Peter L Ward

Peter L Ward
Teton Tectonics · U.S. Geological Survey, retired

PhD

About

34
Publications
6,314
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738
Citations
Introduction
I retired after 27 years with the US Geological Survey as a geophysicist and Branch Chief specializing in volcanoes, earthquakes, plate tectonics, and hazards reduction. In 2006, I discovered excellent data on the web showing major volcanism precisely during the time the world warmed out of the last ice age. Since volcanoes are well know to cool Earth, I decided to put almost everything else aside to work full time on trying to understand this enigma.and all assumptions regarding global warming.
Additional affiliations
October 1998 - May 2015
Independent Researcher
Position
  • Principal Investigator

Publications

Publications (34)
Conference Paper
Explosive volcanoes form sulfate aerosols in the lower stratosphere that reflect and scatter sunlight, cooling Earth for a few years. Several major explosive volcanic eruptions per century increment the world over millennia into ice ages. Effusive basaltic volcanism, on the other hand, warmed the world very rapidly out of the last ice age 24 times...
Article
Beginning on June 21, 1783, Laki volcano in southern Iceland erupted 14.7 km3 basalt, ejecting 24 Mt SO_{2} into the stratosphere where it was blown eastward and northward and 98 Mt into the troposphere where the jet stream transported it southeastward to Europe. The "dry fog" observed in Europe with an estimated mean concentration of 60 ppbv SO2,...
Article
Small amounts of solar-ultraviolet-energy absorbing gases such as ozone, SO2, and NO2 play an unusually large role warming the atmosphere. A mere 3 to 8 ppmv ozone at elevations of 15 to 50 km and associated exothermic chemical reactions warm the atmosphere >50oC, forming the stratosphere. All three molecules have an asymmetric top shape that, unli...
Article
Full-text available
Global climate change, prior to the 20th century, appears to have been initiated primarily by major changes in volcanic activity. Sulfur dioxide (SO²) is the most voluminous chemically active gas emitted by volcanoes and is readily oxidized to sulfuric acid normally within weeks. But trace amounts of SO2 exert significant influence on climate. All...
Article
Full-text available
In 1991, Pinatubo erupted ≦921 Mt water, ≦234 Mt carbon dioxide and ≦19 Mt sulfur dioxide. The sulfur dioxide reacted primarily with OH and 3 parts water to form a sulfuric acid aerosol 20 to 23 km high, circling the earth in 21 days, reflecting sunlight, cooling the earth ˜0.5°C. Maximum cooling in the tropics occurred 3 months later, but...
Article
Our ability to collect high-quality digital data is increasing much more rapidly than our ability to process it. This is partly due to the revolution in digital technology and partly to increased teamwork in building equipment and carrying out major projects such as those fostered in seismology by the IRIS Consortium (Incorporated Research Institut...
Article
Full-text available
P-wave traveltime delays of as much as 0.9 sec are consistently observed at one seismic station from local and regional earthquakes 70 to 150 km deep. This station is on the southwest flank of Mt. Trident, the most recently active volcano within Katmai National Park, Alaska. Delays from local shallow earthquakes are typically less than 0.3 sec, sug...
Article
Full-text available
Very rapid subduction of the Farallon plate under southwestern North America between 60 and 40 Ma was accompanied by a relatively low volume of magmatism throughout the southwestern United States and northern Mexico. Between 40 and 20 Ma, when subduction slowed significantly and in one area may have even stopped, magmatism became widespread and vol...
Article
Ward, P.L., 1990. Global data collection and the surveillance of active volcanoes. Palaeogeogr., Palaeoclimatol., Palaeoe- col. (Global Planet. Change Sect.), 89: 263-267. Data relay systems on existing earth-orbiting satellites provide an inexpensive way to collect environmental data from numerous remote sites around the world. This technology cou...
Article
The great eruption of 1912 in the Aleutian Range of Alaska (Figure 1) is exceptional for both its size and relative simplicity. It was the largest eruption of this century and the largest rhyolitic outburst in almost 20 centuries. The 60-hour, 30-km3 (ejecta volume) eruption produced extensive fallout deposits, an ash-flow sheet that gave rise to t...
Article
Seismic activity on the island of Hawaii from 1970 through 1973 is concentrated primarily near Kilauea volcano, with secondary centers of activity about 40 km south of the island, and in an aftershock zone near Hilo. The seismicity near Kilauea is typically associated with eruption activity and inflation and expansion of the volcano. An absence of...
Article
A prototype volcano surveillance system has been installed on 15 volcanoes in four states and four countries. The need for this system, the techniques used, the method of implementation, the major problems, the results, and the future seen for such a system are briefly reviewed.
Article
The Managua, Nicaragua, earthquake of December 23, 1972 (body-wave magnitude of 5.6, surface-wave magnitude of 6.2), and its aftershocks strongly affected an area of about 27 km2 centered on Managua. Within this area, over 11,000 people were killed and 20,000 were injured. About 75 per cent of the city's housing units were destroyed or rendered uni...
Article
Full-text available
The Earth Resources Technology Satellite makes it feasible for the first time to monitor the level of activity at widely separated volcanoes and to relay these data almost instantancously to one central office. This capability opens a new era in volcanology where the hundreds of normally quiescent but potentially dangerous volcanoes near populated...
Article
Full-text available
A detailed study of the aftershocks of the earthquake that devastated Managua, Nicaragua, on December 23, 1972, shows that the earthquake occurred on a fault that strikes N30 ° to 35°E and dips 80 ° to 90°E, and that this fault moved in a left- lateral sense over a zone about 15 km long extending from shallow depth to a depth of 8 or 10 km. The ext...
Article
Prototype volcano surveillance system located in Alaska, Hawaii, California, Washington, Iceland, Central and South America
Article
Full-text available
The hypocenters of 43 earthquakes on Kilauea Volcano were analyzed in detail in order to examine the accuracy of hypocenters determined with data from tripartite arrays and to look for evidence of zones of abnormally high or low velocity in a region of complex crustal structure. Ten vertical and two horizontal seismometers were operated on the sout...
Article
A review was made of efforts to develop a dense telemetered microearthquake network to study earthquake mechanics along the San Andreas fault and the strain mechanics of the Kilauea Volcano. The principle elements and objectives of the ERTS-A proposal are outlined. Some of the aspects of the earthquake network and the results obtained from it as we...
Article
Full-text available
Microearthquakes occur on a steeply dipping plane interpreted here as the fault that allows hot water to circulate to the surface in the geothermal region. These small earthquakes are common in many geothermal areas and may occur because of the physical or chemical effects of fluids and fluid pressure.
Article
Full-text available
More than 2100 microearthquakes were recorded and crudely located by using data from portable seismographs operated in Iceland during the summer of 1968. Another 600 events were located more precisely in three areas by using data from tripartite arrays. The earthquakes recorded are largely confined to 13 regions that are generally less than 100 km2...
Article
Full-text available
Two active transform faults are identified on land in Iceland. This observation leads to a new interpretation of the tectonics of Iceland that is generally consistent with the available geologic, geomorphic, and geophysical data. This new interpretation provides a framework that can be used to relate detailed geologic and geophysical studies in Ice...
Article
Microearthquakes have been observed in nearly all major geothermal areas where detailed recordings have been made. These small earthquakes when recorded over a period of months are primarily confined within the geothermal areas. Such observations suggest that microearthquakes are an important part of those geothermal areas where sufficient heat tra...
Article
Full-text available
During the summer of 1967, three high-frequency, high-gain, and highly portable seismographs were operated at seventy-eight sites throughout Iceland. Over 99% of the more than 1000 events recorded were found to lie in nine regions with radii of less than about 5 km. Although most of the events were not greater than 4 km deep, six were of the order...
Article
Full-text available
During January 1967, 28 sites were occupied in the Eastern Rift in Kenya with three high-frequency, high-gain, portable seismographs. The microearthquakes recorded seem to be confined primarily to the center of the rift. They are directly related spatially to faults, some of which first formed in the early Tertiary, to a geothermal area, and to a r...
Article
Full-text available
A compilation of observations of volcanic eruptions since 1870 and ash stratigraphy shows that Katmai National Monument on the Alaska Peninsula has had a long history of volcanic activity. Six of the recently active vents lie in a gently curved arc, but two lie to the north of this arc and show no obvious structural relationship to it. Recent volca...
Article
Full-text available
A seismic investigation was made during the summer of 1965 in Katmai National Monu- ment, Alaska. During 39 days of nearly continuous recording with a high-gain high-frequency tripartite array of seismometers, 1800 events were recorded. The majority of events were shallower than 10 kin, although some occurred at depths up to 150 kin. Most of the ev...
Article
From August 3 until August 5, 1965, a heavy concentration of dust and some sulphurous fumes were noted in the Valley of 10, 000 Smokes and the Brooks River area of Katmai National Monument, Alaska. Visual and seismic observations during July and August indicated that although there was no major volcanic eruption, there was a slight increase of seis...

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