Friday Headlines, November 22, 2013
THE LATEST IN THE GEOSCIENCES
A new island off of Japan
Massive iceberg threatens shipping lanes off of Antarctica
A bit of Zen with ocean currents
Japan is a tectonically active area, replete with numerous volcanoes and deadly earthquakes. This is because of the subduction of both the Pacific and the Philippine plates below the Eurasian Plate.
Where there is subduction, there are often volcanoes in the over-riding plate. The numerous volcanoes that outline the Pacific ocean are due to subduction around nearly the entire margin of the ocean.
A new volcanic island has emerged from the sea along the fault that separates the Pacific Plate from the Philippine Plate, near and island called Nishinoshima.
The new island is about 200 meters in diameter, but is growing as the volcano continues to erupt.
On July 8 of this year, a massive piece of the Pine Island Glacier of Antarctica broke off and started drifting out to sea.
This piece of ice shelf is about the size of the island of Manhattan, measuring about 720 square kilometers.
The massive iceberg is now drifting northward toward major shipping lanes in the southern hemisphere. Scientists from the Alfred Wegener Institute, the Helmholtz Certre for Polar and Marine Research are using images from TerraSAR-X, a satellite from the German Space Agency to track the path of this iceberg.
Because of its massive size, an iceberg like this could last for years depending upon where it floats. Thus it could continue to affect shipping for a long time. That it is fresh water will also affect salinity near where it melts, impacting ocean water chemistry as well.
Go read the post, then click through to see surface current sin action.
Really. You must.