NASA’s Earth Observatory has a satellite view of a dense ash plume released from Sakurajima Volcano, located on the island of Kyushu, Japan. This is an extremely active volcano, producing frequent explosions and ash clouds with over a million people living within a few miles of the vent.
“Japan ranked as the second largest net importer of fossil fuels in the world in 2012, trailing only China. This follows the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011, after which Japan suspended operations at all of its nuclear power plants.” Quoted from the Energy Information Administration.
If all goes according to plans, India will launch a spacecraft to Mars on Tuesday, November 5th. So far there have been 40 attempts to reach Mars by the United States, the Soviet Union, the European Space Agency, Japan and China. Only 23 missions have been successful.
“Scientists broke new ground in the study of deep earthquakes, a poorly understood phenomenon that occurs where the oceanic lithosphere, driven by tectonics, plunges under continental plates – examples are off the coasts of the western United States, Russia and Japan.” Quoted from the Argonne National Laboratory press release.
“Although Japan’s Sakura-jima Volcano is one of the most active in the world, it rarely makes headlines. One or two small explosions typically occur every few days, with effects no greater than a light dusting of ash in the surrounding cities. On August 18, 2013, a large eruption sent ash 20,000 feet above Kagoshima Bay, breaking the established pattern. It was possibly the largest eruption ever from the Showa Crater, which formed in 1946.” Quoted from NASA Earth Observatory.
Japan is the world’s largest buyer of liquefied natural gas (LNG). Although buyers there would like to close some long-term contracts, uncertainties about government policy have them reluctant to commit.
“Stanford scientists have identified key acoustic characteristics of the 2011 Japan earthquake that indicated it would cause a large tsunami. The technique could be applied worldwide to create an early warning system for massive tsunamis.” Quoted from the Stanford University press release.
Methane hydrate is the world’s largest natural gas resource. Japanese engineers recently became the first to produce methane hydrate from a well in the floor of the Pacific Ocean. NPR asks if this could become another natural gas boom?
Japan Petroleum Exploration Company plans to produce 20,000 barrels per day of bitumen from their Hangingstone oil sands project in Alberta Province, Canada. The project will use the steam-assisted gravity drainage method and will be increased to 30,000 barrels per day based upon performance.