Difference between revisions of "Volcanoes in Sierra"
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Latest revision as of 01:04, 1 July 2020
The state of Sierra (in the Federal States) has a number of different active and extinct volcanoes within its mountain region. Volcanoes are split into three largely distinct regions, the northern volcanic zone, central volcanic zone and southern volcanic zone. Many eruptions have occurred over the course of human settlement in the state, but only two have been considered large and explosive.
- 1 Northern volcanic zone
- 2 Central volcanic zone
- 3 Southern volcanic zone
- 4 SDMO volcanic activity map
Northern volcanic zone
Volcanoes in the north of Sierra, which include Kibsy, Tunicawi, Mount Rucani and Kichin, are younger and a lot more active, with several exhibiting persistent volcanic activity for decades, but have not been known for large or violent explosions in recorded history apart from Kibsy and Kichin.
Kibsy, also known as El Fumador, is an active complex volcano in Cusatia County, Sierra. It has an altitude of 5965m above sea level. The name Kibsy comes from an old Timona word for "breath" or "breathing". Early theories as to the name were though to perhaps come from a pre-contact eruption. Despite this, it was considered to be dormant. In August of 1948 fumaroles were first detected coming out of the volcano, and had heavily increased in 1958 to make it highly visible within a large radius. The volcano was heavily monitored during and after the Mount McInnes eruption in 1960, though the fumaroles were no longer as heavy after 1962. The fumaroles persist to this day. Through its remoteness and large inaccessibility, Kibsy is only visited by serious climbers.
Various small tremors and two significant ones of about 3.6 magnitude were felt in the Kibsy Peak area on 16 March 2020. Tremors continued to be felt afterward and fumaroles increased. Teams sent by the Sierra Disaster Management Office (SDMO) has been undertaking field studies and research which have indicated that an eruption is likely to occur. SDMO director Mike Roberts announced to the press on 23 March that northern Sierra should begin bracing for an eruption in as early as "days".
Kibsy erupted on 29 March 2020, creating an ash plume of 5000m, reaching up to 36000 feet into the air and leading to a volcanic ash advisory. Lahars flowed to the east and southeast of the summit and the ash cloud was being blown to the southeast. No large explosion or significant threat to populations or settlements occurred. The volcano persists in an eruptive phase, with minor to significant amounts of ash, lava and rock being released as well as minor tremors being felt. Kibsy exploded again on 20 June, with a larger explosion following on 30 July.
Rucani and Kichin
Rucani and Kichin are two neighboring stratovolcanoes in northern Sierra. Mount Rucani, at 6124m above sea level, is the highest volcano in the state and is both large and prominent. Kichin reaches 4923m above sea level and is often considered to be a parasitic cone of Rucani. Both are currently quiescent though consistently exhibit volcanic activity.
Rucani is a near-perfect cone shape and was once thought to be the highest peak in the FSA. Rucani was known for a near-consistent state of volcanic activity from around 1780 to 1938, with lots of hot lava being expelled, though was never highly explosive. Early pilots used the volcano for navigation, especially at dawn/dusk and at night. A violent eruptive phase in 1912 destroyed Rosalie and killed about 150 people, and a sudden eruption in 1940 led to lahars washing away much of Rosalie and killing over 500 people. Rucani last erupted in 1973, but it was neither very explosive or violent, with lava flowing down its northern flank.
Kichin has been highly active since the 1950s, with minor eruptions in 1953, 1956, 1957, 1969, 1987, 2000 and 2006. Kichin's largest recent eruption was in 2012, it and Rucani were closed off to visitors due to the amount of lava. Kichin's most recent eruptions were not exceptionally dangerous, but its 1987 and 1956 eruptions were quite explosive.
Tunicawi is an active stratovolcano in Cusatia County. Tunicawi is thought to have undergone a massive explosion around 38000 years ago, which led to the current form (and a believed reduction in height). It last erupted about 21000 years ago, and was long believed dormant, even referred to as "likely extinct" in some scientific work.
Following the sudden return to volcanic activity at Kibsy in 1948, Tunicawi was heavily monitored, though still considered long dormant. On 22 February 2019, fumaroles were detected at the caldera, the first sign of activity in 20 millenia. The following day, the town of Newauca, as well as the villages of Tumbaca and Santa Fe were placed on alert, an the Sierra National Guard was readied to assist if the situation worsens. An area of 10 kilometers squared was on high alert for any signs of increased activity. Concern was expressed by ecologists as far away as Washaukee, especially when compared with the reach of the 1960 Mount McInnes eruption. The Tunicawi Natural Protection Area, as well as Enchantment Peak and Pinkani were closed to visitors from 23 February. The parks were reopened on 13 March, with scientists calling the situation "stable", though being monitored daily.
Volcanologists believe Tunicawi is undergoing very similar activity to that on Kibsy and may continue exhibiting fumaroles for years if not decades.
Central volcanic zone
The central volcanic is known for high volcanoes which have been dormant for over fifty years. These peaks, which include Mount McInnes, Tenasian, Kisana Peak and others have been known for explosive eruptions as recently as 100 years ago, though none have shown any activity in the past century apart from McInnes in 1960.
Yania Peak is a stratovolcano in central Sierra. Yania Peak had an explosive eruption about 3000 years ago which released a lot of material in the air, coviering much of the Western Federal States in ash. Yania Peak is considered extinct.
Santa Elena Peak
Santa Elena Peak is a stratovolcano in central Sierra with an altitude of 5751m above sea level. Santa Elena Peak last erupted in 1908, in what was considered a highly explosive eruption. The cloud of ash "extended several miles in the air" and persisted for over a week. The Dennison Observer reported the ash cloud blanketed several small villages in northern Sierra. Santa Elena Peak tends to be covered in clouds most of the time after 8 or 9 in the morning
Tenasias is a stratovolcano in central Sierra. Tenasias measures 5107m above sea level, and is believed to have had a glacier at its summit. Tenasias was became known for what is believed to be the most explosive eruption of Sierra's volcanoes in the recorded period. In 1816 Tenasias is believed to have erupted, with an explosion being detected as far away as Ann'harbor (some 1900km away), sounding like "a distant cannon" in several east coast cities. Such was the release of magma and sulfuric gases that Tenasias collapsed, leading to it forming a caldera. At the time there was not much direct evidence of the volcano' eruption, but modern scientific research combined with first-hand accounts in the east coast of the FSA tend to support the eruption theory. The caldera is 1.8km long and various small sulfuric ponds are found in it. It can be visited but there is no way up other than on foot.
Kisana Peak is an inactive stratovolcano. Kisana erupted and exploded some 600-700 years ago and formed a caldera at its summit.
Mount McInnes is an active stratovolcano in Estancia County, Sierra. Mount McInnes has an altitude of 5005 meters above sea level. Mount McInnes is a fairly prominent peak (about 600m taller than other peaks within a 10km radius), and quite visible from the cities of Guerrero and Caldwell. Mount McInnes is famed for its 1960 eruption, which was the most significant Sierran volcano eruption of the latter 20th century. Mount McInnes was a lava dome. It was known to the Kwiskona peoples. It was first recorded by the Castellanese in 1779, and again in 1841 when it erupted; lava flows were noted, damaging some high farmland and ash was spread to the south of the volcano.
The High Mountain Society, set up in 1889, was the first to seriously study the volcano, of interest after an eruption in April 1882 which sent plumes and clouds of ash over 40km north east, covering Guerrero and Caldwell in ash. McInnes was studied by geologists and volcanologists from the University of Sierra (1929, 1953) and University of Astrantia (1959).
Mount McInnes began releasing plumes in the mid-1950s after more than half a century of supposed inactivity, leading many to worry about a potential eruption. Several small earthquakes in January 1960 (about 16) led to calls to evacuate Guerrero and Caldwell, amid fears of potential explosion. Eventually the earthquakes subsided, and residents returned at the end of the month. Fumarolic activity was noted in April 1960, and again residents were warned to prepare to evacuate. In June more volcanic tremors were noted and on 16 June the governor passed an order to evacuate, with the Sierra National Guard called in, though a handful of people chose to remain. Well over 30 or 40 earthquakes were being detected per hour after the 16th, until vulcanian explosions began on the evening of 19 June, releasing gases and ash into the atmosphere. At 4:12 a.m. on 21 April the volcano exploded, sending an ash cloud over 9 kilometers above sea level and leading to lava begun spilling from the volcano, which flowed west from the volcano's crater. Four people died directly from the explosion, located at a farm near the volcano.
The ash cloud was carried by the wind in a west-southwest direction; by the end of 21 April the ash cloud was over Dennison, precipitating and covering much of the city. Within the next day Millburn City and Warrensville in Tauhon had ash hovering or precipitating, and the ash cloud extended to over 1200km away in western Yuris. Air traffic was heavily disrupted, and significant interference with agriculture and livestock were noted.
Mount McInnes had a significant glacier, but due to a combination of global increase in temperature, together with the 1960 eruption, has receded to a 168m2 area.
Southern volcanic zone
Volcanoes in the south-central and southern part of Sierra are all dormant, with several considered extinct. The are the oldest volcanoes in the state. Mosen Peak and Mount Arghenna have exhibited violent historic eruptions in their geology which have destroyed their original formations and led to a reduction in altitude.
Mount Arghenna (5613m above sea level) is a stratovolcano at the center of the ridge. Mount Arghenna is inactive. According to Sakuas lore, Arghenna erupted several centuries ago (before the 1870s), and a lot of the structure of the volcano and nearby peaks collapsed. According to recent studies by the University of Axbridge (1997) and University of Sierra Lola, the volcano appears to erupt once every 2000-3000 years, placing potential future eruptions after after the year 3000.
Shupqui (or Shupki) is an extinct stratovolcano, about 5507m above sea level. Shupqui may have erupted as recently as 300 AD.
Mosen Peak is 4122m above sea level. Prior to a violent explosion about 4000 years ago, it was believed to be up to 800m higher. The collapse of the volcano led to a caldera forming and water filling in Mosen Lake.
Mount Kasha underwent several large explosions in the last 1500 years, as recently as 1200 and 1300. The volcano is no longer active, and its crater is filled with a lot of scree.
SDMO volcanic activity map
|VOLCANIC ACTIVITY IN SIERRA - July 13, 2020|