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Though impressive to bystanders high on the mountain, the rockfalls and the muddy flows they spawned don't pose danger to park visitors or people living downstream by the Nisqually River, said Jim Vallance, a volcanologist at the U.S. Geological Survey's Cascades Volcano Observatory.
Mount Rainier has unleashed massive mudslides, or lahars, in the past. But the current avalanches are tiny by comparison. Nor is there any hint of volcanic activity, which would be required to trigger a lahar from Rainier's south side, Vallance said.
Rangers are advising climbers to avoid the Nisqually Glacier, which is not a common route up the mountain.
It's not clear why the avalanches are so large and frequent this year, Lofgren said. It could be related to heavy snowfall, followed by warmer weather — or something else altogether.
"This is just what happens on mountains," he said.
ScienceDaily (June 27, 2011) — Stronger ocean currents beneath West Antarctica's Pine Island Glacier Ice Shelf are eroding the ice from below, speeding the melting of the glacier as a whole, according to a new study in Nature Geoscience. A growing cavity beneath the ice shelf has allowed more warm water to melt the ice, the researchers say -- a process that feeds back into the ongoing rise in global sea levels. The glacier is currently sliding into the sea at a clip of four kilometers (2.5 miles) a year, while its ice shelf is melting at about 80 cubic kilometers a year -- 50 percent faster than it was in the early 1990s -- the paper estimates.
(...) The rise of the lava lake and infilling of the crater is setting the stage for interesting times ahead. In the coming weeks to months, it seems likely that lava will fill Pu‘u ‘O‘o to overflowing, unless yet another collapse of the crater floor occurs as the supply of magma to Pu‘u ‘O‘o central vents is interrupted. Such interruptions could be caused, for example, by the opening of new vents on the flanks of Pu‘u ‘O‘o, or by the opening of a new eruptive fissure, like the Kamoamoa fissure, uprift or downrift from Pu‘u ‘O‘o.
The current activity is very similar to that occurring prior to the Kamoamoa eruption in March. The culmination of the present slow-filling of Pu‘u ‘O‘o remains unwritten, but either scenario—collapse and a new outbreak or overflows—will be interesting. Visit the Pu‘u ‘O‘o webcam to watch the unfolding activity (volcanoes.usgs.gov...).
JAKARTA, July 3 (Xinhua) -- A volcano in North Sulawesi province of central Indonesia erupted earlier Sunday, but there is no evacuation, head of the country's volcanology agency named only Surono said here.
Mount Soputan located some 60 km from Manado, capital of the province, started a small eruption at around 02:00 a.m. local time Sunday, spewing over 1,000-meter high hot ash, then it was followed by a big eruption at 06:03 a.m. local time by spewing over 6,000 meters high ash, the head of the agency told Xinhua by phone.
The agency has declared a dangerous zone with a radius of 6.5 kilometers, said Surono.
"So far, there is no evacuation because the closest area where people live is about 8 kilometers from the mount," he said.
Scientists are now warning that volcanoes in Western Victoria and South Australia are due to erupt.
The prediction comes just hours after two earthquakes hit the state this morning.
It comes as Victorians are warned to brace themselves for more tremors after a shallow magnitude quake hit at 11.32am, sending shockwaves through towns and suburbs more than 100 kilometres away.
Seismologist Adam Pascale told 7News it was the largest quake recorded in the area in the past two years, and warned there is potential for stronger tremors.
"It's significant for Australia, particularly because it was so close to an urban area," he said.
"There's potential for larger events in this sequence.
"We have had a 4.5 in the past, this is a 4, but we could have larger again. There's no way of predicting what the magnitude could be."