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Archive for November 11th, 2009

Overlapping Krasheninnikov Stratovolcanoes, Russia

54.5N 160.2E

November 11th, 2009 Category: Volcanoes

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia - October 7th, 2009

Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia - October 7th, 2009

The Krasheninnikov Volcano (above, center) is actually two stratovolcanoes that overlap inside a large caldera located in the eastern part of Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia.

The northern cone resembles a Russian doll: it is crowned with a caldera, the caldera encloses a small stratovolcano, and the crater of this volcano hosts a small lava cone.

Multiple adventive vents are located on the flanks of the volcano and outside the caldera. The latter are aligned along the fissure zones parallel to the general strike of the Eastern volcanic belt.

Landslide and rockfall deposits derived from the volcano slopes overlap some lava flows. No historical eruptions of Krasheninnikov volcano are known, but it has been termed active based on fresh morphology and weak fumarolic activity.

Huge Blackout in Brazil and Paraguay – November 11th, 2009

November 11th, 2009 Category: Image of the day, Rivers

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - November 10th, 2009

Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay - November 10th, 2009

A problem with the Itaipú hydroelectric power plant plunged Paraguay and large parts of central-western and south-eastern Brazil into darkness on Tuesday night, virtually paralyzing the two countries. Experts are debating whether or not lightning and heavy winds and rains from a large atmospheric disturbance were responsibile for the blackout.

Power was being restored to Brazilian cities early Wednesday, while it was restored to Paraguay about 20 minutes after the initial loss. The power failure knocked out electricity in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Brasília, Belo Horizonte and almost 800 other cities in 10 Brazilian states. It it also forced the shutdown of major airports in Rio and São Paulo, as well as the São Paulo metro system.

Itaipú, the world’s largest operational hydroelectric power plant, straddles the border between Brazil and Paraguay. Representatives of Itaipu Binacional claim that the blackout was not caused by a problem with the hydroelectic power plant itself, but by a fault in the system that transmits electricity.

Brazilian government officials, including the Minister of Mines and Energy, originally blamed the blackout on a lightening bolt and/or strong winds and rains from a large atmospheric disturbance hitting a 750 kilovolt electrical transmission line between Ivaiporã (in the state of Paraná) and Tijuco Preto (state of São Paulo).

However, the Brazilian National Meteorology Institute (INMET) stated that the sky was heavily cloudy and prone to lightening strikes only between 1:00PM and 4:00PM, during which time this image was taken, and had cleared well before the start of the blackout at 10:10PM. Here the storm is visible covering the Itaipú Dam near the triple border between Brazil, Paraguay and Argentina around 1:40PM on Tuesday.

The Paraná River, on which the dam is located, runs southward out from under the clouds, then east into the sediment-filled Rio de la Plata estuary. The cities of Buenos Aires and Montevideo can be seen on the shores nearby. Upon opening the full image, more of Brazil and Paraguay are visible to the north, above the clouds.

The Cities of Venice and Mestre, South of the Piave River in Northern Italy

45.4N 12.3E

November 11th, 2009 Category: Rivers

Italy - October 7th, 2009

Italy - October 7th, 2009

The city of Venice, capital of the Veneto Region is northern Italy, appears as a fish-shaped white island in the Venetian Lagoon along the Adriatic Sea. The city actually stretches across 118 small islands in the marshy lagoon.Visible on the Italian mainland across from the island is the city of Mestre.

The saltwater lagoon itself stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Here, the Piave can be seen flowing towards the Adriatic north of the lagoon. It begins in the Alps and flows southeast for 220 km (135 miles) into the sea.

Tropical Cyclone 04A South-Southwest of Mumbai, India, and Tracking Northward

17.2N 72.9E

November 11th, 2009 Category: Tropical Storms

Tropical Cyclone 04A - November 10th, 2009

Tropical Cyclone 04A - November 10th, 2009

Track of TC 04A - November 10th, 2009 © Univ. of Wisconsin

Track of TC 04A

Enhanced image

Enhanced image

Tropical Cyclone 04A, located approximately 245 nm south-southwest of Mumbai, India, has tracked northward at 11 knots over the past six hours. Maximum significant wave height is 13 feet.

The cyclone can be viewed best by opening the full image, in which convection associated with the system can be seen reaching northeastward towards the Himalayas and extending far south down the coast.

Animated multispectral satellite imagery and a TMI 37 ghz image depict a large monsoon-like circulation with improved convective banding over the north semi-circle and weak banding elsewhere.

The low-level circulation center has slowly consolidated under favorable poleward venting ahead of a midlatitude shortwave trough propagating over the western Arabian Sea, however, the current intensity has been held steady based on estimates of 35 knots and the 35-knot unflagged scatterometer winds.

TC 04A is forecast to continue tracking northward along the western periphery of the low- to mid-level subtropical ridge and should track under increasing vertical wind shear (VWS) associated with the aforementioned midlatitude shortwave trough. Available model guidance are in good agreement through TAU 48 and support this northward track philosophy.

The system should intensify 10-15 knots over the next 24-36 hours but is likely to weaken quickly after TAU 24 due to strong VWS in excess of 50 knots and interaction with land after TAU 36. TC 04A is expected to dissipate over land between TAU 48 and 72.