Japan And Volcanoes

Mount Fuji, Japan

Mount Fuji, Japan

Original, larger, image.

Well, at least it looks like Japan is aware that we’ve had a shortage of volcanoes in the last century and maybe, just maybe, they need to be ready for that changing.

Frankly, given the known historical level of volcanism, globally,. that fact that when it all dramatically slowed in the 1900s, we got somewhat warmer really ought not to surprise anyone. My expectation is simply that we will return to more historical average levels. What where those? Enough to have tropical and Pacific islands depicted with smoking volcanoes more often than not. Enough to have a “Year without a summer” in 1816-17. Yeah, not a common event; but not the sort of thing to be gone for a century and just call that “the new normal”.

So can Japan serve as a “model” for that chunk of history? Can we look at it, and see the pattern? Or would somewhere like California or Mexico be better? FWIW, when I was a kid there were still a fair number of “old folks” in my home town who remembered when Mount Lassen had last erupted ( begun in about 1914 for a half dozen years ). We used to go out in the countryside and see large lava rocks that were ejected from the volcano (mostly in prior ancient events ) and I climbed to the top of Lassen (it is still steaming and smoking, just a bit…) Yet my whole life I’ve been waiting for it to “do something” again. On the way to Oregon, the highway passes directly past a ‘relatively new’ cinder cone. A very nicely formed pile of dark black rubble. Yet it is thousands of years old. While California is active, the time scale of the activity is just too long to use easily, and the side of the activity in recent centuries has been too small. Complicating it even more, there were not a lot of written records until the last 150 years. Barely time for a belch in ‘volcano years’.

But Japan has a long recorded history, lots of geologists going over the place, and even more active geology. What might they be thinking?

http://ajw.asahi.com/article/behind_news/social_affairs/AJ201212030010

Study: Massive volcanic eruption in the cards for Japan
December 03, 2012

By TAIRIKU KUROSAWA/ Senior Staff Writer

Japan should brace for a catastrophic volcanic eruption at some point, say experts, citing a massive buildup of magma at many of the nation’s 110 active volcanoes.

The last particularly serious eruption in Japan occurred in 1914, when Mount Sakurajima in southern Kagoshima Prefecture blew its top.

According to study by volcanologists, Japan, which lies on the Pacific Rim of Fire, has been shaken by more than 1,000 volcanic eruptions over the past 2,000 years.

OK. 110 Active volcanoes is a nice large sample size. They had a ‘serious’ eruption in 1914 when California was having a small entertaining one, so better indication strength. Interesting to note that the Ring Of Fire was active on both sides on the same date, and that both areas are less active now. These places are connected… Remember that Cascadia had a Great Quake related in time to when Japan had a Great Quake and Mt. Fuji erupted.

http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2011/03/15/1707-hoei-49-days-fuji/

So there’s also been a ‘teleconnection’ between great quakes and volcanoes on both sides of things. I suspect that there is a gravitational / tidal driver of it all, and related to the longer term variations in lunar tidal forces. (There is not just a 1 month cycle, but a 19 year cycle, and even cycles out to 1800 years when other orbital changes are included.)

But back at that article; what is being noticed in Japan?

“The possibility of a major eruption in the future is real,” said Yoichi Nakamura, a professor of volcanology at Utsunomiya University who has been analyzing volcanic eruptions with a team of researchers.

So this isn’t just ‘some guys’ making stuff up. This is degreed educated guys making stuff up ;-) But seriously, the Japanese researchers take their work seriously and are very much honor bound. I have some fair confidence that they have thought through what they are saying and that it is highly accurate.

Of the 110 active volcanoes, the agency monitors activity of the 47 around the clock to detect signs of an imminent eruption.

When offshore Mount Sakurajima erupted, it spewed out so much lava that it created a land bridge with the Osumi Peninsula. Volcanic ash even fell on eastern Japan.

The researchers said seismic activity surged at 20 active volcanoes around Japan, including Mount Fuji, after the magnitude-9.0 Great East Japan Earthquake struck last year.

Normally, when a great quake like that happens, the subducting plate melts, adding more magama and eventually leading to move volcanic activity. That cycle is measured in decades to centuries in some cases. Shorter term, there can be an uptick in volcanic activity at sites ‘ready to go’. “Why” is speculative. From simple rock displacement to weakening structures to cosmic flux to tidal forces to… but it’s all a guess as to “why”. Yet the observable just is…

Over the past century, volcanic eruptions around the world were apparently triggered by magnitude-9.0 or stronger earthquakes that struck several years earlier.

So that is why I care about Great Quakes… There have also be correlations found between great quakes on one side of the planet and volcanoes on the other. The vibrations can ‘focus’ on the exact opposite side of the planet, or the crustal displacements can cause stress changes around an entire plate, such as the Pacific Plate. In short: a “9″ anywhere is an alarm bell everywhere. We’ve had 9 scale events in Indonesia, Japan, and Chile. That means volcanoes ought to start erupting…

Particularly worrisome, he said, was a lack of data pointing to a reduction in magma. In the absence of a really huge eruption for a century suggested there was a massive buildup of magma, which at some point will inevitably spew from a volcano with tremendous force.

According to the study, 1,162 eruptions have occurred in Japan over the past 2,000 years. Of these, 52 were major events that spewed a massive volume of ash and lava over a short period. It amounts to a large-scale eruption occurring every 38 years.

Records show that three volcanic eruptions in the 17th century, including one at Mount Hokkaido-Komagadake in Hokkaido in 1640, spewed out the equivalent of 1 billion cubic meters of ash and lava.

Two similar eruptions occurred in the 18th century, one of which involved Mount Fuji in 1707.

Over the course of the last Century, not much has happened. Could that dearth of aerosols have had any effect on the long term weather? It hasn’t been just a Japan thing, either. As I noted for California, we’ve had 100 years of “not much”. The stereotype of the smoking volcanic island is also fading. Yeah, we had “Joe V.S. the Volcano”, but that movie was a tongue in cheek parody of the prior stereotype. In the 1800s, it wasn’t a stereotype, it was an observable. (Especially in Indonesia).

For Japan, their record is about one significant eruption per 2 years. Large scale events 1:38 years. Yet we’ve had 3 times that long with “never mind” as the observable. Think that matters to the weather and temperature history? I do.

There were 562 instances of medium-scale eruptions, or one every 3.6 years.

These included the eruption of Mount Unzen-Fugendake in Nagasaki Prefecture in 1991 and the eruption of Mount Usuzan in Hokkaido in 2000.

Of the 1,162 eruptions, the 47 volcanoes consistently monitored by the Japan Meteorological Agency represent nearly 90 percent of the activity, or 1,012 of those events.

So “medium scale” and we’re at 1:3.6 years. Or 2:7 roughly. What’s been happening ‘lately’? 2 of them. 9 years apart. (Then what I presume is a 12 year lull.)

What all this looks like to me is a system that “took a nap” for 100 years, and is now starting to wake up. Not fast, but waking all the same.

This site is something of an ‘advocacy site’ with a clear anti-nuclear agenda due to the nuclear reactor damage that happened. Yet it has a couple of interesting photos of Mt. Fuji. In the middle of winter, in one month, the snows melted. They ask / assert that it might be ground heating.

http://fukushima-diary.com/2012/04/mt-fuji-is-melting-its-snow/

Though it was the season when Mt. Fuji has the most snow, snow is already disappearing.

From December to January, most of the snow melted only within a month. Mt. Fuji is heated.

Citizens near Mt. Fuji talks they haven’t seen such a thing.

They list this site as the source ( it is in Japanese ).

http://okarutojishinyogen.blog.fc2.com/blog-entry-967.html

It looks to me like they have the better photos.

In Conclusion

Not a whole lot of “message” in this posting. Just an observation. I expect we’ll see Mount Fuji erupt in the next decade. Two at the max. I expect we will see significant increases in volcanic activity globally. Geological things are slow, though, so it can be decades as a ‘ramp up’ becomes noticed, and even longer for that to be excepted as a ‘trend’.

I don’t see this as in any way ‘catastrophic’. More of a ‘return to the norm’. Vanuatu is having a large number of 6 scale quakes with the occasional 7 thrown in. I’d expect to see more volcanic islands waking up a bit too.

All in all, it ought to be an interested time, going forward. Just the kind of thing to look forward to in the coming year (s).

We’ve even got a ‘weird’ underwater volcano off the end of Baja California:

http://www.ouramazingplanet.com/3885-weird-volcano-found-baja.html

Mostly they think it weird due to the rhyolite

The volcano is primarily rhyolite and a silicic lava called dacite, said MBARI geologist Jennifer Paduan. “To find this along a midocean ridge is a total surprise,” she told OurAmazingPlanet.

Usually sea floor spreading makes basaltic lavas.

I’m not all that surprised, though, since this is a place where a spreading zone starts to go under the continent, so the continental shelf is in the way. Still, we’ve got an activation of the ‘spreading zone’ making a volcano. Just a bit off shore. So I’m not going to be at all surprised if the ‘trend’ continues on up to Death Valley (caused by sinking in that spreading zone) and Long Valley / Mammoth Mountain (where there has been a notable increase in earthquakes).

I’ve been waiting 1/2 a Century for a nice little volcano somewhere in California to wake up and spout. With any luck, this next year will see that particular itch scratched. Anywhere from the Oregon Border (Cascades) through Shasta and Lassen and on over to Mono and south from there through Death Valley and Mojave, on to the Salton Sea area. Any of it can pop a rumbler and spout a bit of glowing goo. Yet all we’ve had in my lifetime has been some mud pots and fumes. But things are looking up, at last.

With that, may everyone have a Sparkling Smoking-Hot Happy New Year!!!

(OK, ok… yeah, a long way to go ‘around the mountain’ for that… but it was worth it, wasn’t it? ;-)

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About E.M.Smith

A technical managerial sort interested in things from Stonehenge to computer science. My present "hot buttons' are the mythology of Climate Change and ancient metrology; but things change...
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34 Responses to Japan And Volcanoes

  1. Judy F. says:

    It was indeed the long way around the mountain, but the scenery was nice and the trip was pleasant. I hope your New Year brings all the excitement and fireworks that you desire. Thanks for sharing your unique perspective of the world and all it’s workings. And Happy New Year to all your fine readers as well. Wine and peach margaritas all around for everyone.

  2. sabretoothed says:

    Sakujima had a big eruption in 1914 and connected the island to the mainland. This was soon after Novarupta 1912

  3. p.g.sharrow says:

    That triple junction near Eureka, CA has been very active of late. It is the eastern end of the fault that crosses the north Pacific from Toyko, Japan. The fault itself has been locked for a very long time but the ring of fire ends of it are very active with quakes and volcanoes.
    I would look to the area between Shasta and Lassen for the next big Californian eruption. pg

  4. adolfogiurfa says:

    @E.M. You are intuitive….when you say Mount Fuji erupt… perhaps your subconscious mind is referring to a by far worst “explosion” in the future: That one announced by the new prime minister of Japan talking about printing four trillion yens to stimulate Japan´s economy. It will really start a domino like chain reaction where all the “first world” economies will collapse, of course following well known laws of physics, to reestablish equilibrium. Fiscal cliff?….bah! It´s kamikaze cliff!….Torah…Torah!

  5. crosspatch says:

    Sakurajima has been extremely active over the past year. Look it up on youtube for some rather impressive eruptions over the past 12 months. Tolbachik in Russia has been pumping out a prodigious amount of magma with a flow over 25 km long last time I looked. Chirpoi erupted in November. The subject of Japan being “due” came up several weeks ago at Erik Klemetti’s blog (Eruptions at Wired Science) and he basically said it was bad journalism. There had been no actually detection of any “buildup” of magma under any volcanoes in Japan and there would really be no way to measure any “building” of pressure under the volcano short of surface deformation and he claims there is nothing currently unusual at any of Japan’s major volcanoes, particularly Fuji.

  6. crosspatch says:

    Some recent video of Tolbachik

  7. John Robertson says:

    A major eruption would be real convenient for the IPCC crew, leaping forward to claim the cooling is caused by volcanic activity and our models were right.

  8. agimarc says:

    The problem in Japan is one of calderas, as they form violently and rarely do it a single time. here’s a list of current Japanese calderas. It is not a comprehensive list. Cheers -

    Aira Caldera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aira_Caldera
    Aso Caldera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Aso
    Kikai Caldera: http://www.eri.u-tokyo.ac.jp/fmaeno/kikai/kikaicaldera.html
    Lake Ashi Caldera: http://www.japan-guide.com/e/e5201.html
    Lake Towada Caldera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Towada
    Lake Tazawa Caldera: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Tazawa

    Just to the west, on the NORK / ChiCom border lies Baekdu / Baitoushan which is both huge and moderately active. It is the “ancestral” home of the Il Sungs currently infesting North Korea and is holy ground to them.

    http://iceagenow.info/2012/05/growing-fears-huge-north-korean-volcano-erupt/

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Supervolcano

  9. David says:

    Well if Calif wakes up from its volcanic slumber I hope it isnot the super volcano Mammoth.

  10. E.M.Smith says:

    @David:

    The magma body under Mammoth is mostly solidified. It’s not going to have a ‘super’ event for a very very long time. When it blows (and it will as we still have an active spreading center under it) it will be a smallish event, like the ones we’ve had in the last 100,000 years. (Last “super” was 760,000 years or so ago). So not real worried about it. Yellowstone is the “super” most ready to vent a large liquid pool…

    @Agimarc

    Hadn’t thought about calderas in Japan. Thanks! New things to ponder ;-)

    @John Robertson:

    They will claim the models are right whatever happens….

    @Crosspatch:

    Well, it’s a matter of geologic time scale perspective. The meaning of “now”. In the 1707 eruption, there was about a 6 ish? year lag between the major quake / subduction event and the eruption. So for me, on a geologic basis, that sets “now” as about a dozen years or less. So I think we are in that “now” window. For the guy saying “nothing unusual move along move along”, his “now” is “this week”. (Next week it could start harmonic tremor or ‘inflation’ of the dome and his story would change, and there would be no conflict with his prior position as ‘now’ will have moved…)

    So do I expect Fuji to start spewing lava tomorrow? Nope. Not a change. Do I think it’s going to have an eruption inside a dozen years? Probably. Inside 20? Highly probably. Inside 100? Certainly.

    BTW, it’s a common behavior for geologists in both quake and volcano “prediction” to say “that prediction is wrong as nothing is happening and nothing is unusual” right up until something happens. Then they say “The event has started so we predict it will happen” (in essence). On a geologic time scale, once you have inflation and harmonic tremor, you ARE in the event. At that point you are not “predicting” the arrival of the eruption event, just how big it will be. (Ranging from ‘nothing’ to OMG.) So yes, nothing unusual is happening in Japan and Fuji isn’t “about to erupt”… until it does….

    So what I point out is the (multi year lagged) connection between great quakes and Fuji having an eruption. And that it’s warm on top. All that says “Fuji IS going to erupt”. And on a geologic time scale that is “now”. But on a geologic time scale “now” can be 20 years… So it could happen starting tomorrow, or starting in 2033, and be “now” in geologic time. But no, I’m not expecting nor predicting nor projecting what’s going to happen in the next few weeks, months, or even single digit years. But Fuji is going to erupt. And “now” in geologic time…

    @Adolfo:

    Japan is an export led economy. Their currency has appreciated strongly against the others of the world, and that’s hurting them. They can inflate about 30% and not be in trouble (in fact, benefit in trade terms). The wisdom of the act can be questioned in terms of things like lowering the value of their salaries and savings; but it will help rather than hurt their trade posture.

    Japan will not cause any chain reaction of collapse. It just isn’t that important any more. China is the #2 big gorilla now (soon to be #1). So Japan will just simper along and get a little less important, that’s all.

    If they go to rapid inflation, folks parking in Yen will just move to Pounds or Francs or Rubles or whatever.

    @P.G.:

    Yes, there’s a peculiar ‘teleconnection’ between Cascadia and Japan. In the 1707 event, there was a great quake in Cascadia (offset by single digit scale years). So that Japan had a great quake makes it likely that Cascadia gets one (offset in single to low double digit years) and that Fuji erupts (in single digit to low double digit year time range). IIRC, the 1707 event had Cascadia going first, though.

    But yes, time to watch that part of the fault system. And, as Lassen was the last active, it’s likely the next first active. But I’d not be surprised to see something wake up in the Salton Sea area either… There are active volcanoes from that sub-sea one off the tip and up through Mexico headed that way along the spreading zone…

    @Sabertoothed:

    Interesting that it was 1914, just like Lassen…

    @Judy F:

    Thanks! Would you believe I’ve never had a peach margarita? Have to try that some day…

    @L.G.:

    Thanks for the links! Web cams are fun. But as I said in the ‘conclusion’, this is measured with a 20 year ruler… so it’s not like I’m expecting things tomorrow. Just “soon” in geologic time…

  11. John F. Hultquist says:

    In 1963 I rode trains from PA to CA. Then took a bus from San Jose to northern CA. (Red Bluff, I think.) Then I made it over to Lassen and partly walked and partly hitched thru the park. That was my first exposure to hot ground. Fantastic. Made it back to Redding in a pickup with the driver sipping on tall cans of beer. I only remember a long straight highway with evergreens walling in the sides. Anyway, made it to Lassen again in ’70 or ’71. I recommend the trip.

    There is hot ground in places I never suspected. One such is along the Snake River south of Lewiston, ID. This is known mostly to river rafters. A hot water seep is just at the edge of the river on the ID side. Folks usually start along the Salmon R. someplace and float northeastward to the Snake; then north. When the flow has dropped to the appropriate level someone will build walls of rocks and mud at the seeps. Not too far from the spot we would jump into the river (cold) and float feet out in front and then over to the side for a warming up in the little pool. Then back into the raft and on to Lewiston. It’s not Yellowstone, but its there. Now where I live there are wells on the far side of the valley with quite warm water. 20 miles away, our well water is cold.

    I lived 250 miles east of Mt. St. Helens. I heard the blast and later a bit of ash started falling on us. Still, the connection did not click. I had to be told. 3 or 4 hours later it was totally dark. We didn’t go anywhere for 3 days until the roads were cleaned of. The fine ash is essentially glass and shorts out electrical parts of autos. Drive in it and you kill your electrical system. I had to clean out the rain gutters by hand after hosing off the roof.

    So, when you say “I’ve been waiting 1/2 a Century for a nice little volcano somewhere in California to wake up and spout.” — May you get your wish!

    Happy New Year.

  12. John F. Hultquist says:

    Catching up. I missed the comments about the Cascadia connections. Here is a link that provides old and newest information:
    http://www.panga.cwu.edu/

  13. sabretoothed says:

    An interesting book from observations in Gaua in Vanuatu is worth looking at where links between earth quakes and eruptions was discovered. It appears that this is taught in France but not in the english speaking world that much.

    “The action was around the ‘Ring of fire’ in the Pacific, and in 1962, the failure of earth scientists to warn inhabitants of the New Hebrides and the Solomon Islands of a damaging volcanic eruption demanded action, and this resulted in a remarkable collaboration between Dr Claude Blot, a French volcanologist, and John Grover, an Australian earth scientist, who found and proved answers to long lead-time, accurate, early warning of volcanic eruptions and great earthquakes. They showed that these major events had precursor seismic shocks hundreds of kilometres below the Earth’s surface, and the transmigration of the energy, and the path to the surface could be accurately predicted. Some of the most dramatic examples of this is told in John Grover’s book, Volcanic Eruptions and Great Earthquakes ”

    http://www.abc.net.au/science/articles/1998/11/26/17451.htm

    Mr John Grover, author of “Volcanic Eruptions and Great Earthquakes”, says the advance warning technique developed by his colleague, Dr Claude Blot, reliably predicted a tsunami hitting the islands of Vanuatu in 1965, with plenty of time for beach villagers to evacuate.

    Since then, says Mr Grover, Blot’s prediction method has shown that tectonic shocks do not occur chaotically but in an orderly way. It relies on measuring the magnitude of earthquakes deep below the earth’s surface, and the time it takes for the resultant shocks to travel to the surface, where they may be translated into volcanic eruptions or tsunamis. A tsunami can be triggered by the displacement of large amounts of water from an earthquake or a landslip on the sea floor.

    Mr Grover directed geological surveys in the southwest Pacific islands between 1950 and 1968, and together with Dr Blot established a Seismological Observatory in Honiara in 1960.

    “They got us there and they sat us down and said, we need better science,” said Mr Grover. “I realised what a threat it was to the local people not to know when a volcano was going to be erupting or a wave was going to be coming.”

    But in spite of Dr Blot’s success in predicting volcanic eruptions and tsunamis in the south Pacific, and the major threat posed by earthquakes in highly populated regions like Japan and California, Mr Grover said the prediction method was not widely taught, especially in the English-speaking world.

    “I think the fact that the original work was written in French means it was not as widely known as it could have been,” said Dr Lin Sutherland of the Australian Museum. “It was important because it recognised a pattern — a formula to predict where one shock might interfere with another.”

    Might it work in California?

    “It has been successful in the island arcs,” said Dr Sutherland. “But they have a spent a lot of time and money in California and Japan trying to predict earthquakes, but so far they haven’t come up with a sure-fire method. But the earth is a very complex thing — there could still be an unpredictable factor.”

    Dr Grover’s book will be launched today at the Australian Museum in Sydney.

    Also 56 year volcano cycle ? http://www.google.com.au/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=9&ved=0CGMQFjAI&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ncgt.org%2Fnewsletter.php%3Faction%3Ddownload%26id%3D113&ei=jWTjUKDKHOeOmQXq9YDIDw&usg=AFQjCNG0qUgA4EB05gQ8Pflh3Q5tIXtG6w&bvm=bv.1355534169,d.dGY&cad=rja

    9/56 YEAR CYCLE: WORLD MEGA VOLCANIC ERUPTIONS

    David McMINN
    Independent Cycle Researcher

    Abstract: A 9/56 year cycle was found to be applicable in seismic timing for various regions and countries around the world. Additionally, a 9-45 year cycle was established for major world earthquakes (M => 8.5) since 1900. Such cycles were also hypothesised to arise in the timing of mega volcanic eruptions over the past few centuries. A 9/56 year grid was confirmed for more moderate world eruptions (VEI = 4). However, this was not observed for larger events (VEI
    => 5) and a 9-27/56 year grid was found to be more relevant for these mega events. Strangely, eruptions causing major loss of life could be correlated with a 9/56 year grid, which seemed unusual. It was speculated that patterns based on multiples of 9 and 56 years were caused by Moon-Sun tidal harmonics triggering mega seismic and eruptive events.

  14. sabretoothed says:

    http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2012/10/23/yucatan-coral-dataset-oddity/ This was an interesting link as well

    The Arctic geomagnetic field vs temperature is an interesting chart on one of the discussion links http://www.vukcevic.talktalk.net/Arctic.htm

  15. There are ample historical records to convince us that even a slight drop in temperature can cause heart breaking misery:

    One of the events mentioned in the above video is the 1815 Mount Tambora eruption and the summers that followed. At the risk of sounding like a broken record, this eruption alone should be enough to convince us to engage in large scale carbon sequestration as implemented by Joseph in Egypt (Genesis 41.47 to 47.57). During the “Fat” years surplus non-perishable foods are stored so that the people will not starve during the “Lean” years.

    If the wisdom of Joseph and Hammurabi had been heeded in the early 19th century at least one million people in Europe would not have perished in terrible famines. Given the huge increase in population since 1815 the death toll will be proportionally greater when the next Tambora happens. Then again Taupo made Tambora look like a fire cracker:
    http://www.sott.net/article/249473-Is-The-Super-Volcano-Taupo-in-New-Zealand-Awakening

  16. sabretoothed says:

    Alaska’s been pretty quiet lately. Even earthquake wise. Last time there were big earthquakes in Chile in the past in the 1950-60s there was a big one in Alaska as well. Maybe Alaska might be next?

    Since Novarupta, nothing really has happened there either.

    Actually the whole 20th century was really really quiet volcano wise, why we managed to develop with such a stable climate.

    If you look at Iceland as a guide, there were so many big eruptions in the last 1000 years than it was very quiet in 1900s pretty much. Askja could go in Iceland too. It’s been brewing
    http://volcanoscience.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/askja-volcano-in-iceland-showing-signs.html

  17. E.M.Smith says:

    @GallopingCamel:

    If someone expects the Government to store food for them, they are already in trouble. That’s why I have:
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2009/04/06/food-storage-systems/

    and remind people that they need one too. Lentils and rice in glass jars (padded with crumpled paper in cardboard boxes) survives just about anything (flood, 7.1 quake at least in my experience, rodents, insects, etc. etc.).

    BTW, the boxes can be stacked, covered with a fabric layer / shroud, and a wood cover on top ( old door or plywood or…) and it’s a table… Or put a nice veneer ‘box’ around the outside for a more expensive but nice ‘hardwood’ look. The excuse of ‘no space’ is really one of ‘not much imagination’ ;-)

    One year of food is about 360 lbs per person. That’s about 10 to 20 boxes (depending on what is stored – 25 lbs of flour fits in 4 gallons, so 36 lbs is about one box of 12 jars). 10 boxes is about the size of a large end table or coffee table. Or a nice dresser…

    When I made mine I got “stuff” for about $1/2 / lb, so it was about $180 / person. Now it’s closer to $1 / lb. Still, not much.

    Frankly, the biggest “issue” is just getting into the habit of ‘rotating the stock’. So one or two boxes a year get put onto the ‘pantry self’ and refilled with ‘fresh’. Nothing ends up more than 5 to 10 years in storage (and I’ve used lentils that had been stored 16 years and they were still edible. Peas get hard in 2 years, and beans in between, but lentils last a very long time…)

    After that, folks can work on fancy stuff like MREs or Freeze Dried camping meals or ‘canned goods’ (that ought to be rotated once / year).

    While you won’t be happy on beans, rice, hand made tortillas and sweetened tea, you won’t die either… And once you have it, eating more Mexican and Indian style meals ( to rotate those lentils and rice) is healthy for you ;-)

    FWIW, my worry on food issues is a simple one. What happens to the world shipping stock when a ‘meteor string’ comes in (like hit Jupiter) and sends a 200 foot wave across most of the oceans? Yeah, coastal cities get messed up, but we lose the ships. Now what happens when oil can’t get to the places that do farming and food can’t be shipped to the people? Oh Dear.

    You now have a decade, minimum, to build replacement shipping.

    Folks in Australia will have a lot of wheat to eat. Folks in California better like lettuce and tomatoes… and folks in the Plains States will have a load of corn and beef (especially as you get toward the pasture / mountains the BBQ will be good ;-) but Asia, Europe, etc. are going to “have issues”… (New York, of course, will be a pretty big mess from the flooding anyway, but lets just say they won’t be getting a lot of bananas and Brazilian beef or sugar…)

    Yes, we can likely ‘adjust’ to local grown foods, but it will take a year or three and you better have something to eat during that time…

    Now the REASON that one causes me more ‘thought time’ is that it WILL happen, just a matter of when. Might be tomorrow, might be 20,000 years. But we WILL get the rock fall. It will happen by surprise. There will be zero or near zero “prep time”. Nothing can stop it. You can’t move away from it. (Even in California we eat bananas and Brazilian sugar / beef).

    Anyone in Europe who doesn’t have some kind of food storage is betting their life that no big ‘rock fall’ happens while they are alive. Especially those countries with large fishing fleets. (They sink too – kiss off tuna, cod, salmon…)

    Oh Well. “I’ve got mine” ;-)

    That N.Z. link is disturbing… My ‘second in line’ worry is volcanoes. They happen more often, but if you watch the news when a ‘big one’ hits you can go charge $800 of food at Costco ;-)

  18. Verity Jones says:

    Iceland anyone? http://tv.nytimes.com/2013/01/02/arts/television/nova-life-on-fire-and-doomsday-volcanoes-on-pbs.html?_r=0 The writer of this piece says “Well, that didn’t take long. Two days into the new year, having barely had time to celebrate that we survived 2012 despite the apocalyptic predictions, we are being introduced to the new Thing to Be Feared for 2013: Iceland.”
    I did read somewhere in the last few days that there have been few really big Icelandic eruptions in recent times and the Prime Minister IIRC was commenting that his country needs to be prepared for a ‘big one’.

  19. E.M.Smith says:

    @Verity:

    Oh Joy :-}

    So, you got a pile of dried goods in storage? … Just sayin’…

    For a while now we’ve seen the pattern in history, now looks like it’s starting in real time. Don’t think we’ll get a whole lot more warning time…

  20. John F. Hultquist says:

    So now you have moved on to food storage. I retrieved 20 pounds of flour from storage as some things need to be used and replaced. New Year’s Day is as good as any to have the smell of fresh bread in the house. Cold outside. Warm and cozy inside with the oven on. Next step is to replace that flour with fresh. But the point is one has to plan, buy, store, cycle. House is all electric but we can heat and cook without that power. Don’t want to have to do that for very long.

  21. Graeme No.3 says:

    There was a theory that the sun and moon in conjunction at perigee would act as a trigger for earthquakes, which in turn could set off volcanos. The months Nov. to March were most likely.
    August the least.
    Don’t know, just saying it was said.

    Oh! and a Happy New Year.

  22. sabretoothed says:

    The huts I stayed in 2 years ago are under metres of rock now lol

    Kamchatka

  23. sabretoothed says:

    Bolivia could be the next supervolcano. http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/14/science/a-fascinating-growth-spurt-at-the-uturuncu-volcano-in-bolivia.html?_r=0

    Otherwise, maybe Semuru in Indonesia might do a Tambora and just blow its top off. PNG also is pretty good at doing that as well, maybe something like Ulawan

    Gaua in Vanuatu has a nice juice lake right next to a fault in the Volcano http://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/4557437937/ Vanuatu is good at making Ice ages, the 1453 eruption which destroyed an Island http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kuwae could happen again. Ambae could be another candidate for blowing itself completely apart ? http://www.smh.com.au/news/world/this-means-war-volcanic-lake-erupts-in-a-riot-of-colour/2006/06/12/1149964470420.html

  24. Chiefio,
    Thanks for the link to that piece on food storage. I will be re-reading that from time to time.

    There is only one point of disagreement. Given the US performance in WWII following the need to expand its Naval and Merchant fleets it should take no more than 3 years to replace the destroyed shipping, always assuming that there are enough countries with their manufacturing industries largely intact.

  25. Tom Bakewell says:

    Well, Mohammid could go to vist a mountain somewhere where one is spouting…

  26. Tim Clark says:

    Reposted from another thread to add:

    E.M.
    Obama’s election—continued erosion of freedom–Al-J piped into America–impending ice-age–and now volcanoes??
    You’re depressin me man!!

  27. Wayne Job says:

    EM,
    I have been impressed for some time by your infinite capacity to analyze complex systems and separate the wheat from the chaff. Thus volcanoes and earthquakes are a mystery to you and a buggaboo that you constantly refer too. It is possible and has been for a long time to predict catastrophic volcanic eruptions and to a degree earth quakes.

    Thus with your skills I will outline a path to follow, you have been skating around the harmonics that drive our climate, there are many more basic harmonics that create matter and in reverse destroy it. The equations for the detonation of a nuclear weapon are harmonic. It must be internally aligned harmonically to its spacial position on the earth and the suns declination at the right time for harmonic alignment or it will go fizz. One very famous scientist stated that an atomic bomb is a harmonic alignment of pure substances and give him a day in a chemist shop and a night in a kitchen he can make an atomic bomb. High density unstable substances are used so close alignments go bang, the pure alignment is pure energy.

    Some holes are noted in the world that have no meteorite impacts these were harmonic alignments. Volcanoes are not connected the molten interior of our planet they are balls of heat and molten magma that come and go with the harmonics, when they get the alignments used for atomic weapons they go bang big time, when they get close alignments they get hot and spew a bit.
    Sadly your government knows when a city is aligned for a bomb but does little to tell you about volcanoes and earthquakes. Remember the stubborn French testing in the pacific, I would ask you why do you have to test some thing that works over and over. They believed that they above all people could find an alignment, a universal trigger that would make their bomb work any time they wanted it too not when it was aligned. They failed, same equations can predict much years in advance. Cheers

  28. E.M.Smith says:

    @Wayne Job:

    I’ll ponder it. Have to say, though, that I know how regular nukes are made, and why they are tested so much. (Radiation hostile to many parts, need to find limits in storage, etc. Desire to shrink size – that was a major one. Trying different key fuel and form mixes.) That said, the conjunction of electric streamers in the electric universe with other ‘alignment’ drivers does look to do some odd stuff to various planets and orbital ‘stuff’.

    FWIW, the major reason I “fixate” on quakes is because of where I live. I’ve already got a M 7 under my belt and it’s possible to get 8+ here. If I lived in Texas I’d not care much at all. (though I’d have a tornado page up ;-) Volcanoes is more about growing up near here, 100 mi or so from a volcano and with ‘ejecta’ rocks and large ancient lava flows 12 miles away. “Table Top” Mountain of eroded lava 100 foot high “focuses the mind” of a kid who knows how it got there… IT was not THAT old, BTW… A mountain about 40 miles from my home is an ‘extinct’ volcano. Yeah, right, i say. We are on a spreading zone that can change where it spreads whenever it wants and we have a “Geysers” geology just the other end of the bay. Nothing here has to stay “extinct”.

    I’m also pretty sure I have a handle on how all that stuff works too. Even (now) down to the lunar tidal force driver that makes the longer term cycles of 1500, 5000, and 23,000 years. (Good news is we will get more quakes and volcanoes from this point forward, BUT, it’s about a 500 year ‘ramp up’ from here, so a long time before we get ‘lots’ again…)

    But, like I said, I’ll ponder your point. Sometimes I find things in places I expect to not find them. Like the TV remote ;-)

    @Tim Clark:

    One man’s “depressin” is another man’s “Interesting…” or sometimes “Verrrry Ienterrrestingk!” ;-)

    @Tom Bakewell:

    We could hope…

    I tried that with Hawaii. It kept stopping every time I went…

    I decided to stop. It’s been erupting now for about 1/4 century since. I’d try again, but I know it would just stop once I was on the plane… Some of us are just jinxed. Al Gore causes catastrophes, I shut them off… Too strong a “calming aura” I think ;-)

    Either that, or I just suck all the cosmic energy out of the space around me ;-)

    @GallopingCamel:

    It’s really a simple, cheap, and effective system. Pays it’s own way in money and labor too. Get a canning funnel (about $2 at hardware store) and filling jars is easier. Buy a 25 pound bag of sugar at (Costco, Walmart, BJs, Lucky) for about $15. Ladle it into about 4 gallons worth of jars. Place in box with “packing peanuts” or crumpled newspaper. Done. Now you never have to “run to the store” for sugar ever again. Now the spouse can decide “I want to bake”, and you don’t get sent to the store for sugar. Next week, so the same with flour. Week after that with Rice. (At this point you can live though many weeks. You won’t be happy, but you live. One “dry pound” a day, and you’ve got 75 dry pounds…) At this point, adding things like dry noodles, Lentils (that keep longer than beans without ‘going hard’) and some salt, pepper and dried onions & garlic is a nice thing to do. A 10 lb bag of “Krusteeze” brand pancake mix keeps a very long time too (even NOT in jars). I have the Costco “jumbo” sized seasoning plastic ‘shaker jars’ of Italian Seasoning, garlic granules, and dried onions. They last a year or two on the shelf in normal use, so I just buy a new one when the old one is down to about the last 1/4. At this point, it’s ‘light’ on fats. A large sized can of Olive Oil runs about $25 for around a gallon. Good for a very long time. (When opened I put it in the fridge. Probably don’t need too. But warm to room temperature to ‘melt’ it before refilling the decanter on the stove). Now you can have “Aglio con oglio” noodles. Garlic and Olive Oil with Italian seasonings. Along with spouted or cooked lentils.

    All up, that’s maybe $200. For that, you never run out of salt, sugar, flour, noodles, oil. Oh, and I usually get the giant sized Soy Sauce at Costco too. 1/2 gallon? We use a lot, so it only lasts about 1/4 year in the fridge. I refill a couple of the little Kikoman dispenser bottles…

    As any component gets cycled, you make money. Cost is about 1/2 to 2/3 of non-bulk buying. But frankly, one time you want some sugar for the tea and don’t have to run to the store… well, that’s worth it.

    After that, putting some “12 packs” of things like canned: peas, corn, beans, etc. into a stack in an guest room closet is nearly trivial. Never ever needing to go to the store if you don’t want to go is wonderful ;-)

    Per ships: Most ‘dry docks’ are at sea level. A giant rock fall will give a 100 ft tidal wave (or larger). Just sayin’… Then again, most ship building is in Asia these days, so if it hits in the Atlantic, it could be OK.

    @John F. Hultquist:

    We’re now going through about 1 lb / day of flour and the family is loving the home made bread… I’m saving about $2 /day on bread, too.

    @Graham No3:

    I think the lunar tidal charts from the Lunar cycle page give the broad context for “major trend” then the conjunctions give the ‘trigger’. We’re at the bottom of a major (1500 year size) trend, so only modest size for now. As we get to a peak, major issues. At least, that’s what I hope ;-) Next ‘big peak’ is about 150 years out ;-) (Though we get a quick ‘spike up’ that is high, but short…)
    http://chiefio.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/lunar-cycles-more-than-one/

    Look at the ‘hair’ lines of the lunar tidal force graphs…

    @Verity Jones:

    BTW, Nice to have heard from you again. I really need to visit your place more often. And read my email. FWIW, I sometimes remember that visit at the Heartland conference in Chicago. It was nice. Son lives in Chicago now.

    Iceland,: OK, see that lunar tidal force page. Hopefully it is ‘enough’ to predict. If so, we get an increase in quakes and volcanoes, but ‘the big burst’ doesn’t happen until the next peak and that’s a good ways off. (We are in the dead bottom of a valley, but starting to come out as of about 1998…) Though individual ‘lines’ go ‘way high’ from time to time on the way to getting the average up too. So we’ll find out if it is the peak force, or the average, that matters.

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