Plasma Volcanoes

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Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby solrey » Wed Apr 08, 2009 1:18 pm

http://www.thunderbolts.info/tpod/00current.htm

That's pretty cool, but check this out!

http://www.universetoday.com/2009/04/08/new-array-captures-redoubt-volcano-lightning/redoubt-lightning-02/

http://www.zen24203.zen.co.uk/surtsey/images/lightning_large.jpg

http://lightning.nmt.edu/redoubt/

http://www.nmt.edu/mainpage/news/2009/7apr02.html

Looking at the data, it sure seems to confirm an electric discharge signature. :o

Interesting article here:

http://www.groundtruthtrekking.org/blog/?p=850

First of all, lightning is apparently not the result of friction inside an ash cloud. Though the contact between particles is most likely part of the story, it’s not actually the mechanical resistance (friction) during that contact that matters.


The specific mechanism by which particles of differing charge are separated is unknown (step 3 in the figure). This idea of particle size segregation is just one possibility. It seems likely that other processes are involved. I exchanged email with a group of scientists at New Mexico Tech about their research on volcanic lighting. They believe they’ve observed lightning between the eruption plume and the volcano right at the start of an eruption, suggesting that there are processes that occur inside the volcano to lead to charge separation. The process by which the charge is separated is unlikely to be the aerodynamic effects described above, since the plume has little time for such processes to occur and the strong turbulence in the plume would likely re-mix the particles before much charge separation could occur. You can see more about New Mexico Tech’s Redoubt research here.

And that’s basically the story as it’s understood now. Nobody knows exactly what goes on when individual particles in the eruption plume interact, but somehow charge gets exchanged and the exchange is biased in some way so particles with different charge are segregated. This charge separation on a giant scale leads to lightning.


Magma is plasma, water vapor in atmosphere is plasma, a focused discharge (plasma gun) is an eruption...mystery solved.
I'll bet there are discharges to the ionosphere, those whimsical 'sprites', 'elves' and such.
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby solrey » Mon Apr 13, 2009 9:45 am

I ran across this today. Notice the water spouts in the background, near the volcano, at around the 20 second mark. What causes those? Discharge vortices associated with the volcano would be my guess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3aqFCT87_E
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby Tzunamii » Mon Apr 13, 2009 6:58 pm

solrey wrote:I ran across this today. Notice the water spouts in the background, near the volcano, at around the 20 second mark. What causes those? Discharge vortices associated with the volcano would be my guess.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y3aqFCT87_E


Nice finds :)
Those vortices are quite suspicious arent they 8-)
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby mharratsc » Wed Apr 15, 2009 6:58 am

They appeared to form directly under the plume downwind. Secondary paths creating a circuit?

I would really like to hear Thornhill's explanation, or Prof. Scott's on that one. Presumably a deep telluric current is popping out of the crust and heading skyward... but those water spouts were equalizing charge with the water. What's up with that??
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby Anaconda » Wed Apr 15, 2009 9:41 am

@ solrey:

This is an important dynamic. It seems there is always a little backdrift of energy across a DL. Am I mistaken in that impression?
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby solrey » Wed Apr 15, 2009 10:09 am

Image

The size of that discharge is incredible.

http://www.newscientist.com/article/mg20127014.900-volcano-plumes-spin-up-a-storm.html
VOLCANOES have more in common with monster thunderstorms than we thought. Their plumes swirl like cyclones, which could explain why they have been seen spawning tornadoes and sheet lightning.

It is conventionally thought that a volcanic plume rises straight up and spreads out in a rough circle. But when Pinaki Chakraborty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and colleagues studied hourly satellite photos of the 1991 eruption of mount Pinatubo in the Philippines, they noticed that the margins gradually separated into five lobes. They saw similar shapes in photos of five other volcanoes.

The team's calculations show that this is caused by anticlockwise rotation in the plume, which creates a centrifugal force that throws the lobes outwards. The rotation occurs due to interactions between the updraught of the plume and horizontal wind patterns (Nature, DOI: 10.1038/nature07866).

Such rotation may be the driving force behind small tornadoes and waterspouts seen near plumes, which would form in the same way as dust devils around a thunderstorm. It may also explain the "sheaths" of lightning spotted in the 2008 eruption of mount Chaitén in Chile, because the cyclonic motion throws charged particles to the plume margins.


Also:

http://www.earthmagazine.org/earth/article/204-7d9-4-9
Two hundred years ago, a sea captain was sailing in the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean, when he observed “an immense body of smoke rising from the sea.” As he watched, the smoke, from a volcanic vent offshore of the island of St. Michael’s, began to rotate on the water “like a horizontal wheel,” the captain wrote in his 1811 account of the event. The rotating smoke and ash grew into a dark column and ascended high into the sky, spawning waterspouts and flashes of lightning. “To give you an adequate idea of the scene by description is far beyond my powers,” he wrote.

During a powerful eruption, a volcano can produce an umbrella-shaped plume of ash, with a vertical column at the base and a spreading cloud at the top. Over the years, observers of volcanic eruptions have noted these distinctive clouds; in some cases, they have also observed waterspouts or dust devils, or powerful flashes of lightning in the column, Chakraborty says. But how these disparate phenomena were connected has been unclear. Now, in a new study published in Nature, he and his colleagues suggest a kind of “unified explanation” for the atmospheric phenomena observed over erupting volcanoes: More than just plumes of ash, volcanic columns strongly resemble mesocyclones, the spinning columns of air at the heart of tornadic thunderstorms.


I believe EU has a "unified explanation". I've been trying to find information about the ionosphere above volcanic eruptions but can't seem to find any. Changes to the Earth's magnetic field and conductivity of the magma prior to an eruption have been measured. I know there is a fluid model for those rotating plumes, but it sure sounds like a diocotron instability, considering all the other energetic activity, lightning, water spouts, even tornado's. :o
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby Anaconda » Wed Apr 15, 2009 11:06 am

There certainly is a series of atmospheric phenomenon which treated seperatedly have been considered evidence of interaction between the ionophere and the Earth's surface of an electromagnetic nature. Put all these phenomenon together and an even stronger case can be made for Volcanoes being a conduit no just for magma to reach the surface, but for electromagnetic energy to reach up to the ionsphere from the surface.
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby solrey » Wed Apr 15, 2009 12:54 pm

@anaconda
That's what I'm thinking. Too much electric activity, or 'charge seperation' to be produced by convection or fricition alone. Based on the tone of the researchers, they are yet again mystified as to the cause of all this electric phenomena.
See you 'behind enemy lines'. :lol:
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Re: Plasma Volcanoes

Unread postby Anaconda » Thu Apr 23, 2009 9:17 pm

An additional piece of evidence about the redoubt volcano eruption is that the ash is electrostaically charged. See Science@NASA, 4.3.2009 - Mt. Redoubt Gives Alaskans a Taste of the Moon -- "The Moon: By coating the countryside with gritty, abrasive, electrostatically-charged volcanic ash, Mt. Redoubt is giving Alaskans an unexpected taste of what it's like to live on the Moon."

It could be a false lead, but on the other hand it could be another piece to the electromagnetism puzzle of volcanic eruptions.

The story goes on to say the ash is "susceptible to electric charging" and added Tom Miller, former director and now scientist emeritus of the Alaska Volcano Observatory, "We lost three seismic stations. The one nearest the volcano was fried – probably due to lightning. When you have a tremendous and powerful explosion of ash, the violent movement of all the ash particles generates static electricity and therefore lightning."

Is it possible that all this electric charging is more than ash rubbing together?

Another idea that comes to mind after reviewing the evidence: Neutral matter is subject to ionization (charge seperation) much more easily than is generally acknowledged.

Volcanoes are subject to material discontinuity, i.e., heat differentials, density differentials, element differentials, pressure differentials, velosity differentials, which all come together to form circumstances that may set up what I might characterize as quasi-double layers.

What would be a quasi-double layer?

A less defined or looser structured double layer (I'd be interested to have input on this concept of quasi-double layers from other readers).

In the Earth's atmosphere it seems that weather has many electrical characteristics. There are many discontinuities such as temperature, pressure, velosity, and elements (the different molecules and elements in the atmosphere) that would generate the potential for some form of double layers. Throw in the overall electrical potential between the ionosphere and the Earth's surface and you have a regular "witches brew" of electrical medium for electric currents to flow from the ionosphere to the surface or from the surface to the ionosphere in the right circumstances. Electric currents tend to set up fractal patterns of increasingly smaller electrical circuits or in reverse increasingly larger electrical circuits, depending on how you want to look at it.

All the discontinuities I have listed can be charged by the larger ionosphere/surface circuit.
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