Tag Archives: Coastal Issues

Puyehue-Cordón Caulle, Volcanic Ashes Images

chile volcanic ashes
Image source: NASA, Jeff Schmaltz, acquired June 13, 2011

By Holli Riebeek, NASA Earth observatory

The Puyehue-Cordón volcano in Chile continues to spew ash that is still disrupting travel as far as Australia and New Zealand this week. A new animation of satellite imagery just released from the NASA/NOAA GOES Project shows the ash spewing from the volcano.

Perhaps the greatest danger posed by the erupting Puyehue-Cordón Puyehue-Cordón Volcano Complex in Chile is the thick layer of ash being deposited east of the volcano. This image, taken on June 13, 2011, by the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite, shows ash on the ground and a large plume streaming east from the volcano.

The pale tan coating of ash on the ground has been accumulating since June 4, when the eruption started. The Chilean Service of Minerals and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN) warned that when winter rains begin to fall in the coming weeks, the loose ash could create dangerous landslides and lahars, particularly in ash-clogged river valleys in the Andes Mountains.

The image above also shows a large plume of volcanic ash blowing about 800 kilometers east and then northeast over Argentina. The plume has disrupted air traffic as far away as New Zealand.

Though the intensity of the eruption has decreased slightly, volcanic activity is holding steady. The plume reached between 4 and 8 kilometers in altitude on June 13, its height varying with the intensity of the eruption throughout the day.

View Images, in the Atlantic

View Images, in The Big Pictures, Boston Globe

Original Article

Report From Japan: No News Is Good News?

Report From Japan: No News Is Good News?

Testing marine contamination along Fukushima coast. Caption and photo source: ©Greenpeace


Controlling information flow in a crisis is crucial to its outcome. So it should come as no surprise that much information received about how the crisis at Fukushima unfolded has been kept away from traditional and social media as long as possible. In the end, however, the truth does (eventually) come out…

Read Full Article, in Huffington Post

Japanese Government must immediately investigate seaweed contamination: Greenpeace Reports

By Greg McNevin, Greenpeace International

seaweed sample
Initial findings from our radiation sampling team working on the coast near Fukushima are in and the news is not good. The results showed levels of contamination far beyond allowed limits for seaweed. Contaminated seaweed could become a threat as fishermen along the coast will begin harvesting the seaweed to sell for public consumption in the coming weeks. Caption and photo source: ©Greenpeace

Greenpeace, May 12th, urged the Japanese authorities to undertake comprehensive radiation testing of seaweed along the Fukushima coast, after initial results from marine radiation monitoring carried out by the international environmental organisation showed levels of contamination far beyond allowed limits.

Initial tests of the 22 seaweed samples collected by Greenpeace along the coast North and South of the crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant, and up to 65km out to sea by its flag ship Rainbow Warrior registered significantly high levels of radioactive contamination. Ten samples show levels over 10,000 Bq/kg, while the official safety limits for seaweed are 2,000 Bq/kg for Iodine-131 and 500 Bq/kg for Caesium-137.

“From May 20, fishermen along the coast will begin harvesting seaweed for public consumption, our research indicates a significant risk that this seaweed will be highly contaminated,” said Ike Teuling, Greenpeace radiation expert. “As both TEPCO’s sediment samples and our own preliminary research shows, radioactive contamination is accumulating in the marine ecosystem that provides Japan with a quarter of its seafood, yet the authorities are still doing the very little to protect public health.”

“For the coastal communities trying to rebuild lives and get back to work after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, radioactive contamination of the marine food web is exacerbating an ongoing tragedy,” said Wakao Hanaoka, Greenpeace Japan Oceans Campaigner.

“It is crucial that the government immediately undertakes a study of seaweed contamination off Fukushima to protect the health and safety of fishermen and consumers, and so full compensation is given to communities affected by this ongoing nuclear disaster.”

Greenpeace is now conducting detailed analysis of fish, seawater, and seaweed collected outside of Japan’s 12 mile territorial waters, as well as fish, shellfish and seaweed samples collected from the Fukushima coast. A selection of samples have been sent to independent laboratories for further analysis, full results are expected to be released next week.

Marine life soaking up radiation along Fukushima coast

Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas


Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas, a book by Blair and Dawn Witherington

Excerpts from Pineapple Press Publishing

Georgia and the Carolinas beckon curious beachcombers with over 600 miles of wave-swept Atlantic coastline. These beaches offer more than a sandy stroll amidst stunning scenery, they are alive!

As ever-changing ribbons of sand, these beaches foster unique life forms and accept beguiling castaways from a vast marine wilderness. Mysteries abound. What is this odd creature? Why does the beach look this way? How did this strange item get here?

Living Beaches of Georgia and the Carolinas satisfies a beachcomber’s curiosity within a comprehensive yet easily browsed guide covering beach processes, plants, animals, minerals, and manmade objects. The guide is written in a familiar style and is illustrated with hundreds of distribution maps and over a thousand color photos.

The book follows a previous work on Florida’s Living Beaches, A Guide for the Curious Beachcombers

About the authors:
Blair and Dawn Witherington are professional naturalists. Blair is a research scientist with the FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. He has a B.A. and Masters degree in biology from the University of Central Florida and a doctorate in zoology from the University of Florida. He has contributed numerous scientific articles and book chapters on sea turtle biology and conservation. His books include an edited volume on the loggerhead sea turtle and a popular book on sea turtles.

Dawn is a graphic design artist and scientific illustrator trained at the Art Institutes of Colorado and Ft. Lauderdale. Her art and design are prominent in natural history books, posters, exhibits, and a line of sea-themed greeting cards. Together, Blair and Dawn have merged their art, writing, photography, and design in a number of projects.


Sinkhole Swallows South-East Queensland Beach

sinkhole beach
A giant sinkhole stretching one hundred metres gouges the shore at Inskip Point with stunned beachgoers watching as the sand just gave way. Image source: TEN TV Video / Brisbane Times


A sinkhole up to 100m long and 50m deep has opened up on a south-east Queensland beach.

The hole appeared at Inskip Point, Rainbow Beach, on Saturday night and continued to grow. It is estimated to be up to 50m deep…

Original Article and Video, from The Brisbane Times

Beach disappears into sink hole

Australia’s Ningaloo coast Gets Unesco’s World Heritage Listing

dinosaur footprints
Concrete cast of dinosaur footprints, over 130 million years old, at Gantheaume Point, Broome, Western Australia. There are six sets of prints, but they are under the water most of the tides. Photo source: ©© Lin Padgham


The Ningaloo coast in Western Australia covers 708,350 hectares of coastal waters and land, including one of the longest near-shore reefs in the world, and is home to rare wildlife including whale sharks and sea turtles. It’s an area of outstanding beauty and home to 13 threatened bird species, and is the latest sites to be added to the World Heritage List at the Unesco meeting this week in Paris.

At Gantheaume Point and 30 metres out to sea are dinosaur footprints believed to be from the Cretaceous Age approximately 130 million years ago. The tracks can be seen only during very low tide.

Read Original Article, ABC News Australia

Ningaloo Coast, Photos Source

“Why was the Ningaloo Coast included on the World Heritage List?” Australian Department of Sustainability and Environment

Ningaloo Coast, UNESCO

The Intertwined History of Coconuts And Ancient Seafarers

Photograph: © SAF — Coastal Care


The impact of the coconut palm (Cocos nucifera L.) on the history of human dispersal in the humid tropics is unparalleled in the plant kingdom.

The coconut’s domestication history and its population genetic structure relates to human dispersal patterns and is consistent with human introductions of Pacific coconuts along the ancient Austronesian trade route connecting Madagascar to Southeast Asia. Admixture in coastal east Africa may also reflect later historic Arab trading along the Indian Ocean coastline…

Read Science Daily Summary, Deep History of Coconuts Decoded

Read Original Study, in JournalPLoS ONE

2011 Ashden Awards international finalists, in pictures

Photo source: ©© Adam Foster
Sustainable energy is the provision of energy that meets the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs. Energy efficiency and renewable energy are said to be the twin pillars of sustainable energy.Green Energy is energy that can be extracted, generated, and/or consumed without any significant negative impact to the environment. The planet has a natural capability to recover which means pollution that does not go beyond that capability can still be termed green.
No power source is entirely impact-free. All energy sources require energy and give rise to some degree of pollution from manufacture of the technology. (Wikipedia)


Eight sustainable energy pioneers from Africa and Asia have been selected as international finalists for the prestigious Ashden Awards for sustainable energy 2011.

“The Ashden Awards bring to light inspiring sustainable energy solutions in the UK and developing world and help ensure that ” they’re part of a broader international process that’s designed to last: sharing knowledge, passing on experience and offering advice and support where it’s wanted.”

Click to View Photo Gallery, from Guardian UK

Read Original Article, from Guardian UK

One million Bangladesh Homes on Solar Power

Sea level rise is already causing serious problems for the people of the Sundarbans. Ajit Das lives in Ghoramara island. “We cannot stay here because of the flooding. We don’t know where we will go or what we will do. We cannot bring our grandchildren up here.”© Greenpeace / Peter Caton


The number of households (some five million people) in electricity-starved Bangladesh using solar panels has crossed the one million mark, the fastest expansion of solar use in the world, officials said Wednesday….

Original Article, from AFP