Sunday, November 30, 2014

[californiadisasters] Fault Lines: Chasing Fire

Fault Lines: Chasing Fire - Full Episode

December 1, 2014 12:00AM ET
WATCH: Fault Lines chases wildfires in the West to determine the true cost of putting out the flames.

Fire seasons are becoming longer and more severe than ever before—increasing the threats to property and lives and straining the federal budget. The United States now spends as much as 2 billion dollars per year fighting wildfires.  

Climate change has intensified droughts and brought higher-than-average temperatures. Decades of misguided fire management policies have left many forests primed for larger, more intense fires. And resources and priorities have shifted to protecting homes, as residential development booms in the wildlands of the American West.  

The wildfires that ripped through forests and communities in the 2013 season caused new levels of damage and devastation. The Black Forest Fire—the most destructive in Colorado's history—destroyed nearly 500 homes and killed two residents. In Yarnell, Arizona, 19 firefighters died when a fast-moving brushfire overtook them. Then the ferocious Rim Fire threatened Yosemite National Park and became one of the largest in California's history, costing more than $100 million to fight.  

Fault Lines follows the 2013 wildfire season to examine what is going wrong with the war on wildfires.



Posted by: Kim Noyes <>

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[californiadisasters] Glendora preps amid worries of flooding, rockslides close PCH in Ventura County

Glendora preps amid worries of flooding, rockslides close PCH in Ventura County

By staff
Sunday, November 30, 2014 08:28PM
The rain arrived in Southern California on Sunday, in what was expected to be the start of a wet week.

Caltrans officials said Pacific Coast Highway would be closed between Las Posas Road and Yerba Buena for at least one day, possibly longer, due to clean up from rockslides that happened in Ventura County earlier in the day. Crews will work to clean up mud, rock and debris. Drivers were advised to use the 101 Freeway and canyon roads as alternate routes.

The rockslides left an unknown number of occupants from two vehicles stranded among the debris flow.

Authorities first thought that the occupants would have to be airlifted from the scene, and a helicopter was requested. But authorities were eventually able to get the occupants out without air assistance. One of the cars was removed, while the other was left stranded between the debris flows. No injuries were reported.

In the 5 p.m. hour, the Ventura County Fire Department said the following closures were in effect:

- South Pacific Coast Highway closed at Las Posas
- North Pacific Coast Highway closed at Yerba Buena
- Deer Creek Road closed at Pacific Coast Highway
- Cotharin Road closed at Yerba Buena

Meantime, residents in Glendora prepared for the possibility of flooding and mudslides. Burn areas from the Colby Fire are prompting the concerns. City officials have pre-filled 12,000 sand bags to help residents prepare, and K-rails are in place to divert floodwaters away from homes.

The rain is expected to stick around the Southland through Tuesday.



Posted by: Kim Noyes <>

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[Geology2] M4.7 EQ - SEDONA, ARIZONA

Globe with Earthquake Location


Preliminary Earthquake Report
Magnitude 4.7
  • 1 Dec 2014 05:57:38 UTC
  • 30 Nov 2014 22:57:38 near epicenter
  • 30 Nov 2014 21:57:38 standard time in your timezone
Location 34.977N 111.740W
Depth 10 km
  • 12 km (7 mi) N of Sedona, Arizona
  • 13 km (8 mi) NNE of West Sedona, Arizona
  • 25 km (15 mi) SSW of Flagstaff, Arizona
  • 36 km (22 mi) NE of Cottonwood, Arizona
  • 172 km (106 mi) N of Phoenix, Arizona
Location Uncertainty Horizontal: 0.0 km; Vertical 4.1 km
Parameters Nph = 94; Dmin = 68.2 km; Rmss = 1.26 seconds; Gp = 24°
Version =
Event ID us b000t1hf

For updates, maps, and technical information, see: Event Page or USGS Earthquake Hazards Program
National Earthquake Information Center
U.S. Geological Survey


This email was sent to

You requested mail for events within the 'United States' region
for M4.0 at all times.


Posted by: Kim Noyes <>


[Geology2] Pavlof Volcano

Pavlof Volcano

One of the most active volcanoes in North America is a threat to international and local air traffic.

Pavlof  Volcano
Ash plume from Pavlof being carried by the wind, May 18, 2013. Photograph by Brandon Wilson. Image from the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Pavlof Volcano Introduction

Pavlof is one of the most active volcanoes in North America. In the past 100 years, Pavlof has erupted at least 24 times and may have erupted on several other occasions. The remote location and weather with limited visibility, combined with the fact that there are few local inhabitants, may have allowed some eruptions to go unconfirmed. Today, daily satellite monitoring and real-time data from instruments around the volcano bring a continuous stream of information to scientists. [1]

Although there is very little human activity on the land immediately surrounding Pavlof, the sky above is heavily travelled. Each day at least 20,000 international airline passengers and dozens of flights loaded with freight fly above the volcano. An eruption at Pavlof that puts large amounts of volcanic ash high into the atmosphere produces air traffic safety concerns and significant financial losses as flights must be rerouted. This is why the volcano receives so much attention from scientis

Pavlof Volcano: Plate Tectonic Setting

Pavlof is located near the western end of the Alaska Peninsula. The convergent boundary between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate is located to the south and east of Pavlof as shown in the map below. The North American Plate is moving in a southerly direction and the Pacific Plate is moving towards the northwest.

Map: Where is Pavlov Volcano?
Pavlof Volcano map
Map showing the location of Pavlof Volcano near the end of the Alaska Peninsula. The boundary between the North American Plate and the Pacific Plate is shown by the gray toothed line. The Pacific Plate is to the south of the boundary, and the North American plate is to the north of this boundary. The A-B line shows the location of the cross section below.

At this location both plates consist of oceanic lithosphere. At the plate boundary, the Pacific Plate is forced under the North American Plate to form the Aleutian Trench and a subduction zone. A diagram of this plate boundary situation is shown in the simplified cross section below.

Simplified plate tectonics cross section (A to B)
Pavlof Volcano - plate tectonics
Simplified plate tectonics cross-section showing how Pavlof Volcano is located on the Alaska Peninsula. A subduction zone formed where the Pacific Plate descends beneath the North American Plate is directly below the volcano. Magma produced from the melting mantle and Pacific Plate rises to the surface and causes eruptions.

Pavlof Volcano: Eruptive History

The diagram below summarizes the eruptive frequency of Pavlov for which there is a written record. The small number of eruptions in the early portion of this record reflects the remote location of the volcano, the lack of local population and the poor weather conditions that limited observation. Eruption frequencies in the 1700s, 1800s and early 1900s are underrepresented.

Some of the eruptions are marked as "questionable." At times it was impossible to attribute an eruption to a specific volcano because vents are so numerous and close together in the Eammons Lake Volcanic Center. [3]

Most of Pavlof's eruptions have involved low energy ash releases, minor lava flows or minor lava fountaining. These sometimes produce lahars when ash and lava melt portions of Pavlof's snow cap. Some of these lahars have been large enough to reach the Pacific Ocean to the south or the Bering Sea to the north.

Occasionally, Pavlof produces a strong explosive eruption or a number of smaller explosive events in a single eruptive episode. The 1983, 1981, 1974/1975, 1936/1948, and 1906/1911 eruptions produced enough ejecta to be rated at level 3 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index. The 1762/1786 eruption has been rated at VEI 4. [2]

Pavlov - eruptive history
Chart of the eruptive history of Pavlof Volcano by century. The greater frequency of eruptions over the last two centuries can mainly be attributed to improved observation abilities and greater interest in the volcano. Data in this chart is from the Alaska Volcano Observatory, where more specific details for most of these eruptions are available for public view. Some of the eruptions extended in time across two or more calendar years. [1]

Pavlof: Geology and Hazards

Although eruptions at Pavlof have been numerous, they have fortunately been small to moderate in size. They are often Strombolian eruptions that produce local falls of tephra. Pavlof also produces ash plumes that can be carried hundreds of miles by the wind.

Pavlof has not been a deadly threat to people on the ground because very few people venture near the volcano. The nearest community is Cold Bay, about 35 miles to the southwest. Other nearby communities include King Cove, Nelson Lagoon and Sand Point. All of these are beyond the reach of lahars and pyroclastic flows; however, each of these communities has experienced ash falls from eruptions at Pavlof.

Ash plumes are the most significant hazard associated with eruptions at Pavlof. They are a major hazard to local aircraft and a threat to international air traffic when they reach significant height. This is why the volcano is monitored with instruments and why satellite images of the volcano are examined daily.

Pavlof is usually covered by snow and ice. Eruptions can quickly melt significant amounts of snow and ice to produce volcanic mudflows known as lahars. These lahars are fast-moving slurries. They can fill stream valleys with hot water, sand, gravel, boulders and volcanic debris. They destroy stream habitat, which can be lost for many years after an eruption. They travel at very high speeds, and anyone in stream valleys below the volcano when an eruption occurs must quickly move to high ground to escape the deadly flow.

Pavlof eruptions often produce pyroclastic flows. These are hot clouds of rock, gas and ash that sweep down the flanks of the volcano at speeds of up to 100 miles per hour. They are dense enough to knock down trees and hot enough to incinerate everything in their path.

Lava flows are produced by many Pavlof eruptions. They are generally not a hazard to humans because they move slowly, their flow path is predictable, and they generally do not travel far from the volcano.

Caldera-Forming Eruptions

Pavlof Volcano gets a lot of attention because it produces a small eruption every few years, making it one of the most active volcanoes in North America. It has the ability to cause temporary air traffic disruptions, but it ranks far below a major threat to local populations and the planet in general.

The eruptive history of the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center includes several large caldera-forming eruptions. Between three and six major caldera-forming eruptions have occurred there in the past 400,000 years. Estimated dates of these major eruptions are around 294,000, 234,000, 123,000, 100,000, 30-50,000, and 26,000 years ago.

Some of these eruptions have been powerful enough to cover up to 1000 square miles with pyroclastic flows of dacite and rhyolite. In some eruptions they were hot enough to produce welded deposits at distances of up to 20 miles from the vent! Fortunately, these caldera-forming eruptions are extremely rare, and there is no indication that one will occur in the foreseeable future. [3]


Ash Plume from Pavlof's 2007 Eruption
Pavlof ash plume
Pavlof volcano and an eruption plume photographed from a commercial flight on August 30, 2007. The plume is about 17,000 feet tall. Little Pavlof is the smaller peak on Pavlof's right shoulder. Eruptions like this are a severe hazard to local and international air traffic. Photograph by Chris Waythomas, Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey.

The Three Pavlofs
Pavlof Sister, Pavlof, Little Pavlof Volcanoes
Photograph of the three Pavlofs. From left: Pavlof Sister, Pavlof, and Little Pavlof (small peak on the right shoulder of Pavlof) as observed from Trader Mountain in August 2005 by Chris Waythomas. [3] Pavlof Sister and Little Pavlof have not erupted during recorded history but have probably erupted within the past 10,000 years. Alaska Volcano Observatory image.

Pavlof Volcano - 1996 Eruption
Pavlof Volcano - 1996 eruption
A photo of Pavlof Volcano taken on November 13, 1996. This image shows Pavlof's steep stratovolcano geometry. This eruption began on September 15, 1996 and ended on January 3, 1997. It produced numerous steam and ash eruptions, strombolian eruptions, lava fountains and lava flows. USGS image by Elgin Cook.

Facts About Pavlof Volcano

Pavlof Volcano - 2007 Eruption
Pavlof Volcano - 2007 eruption
Photograph of Pavlof Volcano (erupting), Pavlof Sister (left) and Little Pavlof (small peak on the right shoulder of Pavlof) taken on August 29, 2007 by Guy Tygat. Alaska Volcano Observatory image.

Pavlof Lahar Deposits
Pavlof lahar deposits
Lahar runout deposit produced during the 2007 eruption at Pavlof. It is a sandy matrix-support deposit with a mix of volcanic ejecta and stream pebbles. Image by Chris Waythomas. USGS image. Enlarge.

Pavlof Hazard Map
Pavlof hazard map
Map showing the geographic extent and locations of pyroclastic flow, surge and blast hazards around Pavlof and neighboring volcanoes. USGS image. Enlarge. Additional maps of lahar, debris-avalanche, ash fallout and other hazards are part of the Preliminary Volcano-Hazard Assessment for the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center report and map set. [4]

Video of a lahar produced during the 2007 eruption of Pavlof. In the video you can observe the front of the lahar sweeeping down the channel. Other larger lahars exceeded the capacity of the channel and produced the sediment-covered landscape around the channel. Filmed by pilot Jeff Linscott of JL Aviation. Alaska Volcano Observatory video.

Pavlof Topographic Map
Pavlof topographic map
USGS topographic map of Pavlof and surrounding volcanic features. Enlarge.

More Information About Pavlof
[1] Pavlof Activity Page: Alaska Volcano Observatory.

[2] Pavlof Volcano Summary: Smithsonian Institution, Global Volcanism Program.

[3] Preliminary Volcano-Hazard Assessment for the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center, Alaska: United States Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5248, 2006.

[4] Preliminary Volcano-Hazard Assessment for the Emmons Lake Volcanic Center, Alaska: (accompanying maps) United States Geological Survey, Scientific Investigations Report 2006-5248, 2006.



Posted by: Lin Kerns <>


[Geology2] Volcanic activity worldwide 30 Nov 2014

Sunday Nov 30, 2014
The eruptive vents at Fogo this morning (MuzikaTV)
The eruptive vents at Fogo this morning (MuzikaTV)
Fogo (Cape Verde): Although explosive activity has decreased at the vents, it seems that lava effusion picked up. The advance of some of the lava flow fronts in Portela village picked up again this morning, reaching 20 meters per hour. Local sources mention that seismic activity also increased.
If no changes occur, it seems that within a few days, the whole village of Portela could become a victim of the lava flows. Evacuation of remaining goods from the still standing, threatened buildings continue.
Most of the Nature Park has by now been covered by lava. The Park's Headquarters building, already damaged by lava flows and looting earlier on in the eruption, has now been completely destroyed.

Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): Mild ash emissions continue. A plume at 14,000 ft (4.2 km) is drifting eastwards from the volcano.

Aso (Kyushu): Mild, but continuous ash emissions continued at least until this morning, and incandescence remains visible from the Nakadake crater.
Cloud cover prevented observations most of today.

Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): 3 strong explosions occurred during yesterday-today, producing ash plumes that reached up to 16,000 ft (4.8 km) altitude (Tokyo VAAC)

Colima (Western Mexico): An explosion occurred this morning and produced a plume that rose to approx 5 km altitude and drifted 80 km to the northeast before dissipating.

Volcano Activity Summary for 30 Nov 2014:

Currently erupting:

Ambrym (Vanuatu): active lava lakes in several craters (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Aso (Kyushu): intermittent moderate to strong ash emissions (updated 30 Nov 2014)
Bagana (Bougainville Island, Papua New Guinea): ash emissions, lava dome growth (updated 10 Nov 2014)
Bardarbunga (Iceland): lava lake, sporadic fountains, lava flow (updated 18 Sep 2014)
Barren Island (Indian Ocean): intermittent activity, likely strombolian-type and/or lava flows (updated 4 Feb 2014)
Batu Tara (Sunda Islands, Indonesia): strombolian explosions, ash plumes up to 500 m, extrusion of a small lava dome with rockfalls (updated 4 Nov 2014)
Colima (Western Mexico): new lava flow on SW flank (updated 30 Nov 2014)
Dukono (Halmahera): thermal anomaly, probably small explosive activity in summit crater (updated 25 Nov 2014)
Erebus (Antarctica): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 21 Jan 2012)
Erta Ale (Ethiopia): active lava lake in northern pit crater, active hornito with intermittend flow in southern crater (updated 11 Jan 2013)
Fogo (Cape Verde): lava fountaining (updated 30 Nov 2014)
Fuego (Guatemala): strombolian explosions from summit crater, intermittent lava flows (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Ibu (Halmahera, Indonesia): stromolian and phreatomagmatic explosions (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Karymsky (Kamchatka): occasional small explosions, thermal anomaly (updated 4 Oct 2014)
Kilauea (Hawai'i): new lava flow from vents on NE flank of Pu'u 'O'o (updated 13 Aug 2013)
Manam (Papua New Guinea): degassing, occasional ash venting (updated 28 Aug 2013)
Marapi (Western Sumatra, Indonesia): sporadic explosions (updated 27 Mar 2014)
Nasu (Honshu)
Nishino-shima (Volcano Islands, Japan): growing island (updated 11 Oct 2014)
Nyamuragira (DRCongo): active lava lake (updated 29 Nov 2014)
Nyiragongo (DRCongo): active lava lake in summit crater (updated 26 Feb 2014)
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Tanzania): effusion of natrocarbonatite lava inside the crater (updated 8 Jul 2013)
Poas (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions (updated 14 Oct 2014)
Rabaul (Tavurvur) (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): lava fountains, ash emissions from Tavurvur cone (updated 12 Sep 2014)
Reventador (Ecuador): new lava flow on upper NW flank (updated 22 Nov 2014)
Sakurajima (Kyushu, Japan): ash venting, intermittent explosions (updated 30 Nov 2014)
Sangeang Api (Indonesia): growing lava dome & lava flow (updated 7 Jul 2014)
Santiaguito (Guatemala): generation of hot lahars (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Semeru (East Java, Indonesia): growing lava dome, lava flow, strombolian activity (updated 26 Nov 2014)
Shishaldin (United States, Aleutian Islands): mild explosive activity, intermittent more intense phases (updated 24 Nov 2014)
Shiveluch (Kamchatka): growing lava dome, incandescent avalanches, occasional explosions (updated 25 Nov 2014)
Sinabung (Sumatra, Indonesia): continuing pyroclastic flows (updated 19 Nov 2014)
Slamet (Central Java): intense strombolian explosions (updated 13 Sep 2014)
Stromboli (Eolian Islands, Italy): weak strombolian activity at summit vents (updated 22 Nov 2014)
Suwanose-jima (Ryukyu Islands): strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Tungurahua (Ecuador): moderate to strong strombolian explosions from central crater (updated 25 Sep 2014)
Turrialba (Costa Rica): occasional ash emissions (updated 17 Nov 2014)
Ubinas (Peru): degassing, sporadic small explosions and ash venting (updated 11 Sep 2014)
Yasur (Tanna Island, Vanuatu): ash emissions, weak strombolian explosions (updated 14 Aug 2013)
Zhupanovsky (Kamchatka, Russia): degassing, last eruption ended mid Oct 2014 (updated 30 Nov 2014)

Eruption warning / minor activity:

Augustine (Cook Inlet (SW Alaska))
Bezymianny (Central Kamchatka Depression): steaming, weak seismic activity (updated 3 Jul 2014)
Copahue (Chile/Argentina): degassing, crater glow, occasional ash emissions (updated 19 Nov 2014)
Etna (Sicily, Italy): sporadic weak ash emissions from New SE crater (updated 19 Apr 2014)
Heard (Australia, Southern Indian Ocean): possibly lava lake in summit crater (updated 27 May 2014)
Karangetang (Siau Island, Sangihe Islands, Indonesia): incandescent lava dome (updated 24 Oct 2014)
Kavachi (Solomon Islands): no eruption since 2007 (updated 16 Jun 2014)
Kerinci (Sumatra): seismic unrest (updated 5 Jun 2013)
Kirishima (Kyushu): degassing, alert lowered (updated 25 Oct 2014)
Krakatau (Sunda Strait, Indonesia): degassing (updated 31 Mar 2014)
Kuchinoerabu-jima (Ryukyu Islands): explosion on 3 Aug 2014 (updated 21 Aug 2014)
Lokon-Empung (North Sulawesi, Indonesia): small explosions, lava flow? (updated 13 Sep 2014)
Mayon (Luzon Island): extrusion of viscous lava flow, warning of possible explosive eruption (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Medvezhia (Kurile Islands, Russia): strong steaming, thermal anomaly (updated 17 Jan 2013)
Monowai (Kermandec Islands, New Zealand): frequent submarine eruptions, last confirmed during Oct 2014 (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Ontake-san (Honshu): strong phreatic (?) explosion on 27 Sep 2014 (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Pacaya (Guatemala): weak strombolian activity (updated 14 Nov 2014)
Papandayan (West Java): strong hydrothermal activity, increased seismicity (updated 6 May 2013)
Piton de la Fournaise (La Réunion): short-lived eruption during 21-22 June (updated 5 Nov 2014)
Popocatépetl (Central Mexico): degassing, sporadic explosions, slowly growing lava dome (updated 6 Nov 2014)
Rasshua (Central Kuriles)
Raung (East Java): strombolian activity in summit crater (updated 5 Aug 2013)
Rincón de la Vieja (Costa Rica): phreatic explosions from crater lake (updated 21 Sep 2014)
Sabancaya (Peru): Sabancaya volcano (Peru): phreatic eruption on 25 August (updated 10 Nov 2014)
Sacabaya (Northern Chile, Bolivia and Argentina)
San Cristobal (Nicaragua): possible ash emission on 11 April (updated 12 Apr 2014)
San Miguel (El Salvador): ash emissions, small explosions, increasing tremor (updated 2 Sep 2014)
Sangay (Ecuador): degassing (updated 24 May 2013)
Ulawun (New Britain, Papua New Guinea): degassing, ash venting (updated 5 Aug 2013)



Posted by: Lin Kerns <>


[Geology2] Icelandic volcano sits on massive magma hot spot



Posted by: Lin Kerns <>


[Geology2] Snail shells show high-rise plateau is much lower than it used to be

September 22, 2014

Snail shells show high-rise plateau is much lower than it used to be

Vince Stricherz

News and Information

The Tibetan Plateau in south-central Asia, because of its size, elevation and impact on climate, is one of the world's greatest geological oddities.

The Zhada Basin on the southwest Tibetan Plateau, with the Himalayas to the south.

The Zhada Basin on the southwest Tibetan Plateau, with the Himalayas to the south.Joel Saylor

At about 960,000 square miles it covers slightly more land area than Alaska, Texas and California combined, and its elevation is on the same scale as Mount Rainier in the Cascade Range of Washington state. Because it rises so high into the atmosphere, it helps bring monsoons over India and other nations to the south while the plateau itself remains generally arid.

For decades, geologists have debated when and how the plateau reached such lofty heights, some 14,000 feet above sea level, about half the elevation of the highest Himalayan peaks just south of the plateau.

But new research led by a University of Washington scientist appears to confirm an earlier improbable finding – at least one large area in southwest Tibet, the plateau's Zhada Basin, actually lost 3,000 to 5,000 feet of elevation sometime in the Pliocene epoch.

"This basin is really high right now but we think it was a kilometer or more higher just 3 million to 4 million years ago," said Katharine Huntington, a UW associate professor of Earth and space sciences and the lead author of a paper describing the research.

Co-authors are Joel Saylor of the University of Houston and Jay Quade and Adam Hudson, both of the University of Arizona. The paper was published online in August and will appear in a future print edition of the Geological Society of America Bulletin.

The Zhada Basin has rugged terrain, with exposed deposits of ancient lake and river sediments that make fossil shells of gastropods such as snails easily accessible, and determining their age is relatively straightforward. The researchers studied shells dating from millions of years ago and from a variety of aquatic environments. They also collected modern shell and water samples from a variety of environments for comparison.

The work confirms results of a previous study involving Saylor and Quade that examined the ratio of heavy isotope oxygen-18 to light isotope oxygen-16 in ancient snail shells from the Zhada Basin. They found the ratios were very low, which suggested the basin had a higher elevation in the past.

Oxygen-18 levels decrease in precipitation at higher elevations in comparison with oxygen-16, so shells formed in lakes and rivers that collect precipitation at higher elevations should have a lower heavy-to-light oxygen ratio. However, those lower ratios depend on a number of other factors, including temperature, evaporation and precipitation source, which made it difficult to say with certainty whether the low ratios found in the ancient snail shells meant a loss of elevation in the Zhada Basin.

So the scientists also employed a technique called clumped isotope thermometry, which Huntington has used and worked to refine for several years, to determine the temperature of shell growth and get an independent estimate of elevation change in the basin.

Bonding, or "clumping" together, of heavy carbon-13 and oxygen-18 isotopes in the carbonate of snail shells happens more readily at colder temperatures, and is measured using a tool called a mass spectrometer that provides data on the temperature of the lake or river water in which the snails lived.

The scientists found markedly greater "clumping," as well as lower ratios of oxygen-18 to oxygen-16 in the ancient shells, indicating the shells formed at temperatures as much as 11 degrees Celsius (20 F) colder than average temperatures today, the equivalent of as much as 5,000 feet of elevation loss.

Just why the elevation decline happened is open to speculation. One possibility is that as faults in the region spread, the Zhada Basin lowered, Huntington said. It is unknown yet whether other parts of the southern plateau also lowered at the same time, but if elevation loss was widespread it could be because of broader fault spreading. It also is possible the crust thickened and forced large rock formations even deeper into the Earth, where they heated until they reached a consistency at which they could ooze out from beneath the crust, like toothpaste squeezed from the tube.

She noted that climate records from deep-sea fossils indicate Earth was significantly warmer when the cold Zhada Basin snail shells were formed.

"Our findings are a conservative estimate," Huntington said. "No one can say this result is due to a colder climate, because if anything it should have been warmer."

Funding was provided in part by the National Science Foundation, the American Chemical Society Petroleum Research Fund, the Comer Foundation and the Natural Science Foundation of China.



Posted by: Lin Kerns <>


[californiadisasters] On This Date In California Weather History (November 30)

2007: Heavy rain from cutoff low with a tropical connection produced up to 6" of rain at Palomar Mountain and Forest Falls on this day and on 12.1.
A debris flow (including large trees) over the Poomacha Burn area buried a house in mud, and caused serious damage to several vehicles and highway 76.
The flow was estimated at 15 feet high and 150 to 200 feet wide.

2004: Vallejo had a low temperature of 30° F.

1997: A waterspout was reported 6 miles south of Newport Beach.

1982: 26" of snow fell at Tahoe City, with 22" of snow reported at Truckee.

1982: A big storm that started on this day and ended on 12.1 brought widespread record rains and strong winds that knocked out power to 1.6 million homes.
1.96" of rain fell in LA on this day, a daily record.
On this day the LAX airport recorded a wind gust of 60 mph.

1972: Fresno had a high temperature of only 44° F, lowest on record for the month of November.

1970: A series of storms struck the region from 11.25 to this day following large destructive wildfires in the San Bernardino and San Gabriel Mountains earlier in the fall.
9.17" of precipitation fell in Lake Arrowhead, 7.22" in Lytle Creek, 5.11" in Big Bear Lake, 5.02" in Palomar Mountain, 3.56" in San Bernardino, 2.63" in Redlands, 2.51" in Santa Ana, and 2.05" in San Diego.
Flooding inundated streets and highways in the Rancho Cucamonga area.
At least 60 homes were damaged by floods and debris flows.
On this day a waterspout and three small funnel clouds were reported six miles west of San Diego.

1952: Heavy rain dropped almost 1" in Upland.
Street flooding was reported in Upland and homes were flooded in Ontario.

1932: Fresno received 0.3" of rain.
This is the latest occurrence of the first measurable rain of the water season on record.

1922: The morning low temperature at Reno was 8° F.

Source: NWS San Francisco/Monterey, Hanford, Reno, & San Diego


Posted by: Kim Noyes <>

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Saturday, November 29, 2014

[californiadisasters] Emergency Manager’s Weekly Report 11-28-14

Hello Everyone,


This week's edition is now available at:


Emergency Manager's Weekly Report

  • Introduction and Contributions (Page 3)
  • Executive Summary (Page 6)
  • Emergency Management (Page 18)       
  • Homeland Security, Defense and National Security (Page 20)         
  • Campus Safety and Security (Page 23)
  • Access/Functional Needs (Page 24)
  • Technological and Natural Hazards (Page 25)
  • Public Safety Communications (Page 27)
  • Emergency Services (Page 28)
  • Other (Page 31)
  • Syrian Civil War and Iraqi Unrest (Page 32)
  • Humanitarian Affairs and Global Security (Page 34)
  • Technological and Natural Hazards (Page 38)
  • International Affairs (Page 40)
  • Climate Change and Alternative Energy Sources (Page 41)
  • Reports (Page 43)
  • Resources (Page 45)


Special Report

  • Western New York Snowstorm (Page 10)
  • Leon County, FL Shooting (Page 11)
  • Ferguson, MO Riots (Page 12)
  • U.S. Ebola Cases

  • Contact Tracing, Quarantines and Treatment (Page 14)

  • Protective Measures (Page 15)

  • West Africa Ebola Outbreak

  • Affected Nation-States Response (Page 16)

  • Quarantine, Epidemiology Investigations and Treatment (Page 17)

  • International Response (Page 19)

  • Other (Page 21)

  • Resources (Page 23)


Steve Detwiler


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