Monday, December 10, 2012

PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Quake Rocks Banda Sea, NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia/EXTREME WEATHER: Emergency Situation - Tornado in Yogyakarta, Indonesia Injures Dozens

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PLANETARY TREMORS: Powerful 7.1 Magnitude Quake Rocks Banda Sea, Northwest of Saumlaki, Indonesia - No Immediate Tsunami Warning! - http://thecelestialconvergence.blogspot.com

December 10, 2012 - INDONESIA - A magnitude 7.1 earthquake has struck the Banda Sea region, northwest off the coast of Saumlaki, Indonesia.

The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) says the quake struck offshore, at 16:53:09 UTC local time and was located at 6.522°S 129.813°E. The quake was reported at a depth of 96 miles (155 kilometers).

The epicenter was 147 miles (236 kilometres) northwest of the city of Saumlaki, Indonesia; 210 miles (338 kilometres) southwest of Tual, Indonesia; 224 miles (361 kilometres) southeast of Ambon, Indonesia; 227 miles (366 kilometres) southeast of Amahai, Indonesia; and 322 miles (519 kilometres)  northeast of Dili, East Timor.



The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center has no immediate tsunami warning following the quake, located northwest of Saumlaki, Indonesia. The NOAA website reports the earthquake was located too deep inside the earth to create a tsunami in the Indian Ocean.



The Banda Sea is a sea in the Maluku Islands of Indonesia, technically part of the Pacific Ocean but separated from it by hundreds of islands, as well as the Halmahera and Ceram Seas. Indonesia is located in the Pacific “Ring of Fire,” where earthquakes and volcanic activity are common. Since 1900, there have been more than 22 earthquakes with a magnitude of 7.5 or greater recorded in the New Guinea region, according to USGS.com. The largest was in 1938 in the Banda Sea, which registered 8.5 but did not cause significant loss of life.

Tectonic Summary - Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity.

The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate...  The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands. 


Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (less than100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.  There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996... Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life. - USGS.

 
M4.7 - 213km NNW of Saumlaki, Indonesia 2012-09-23 12:33:54 UTC


M7.1 - 227km NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia 2012-12-10 16:53:09 UTC - USGS

Summary

Location and Magnitude contributed by: USGS, NEIC, Golden, Colorado (and predecessors)

General

50 km/20 mi

Powered by Leaflet
6.540°S, 129.815°E
Depth: 159.3km (99.0mi)

Event Time

  1. 2012-12-10 16:53:09 UTC
  2. 2012-12-11 01:53:09 UTC+09:00 at epicenter
  3. 2012-12-10 10:53:09 UTC-06:00 system time

Location

6.540°S 129.815°E depth=159.3km (99.0mi)
Nearby Cities
  1. 227km (141mi) NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia
  2. 338km (210mi) WSW of Tual, Indonesia
  3. 362km (225mi) SSE of Ambon, Indonesia
  4. 368km (229mi) SSE of Amahai, Indonesia
  5. 518km (322mi) ENE of Dili, East Timor
Tectonic Summary

The December 10, 2012 M 7.1 earthquake northwest of Saumlaki, Indonesia, occurred as a result of predominantly strike-slip faulting at intermediate depths (170 km) near the complex plate boundary between the Australia and Sunda plates in the eastern Banda Sea. At the location of this earthquake, the Australia plate moves towards the north-northeast with respect to Sunda at a velocity of approximately 76 mm/yr. Motion between the two plates is dominantly convergent, and sections of the Australia plate have subducted beneath Sunda; the December 10 earthquake likely represents faulting within the interior of that subducted slab.
Eastern Indonesia and the islands of the Banda Sea are no strangers to moderate-to-large earthquakes – the region within 250 km of the December 10 event has hosted over 50 earthquakes of M6 or larger over the past 40 years. Six of those events have been greater than M7, including a M 7.0 earthquake in November of 1998 105 km to the southwest of the December 10, 2012 event, and an M 7.2 earthquake in December of 1992 65 km to the east. None of these magnitude 7+ earthquakes are known to have caused significant damage or fatalities.
Earthquakes with depths between 70 and 300 km are commonly termed “intermediate” depth events, as opposed to “shallow” (0-70 km) and “deep-focus” (greater than 300 km) earthquakes. In this region of eastern Indonesia, earthquakes can reach depths of over 500 km.

Seismotectonics of the New Guinea Region and Vicinity

The Australia-Pacific plate boundary is over 4000 km long on the northern margin, from the Sunda (Java) trench in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east. The eastern section is over 2300 km long, extending west from northeast of the Australian continent and the Coral Sea until it intersects the east coast of Papua New Guinea. The boundary is dominated by the general northward subduction of the Australia plate.
Along the South Solomon trench, the Australia plate converges with the Pacific plate at a rate of approximately 95 mm/yr towards the east-northeast. Seismicity along the trench is dominantly related to subduction tectonics and large earthquakes are common: there have been 13 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded since 1900. On April 1, 2007, a M8.1 interplate megathrust earthquake occurred at the western end of the trench, generating a tsunami and killing at least 40 people. This was the third M8.1 megathrust event associated with this subduction zone in the past century; the other two occurred in 1939 and 1977.

Further east at the New Britain trench, the relative motions of several microplates surrounding the Australia-Pacific boundary, including north-south oriented seafloor spreading in the Woodlark Basin south of the Solomon Islands, maintain the general northward subduction of Australia-affiliated lithosphere beneath Pacific-affiliated lithosphere. Most of the large and great earthquakes east of New Guinea are related to this subduction; such earthquakes are particularly concentrated at the cusp of the trench south of New Ireland. 33 M7.5+ earthquakes have been recorded since 1900, including three shallow thrust fault M8.1 events in 1906, 1919, and 2007.

The western end of the Australia-Pacific plate boundary is perhaps the most complex portion of this boundary, extending 2000 km from Indonesia and the Banda Sea to eastern New Guinea. The boundary is dominantly convergent along an arc-continent collision segment spanning the width of New Guinea, but the regions near the edges of the impinging Australia continental margin also include relatively short segments of extensional, strike-slip and convergent deformation. The dominant convergence is accommodated by shortening and uplift across a 250-350 km-wide band of northern New Guinea, as well as by slow southward-verging subduction of the Pacific plate north of New Guinea at the New Guinea trench. Here, the Australia-Pacific plate relative velocity is approximately 110 mm/yr towards the northeast, leading to the 2-8 mm/yr uplift of the New Guinea Highlands.

Whereas the northern band of deformation is relatively diffuse east of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border, in western New Guinea there are at least two small (<100,000 km²) blocks of relatively undeformed lithosphere. The westernmost of these is the Birds Head Peninsula microplate in Indonesia's West Papua province, bounded on the south by the Seram trench. The Seram trench was originally interpreted as an extreme bend in the Sunda subduction zone, but is now thought to represent a southward-verging subduction zone between Birds Head and the Banda Sea.

There have been 22 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded in the New Guinea region since 1900. The dominant earthquake mechanisms are thrust and strike slip, associated with the arc-continent collision and the relative motions between numerous local microplates. The largest earthquake in the region was a M8.2 shallow thrust fault event in the northern Papua province of Indonesia that killed 166 people in 1996.
The western portion of the northern Australia plate boundary extends approximately 4800 km from New Guinea to Sumatra and primarily separates Australia from the Eurasia plate, including the Sunda block. This portion is dominantly convergent and includes subduction at the Sunda (Java) trench, and a young arc-continent collision.

In the east, this boundary extends from the Kai Islands to Sumba along the Timor trough, offset from the Sunda trench by 250 km south of Sumba. Contrary to earlier tectonic models in which this trough was interpreted as a subduction feature continuous with the Sunda subduction zone, it is now thought to represent a subsiding deformational feature related to the collision of the Australia plate continental margin and the volcanic arc of the Eurasia plate, initiating in the last 5-8 Myr. Before collision began, the Sunda subduction zone extended eastward to at least the Kai Islands, evidenced by the presence of a northward-dipping zone of seismicity beneath Timor Leste. A more detailed examination of the seismic zone along it's eastern segment reveals a gap in intermediate depth seismicity under Timor and seismic mechanisms that indicate an eastward propagating tear in the descending slab as the negatively buoyant oceanic lithosphere detaches from positively buoyant continental lithosphere. On the surface, GPS measurements indicate that the region around Timor is currently no longer connected to the Eurasia plate, but instead is moving at nearly the same velocity as the Australia plate, another consequence of collision.

Large earthquakes in eastern Indonesia occur frequently but interplate megathrust events related to subduction are rare; this is likely due to the disconnection of the descending oceanic slab from the continental margin. There have been 9 M7.5+ earthquakes recorded from the Kai Islands to Sumba since 1900. The largest was the great Banda Sea earthquake of 1938 (M8.5) an intermediate depth thrust faulting event that did not cause significant loss of life.
More information on regional seismicity and tectonics

Magnitude 7.1 earthquake struck Banda Sea, Indonesia A 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Banda Sea, Indonesia on December 10, 2012 at 16:53 UTC according to USGS and EMSC. Epicenter was located 229 km (142 miles) NW of Saumlaki, Indonesia and 338 km (210

EXTREME WEATHER: Emergency Situation - Tornado in Yogyakarta, Indonesia Injuries Dozen, Damage 519 Houses, Collapse Trees! - http://thecelestialconvergence.blogspot.com/

December 09, 2012 - INDONESIA - More than a dozen people have been injured and hundreds of houses left damaged after a tornado swept through the Yogyakarta district of Sleman on Friday.



The National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB) spokesman said on Saturday that the tornado — which had a radius of two kilometers at a speed of 60 kilometers per hour — lasted for 10 minutes and hit 10 villages in Sleman, with the Bromonila village in the subdistrict of Purwomartani reporting the most damages.

“Two people were seriously injured and have to undergo treatment now, and 12 others were lightly wounded,” BNPB spokesman Sutopo Purwo said in a statement published at bnpb.go.id.

Sutopo said 519 houses in total were damaged and dozens of cattle sheds and hundreds of trees also reportedly collapsed.

The district head of Sleman has declared the area an emergency situation until Dec. 11.


“The Sleman office of the BPNB has established an emergency station and a [makeshift] kitchen in Bromonila village,” said Sutopo, adding that people displaced from their houses had been evacuated to safe places.

The tornado also disrupted some flights to and from the Adisucipto International Airport in Yogyakarta. A Merpati Airlines plane from Bandung was forced to reroute to Surabaya and a Garuda Indonesia flight from Jakarta was forced to turn back. - Jakarta Globe

 

 

 

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Plume rises from Ulawun volcano at Papua New Guinea

Ulawun volcano is situated on the island of New Britain, the largest in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is one of the most active volcano of the archipelago, and also the highest (summit elevation of 2,334 meters). Ulawun volcano is also known as “the Father,” with the Bamus volcano to the southwest also known as “the South Son.” On November 30, 2012 ISS captured image of the most recent phase of its volcanic activity, as you can see in the image bellow.   A white steam and ash plume extended from the summit crater of the stratovolcano towards the northwest. The plume begins to broaden as it...
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Ulawun volcano is situated on the island of New Britain, the largest in the Bismarck Archipelago of Papua New Guinea. It is one of the most active volcano of the archipelago, and also the highest (summit elevation of 2,334 meters). Ulawun volcano is also known as “the Father,” with the Bamus volcano to the southwest also known as “the South Son.”

On November 30, 2012 ISS captured image of the most recent phase of its volcanic activity, as you can see in the image bellow.

Ulawun activity captured on November 30, 2012 from ISS (NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs/ESCG at NASA-JSC.)

A white steam and ash plume extended from the summit crater of the stratovolcano towards the northwest. The plume begins to broaden as it passes the southwestern coast of Lolobau Island approximately 23 kilometers downwind from its source. (Note the image is oriented such that north is towards the lower left)

The summit of Bamus is obscured by white cumulus clouds (not of volcanic origin) in this image. While Ulawun has been active since at least 1700, the most recent eruptive activity at Bamus occurred in the late 19th century. A large region of ocean surface highlighted by sunglint—sunlight reflecting off the water surface, lending it a mirror-like appearance—is visible to the north-northeast of Ulawun (image lower left).

A steep-walled valley cuts the NW side of  Ulawun volcano, and a flank lava-flow complex lies to the south of this valley. Historical eruptions date back to the beginning of the 18th century. Twentieth-century eruptions were mildly explosive until 1967, but after 1970 several larger eruptions produced lava flows and basaltic pyroclastic flows, greatly modifying the summit crater.


Spatter rises above an east-flank fissure that feeds an incandescent lava flow. Explosive activity took place from the summit crater of Ulawun May 7-13, 1978 accompanied by pyroclastic flows from a fissure high on the SE flank on May 9. The lava flow seen here was emitted from fissures on the lower east flank about 5 km from the summit on May 10-14. At least a dozen vents were active during one of the first observed flank eruptions in Papua New Guinea. The lava flow traveled 6 km to the Pandi River.
(Photo by K. Spellmeyer, 1978/courtesy of Wally Johnson, Australia Bureau of Mineral Resources).

Source: EarthObservatory, NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth, Global Volcanism Program
Astronaut photograph ISS034-E-5496 was acquired on November 30, 2012, with a Nikon D2Xs digital camera using a 180 millimeter lens, and is provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations experiment and Image Science & Analysis Laboratory, Johnson Space Center. The image was taken by the Expedition 34 crew. It has been cropped and enhanced to improve contrast, and lens artifacts have been removed. The International Space Station Program supports the laboratory as part of the ISS National Lab to help astronauts take pictures of Earth that will be of the greatest value to scientists and the public, and to make those images freely available on the Internet. Additional images taken by astronauts and cosmonauts can be viewed at the NASA/JSC Gateway to Astronaut Photography of Earth. Caption by William L. Stefanov, Jacobs/ESCG at NASA-JSC.