Category Archives: Geology

Watch: Time-lapse of an Island Forming in Tonga

In December 2014, an underwater volcano has made a new island with a 120-meter (400-foot) summit in the South Pacific, between two older islands (Hunga Tonga and Hunga Ha’apai) in the kingdom of Tonga. NASA satellites captured the amazing process.

On December 19, 2014, Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai, a volcano located about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south-southeast of Fonuafo’ou (also known as Falcon Island) in the kingdom of Tonga began erupting. The nearby tourists filmed the huge explosion. The eruption continued into 2015. On January 11, 2015, a tall ash cloud rising 9 kilometers (30,000 feet) into the sky, causing a number of other flights between New Zealand and Tonga were canceled. By January 16, when the plume cleared and the ash settled, a new island had been formed by the explosion. The new island also called Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai.

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Humans can cause deadly Earthquakes

On May 12, 2008, a huge 7.9 MW earthquake hit Chengdu, a sub-provincial city which has served as the capital of China’s Sichuan province. Over 69,000 people lost their lives. 374,176 were reported injured, with 18,222 listed as missing as of July 2008. The earthquake also left about 4.8 million people homeless. Some scientists believe that the construction and filling of the Zipingpu Dam with 320 million tons of water over a well-known fault line may have triggered the earthquake Notes 1.

Sichuan earthquake is only one example of (but the deadliest by far, though) many earthquakes that triggered by the human activities, according to a study published in the journal Seismological Research Letters, titled “Database of earthquakes triggered by human activity is growing – with some surprises”.

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Animation – Earthquakes Between 2001 and 2015

The American scientific agency within the United States Department of Commerce, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) published an animation on youtube showing the Earthquakes of the First 15 Years of the 21st Century (between January 1, 2001, and December 31, 2015). The animation shows every recorded earthquake in sequence as they occurred at a rate of 30 days per second. It is based on the new SOS dataset of all the earthquakes in that period from the US NWS Pacific Tsunami Warning Center.

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10 Recently Lost Natural Wonders

The Earth is always changing. “The only thing that is constant is change, as Heraclitus (c. 535 – c. 475 BC) the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher once said. Unfortunately, things do not always happen the way we would have wanted. Here are 10 recently lost natural wonders that have been disappeared in recent centuries or even decades.

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Dragon Hole: World’s deepest “blue hole”

World’s deepest “blue hole” has been discovered in the South China Sea, and it is named “Dragon Hole”. With the depth of 300.89 meters (987.2 feet), it surpassed the Dean’s Blue Hole in the Bahamas, which is 202 meters (663 feet) deep. For a comparison, the Eiffel tower is 324 meters (1,063 feet) tall, so the Dragon hole could swallow it almost completely.

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