Category: Freak Natural and Not So Natural Phenomena


Earth Watch Report Banner photo FSPEarthWatchReport900x228Blogger_zps53ef6af0.jpg

…………………………………………………………..

 

tardigrade_fam

5. They’ve been around longer than nearly every other living organism.

Tardigrades roamed the earth and seas far before humans did – and will most likely outlast us. Will the tardigrades be nature’s last organisms standing? Only time will tell.

 

5 Reasons Why The Tardigrade Is Nature’s Toughest Animal

Read More Here

Earth Watch Report Banner photo FSPEarthWatchReport900x228Blogger_zps53ef6af0.jpg

Global Community Report Banner photo FSPLogoGlobalCommunityFulloldworldmapbckgrnd_zps43d3059c.jpg

………………………………………………………………………………..

 

Monterey Bay anchovy numbers in decline, groups say

By Samantha Clark

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Posted:   10/30/2015 12:32:04 PM PDT4 Comments | Updated:   19 days ago

Anchovies fill a hatch aboard the El Dorado as workers unload the fishing boat at the Moss Landing Harbor on October 16, 2015. The boat is owned by Frank

Anchovies fill a hatch aboard the El Dorado as workers unload the fishing boat at the Moss Landing Harbor on October 16, 2015. The boat is owned by Frank Aliotti Senior. (David Royal – Monterey Herald) ( David Royal )

Click photo to enlarge

Frank Aliotti Jr. moves a vacuum hose while unloadin anchovies from the El… ( David Royal )

SANTA CRUZ — For at least the past three years, humpback whales have been putting on a show in the Monterey Bay. Feasting and frisking, the 40-foot-long, 40-ton leviathans create in dizzying displays.

Locals have never seen anything like it. But things have changed.

“Since late September, the whale numbers have decreased, their behavior has changed and their food, anchovies, are less abundant,” said Nancy Black, marine biologist and owner of Monterey Bay Whale Watch. “We were seeing carpets just thick of anchovies for almost a mile. Now all we’re seeing is spots.”

Whale watching tour companies and conservationists claim the anchovy population has “collapsed” due to environmental reasons so fishing limits remain too high.

 

Read More Here

 

……………………………………………………………………………………….

 

Plenty of anchovies in Monterey Bay, but maybe not elsewhere

A fisherman moves anchovies toward a vacuum tube inside the hatch aboard the El Dorado as workers unload the fishing boat at the Moss Landing Harbor on Friday. The boat is owned by Frank Aliotti Sr. David Royal — Monterey Herald

Monterey >> Things are shifting for fishermen in Monterey Bay.

Market squid are disappearing, and in their place, fishing boats are reeling in piles of anchovies.

But while they appear abundant, conservation groups warn that the forage fish may be at their lowest levels since the 1950s.

“It’s an anomalous year,” said Diane Pleschner-Steele, executive director of the California Wetfish Producers Association. “Typically these are not the kind of oceanographic conditions that anchovy like. But they are here and they’re really close to shore, which is why we’re having a spectacular year for whale watching.”

Anchovies aren’t just bringing whales into the bay — they’re also attracting fishing fleets.

“There are thousands of tons,” said Sal Tringali, president of Monterey Fish Company, whose fishermen in Moss Landing are landing about 120 tons of anchovies each night and expect to do so for about another month. “There are all the anchovies you want out here.”

 

Read More Here

 

……………………………………………………………………………………………

California’s last anchovies crowd in the Monterey Bay

POSTED: 11:24 AM PDT Oct 21, 2015  UPDATED: 01:13 PM PDT Oct 21, 2015 

Anchovy shortage in Monterey bay

MOSS LANDING, Calif. – Several conservation groups and whale watching operators are very concerned about the anchovies in the Monterey Bay.

They’re worried they’re being over-fished, and want something to be done about it. Recently, fishermen have been hauling out 120 tons of anchovies every night, but those anchovies are some of the last along California’s coast.

Still, the groups want to make it clear they’re not against fishermen doing their job, they’re just concerned about a lack of data on the anchovy population and health.

Oceana’s Geoff Shester said there hasn’t been an analysis on anchovies in more than 20 years.

“The anchovy abundance out here, and off the entire state, has gotten to some of the lowest we’ve seen since the 1950s,” Shester said. “Scientists are calling it an actual collapse.”

Marine Biologist and Whale Watching Operator Nancy Black said marine animals and fishermen are both taking from the same source, driving down the anchovy population.

 

Read More Here

 

 photo FamilySurvivalProtocolColliseumBannergrayscale900x338_zpsb17c85d0.jpg

Earth Watch Report Banner photo FSPEarthWatchReport900x228Blogger_zps53ef6af0.jpg

……………………………………………………………………………….

 

THIRD mystery ‘Death Star’ space ball to crash into Spanish village sparks terror among locals as mayor demands authorities explain what they are

  • A third strange black orb has fallen from space into a rural Spanish village 
  • Concerned locals and Villavieja’s mayor have demanded an explanation
  • The circular 50lb objects bear a strange resemblance to a Star Wars droid

A third mysterious black space object to fall from the sky into rural Spain has caused panic among locals.

The strange-looking black orb was found in the village of Villavieja in Murcia – becoming the latest instance of an increasingly bewildering phenomenon, the Olive Press reported.

It’s not yet known what the objects are, though theories range from UFOs to pieces of space debris.

The first instance of the strange phenomenon occurred one week ago, when Spanish goat farmers discovered the strange object, which bears a striking resemblance to the Star Wars torture device, the IT-O Interrogator, in Calasparra, Murcia.

The Civil Guard were called to investigate the black orb and the area was subsequently put under quarantine. Pictured is the second object to be found in the village earlier this week

The Civil Guard were called to investigate the black orb and the area was subsequently put under quarantine. Pictured is the second object to be found in the village earlier this week

The Civil Guard stated the object was an aerospace artefact and pointed to the possibility that it fell from a rocket or a satellite.

However, a few days later a second orb fell from the sky.

According to The Mirror, Jose Velez, the mayor of Calasparra, implored authorities to provide answers to worried residents.

‘Where are these objects coming from? Why are they falling here precisely?’

Millions of asthmatics unable to breathe as giant cloud of Saharan sand and toxic air covers Britain in layer of smog

  • Air pollution set to hit 10/10 due to dust from Sahara mixing with local pollution and toxic air from Europe
  • Parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales are worst affected by the problem
  • Dust has been generated from two source areas – one in central Algeria and another in southern Morocco
  • Meteorologists say it’s ‘particularly bad with weather conditions creating “perfect storm” for air pollution’
  • Those in affected areas advised to reduce strenuous outdoor exercise, especially if they get a sore throat
  • Adults and children with lung problems, heart problems and pensioners should avoid vigorous activity
  • Asthma sufferers may have to use inhalers more frequently for a few days until levels drop on Friday
  • But the dust does have positive aspects for fish in the Atlantic Ocean and the Brazilian rainforest

By Mark Duell and Fiona Macrae and Ted Thornhill

Published: 18:13 EST, 1 April 2014 | Updated: 10:56 EST, 2 April 2014

 

Millions of asthmatics were today having trouble breathing as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sat over Britain.

One sufferer said she felt like she had ‘a baby elephant sitting on my chest’, while another said her lungs felt like they had ‘cobwebs’ inside them.

Even those without health difficulties have been told by experts to reduce outdoor exercise, with air pollution set to hit 10 out of 10 in some areas.

Britons are being warned they may suffer breathing problems, with parts of the South Coast, West Country, Midlands and South Wales worst affected.

Those in affected areas are advised to reduce the strenuous outdoor exercise they do, especially if they start to suffer from a cough or sore throat.

 

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Protection: A cyclist uses a pollution mask in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, as a potentially-lethal cloud of Saharan sand, toxic air and local pollution sits over Britain

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird's eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Not a good day for seeing far: A misty bird’s eye view of London from the Shard building near London Bridge

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Winding river: Air pollution in London this morning as the Government warns people with breathing problems to stay indoors

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

Distant: The Millennium Dome is shrouded in smog in London, as seen from a viewing gallery in the Orbit sculpture during a tour organised for the media

 

 

 

 

Pollution graphic from Press Association

Enhanced by Zemanta

 Earth Watch Report  –  Mudslides

…..

The remains of a home destroyed by a mudslide near Oso, Wash., on Saturday.

( Marcus Yam / Seattle Times / March 25, 2014 )

The remains of a home destroyed by a mudslide near Oso, Wash., on Saturday.

 

 

A body is carried out of a home destroyed by the mudslide.

Washington mudslide

( Joshua Trujillo / Associated Press / March 24, 2014 )

A body is carried out of a home destroyed by the mudslide.

 

 

An aerial view of the mudslide shows where the hillside gave way.

Washington mudslide

( Washington State Department of Transportation / March 23, 2014 )

An aerial view of the mudslide shows where the hillside gave way.

 

 

See Additional Photos Here

…..

Washington mudslide’s confirmed death toll rises to 16

The confirmed death toll for the Washington state mudslide rose to 16 on Tuesday night, and officials said rescuers might have located eight more bodies. If so, that would bring the toll to 24.

The day was rainy and difficult for the more than 200 rescue personnel scouring the mud and slurry just east of Oso, using cadaver dogs and sometimes their hands to pick through the wreckage.

“We didn’t find any signs of life; we didn’t locate anybody alive,” Travis Hots, chief of Snohomish County Fire District 21, told reporters. “Our condolences go out to the families that have lost people here.”

About 49 homes were smashed in northwestern Washington, about an hour north of Seattle, when a massive segment of land cut away from a hill along the Stillaguamish River on Saturday.

Rescuers have found no survivors since the first day, and have been holding out diminishing hope for a miracle rescue. Instead, the death toll has continued to rise, with two more bodies recovered Tuesday, Hots said.

 

Read More Here

…..

CNN U.S.

Hope for survivors of landslide dims as death toll rises as high as 24

By Ed Payne, Ana Cabrera and Mariano Castillo, CNN
updated 10:18 PM EDT, Tue March 25, 2014
Watch this video

After landslide, search for missing ahead

STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: Two more bodies have been recovered and up to eight more have been located
  • NEW: Lists of missing and unaccounted for are being revised, an official says
  • The body of a Navy commander and his dog have been recovered, the family says
  • Landslide has affected or destroyed nearly 50 structures, officials say

Darrington, Washington (CNN) — Brenda Neal was still at the firehouse at midnight, watching as rescuers caked with mud returned from the search for survivors of a massive landslide in rural Washington state.

But they had no answers for her about her missing husband, Steven.

There was despair on their faces, she said.

Rescuer: Houses exploded from the mud

Rescuers on Tuesday continued to battle debris and mud — with the consistency of quicksand in some places — in the search for survivors, but hopes dimmed as news broke that more bodies were found.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any signs of life,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters during a briefing.

The number of dead climbed to as high as 24 with the recovery Tuesday of two more bodies and another eight believed to have been located in the debris.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the dead nor did they provide details about where the bodies were found.

At least 176 people are unaccounted for. Officials have stressed those unaccounted for are not necessarily all victims of the disaster. They say they believe many names have been duplicated.

Three sheriff’s deputies who specialize in missing persons cases have begun reviewing the lists to get a more accurate count,Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said.

Steven Neal’s family holds out hope, despite discouraging signs.

Neal is a plumber who was on a service call in the area where the landslide hit.

“None of us feel like he’s gone,” Brenda Neal said.

Her daughter, Sara, agreed: “I think if anyone had a chance to getting through, it would be him.”

The waiting came to end Tuesday for the family of U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, 49, whose body and that of his dog were found by his brothers, his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton, told CNN. Still missing is Regelbrugge’s wife, she said.

On Monday, search efforts yielded a grim result — six bodies.

But searchers still are going through the area with the hopes of making rescues, Pennington said earlier Tuesday morning.

“I believe in miracles, and I believe people can survive these events. They’ve done it before,” and they can do it again, he told reporters.

The landslide covered about a square mile and was caused by groundwater saturation tied to heavy rain in the area over the past month. It affected Oso, with a population of about 180, and Darrington, a town of about 1,350.

Authorities have been warning the search area remains unstable

A volunteer rescue worker was injured Tuesday while working in an area where the landslide struck, according to a statement released by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office. The rescue worker was hit in the head by debris kicked up “in helicopter wash,” it said.

President Barack Obama, in the Netherlands on Tuesday, asked that “all Americans to send their thoughts and prayers to Washington state and the community of Oso.”

Obama said he had spoken with Gov. Jay Inslee and signed an emergency declaration.

Early hopeful signs, such as the rescue of a 4-year-old boy on the day of the landslide, have faded for some.

Read More Here

 

…..

Up to 24 dead, 176 missing in Wash. landslide

Navy commander among dead

UPDATED 4:05 AM CDT Mar 25, 2014
By Ed Payne, Ana Cabrera and Mariano Castillo CNN
Washington mudslide 1

Washington State Transportation Department

 

 

 

 

DARRINGTON, Washington (CNN) —Brenda Neal was still at the firehouse at midnight, watching as rescuers caked with mud returned from the search for survivors of a massive landslide in rural Washington state.

But they had no answers for her about her missing husband, Steven.

There was despair on their faces, she said.

Rescuers on Tuesday continued to battle debris and mud — with the consistency of quicksand in some places — in the search for survivors, but hopes dimmed as news broke that more bodies were found.

“Unfortunately, we didn’t find any signs of life,” Snohomish County Fire District 21 Chief Travis Hots told reporters during a briefing.

The number of dead climbed to as high as 24 with the recovery Tuesday of two more bodies and another eight believed to have been located in the debris.

Authorities did not immediately release the identities of the dead nor did they provide details about where the bodies were found.

At least 176 people are unaccounted for. Officials have stressed those unaccounted for are not necessarily all victims of the disaster. They say they believe many names have been duplicated.

Three sheriff’s deputies who specialize in missing persons cases have begun reviewing the lists to get a more accurate count, Snohomish County Emergency Management Director John Pennington said.

Steven Neal’s family holds out hope, despite discouraging signs.

Neal is a plumber who was on a service call in the area where the landslide hit.

“None of us feel like he’s gone,” Brenda Neal said.

Her daughter, Sara, agreed: “I think if anyone had a chance to getting through, it would be him.”

The waiting came to end Tuesday for the family of U.S. Navy Cmdr. John Regelbrugge, 49, whose body and that of his dog were found by his brothers, his sister-in-law, Jackie Leighton, told CNN. Still missing is Regelbrugge’s wife, she said.

On Monday, search efforts yielded a grim result — six bodies.

But searchers still are going through the area with the hopes of making rescues, Pennington said earlier Tuesday morning.

 

Read More Here

 

…..

 

Massive Mudslide Kills 3 And Destroys Homes In Washington State


…..

 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Mysterious Vibrations Shake Homes In Georgia!

DAHBOO77

Published on Feb 27, 2014

…..

11 Alive News

Vibrating Gwinnett Co. homes mystify neighbors

11:06 PM, Feb 27, 2014

GWINNETT COUNTY, Ga. — It is a steady staccato beat, unerring and continuous. Just low enough in frequency to be annoying, yet strong enough to literally shake a house.

Several in fact.

Nerves too have been shaken in this community along Little Mill Road in Gwinnett County, when neighbors awoke to the strange vibrations.

“This is my wine cooler,” said resident Gayle Akana, demonstrating the way the appliance vibrates. “And if you (touch it), it stops. And that’s what happened with the vibration when we like pressed against the wall or bed.”

Akana says her house shook for six hours.

“It was just shaking like crazy,” Akana said. “It was real quick; I can’t even replicate the sound it was making. It was just a constant shaking.”

At first she thought there was a problem with the pump or pipes in her backyard pond. But a quick check there showed nothing but sleeping koi. That’s when she went to the computer and noticed that Facebook started blowing up with other neighbors reporting the same mysterious phenomenon.

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta

Earth Watch Report  –  Tsunami

Aftermath  on a Brazilian beach after  a Meteorological Tsunami strikes

Cassino 09.02.2014

Pablo Guimarães

 

Published on Feb 9, 2014

Onda invade praia do Cassino e arrasta carros.

(Wave invades Cassino Beach and drags cars)

…..

February 12 2014 04:37 AM Tsunami Brazil Rio Grande do Sul, [Praia do Cassino (Casino Beach)] Damage level Details

…..

Tsunami in Brazil on Wednesday, 12 February, 2014 at 04:37 (04:37 AM) UTC.

Description
Sunbathers, swimmers and casual visitors at the world’s longest beach, the Praia do Cassino (literally Casino Beach) in Rio Grande, Brazil, were captured by surprise this past Sunday when a bizarre natural phenomenon known as a Meteorological Tsunami, Meteotsunami or simply, weather-induced tsunami, hit the area. It caused the sea to swell and spill out a wave that reached all the way up to the parking spots (…or at least where people had parked their rides, possibly too close to the beach), and while humans escaped unscathed, their belongings, including dozens of vehicles, were damaged, as the body of water tossed the cars around on the sand. According to locals, this isn’t the first time that such a tsunami has been observed in the area. Meteorological tsunami (meteotsunami) “Tsunami-like phenomena generated by meteorological or atmospheric disturbances. These waves can be produced by atmospheric gravity waves, pressure jumps, frontal passages, squalls, gales, typhoons, hurricanes and other atmospheric sources.” “Meteotsunamis have the same temporal and spatial scales as tsunami waves and can similarly devastate coastal areas, especially in bays and inlets with strong ampli?cation and well-de?ned resonant properties.”

…..

Freaky Meteotsunami Tosses Parked Cars Around at Brazilian Beach

|

Sunbathers, swimmers and casual visitors at the world’s longest beach, the Praia do Cassino (literally Casino Beach) in Rio Grande, Brazil, were captured by surprise this past Sunday when a bizarre natural phenomenon known as a Meteorological Tsunami, Meteotsunami or simply, weather-induced tsunami, hit the area. It caused the sea to swell and spill out a wave that reached all the way up to the parking spots (…or at least where people had parked their rides, possibly too close to the beach), and while humans escaped unscathed, their belongings, including dozens of vehicles, were damaged, as the body of water tossed the cars around on the sand. According to locals, this isn’t the first time that such a tsunami has been observed in the area.

Read More and Watch Videos Here

…..

Enhanced by Zemanta

HawkkeyDavisChannel HawkkeyDavisChannel

Published on Dec 18, 2013

Strange and extreme weather events that have taken place over the last 2 weeks. Thank you all for watching and stay safe! Happy Holidays! (More Below)

*This series does not mean the world is ending! These are documentaries of series of extreme weather events that are leading to bigger earth changes. If you are following the series, then you are seeing the signs.

*Soundtrack*
Zack Hemsey – Vengeance

Also take time out to check out the series 2013Is Strange produced by LAST MESSAGE https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqEP…

*For other events that didn’t make the video this week, and to report events in your area please stop by my Facebook page!
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hawkke…
Thank you all that are there, without you guys I’m also left in the dark…

Sorry for any mistakes

*Watch More Of This Series Here*
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=…

*Donations* (Optional)
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/web…

Thank you to the ones that film and the news channels that cover these events! I don’t own any of these videos.
FAIR USE NOTICE: This video may contain copyrighted material. Such material is made available for educational purposes only. This constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright

Enhanced by Zemanta
LiveScience
Location of the Chaman Fault in Pakistan.
Location of the Chaman Fault in Pakistan.
Credit: University of Houston

The powerful earthquake that hit Pakistan on Tuesday (Sept. 24) and killed more than 320 people struck along one of the most hazardous yet poorly studied tectonic plate boundaries in the world.

The magnitude-7.7 earthquake was likely centered on a southern strand of the Chaman Fault, said Shuhab Khan, a geoscientist at the University of Houston. In 1935, an earthquake on the northern Chaman Fault killed more than 30,000 people and destroyed the town of Quetta. It was one of the deadliest quakes ever in Southeast Asia.

Shaking from yesterday’s earthquake in Pakistan demolished homes in the Awaran district near the epicenter, according to news reports. The death toll will likely rise as survivors and emergency workers search the debris.

In the hours after the quake, a new island suddenly rose offshore in shallow seas near the town of Gwadar, about 230 miles (380 kilometers) southwest of the epicenter. Geologists with the Pakistan Navy have collected samples from the rocky pile, the Associated Press reported. From pictures and descriptions, many scientists think the mound is a mud volcano, which often erupt after strong earthquakes near the Arabian Sea. A second island has also been reported offshore of Ormara, about 170 miles (280 km) east of Gwadar, Geo News said.

“Other mud volcanoes have been triggered at this distance for similar size earthquakes,” Michael Manga, a geophysicist and expert on mud volcanoes at the University of California, Berkeley, told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet.

Little known risk

The unexplained island may have focused unusual global attention on the earthquake, which hit in a region that frequently experiences devastating temblors. [Video: Island Appears After Pakistan Earthquake]

But despite the hazards faced by millions living near the Chaman Fault, a combination of geography and politics means the seismic zone remains little studied. The Taliban killed 10 climbers, including an American,  in northern Pakistan in June.

“Its location is in an area that is very difficult to do any traditional field work,” Khan told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. “I tried twice to submit proposals to [the National Science Foundation] and I got excellent reviews, but the review panel said I was risking my life to work in that area.”

But the National Academy of Sciences felt differently. With their support, Khan and his colleagues in Pakistan and at the University of Cincinnati are now studying the fault’s current and past movement. This will help the researchers forecast future earthquake risk.

“This fault has had very little work and no paleoseismology,” Khan said. “It is really important.”

Complex collision zone

Pakistan’s deadly earthquakes owe their birth to the juncture of three colliding tectonic plates: Indian, Eurasian and Arabian. The Indian and Eurasian plates grind past each other along the Chaman Fault, triggering destructive temblors.

Read More Here

*******************************************************************************

People walk on an island.

A magnitude 7.7 earthquake struck a remote part of Pakistan with enough force to create a small island.

Photograph from Gwadar Government/AP

Brian Clark Howard

National Geographic

Published September 25, 2013

On Tuesday, a 7.7-magnitude earthquake struck a remote part of western Pakistan, killing more than 260 people and displacing hundreds of thousands. It also triggered formation of a new island off the coast, which has quickly become a global curiosity.

But scientists say the island won’t last long.

“It’s a transient feature,” said Bill Barnhart, a research geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey. “It will probably be gone within a couple of months. It’s just a big pile of mud that was on the seafloor that got pushed up.”

Indeed, such islands are formed by so-called mud volcanoes, which occur around the world, and Barnhart and other scientists suspect that’s what we’re seeing off the Pakistani coast.

News organizations have reported that the Pakistani island suddenly appeared near the port of Gwadar after the quake. The island is about 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) high, up to 300 feet (91 meters) wide, and up to 120 feet (37 meters) long, reports the AFP.

Media reports have located the new island at just a few paces to up to two kilometers off the coast of Pakistan. It is about 250 miles (400 kilometers) from the epicenter of the earthquake.

Map by National Geographic maps.

The island appears to be primarily made out of mud from the seafloor, although photos show rocks as well, Barnhart told National Geographic. He has has been studying images and media accounts of the new island from his lab in Golden, Colorado.

“It brought up a dead octopus, and people have been picking up fish on [the island],” he said.

Read More Here

*******************************************************************************

Enhanced by Zemanta
LiveScience
 
frozen_forest
Stumps have been thawing from beneath the Mendenhall Glacier for about 50 years, but recently, considerably more have been found in upright positions with roots still intact.
Credit: Jamie Bradshaw

An ancient forest has thawed from under a melting glacier in Alaska and is now exposed to the world for the first time in more than 1,000 years.

Stumps and logs have been popping out from under southern Alaska’s Mendenhall Glacier — a 36.8-square-mile (95.3 square kilometers) river of ice flowing into a lake near Juneau — for nearly the past 50 years. However, just within the past year or so, researchers based at the University of Alaska Southeast in Juneau have noticed considerably more trees popping up, many in their original upright position and some still bearing roots and even a bit of bark, the Juneau Empire first reported last week.

“There are a lot of them, and being in a growth position is exciting because we can see the outermost part of the tree and count back to see how old the tree was,” Cathy Connor, a geology professor at the University of Alaska Southeast who was involved in the investigation, told LiveScience’s OurAmazingPlanet. “Mostly, people find chunks of wood helter-skelter, but to see these intact upright is kind of cool.”

The team has tentatively identified the trees as either spruce or hemlock, based on the diameter of the trunks and because these are the types of trees growing in the region today, Connor said, but the researchers still need to further assess the samples to verify the tree type.

A protective tomb of gravel likely encased the trees more than 1,000 years ago, when the glacier was advancing, Connor said, basing the date on radiocarbon ages of the newly revealed wood. As glaciers advance, Connor explained, they often emit summer meltwater streams that spew aprons of gravel beyond the glacier’s edge. [Images: Shrinking Alaska Glacier Spied from Space]

A gravel layer about 4 to 5 feet (1.2 to 1.5 meters) high appears to have encased the trees before the glacier ultimately advanced enough to plow over them, snapping off limbs and preserving the stumps in an ice tomb.

Read More Here

Enhanced by Zemanta