There are many old legends that say a cluster of things come together when they come. One of the common sets is “volcanoes and earthquakes” often listed along with various weather disasters and comets or rocks from the sky.
Oddly, (or perhaps not so oddly…) that looks to be starting now.
After A very long time of being quiet, several volcanic areas are starting to wake up a bit. New Zealand is one of them.
When I visited there some decades back, the folks where nearly apologetic that the volcanic activity was low. The hot springs tour was still interesting, but most of the presentation was about “what used to happen” with respect to volcanoes. Now, inside a few days, we’ve had 2 volcanoes light up.
Has a nice summary page of what is erupting now. Then links to articles about the volcanic activity.
Tongariro volcano (New Zealand) update: scientists make overflight of the 6 Aug eruption area
This morning, NZ scientists could use a brief window of clear weather to make an overflight of the eruption area which was found to be just below the Upper Te Mari crater, where new steam vents were observed. At the moment, Tongariro is calm, but eruptions could resume any time. [more]
White Island volcano (New Zealand): new eruption, ash emissions from Crater lake
A new eruption has started from White Island volcano early today. An ash plume is rising to 4-6000 ft (1.3-1.8 km) altitude. The eruption consists of ash venting from a new cone that is beeing built in the Crater Lake, and followed a sharp DECREASE in tremor. … [more]
http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/white-island/news/11665/White-Island-volcano-New-Zealand-new-eruption-ash-emissions-from-Crater-lake.html (that second article) has this interesting bit:
Volcanic activity world-wide 8 Aug 2012: White Island, Tongariro, Etna, Stromboli, Popocatépetl, Santiaguito, Nevado del Ruiz, Batu Tara, Sakurajima
Wednesday Aug 08, 2012 09:19 AM | Age: 17 min
New Zealand’s 2 currently active volcanoes dominate the volcano-related headlines of news in the world:
A new eruptive phase started on White Island this morning with ash venting from the Crater Lake, where a new cone is beeing built, GNS scientists observed.
NZ scientists could make an overflight of the eruption area of Tongariro volcano in New Zealand and take photos of eruption vents located at the Upper Te Mari craters. They observed numerous ballistic impacts in up to 2 km distance and a debris flow deposit from the violent, probably phreatic eruption on Monday.
At present the volcano is relatively calm, but eruptions could resume any time.
So things being tossed 2 km and building cones from the Crater Lake…
I don’t expect much more than a resumption of the ‘typical’ volcanic activity of prior centuries, but it would be worth watching those very old cones at Christchurch and Auckland for any precursor quake activity.
The article goes on to list a load of other volcanoes active right now. I don’t have any comparison information to sort out if it is ‘more than usual’ or if they just accept smaller sized events into their list.
Also of note: There’s usually a few years lag between a great quake in a subduction zone and volcanoes going off behind it. We can likely expect some Indonesian volcanoes “soon” and a large one in Japan in a half dozen years.
Interesting times in Volcano Land ;-)