Saturday, 26 May 2018

Eruptions on Mount Langila, New Britain.

The Darwin Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre has reported a pair of Eruptions on the Mount Langila Volcanic Complex on New Britain, Papua New Guinea, this month. The first occurred on Thursday 17-Friday 18 May, and the second on Monday 21-Tuesday 22 May 2018. Both eruptions produced ash columns that rose to 2.1-2.4 km above sealevel and drifted to the west.

The approximate location of the Langila Volcanic Complex. Google Maps.

Mount Langila is an active complex volcano comprised of four overlapping craters emerging from the northeast flank of the extinct Talawe Volcano on Cape Gloucester at the western tip of New Britain, Papua New Guinea. The volcano has produced numerous explosive eruptions ever since it was first recorded in the mid-nineteenth century, and is flanked to the northeast by a lava field which runs to the sea. The newest crater was created during an explosive eruption in 1960 that produced 10 000 cubic meters of lava.

New Britain lies on the boundary between the South Bismarck and Solomon Sea tectonic plates. The Solomon Sea Plate is being subducted beneath the South Bismarck Plate, which causes friction as the plates rub together, occasionally leading to Earthquakes. As the Solomon Sea Plate sinks into the Earth it is melted by the heat of the planets interior. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying South Bismarck Plate, fuelling the volcanoes of New Britain.

The subduction of the Solomon Sea Plate beneath New Britain. Oregon State University.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/10/magnitude-69-earthquake-beneath-western.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/magnitude-75-earthquake-off-east-coast.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2014/08/eruptions-on-mount-tavurvur.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/magnitude-65-earthquake-beneath-western.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/12/eruption-on-mount-langila.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/07/major-earthquake-shakes-new-ireland-new.html
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Asteroid 2018 KF1 passes the Earth.

Asteroid 2018 KF1 passed by the Earth at a distance of about 861 400 km (2.24 times the average  distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 0.58% of the distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after midnight GMT on Monday 21 May 2018. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though were it to do so it would not have presented a significant threat. 2018 KF1 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 13-41 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 13-41 m in diameter), and an object of this size would be expected to explode in an airburst (an explosion caused by superheating from friction with the Earth's atmosphere, which is greater than that caused by simply falling, due to the orbital momentum of the asteroid) in the atmosphere between 28 and 10 km above the ground, with only fragmentary material reaching the Earth's surface.

The calculated orbit of 2018 KF1. Minor Planet Center.

2018 KF1 was discovered on 19 May 2018 (two days before its closest approach to the Earth) by the University of Arizona's Catalina Sky Survey, which is located in the Catalina Mountains north of Tucson. The designation 2018 KF1 implies that it was the 31st asteroid (asteroid F1) discovered in the second half of May 2018 (period 2018 K).

2018 KF1 has a 1284 day orbital period and an eccentric orbit tilted at an angle of 6.01° to the plane of the Solar System, which takes it from 1.01 AU from the Sun (i.e. 101% of he average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun) to 3.61 AU from the Sun (i.e. 361% of the average distance at which the Earth orbits the Sun, and more than twice as far from the Sun as the planet Mars). It is therefore classed as an Amor Group Asteroid (an asteroid which comes close to the Earth, but which is never closer to the Sun than the Earth is). This means that the asteroid has occasional close encounters with the Earth, with the last thought to have happened in April 2011 and the next predicted in April 2025. The asteroid also has occasional close encounters with the planet Jupiter, with the last thought to have happened in February 2013.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/asteroid-2018-gj1-passes-earth.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/asteroid-2018-hl2-passes-earth.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/asteroid-2018-jg3-passes-earth.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/asteroid-2017-wy14-passes-earth.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/comet-c2016-r2-panstarrs-reaches.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/asteroid-2018-hv-passes-earth.html
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Cylindrocladiella spp,: Five new species of soil-dwelling Ascomycote Fungi from Vietnam and Malaysia.

Ascomycete Fungi of the genus Cylindrocladiella are found in tropical, subtropical and temperate soils around the world, though they are at their most diverse in the tropics. They are primarily saprophytes (organisms that obtain energy by breaking down decaying dean matter), but several species have been shown to cause plant diseases at least opportunistically, and their role as pathogens may be greater than is currently understood.

In a paper published in the journal MycoKeys on 15 March 2018, Nam Pham of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, Irene Barnes of the Department of Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology, also at the University of Pretoria, ShuaiFei Chen of the China Eucalypt Research Centre of the Chinese Academy of Forestry, Thu Pham of the Forest Protection Research Centre of the Vietnamese Academy of Forest Sciences, Lorenzo Lombard of the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, Pedro Crous, also of the Department of Department of Biochemistry, Genetics and Microbiology at the University of Pretoria, and the Westerdijk Fungal Biodiversity Institute, and Michael Wingfield, also of the Department of Plant and Soil Sciences at the University of Pretoria, describe five new species of Cylindrocladiella from Vietnam and Malaysia.

The first new species described is named Cylindrocladiella arbusta, in reference to the plantation where it was discovered, in Nghe An Province, Vietnam. The Fnngus was isolated from soil in a Black Wattle, Acacia mangium, plantation, and formed white or buff colonies in culture.

Cylindrocladiella arbusta. (A)–(C) Penicillate conidiophores. (D)–(F) Obpyriform to lanceolate vesicles. (G) & (H) Penicillate conidiogenous apparatus. (I) & (J) Subverticillate conidiophores. (K) Conidia. Scale bars: (A) = 20 μm (apply to (B) & (C)); (D) = 10 μm (apply to (E) & (F)); (G) = 10 μm (apply to (H) – (K)). Pham et al. (2018).

The second new species described is named Cylindrocladiella malesiana, in reference to Malaysia. as it was first discovered in Sabah State in Malaysian Borneo. This species was also isolated from soil in a Black Wattle, Acacia mangium, plantation, and formed buff to hazel colonies in culture.

Cylindrocladiella malesiana. (A)–(C) Penicillate conidiophores. (D)–(F) Fusoid to lanceolate vesicles. (G) & (H) Penicillate conidiogenous apparatus. (I) & (J) Subverticillate conidiophores. (K) Conidia. Scale bars: (A) = 20 μm (apply to (B) & (C)); (D) = 10 μm (apply to (E) & (F)); (G) = 10 μm (apply to (H)–(K)). Pham et al. (2018).

The third new species described is named Cylindrocladiella obpyriformis in reference to the terminating vesicles (cells at the tips of the hyphae) which are Pear shaped (obpyriform). This species was isolated from soil from a hybrid Acacia plantation in Tuyen Quang Province, Vietnam, and forms buff to yellow-grey colonies in cultivation.

Cylindrocladiella obpyriformis. (A)–(C) Penicillate conidiophores. (D)–(F) Obpyriform vesicles (G) & (H) Penicillate conidiogenous apparatus. (I) & (J) Subverticillate conidiophores. (K) Conidia. Scale bars: (A) = 20 μm (apply to (B) & (C)); (D) = 10 μm (apply to (E) & (F)); (G) = 10 μm (apply to (H)–(K)). Pham et al. (2018).

The fourth new species is named Cylindrocladiella parvispora, in reference to the small conidia (spore-producing bodies) of the species. This species was also isolated from soil from a hybrid Acacia plantation in Tuyen Quang Province, Vietnam, and forms buff to honey colonies in cultivation.

Cylindrocladiella parvispora). (A)–(C) Penicillate conidiophores. (D)–(F) Fusoid to cylindrical vesicles. (G) & (H) Penicillate conidiogenous apparatus. (I) & (J) Subverticillate conidiophores. (K) Conidia. Scale bars: (A) = 20 μm (apply to (B) & (C)); (D) = 10 μm (apply to (E) & (F)); G = 10 μm (apply to (H)–(K)). Pham et al. (2018).

The final new species described is named Cylindrocladiella solicola, in reference to the soil where it was found. This species was also isolated from soil from a hybrid Acacia plantation in Tuyen Quang Province, Vietnam, and forms buff to yellow-grey colonies in cultivation.

 Cylindrocladiella solicola. (A)–(C) Penicillate conidiophores. (D)–(F) Broadly clavate to lanceolate to fusiform vesicles. (G) & (H) Penicillate conidiogenous apparatus. (I) & (J) Subverticillate conidiophores. (K) Conidia. Scale bars: (A) = 20 μm (apply to (B) & (C)); (D) = 10 μm (apply to (E) & (F)); (G) = 10 μm (apply to (H)–(K)). Pham et al. (2018).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/stamnaria-yugrana-new-species-of-cup.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/07/beauveria-araneola-araneogenous-fungus.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/04/lecanicillium-araneogenum-new-species.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/chrysosporium-guizhouense-chrysosporium.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/03/jahnula-purpurea-new-species-of.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/two-new-species-of-amphisphaerid-fungi.html
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Homes evacuated due to wildfires in British Colombia.

 A number of homes have been evacuated due to a series of wildfires raging in British Colombia this week. Over a dozen homes have been evacuated and more than 50 more placed on standby for further evacuations, in the Allie Lake area, north of Kamloops, where a fire expanded from covering an area of 10 km² on Thursday 24 May 2018, to over 20 km² the following day. Another two properties have been evacuated and 29 placed on alert in the Xusum Creek area, where a fire has reached over 4 km² in size. Another six fires are burning elsewhere in the province, five of them between Fort St. John and Fort Nelson.

 A wildfire to the southwest of Fort Nelson in British Colombia on Friday 25 May 2018.
Shelby Clemmer/Alaska Highway News.

Wildfires are a common problem in British Colombia in the summer, when warm dry conditions allow them to propagate easily, but this year has seen an exceptional number of fires early in the season, raising concerns about how the year may progress.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/05/canadian-couple-survive-being-swept-of.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/avalanche-kills-skier-in-british.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/british-colombia-avalache-victim-dies.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/01/homes-evacuated-after-landslide-in.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/05/magnitude-62-earthquake-in-northwest.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/10/magnitude-44-earthquake-off-coast-of.html
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Fallacia californica: A new species of freshwater Diatom from California.

Diatoms are single celled algae related to Kelp and Water Moulds. They are encased in silica shells with two valves. During reproduction the cells divide in two, each of which retains one valve of the shell, growing a new opposing valve, which is slightly smaller and fits flush within the older valve. This means that the Diatoms grow smaller with each new generation, until they reach a minimum size, when they undergo a phase of sexual reproduction, giving rise to a new generation of full-sized cells. Members of the Order Naviculaceae are considered to be important environmental indicators, particularly in benthic freshwater habitats, as individual species tend to have very specific environmental requirements. The genus Fallacia are predominantly found in marine and brackish environments, particularly intertidal and estuarine mudflats. However they are also found in freshwater environments, with species known from Central Europe, Uruguay, Lake Baikal in Russia and California - a distribution which suggests that they may be more widespread, but as yet undiscovered in many areas.

In a paper published in the journal Phytotaxa on 23 March 2018, Rosalina Stancheva of the Department of Biological Sciences at the California State University San Marcos, and Kalina Manolyov of the Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences at Georgia College and State University, describe a new species of Fallacia from streams in California.

The new species is named Fallacia californica, in reference to the state where it was found. It was discovered in twenty one coastal streams in central and southern California and in Rock Creek located at the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. These Diatoms are elliptical, measuring approximately 4–5.6 μm wide and 6–14.5 μm long. They have rows of pores which run approximately parallel close to the centre, and radiate outwards towards the ends.

Fallacia californica from Aliso Creek, California, USA and from Soquel Creek (34), (37). (33), (35) Internal valve view. (34), (36)–(38) External valve view. (33) Areolae with remnants from thin hymens. (34), (37) Eroded valves with degraded conopeum show the canal of lyre shaped sternum. (35) Internal valve showing distinctly depressed lyre-shaped sternum. (36) Finger-like protrusions, each with two to four “pegs”, which fasten the connection of the conopeum and the mantle. (38) Girdle band. SEM images, scale bars 1 μm. Stancheva & Manolyov (2018).

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/12/understanding-role-of-biofilms-in.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/10/algal-bloom-covers-much-of-western-lake.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/04/three-new-species-of-diatoms-from-skin.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/11/three-new-species-of-diatom-from.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/four-new-species-of-fossil-diatom-from.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/09/the-late-miocene-pliocene-diatom.html
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Bathers warned to be wary of Clinging Jellyfish in New Jersey.

The New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection has issued a warning to bathers in the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth County after researchers from Montclair State University found about 40 Clinging Jellyfish, Gonionemus vertens, during a survey of the river. These Cnidarians, which are the medusa stage of a Hydrozoan rather than a true Jellyfish, are found in Eelgrass and Seaweed beds in coastal and estuarine waters. and can produce a painful sting, mad worse by their tendency to cling to their victims and deliver repeated stings.

 A Clinging Jellyfish, Gonionemus vertens. Annette Govindarajan/Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution.

Clinging Jellyfish are native to the North Pacific, where they inhabit Seagrass beds around the Russian Far East and Sea of Japan, but were introduced to the northwest Atlantic in the 1890s.  They were thought to have disappeared by the 1930s as Eelgrass beds around the east coast of North America, where they had become established, died off. However, as efforts were made to restore these beds in the late twentieth century, the Jellyfish have re-appeared, and become a problem along parts of the coast between Connecticut and Maine. The Jellyfish were first observed sighted in New Jersey in 2016, and appear to be becoming established.

These 'Jellyfish' are the Medusa stage of a Olindid Hydrozoan; animals with a two-stage life history, alternating between a Jellyfish-like, free living, medusa stage, and an Anemone-like, attached polyp stage. In the case of Clinging Jellyfish the polyp is about 5 mm across, and lives on Seagrass blades or Seaweed thali. The medusa stage reaches about 2 cm across, and need to remain in the Seagrass or Algae beds where the medusae live, and have suckers with to attach to themselves, a habit that makes them particularly dangerous to bathers.

See also...

http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/04/french-beach-invaded-by-by-wind-sailors.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/03/bathers-warned-after-portugese-after.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2018/02/warning-issued-to-bathers-after-large.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/09/exceptional-preservation-in-early.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/10/two-new-species-of-siphonophore-from.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2013/06/a-new-species-of-hydrozoans-from.html
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Friday, 25 May 2018

Magnitude 2.5 Earthquake off the coast of Norway.

The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 2.5 Earthquake at a depth of 10 km, about 60 km offshore of the town of Florø in Sogn og Fjordane County, southern Norway, slightly before 7.10 am local time (slightly 6.10 am GMT) on Wednesday 23 May 2018. There are no reports of any damage or injuries associated with this event, though it is likely to have been felt locally.
 
The approximate location of the 23 May 2018 Norwegian coastal Earthquake. Google Maps.
 
 Earthquakes are rare in Norway, and the waters between them, and those that do occur tend to be small, which makes the causes hard to determine. The entire of Europe is being pushed eastward by the expansion of the Atlantic Ocean and northward by the impact of Africa from the south, though these are remote from the Kattegat. There are lesser areas of expansion beneath the North Sea and Rhine Valley, both of which will presumably have some effect on southern Scandinavia.

Finally their is glacial rebound; until about 10 000 years ago much of northern Europe was covered by a thick layer of ice. This pushed the rocks of the lithosphere down into the underlying mantle, and now that the ice is gone these rocks are springing back up, albeit very slowly, a process which is not smooth as rocks tend to stick to one-another, and which therefore causes the occasional small Earth tremor.
 
(Top) Simplified diagram showing principle of glacial rebound. (Bottom) The extent of glaciation in Europe at the last glacial maximum. Wikipedia.
 
See also...
 
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2017/11/magnitude-37-earthquake-off-west-coast.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/08/lightning-kills-323-reindeer-in.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2016/05/thirteen-dead-after-helicopter-crashes.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/12/magnitude-38-earthquake-off-west-coast.html
http://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2015/05/magnitude-36-earthquake-hjelmeland.htmlhttp://sciencythoughts.blogspot.co.uk/2012/08/large-earthquake-near-jan-mayen-island.html
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