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Jul 11, 2005 9:06 pm US/Pacific
Unexplained Hot Spot Heats Up Ground In SoCal
by Tony Russomanno
(CBS 5) In Southern California, a unique and still unexplained hot spot the size of two football fields is producing temperatures above 400 degrees at the surface, and has started at least one brush fire.
The geologic mystery is 15 miles north of Santa Barbara, in the Dick Smith Wilderness area, deep within the Los Padres National Forest. The hot spot was discovered by fire crews putting out a fire last summer, and the source of the fire was traced to intense heat from the ground itself.
USGS hydrologist Dr. Robert Mariner hiked out to the hot spot, and found temperatures of 583 degrees Fahrenheit in fumerals -- or steam vents -- about ten or eleven feet down. That's hot enough to ignite wood, and it defied common knowledge.
"There's just no reason to have temperatures in fumerals that hot, unless you are dealing with a volcano," said Mariner.
Mariner says it's definitely not a volcano. But one theory is that a recent landslide exposed a unique combination of rocks to the air, triggering a chemical reaction.
"We kind of suspect it's a confluence of minerals and that got broken up just right to get the reaction going," said Mariner.
Mariner says the reaction might have been expected to consume itself by now and cool off, but that hasn't happened. So far, it might be easier to explain this as a portal to hell, than any other known geologic feature.
By King AP, Geological Society of America (Vol 37 No 7, p176)
October 17, 2005
On August 21, 2004, a landslide started a three-acre fire in a remote area of the Dick Smith Wilderness of the Los Padres National Forest, California. The fire was quickly extinguished but subsurface temperatures in excess of 550Â°F and a sulfur odor remained. Research by National Forest, USGS and UC Santa Barbara geologists and hydrologists suggests a possible cause for the thermal anomaly is the exothermic oxidation of iron sulfide minerals (pyrite and marcasite), which then burns disseminated organic material found in the local shale.
During the early morning of April 1, 1946, an earthquake of magnitude 7.4 occurred in an area of the Aleutian Trench located approximately 90 miles south of Unimak Island, part of the Aleutian Island chain (see diagram above for approximate location of quake's epicenter). During the quake, a large section of seafloor was uplifted along the fault where the quake occurred, producing a large, Pacific-wide tectonic tsunami. The most detailed, and well documented accounts of the 1946 Aleutian tsunami come from Scotch Cap, located on Unimak Island, and the Hawaiian Islands. Despite its enormous size at Scotch Cap, the 1946 tsunami had little effect on the Alaskan mainland, due to the presence of the Aleutian Islands, which absorbed the brunt of the tsunami's power, shielding the mainland.
On March 9, 1957, a great earthquake - the third largest earthquake the 20th century - with a moment magnitude of 8.3 occurred south of the Andreanof Islands in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It generated a destuctive Pacific-wide tsunami.
Originally posted by damntheptb
There is a lot of activity today, and a lot of activity in areas that should raise concern
Originally posted by kattraxx
By my current count, there have been around 176 EQs in the Aleutians swarm since midnight yesterday. Give or take.
[edit on 8/7/08 by kattraxx]
2008-08-07 15:26:35 - VAN/VONA
Satellite data show an ash plume to an altitude of at least 35,000 ft. in the vicinity of Kasatochi Volcano 22:30 UTC (14:30 ADT). The plume is drifting to the south-southwest. Based on this information, we are elevating the color code to RED/WARNING. This follows the recent increase in volcanic and earthquake activity.