Having read several news accounts regarding the weather phenomenon referred to as El Nino, I don't feel the media are giving proper attention to its probable basic cause.

First of all, I would like to present my credentials. I am a registered professional geologist. My master's degree was on volcanics. I was an expert on hurricanes in Florida and currently am the ex-president of my company.Weather patterns around the globe result from highly complex physical conditions. The reasons for the weather pattern El Nino are complex. The combination of slacking trade winds has been suggested to cause the slowing of the westward ocean currents, allowing warmer water to invade the El Nino area, but I suggest a different theory.

There are tectonic plates under the ocean that exude lava at the subduction areas of plate interfaces. There is one plate called the Cocos Plate, whose southernmost boundary extends from the west coast of South America westward past the Galapagos Islands. This boundary is called the Galapagos Fracture Zone. There are numerous volcanos in the region. These volcanos could be the source to heat the ocean in that area.

There is an echelon of fractures with probable undersea volcanos that extend east-northeast, which start at the equator and terminate 500 miles south of Hawaii. In the past 18 months, there have been double the number of earthquakes here which indicate much movement of the plate boundaries.

Based on the above, I believe that we cannot ignore volcanic activity as the possible cause of El Nino and most likely the source of its heat.

James F. Sylvester

Salt Lake City