, just look at the size of the high mileage cars. This leads right into the issue of safety. If your "stuff" is your family and you encounter that 30 tons of "stuff" from earlier, the odds of you surviving will have a lot to do with the mass of your vehicle. Both from being able to be seen and having more mass to absorb any impacts that occur, as well as having room for more safety equipment.

Getting back to mass, Hydrogen comes up quite a bit, but that's an energy storage medium, nothing more. Liquid hydrogen contains 24.3% of the energy of gasoline on a per unit mass comparison. Electric? A Lead Acid Battery is 0.91%. Lithium Ion - 4.01%, Lithium-Ion (lithium iron phosphate) - 5.10%, Lithium Ion (lithium cobalt oxide) - 6.93%, Nickel Metal Hydride - 2.19%. All compared to the energy in an equal mass of gasoline. (and that's to say nothing about the extra wear and tear on the electric grid to charge these things)

If we were serious about actually trying to do something productive in the fuel/energy realm, they would shave one foot off the height of any hill involved in all road work/repair as it comes along. That way you don't get into a self flagellation mode of tearing up roads that are perfectly fine.

A few months ago, I ran a GPS recording on a trip that I took. Florida is not known for it's hills and mountains, yet every peak you see here is a spot where improvement could be made, over the course of normal roadwork. Just drop the hill peaks by one foot and over time, the efficiency of moving "stuff" goes up.. and you save fuel.

But, that would involve the government(s) to actually do something intelligent.

*sigh... oh well. N/M.

#71 "But, that would involve the government(s) to actually do something intelligent."
Ay, there' the rub!

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 15 Aug 2010 #permalink

>Just drop the hill peaks by one foot and over time

?? Surely you jest.

Millions of miles of roadway. Roadway that costs 1-2 million per mile (major interstates and expressways). Tens of thousands of dollars per mile for state highways for repave. About 5 grand per mile for chip n' seal, the cheapest paved surface.

As the supply of petroleum crude drops, so does the quantity of new asphalt material. Road surfaces must be rehab'ed about every 6-10 years, more in heavy traffic locations. You cannot use more than 40% remix when recycling asphalt.

Thousands of miles of *new* roadway is added to the US transportation grid each year.

No way that we could possibly repave roadway to lower elevation, because you would have to rebuild the underlying roadbed as well. $$$$$

*squint* That comment wasn't up to your usual standard of intelligence and insightful commentary, sir.

That's my point. Don't do a project just to drop a hill peak. That would be counter productive and wasteful. Just change the profile by about a foot anytime normal major rework is done. Over time the fuel savings would be phenomenal, just from the slight change in infrastructure. Each vehicle passing would use just a bit less fuel.

As for the asphalt, I agree. And some of the mixes that they are using now are completely wasted when the foremen fail to familiarize themselves with the mix and heat requirements, and allow the truck operators to completely shut down the tank and the mix builds up or completely seizes the equipment. County crews are notorious for this since they only use small amounts for patchwork and never stay up to date on the mixes.

Interest in finding alternative ways to generate are just not working unless someone will make the same profit as in fossil fuels, the generator drive unit that I have almost completed has drawn no interest from anybody. I have sent hundreds of e-mails to Governmental Green Initiatives, Green Power Organizations, Environmental Groups etc.... just to let them know that I can generate power with perpetual motion, I'm not asking for funding I just want to see if anyone would like some information about what I'm building. I figured that the responses would be many but on the whole note I haven't heard a thing from anybody, it's really frustrating when there is a potential solution to a huge problem and nobody want to listen.

Unfortunately we are a planet who relies on fossil fuels and other resources and it's going to be really tough to make a change.

@ R.Hurst -
You cannot generate power with perpetual motion; there is no such thing as a perpetual motion engine, not even one that runs forever without generating any extra power. Basic facts of physics show it: water (or whatever) cannot run uphill; heat cannot transfer from lower temperature to higher. Only when something loses energy can the excess be tapped into and used for other purposes.

Power generation is a TANSTAAFL situation.

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 16 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi, The way to do it is by keeping the shaft spinning and I have found a way to do it without using an engine, I am using a store bought generator and I just removed the engine, I designed and installed my new shaft design and that's pretty much it. Anything is possible, you just have to start off at the simplest solution and work your way up from there. Just look at the evolution of the wheel, a guy saw a rock roll down a hill and had a idea, now look how many ways a wheel is used, I just found a way to keep the shaft spinning at high rpm, the funny thing is it works.

@R.Hurst -
OK, I'm gonna ask the ten billion bucks question: what keeps the new shaft design spinning?

Did you hook up the generator to the household electric system?

By Kultsi, Askola, FI (not verified) on 16 Aug 2010 #permalink

@Kultsi, I'll let you know the answer to your first question when the patent is done, sorry......... but you will be surprised when you find out what it is.

At this time I have only hooked it up to a light and a radio, I'm just fine tuning it now and doing a few adjustments, I'll keep you up to date though.

@R. Hurst
I wish you good luck with your patent and I'm very curious to understand how you manage this physical "perpetuum mobile". Could it be Coriolis effect generating the spinning? That would create such an unthinkable source of self generating energy!

By Renato Rio (not verified) on 16 Aug 2010 #permalink

Hi Renato, actually it is something very close to the Coriolis effect, I just found a way to give it a boost and keep it going, it is something like spinning a top but the top will go and go. In a few weeks I should have everything working perfectly, the most amazing thing is that there are no electronics involved, being a technician I have found that the more complicated something is the more that can go wrong. One very important thing that the Navy taught me about fault finding or fixing anything at all is just to keep it simple.

@R. Hurst
Wish you luck! Keep us updated on this. Thank you.

By renato rio (not verified) on 16 Aug 2010 #permalink

awsome work...really nice to view..wana read some of those more...

@R.Hurst et ál:

Let me say a couple of things out of my actual line of expertise.

1. We, ie. the energy-companies actually do fund a lot of alternative stratagems for energy productions. The average for the buisiness as a total is today about 10 percent of the net profit annualy. The reason quite simply is that we need new sources to make profit in the future. So there is no "hiding in the dessert" of great ideas.
2. For the last few years I've gone through about 100 different propositions for making alternative energy, of those I have helped to fund 4 projects; in different windplant design, geothermal powerplant, volcanic lake gas & wave power. So roughly I have calculated that about 1 idea out of a 100 is worthy of actual funding. But if one cuts off the crack-pots and crazies the number is closer to 1 in 10. The craziest sofar is a former policeman retired on mental grounds that had solved the problems with wind-power by removing the blades...
3. A large portion uses the words "perpetual motion" or "perpetual energy", sofar none with those wordings have gotten any dough.
4. Any coriolis-like effect power production runs into a problem. That is that the actual resistance of the bearings is higher than the power out-put. Ie, there is actually power to be had, but that power is sofar lower than the force of internal resistance in the bearing. That might though be a materials problem and not a show-stopper. There was one of those that could have worked, but that was a gyro close to a kilometre wide resting on an electro magnetic vacume bearing, problem was that it was to wind-sensitive;)
5. Long ago I made a bet with Carl-Henric that I would do a Randi on energy, ie. if someone can come with a machine to me that I can go through as I wish and then build a copy of myself (with my staff) and that produces more power than put in, I will personally pay out 1M US$. Second pre-requisite is that it should not work according to a known principle, so no wind-plants (and the rest that sofar works) thank you very much:) Did I say that none of those with "perpetual energy machines" that are out there bamboozling people for money have come to me with a machine, wonder why...
6. There is pantents on coriolis-machines and pretty much on most other possible gravitational and gyrational forces.

But, if you think you can fullfill the requirements on 5 send a mail to Eric and he can hook us up since he obviously have one of my private e-mails.

For the rest I really propose that you read up on the hillarious Tom Bearden and the MEG. It has all the stop and whistles of the best of the conspiracy theory.

By Carl on Energy (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink

@84 Carl on Energy, Hi Carl, thank you for the kind words and advice, the conditions of #5 will be completed shortly, I just have to finish making and assembling some mounting brackets, after it is finished and running I will definitely send a e-mail to Eric and get your contact info.

Thank you.

Carl, are you familiar with Jerry Pournelle? Re your #85 5. Dr Pournelle outlines a "machine" that does just that in "A Step Farther Out". It's an energy pump that utilises the temperature differential between the "surface" water and the seabed a few kloms below. The only pollutant is nutrients dragged up which eventually result in fish. IIRC the idea goes back to the 1930s. Back then, technology would not allow its construction. Now? It could be built, but (I suspect) it appeals to neither Green Lobby nor Power Industry.

Since it fails the criteria "come with a machine to me that I can go through as I wish and then build a copy of myself" I suspect you will not pay out the $1M...? ;)

By Henrik, Swe (not verified) on 23 Aug 2010 #permalink