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United States Science

Mount St. Helens Alert Status Increased 600

Posted by michael
from the experience-is-the-best-teacher dept.
DarkHand writes "Mount St. Helens has become even more unstable in the last few hours. The U.S. Geological Surveys Cascades Volcano Observatory has increased the volcanic alert around the volcano to level 2 and released a press release: 'Over night, seismic activity at Mount St. Helens has accelerated significantly, which increases our level of concern that current unrest could culminate in an eruption. We are increasing the alert level to the second of three levels [...]. Earthquakes are occurring at about four per minute. The largest events are approaching Magnitude 2.5 and they are becoming more frequent. All are still at shallow levels in and below the lava dome that grew in the crater between 1980 and 1986. This suggests that the ongoing intense earthquake activity has weakened the dome, increasing the likelihood of explosions or perhaps the extrusion of lava from the dome.' The most recent readings at the SEP seismograph stationed on the lava dome itself are totally saturated. The ground is now literally constantly rumbling."
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Mount St. Helens Alert Status Increased

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  • Re:Scary, yet cool. (Score:5, Informative)

    by Sc00ter (99550) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:39AM (#10393616) Homepage
    Unless you're old or have a very weak imune system West Nile just causes flu like symptoms for a few days..

  • Re:Scary, yet cool. (Score:5, Informative)

    by iworm (132527) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:40AM (#10393635)
    FYI much of Africa has, for several weeks now, been suffering from a extraordinary plague of locusts.

    e.g. http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/programmes/from_our_own _correspondent/3689808.stm [bbc.co.uk]
  • by noselasd (594905) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:42AM (#10393650)
    Hmm. I was hoping to see a live volcano eruption here [fs.fed.us], but it seems
    not to be broadcasting now. Anyone knows why/what's happening ?
  • Live volcano cam (Score:3, Informative)

    by cpaluc (559921) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:42AM (#10393660)
    http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/ It looks pretty grim. (Is it dark @ 6:30am @ MSH?)
  • ifd you live in tacoma, mt. rainier is the one you worry about

    pdf map of lava flow hazard from mt. rainier to tacoma [usgs.gov]
  • Re:How severe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by southpolesammy (150094) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:46AM (#10393706) Journal
    Seismologists are expecting anywhere from nothing at all (not uncommon following an earthquake swarm, happens at Kilaeua from time to time), to a moderate event.

    By comparison, the 1980 blast was a catastrophic event. A medium strength earthquake caused the entire north face of the mountain to crumble in a massive rockslide, which also uncorked the pressure on the magma underneath, resulting in a huge lateral explosion through the rock slide. Imagine a wall of rocks coming at you at 300mph. It's doubtful that something like that will happen again in our lifetimes.
  • by Mz6 (741941) * on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:46AM (#10393709) Journal
    It's probably cloudy up at that elevation. It was like that yesterday until about mid-after noon when the clouds began to burn off.
  • Re:Dante II (Score:3, Informative)

    by Saeed al-Sahaf (665390) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:46AM (#10393715) Homepage
    Wonder if these cool and useful machines are still being used or is everything remote sensing now?

    I can't remember if they actually ever used those (I really don't think so, I think the show used them because they are "cool"), but since right now they are interested mainly in seismic and gas, not rock samples and such, it's the remote sensors...

  • Re:How severe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by crawling_chaos (23007) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:47AM (#10393719) Homepage
    OK, I haven't done any geology in over two decades, so take this with a grain salt, but my understanding is that one of the reasons that the "big one" was so big was that St. Helens had not erupted for centuries and the top of the lava tube was blocked like a giant zit. When enough pressure finally built up to blow the cap off, it threw crap everywhere. That would indicate that the currently forecasted eruption is unlikely to be as large, although it could still be a significant event.
  • by nawspac (76152) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:50AM (#10393756)
    dont forget the webcam.
    http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/ [fs.fed.us]
  • Re:REM fans unite (Score:3, Informative)

    by mrgrey (319015) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:50AM (#10393761) Homepage Journal
    Lyrics... Though I did like the way David Spade and Chris Farley sang it better...

    That's great, it starts with an earthquake, birds and snakes, an aeroplane -
    Lenny Bruce is not afraid. Eye of a hurricane, listen to yourself churn -
    world serves its own needs, don't misserve your own needs. Feed it up a knock,
    speed, grunt no, strength no. Ladder structure clatter with fear of height,
    down height. Wire in a fire, represent the seven games in a government for
    hire and a combat site. Left her, wasn't coming in a hurry with the furies
    breathing down your neck. Team by team reporters baffled, trump, tethered
    crop. Look at that low plane! Fine then. Uh oh, overflow, population,
    common group, but it'll do. Save yourself, serve yourself. World serves its
    own needs, listen to your heart bleed. Tell me with the rapture and the
    reverent in the right - right. You vitriolic, patriotic, slam, fight, bright
    light, feeling pretty psyched.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

    Six o'clock - TV hour. Don't get caught in foreign tower. Slash and burn,
    return, listen to yourself churn. Lock him in uniform and book burning,
    blood letting. Every motive escalate. Automotive incinerate. Light a candle,
    light a motive. Step down, step down. Watch a heel crush, crush. Uh oh,
    this means no fear - cavalier. Renegade and steer clear! A tournament,
    a tournament, a tournament of lies. Offer me solutions, offer me alternatives
    and I decline.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine.

    The other night I tripped a nice continental drift divide. Mount St. Edelite.
    Leonard Bernstein. Leonid Breshnev, Lenny Bruce and Lester Bangs.
    Birthday party, cheesecake, jelly bean, boom! You symbiotic, patriotic,
    slam, but neck, right? Right.

    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it.
    It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine...fine...
  • Quake Depths (Score:2, Informative)

    by unknowns (799192) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:51AM (#10393770)
    Here are a few plots [washington.edu] that show the recent earthquakes vs. depth and location.

    I think they color the recent quakes red to scare the bejesus out of everyone, but the average depth over the past month is still much closer to the surface than normal.

  • by G4from128k (686170) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:55AM (#10393829)
    Subduction zones (like those off the west coast of America) and volcanoes (such as St. Helens) are a big part of the long-term carbon cycle of the planet [ucla.edu]. Left to its own, life and chemical processes on this planet would convert all the atmospheric carbon into calcium carbonate that would be trapped in rock on the bottom of the ocean. Subduction zones and volcanoes reprocess this rock into CO2.

    Once the Earth's crust cools enough, it will lock up and stop the cycle and CO2 will inexorable drop in concentration. I can't remember when this is predicted to happen, but I believe it is scheduled to occur before the Sun becomes a red giant. Of course, I'm sure our descendants (assuming we have them) will invent their own C02 extract factories to keep the Earth nicely carbonated when the time comes.
  • by spectecjr (31235) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:56AM (#10393842) Homepage
    Most of them are just echoes from Mt. St. Helens - you can tell by the secondary shape at the end of the burst (different waves travel at different speeds, and the further separated they are, the further away the epicenter is...)
  • by medscaper (238068) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:56AM (#10393849) Homepage
    They had some comments on the local news this morning about its severity. (I live in Vancouver - just a short drive from St. Helens.) It looks like the only thing they're predicting is a very small eruption, possible steam escapes. Nothing at all like the last one.

    The only problem they expect is the possibility of dispruping flights at PDX or some of the local airports.

    Contrary to the last eruption, when 57 people died, no one lives up around the volcano anymore. So, it's not like anything nearly as severe is likely.

    So, even though activity is through the roof, they don't expect more than a small eruption. Even last time, here in Vancouver, we didn't get much activity at all. All the ash, darkness and horrid weather was thrown to the east of the Cascades, near Yakima and Central Washington. The rivers were flooded and clogged with debris, but other than the immediate vicinity, no one was hurt.
  • Re:memo to self (Score:3, Informative)

    by GeckoX (259575) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @08:59AM (#10393877)
    I know you're just trying to be funny, however this is just a GPS instrument that has moved on the lava dome itself. Mount St. Helens did not move a few inches north in a couple of days. Nor will it tomorrow, or likely in the next thousand years.

  • by Purifier (782794) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:02AM (#10393918) Homepage
    http://pubs.usgs.gov/publications/msh/comparisons. html "Whoever wins, we lose..." ;)
  • by spectecjr (31235) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:06AM (#10393951) Homepage
    Nothing too far out of the ordinary, but it's interesting that the site was totally quiet during the St Helens activity. Now that the Helens activity has decreased by about 10%, Rainer has acted up a little.


    I don't know what webicorder readings you've been watching, but you're reading them wrong. As St. Helens webicorders reached saturation, the Rainier ones started registering the quakes from St. Helens.
  • by earthforce_1 (454968) <earthforce_1 @ y a h o o . c om> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:06AM (#10393953) Journal
    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/Products/Warn/WarnScheme s.html
  • Volcano news site (Score:4, Informative)

    by BC Guy (657285) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#10394219)
    I'm surprised no one has posted it yet, but John Seach's Volcano-Live [volcanolive.com] site has a lot of good and timely volcano info. Go to the breaking news [volcanolive.com] section for continuous bits about St. Helens.

    Seach runs chartered volcano tours and has amassed quite a collection of pics which are up on the site too.

  • by ejbvanc (558014) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#10394233)
    it has increased to beyond 3.0 quakes now. Check out: http://www.pnsn.org/HELENS/mshrec_eqs.html [pnsn.org] and get the most up-to-date list.
  • by Peyna (14792) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:27AM (#10394234) Homepage
    I recall not that long ago the media tried to say that earthquakes and volcanos were related in a way that earthquakes in other parts of the world could "set off" volcanos.

    As far as I remember from a few geology classes I took in undergrad, there is no such relation. They are two very distinct processes, and while you will see a build up in "earthquakes" near a volcano prior to eruption, they're the result of pressure build up in the area, and not plates moving against each other.

    The last time Mount St. Helens blew, the side of the mountain had a considerable bulge (visible to the naked eye, I believe). The fact that this is occurring again, on a smaller scale, could either indicated simply a temporary pressure or magma build-up; or an impending eruption.

    Mount St. Helens is the result of the Juan De Fuca plate being subducted under the North American plate; a lot of heat and friction melts the rock and it pushes upwards, which causes the volcanos, and the Cascade Mountains.

    The Juan De Fuca plate is separate from the Pacific plate; which is where the San Andreas is; and the plates there are sliding against each other (mostly north/south).
  • by Unkle (586324) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:29AM (#10394252)
    Actually, from what I remember from Geology in college, no, they are not on the same fault line. The Cascacdes (which Mt. St. Helens is a part of) are caused by the subduction fault of the Juan de Fuca plate going under the North American plate. California is home to the San Andreas fault, a transverse fault where the Pacific plate is slipping laterally past the North American plate. Also, these earthquakes are probably caused by movement of Magma within the volcano's magma chamber.

    Anyone who has had more than 2 semesters of studying these things, feel free to correct me.

  • Re:How severe? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Webmoth (75878) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:50AM (#10394528) Homepage
    The pressure didn't "blow the cap off" so to speak, but more precisely, the pressure caused the north face of the mountain to bulge, which became unstable and failed catastrophicaly. This released the pressure, allowing the trapped gases to forcibly eject volcanic matter both laterally and vertically, giving us the devastation of the Toutle River valley and choking the Cowlitz and Columbia Rivers, and the memorable ash cloud rising some eighteen miles into the sky.
  • Yes (Score:3, Informative)

    by Webmoth (75878) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @09:53AM (#10394570) Homepage
    Being I live in SW Washington, probably 20 miles from MSH, I can attest that at 6:30am there was a pretty heavy cloud cover that made things mighty dark.

    If the picture is gray, that means it's foggy.
  • by bobster45 (816998) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:01AM (#10394712)
    The answer is simply "NO!" the explanation follows: Mt. St. Helens is a by-product of subduction, where the microplate, known as the Juan de Fuca plate (a remnant of the once more huge Farralon plate) is pushed towards the American plate and since it is of a much denser material than the continental crust it is bent downwards toward the mantle of the Earth. As it subducts partial menting of the plate causes the formation and continued filling of the magma chambers and the resultant volcanics. The cause of the latest Parkfield earthquake is due to the Pacific plate slipping past the American plate in what is called "right slip strike" faulting. The terminous of the SanAndreas fault is off the coast of northern California west of Point Mendicino in a triple plate boundary that has the three plates American, Pacific and the southern portion of the Juan de Fuca plate. This is about 350 miles south of the Mt St Helens area. The only relationship between the two is that they are happening on adjacent geological plates. The phenominum that causes the earthquakes in Parkfield is not related to what is responsible for the activities in Washington. I hope this helps.
  • by jmoo (67040) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:05AM (#10394773)
    I visted in the summer of 2000. I thought that after 20 years there really wouldn't be much to see from the eruption. I was very wrong. There are still whole valleys with little tree growth and only the decaying remains of the forest that was around the volcano. There is a whole lake that was created from the melted snow on volcano when it blew. It was really cool seeing a piece of pumice (sp?) bigger than me setting by the road.
  • by flogger (524072) <non@nonegiven> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:07AM (#10394804) Journal
    You can watch the CAM here. [fs.fed.us] There is a nice view of the volcano.

  • by Thud457 (234763) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:13AM (#10394892) Homepage Journal
    Oh, yeah, a little flu [pbs.org] is nothing to worry about!

    (I found it kind of scary that they said that the virus was probably still extant in the bodies, and that researchers were going to dig them up to get samples.)

  • by Simonetta (207550) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @10:58AM (#10395401)
    It occurs to me now that the city of Portland Oregon (metro population 1.1 million) was menaced by the last big eruption of Mt. St. Helen's in May 1980.
    In that event, the entire north side of the mountain blew up in a explosion with force equal to many hydrogen bombs. Luckly the area devastated was wilderness forest. Only about 15 people lived in the several hundred square miles primarily affected.
    However on the west side of the mountain, there was a nuclear power plant on the Columbia river about 50 miles (80 km) away. If the volcano had blown out through the west side of the mountain instead of the north side, there was the serious possiblility that the shock wave would have ruptured the reactor coolant tanks and damaged the control and safety systems. In a worst case, this could have led to the release of radioactive material into the last 50 miles of the Columbia river. The river would have been closed for shipping. Which means that the port of Portland would have been closed, stopping shipment of massive amounts of grain to Asia from the Pacific Northwest. It would have also caused the extinction of the fisheries, such as salmon and steelhead trout in the Columbia.
    Incredibly, during this entire pre-eruption period, the operaters of the Trojan Nuclear Power Plant did not shut down the facility or take any precautions against earthquake damage. The plant is closed now after it was revealed that it lies directly over an earthquake fault, but the spent fuel rods are still stored there because there isn't any other place to put them.
    At the time of the eruption, no one seemed to be aware of this possibility. Or, more likely, everyone just decided to keep really quiet.
    The eruption was too bad because Mt. St. Helens was a perfect cone before the eruption. It looked like Mt. Fuji in Japan. Now it looks like a million-seat football stadium: a big hole with a circular ridge around half of it.
  • by payslee (123537) <[payslee] [at] [yahoo.com]> on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:17AM (#10395582)
    The river was closed for shipping the last time around. They had to dredge many billions of tons of ash and debris from the explosion and mud flows before the river was navigable again. No rioting or starvation last time, and presumably none the next time. I'll grant that it wasn't radioactive mud, but the fish still left in this watershed are tough SOBs after what they've been through for the last 150 years.


    I actually rather like the new and improved version of St. Helens. Perfect geometry is boring. I highly recommend, once the mountain settles down, the long hike up to the rim of the crater. You come to it with a suddeness I can't describe, after hours of trudging through snow fields. All of a sudden you see the terrible beauty that destruction can bring, with, on a clear day, Mount Rainier and Mount Adams looking impossibly close by.


    Even if there are no volcanoes in your backyard, mountains are great, symmetrical or smashed. Go visit some.

  • by jdray (645332) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:53AM (#10396020) Homepage Journal
    The last news report I heard on the radio (I'm in Portland, where on clear days you can see the crater from downtown) said that the expected eruption will probably include "a lot of steam and a few boulders being thrown around." I think they meant boulders being thrown around inside the crater. At least that's what I'm hoping.

    Essentially, they're saying just enough about every possibility that, once it's all over, they can claim that they predicted it would happen that way.

    Had to laugh at the OP quote, though. Doesn't "SEP" stand for "Somebody Else's Problem"?

  • by mforbes (575538) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @11:55AM (#10396047)

    Um, maybe events like this (which occur at regular intervals of 17 years, for Brood X) aren't reported loudly outside the region in which they occur, but for about two months it was any of the talking heads on radio & TV would talk about in Northern Virginia.

    If you've never been in the area effected by Brood X during mating season, it's an amazing sound. Sort of like a 1950s era B movie soundtrack. Actually I heard a rumor (no verification, I have no idea if it's true or not) that that sound was actually used in at least one movie.

  • by abhikhurana (325468) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:07PM (#10396244)
    It is little known that lying underneath one of The United States largest and most picturesque National Parks - Yellowstone Park - is one of the largest "super volcanoes" in the world. Scientists have revealed that Yellowstone Park has been on a regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago...so the next is overdue. The next eruption could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Volcanologists have been tracking the movement of magma under the park and have calculated that in parts of Yellowstone the ground has risen over seventy centimeters this century. You can click on my signature for more information.
  • wrong (Score:3, Informative)

    by Intraloper (705415) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:14PM (#10396353)
    Most people infected with West Nile, it seems, dont know they are sick. They might have a slight cold for a bit. some get very, very sick, and die. But a significant portion even of the young and healthy get serious, debilitating, flu-like symptoms that can last for weeks. My cousin is case 4 in Tehama County, California, this summer. She first went into the hospital about 3 1/2 weeks ago, is home now, but is STILL feverish, week, achy, head-throbbing headache, and describing it as like having a serious flu.. which has now lasted 3 1/2 weeks, unabated. She is in her 30s, healthy as a (irony only partially intended) horse, has not missed a day of work for illness in the previous decade. West Nile shouldn't panic us, be we DAMN SURE should be taking it seriously. All of us.
  • by ipfwadm (12995) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:40PM (#10396689) Homepage
    Uhhh... are you kidding?

    I was there last summer, 23 years since the 1980 eruption, and the power with which that thing erupted is still evident all over the area.

    For instance:

    • A picture [adirondack-park.net] from high on the flank of the mountain looking back down one of the lava flows from the 1980 eruption. Notice the green patch on the hill to the left, which was missed by the lava flow.
    • Looking at the same spot [adirondack-park.net], this time from below. You can really see the effects of that hill here -- it diverted the lava, and everything behind it is green, while everything else was destroyed.
    • A panorama from the rim of the mountain [adirondack-park.net], looking down into the crater. This should give you an idea of how big a crater the eruption left. The top of the mountain was simply blown away. Even while we were there, every few minutes we could here rock tumbling down into the crater, some of them huge boulders. The sides of the caldera still aren't stable, 23 years after the fact.
    • Spirit Lake [adirondack-park.net]. All that gray stuff you see are trees. Thousands of them. They were all killed in 1980 eruption, and are now just floating on the lake. It's called the "floating forest" of Spirit Lake.
    • This is a hillside about TEN MILES from the blast site [adirondack-park.net]. See how the trees were just blown right over? And no, this one isn't a clearcut. According to this page [usgs.gov], most of the trees within a 600 square kilometer area were blown over by the blast.
    Another testament to the destructive power of a volcano is Crater Lake [adirondack-park.net] in Oregon (formerly Mt. Mazama), which blew its top 7500 years ago. The eruption, which is estimated to have been more than 40 times more powerful than Mt. St. Helens (link here [nps.gov]) left a crater 5 miles wide, which has since filled up with water. There is still a desert-like pumice plain just north of Crater Lake, noticeable 7,500 years after the fact. Even Yellowstone National Park is itself a former volcano. It's just hard to tell when you're there because the caldera is absolutely enormous (a good portion of the park is itself within the caldera rim), and it happened 600,000 years or so ago. Just google for 'yellowstone eruption'.
  • by Quikah (14419) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @12:48PM (#10396801)
    You can get much more information about Yellowstone's volcanos from the Yellowstone Volcanoe Observatory [usgs.gov] website.
  • by mooman (9434) * on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:15PM (#10397112) Homepage
    No, the California quake was action along the San Andreas fault line, occuring about 4.9 miles deep. The current seismicity at Mount St. Helens is very shallow, approximately 1/2 to 1 mile deep, and is confined almost directly to the cone itself, indicating it is probably triggered by local gas or magma action, not by any deeper seismic causes.

    The California earthquake was actually measureable throughout the entire Cascade chain, and I did some computations of the event propagation for the heck of it :

    Epicenter: 10:15:24 PDT
    San Fran: 10:16:05 (41 sec delay)
    LAS station (CA/OR border): 10:17:00 (96 sec delay)
    Three Sisters (OR mountain): 10:17:40 (136 sec delay)
    Mount Hood (OR/WA border): 10:17:45 (141 sec delay)
    Mount St. Helens: Too much local action to detect
    Mount Rainier (SE of Seattle): 10:18:20 (176 sec delay)
    Stiped Peak (Olympic Pen.): 10:18:32 (188 sec delay)
    Rockport, WA (30 mi from Canada): 10:18:40 (196 sec delay)

    So, picking two points as the earthquake epicenter and Mount Rainer based on being the ones I found very accurate Lat/Lon coordinates for, the shockwave traveled 740 miles in 176 seconds for an overall speed around 15136 MPH (approx Mach 20, depending on altitude)

    The detected signals definitely diminished the further north you traveled, but were still clearly identifiable even up to the Canadian border. But those signals were orders of magnitude less than Mt. St. Helens is generating on its own right now.

    I'm no geologist, but I live 38.4 miles from Mount St. Helens so I've recently taken up a keen interest in current events there. ;)
  • by kjfitz (256432) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @01:34PM (#10397330) Homepage
    From USGS Volcano-Warning Schemes in the United States [usgs.gov] (These are specific to the Cascade Range volcanoes in Washington and Oregon.):

    Notice of Volcanic Unrest Alert Level ONE

    This alert level is declared by USGS-CVO when significant anomalous conditions are recognized that could be indicative of an eventual hazardous volcanic event. The most likely such anomalous condition would be sustained, elevated seismicity. A "notice of volcanic unrest" expresses concern about the potential for hazardous volcanic activity but does not imply imminent hazard. Among the possible outcomes are: (1) anomalous condition is determined not symptomatic of an eventual hazardous volcanic event, leading to cancellation of "notice of volcanic unrest;" (2) symptomatic activity wanes, leading to cancellation of the "notice of volcanic unrest;" (3) conditions evolve so as to indicate progress toward hazardous volcanic activity, leading to issuance of a "volcano advisory" or "volcano alert."

    Volcano Advisory Alert Level TWO

    This alert level is declared by USGS-CVO when monitoring and evaluation indicate that processes are underway that have significant likelihood of culminating in hazardous volcanic activity but when the evidence does not indicate that a life- or property-threatening event is imminent. This alert level is used to emphasize heightened concern about potential hazard. Among the possible outcomes are: (1) precursory activity wanes, leading either to cancellation of the "volcano advisory" or to a downgrade of alert level to "notice of volcanic unrest;" (2) conditions evolve so as to indicate that a life-threatening volcanic or hydrologic event is imminent or underway, leading to issuance of a "volcano alert." "Volcano advisory" statements, supplemented as appropriate by "updated volcano advisory" statements will clarify as fully as possible USGS-CVO understanding of the hazard implications.

    Volcano Alert Alert Level THREE

    This alert level is declared by USGS-CVO when monitoring and evaluation indicate that precursory events have escalated to the point where a volcanic event with attendant volcanologic or hydrologic hazards threatening to life and property appears imminent or is underway. Depending upon further developments, a "volcano alert" will be maintained, updated, downgraded to a "volcano advisory," or canceled. A "volcano alert" statement will indicate, in as much detail as possible, the time window, place, and expected impact of an anticipated hazardous event. "Updated volcano alert" statements will amplify hazard information as dictated by evolving conditions.
  • by ipfwadm (12995) on Thursday September 30, 2004 @04:25PM (#10399081) Homepage
    Both towers of the WTC did take direct hits from airplanes and survived. It was the burning fuel that weakened the columns ... that caused them to collapse.

    You're playing games and you know it. They survived for what, an hour?

    Had the planes not hit the towers, would they be standing today? Presumably. Can we therefore say that they collapsed as a result of getting hit by those planes? Yes we can. Besides, no one said that any potential problems with the power plant had to be a direct result of a collision; it could be an indirect result just like it was with the WTC.

    The WTC and containment domes are hardly the same thing.

    Never said they were. I was merely pointing out the fact that not all commercial airliners are equal. The WTC was designed to withstand the impact of a commercial airliner, but it was contemporary commercial airliners that were designed for, not the ones that would be in the sky 20 or 30 years later. The same is certainly possible with the nuclear reactor in question.

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