A high level eruption occurred at Manam volcano, Papua New Guinea on 12th February 2013. Ash emissions reached an altitude of 33,000 ft. The aviation alert has been raised to the highest level RED.
Background of Manam, PNG
Manam is a basaltic stratovolcano 7.5 miles (12 km) north of Papua New Guinea. Its first known eruption was in 1616. Since then Manam has erupted at least 30 times. The volcano has been very active in the 20th century with 23 eruptions.
The Northeastern Lau Basin is very unusual, because in addition to volcanic activity associated with the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Indo-Australian Plate, there are also areas in which the Indo-Australian Plate seems to be pulling apart; and these areas are also rich in volcanic and hydrothermal activity. Preliminary surveys of the area between 2008 and 2011 have shown that the Northeastern Lau Basin is one of the most concentrated areas of active submarine volcanism and hot springs anywhere on Earth. For additional discussion, please see the Expedition Education Module for the Submarine Ring of Fire 2012: NE Lau Basin Expedition.
Texteveryone – you have another near-certain world-ending catastrophe to look forward to. Scientists have confirmed that two continent-sized chemical blobs of partially melted rock are converging in the Pacific, and look set to create a massive new volcano, which could prove cataclysmic to life on Earth.
Geologist Michael Thorne at the University of Utah reports in Earth and Planetary Science that the collision is slowly happening 1,800 miles beneath the ocean. He says that the collision could lead in two possible directions – both of which are bad, and would wipe out millions of species. One is just a massive single eruption, which would kill us all, the other is a thousand-year flood basalt eruption, which would also kill us.
The problem is that two enormous “thermochemical piles” of molten rock about 3,000 miles across are moving towards each other at the bottom of the Earth’s mantle. The piles have been known about for decades, but it was originally thought they were static. But after extensive study with seismic waves, Thorne is convinced they’re in fact moving together.
The result is a massive, molten blob that will one day be created beneath the ocean, creating a huge amount of pressure that will eventually blow up in our face. “What we may be detecting is the start of one of these large eruptive events that – if it ever happens – could cause very massive destruction on Earth,” said Thorne. Luckily the process is slow – it shouldn’t happen for another 100 million years or so. –Huffington UK