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Japan Science

Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes 151

Posted by Soulskill
from the everybody-tiptoe-around-the-mountain dept.
An anonymous reader writes: Mount Fuji, in addition to being a picturesque landmark and an important part of Japanese culture, is also an active volcano. Its last eruption was just over 400 years ago, but its location — where the Eurasian, Pacific, and Philippine tectonic plates meet — mean it will always have potential for eruption. A new study (PDF) has examined the pressures around Mount Fuji in the wake of several recent earthquakes, including the magnitude 9 tremor that unleashed the destructive tsunami in 2011. The researchers now say the volcano is in a "critical state." According to the study's lead author, "The volcanic regions are the ones where the fluids trapped in the rock – boiling water, gas, liquid magma, which cause an eruption when they rise to the surface – exert the greatest pressure. The seismic waves add to this pressure, causing even more disturbance." They have no way of predicting when an eruption might happen, but the potential seems greater than ever.
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Mt. Fuji Volcano In 'Critical State' After Quakes

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  • by KingOfBLASH (620432) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:10AM (#47465461) Journal

    ...this thread erupts with first posts?

  • Great (Score:5, Funny)

    by kruach aum (1934852) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:18AM (#47465513)

    I'm leaving for Tokyo later this month. At least is easier to pronounce than Eyjafjallajokull.

    • For some reason it won't let me type mt. Fuji in kanji.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        Eyjafjallajokull won't let you type mt. Fuji in kanji? Why would you want to type it anyway? It's an English language website. Unless you really want to show off that you know one of the world's most common languages, I guess.

      • by Mr Foobar (11230)

        For some reason it won't let me type mt. Fuji in kanji.

        • by Mr Foobar (11230)

          Weird. It previewed the three kanji, but on submission it won't display them.

          • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

            by Anonymous Coward

            You guys must be new here. There's no Unicode on Slashdot at all.

        • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

          by Anonymous Coward

          According to tlhIngan (30335) [slashdot.org] in post #47460141 [slashdot.org]

          Unicode is also supported. It does actually work, just that the whitelist of allowable Unicode codepoints is small. Adding in extra codepoints is on an as-needed basis. You're not likely to see those new emoji anytime soon.

          So it is working as long as you count "not allowed" as "working".

          • "working as designed" which is a metaphor for "not a bug, no sir".

          • by tlhIngan (30335)

            So it is working as long as you count "not allowed" as "working".

            The reason was it was first full Unicode, then a bunch of trolls abused it to screw up page formatting, which was switched to a blacklist. Then they figured out other ways to abuse the codepoints to do even stranger things to the layout, at which points the devs simply gave up and switched it to a whitelist.

            It was only until about 2 or 3 years ago that the whitelist was applied on comment entry - you could still find the old comments that scre

            • by RockDoctor (15477)
              Ah, a vaguely comprehensible description of the problem. Thank you - that's more informative than anything I've seen on the topic in - what is it, 15 years?
      • Because there is no kanji for "mt. Fuji"... you have to type fujisan or fujiyama
        /badjoke
      • by Luckyo (1726890)

        Those evil Iceland volcanoes have their fingers in everything!

      • by RockDoctor (15477)
        It's just shitty coding by Slashdot. Those of us who aren't American have been complaining about it, fruitlessly, for years. It's been something that I've been asking them to fix since I signed up, about 2 million accounts before you did.
    • Re:Great (Score:5, Interesting)

      by theVarangian (1948970) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:37AM (#47465637)

      I'm leaving for Tokyo later this month. At least is easier to pronounce than Eyjafjallajokull.

      Eyjafjallajökull let's not forget the umlaut...

      • Re:Great (Score:4, Funny)

        by CastrTroy (595695) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @07:55AM (#47465759) Homepage
        Thanks. That makes it a whole lot easier to pronounce. It's so obvious now.
        • by stjobe (78285)

          It's not actually that hard to pronounce, "ey-a fjell-a yo-cull" is close enough.

          "Fu-dji" is probably still easier though ;)

        • Re:Great (Score:5, Informative)

          by Luckyo (1726890) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @10:55AM (#47467279)

          On a serious note - it's actually very easy to pronounce. You just need to think of it properly - three separate words.

          Eyja Fjalla Jökull.

          It's actually a limitation of our brain. We can manage words up to reasonable length, and after that, we have to switch to far less efficient general abstraction instead of specialized brain centres. To avoid this limitation, slice the word into manageable pieces and you will find it very easy to pronounce once your task-specific brain centre handles it.

          This is the same thing as trying to do the math on 7*8 versus 78*87.

          • by aevan (903814)

            Eyja Fjalla Jökull

            Isn't that how you summon a Deep One?

          • by CastrTroy (595695)
            I think it has more to do with the fact that I am an English speaker and it has letter groups I'm not accustomed to seeing together. EyjafjallajÃkull has 16 letters. An example of an English word with 16 letters would be "conservationists". It's quite easy to read because my brain breaks it up into letter groups that occur often in English. Groups like con, and tion, and ist occur all over the place and therefore make the word easy to recognize. EyjafjallajÃkull on the other hand doesn't have
          • by fisted (2295862)

            It's actually a limitation of our brain. We can manage words up to reasonable length,

            Your brain. Not our brain. Now get off my lawn, I've got the Rindfleischetikettierungsueberwachungsaufgabenuebertragungsgesetz [wikipedia.org] to read.

            Best wishes from Germany

            • by Luckyo (1726890)

              Same thing. Slice into individual words. I don't speak Icelandic at all, and I speak only a bit of German, but word rules are pretty much the same. It's a combination of words. Finnish has the same thing as well.

      • by Goaway (82658)

        Oh, you want to be pedantic? Let's be pedantic, then!

        Scandinavian languages don't have "umlauts". "Umlaut" is a concept from German, where vowels are modified into different forms and marked with an umlaut mark. Other languages, however, just borrow these typographical forms to represent vowels with similar sounds. However, while German considers the vowels a and ä to be variations on the same letter, Scandinavian languages consider these to be separate letters entirely, and place them differently in a

        • Oh, you want to be pedantic? Let's be pedantic, then!

          Scandinavian languages don't have "umlauts". "Umlaut" is a concept from German, where vowels are modified into different forms and marked with an umlaut mark. Other languages, however, just borrow these typographical forms to represent vowels with similar sounds. However, while German considers the vowels a and ä to be variations on the same letter, Scandinavian languages consider these to be separate letters entirely, and place them differently in alphabetical orderings.

          Thus, there is no "umlaut" in Eyjafjallajökull, there is merely an "ö" rather than an "o".

          In Icelandic 'o' and 'ö' are fairly subtle variations on the same sound, the difference betwee 'o' and 'ö' is only a matter of moving your tongue about 4-5mm forward. Icelandic is near near-isomorphic with with Ancient Norse to the point where some Icelanders can actually stumble their way through inscriptions transcribed into modern alphabet from rune stones over a thousand years old and many can read 12-13th century manuscripts similarly transcribed to modern alphabet pretty clearly, in fact te

  • Um... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) *

    They have no way of predicting when an eruption might happen, but the potential seems greater than ever.

    They say they can't predict it, then in the same sentence predict it. Amazing.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by drinkypoo (153816)

      They say they can't predict it, then in the same sentence predict it. Amazing.

      They say they can't predict it, and then they don't. They only say that it seems more likely than ever before. Then you fail to read. Sadly, not amazing, nor unusual.

      • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

        by AmiMoJo (196126) *

        They are predicting that it is getting close to an eruption. That's a prediction. Perhaps you were expecting the actual date of the eruption, but to qualify as a prediction they only need to anticipate some aspect of its future behaviour in some way.

        From OED:
        Predict
        VERB

        [WITH OBJECT]
        Say or estimate that (a specified thing) will happen in the future or will be a consequence of something

        • You might be able to use a dictionary, but you clearly lack reading comprehension. A prediction, to qualify as any sort of useful prediction, requires some bit of information that can be acted on. What they said was that the odds of Mt Fuji blowing up increased, but we have no idea by how much or how that would translate into an actual date.

          Furthermore, they didn't say that it got close to an eruption, but that the odds increased. Put down the dictionary, and pay more attention to what you read.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        They say they can't predict it, then in the same sentence predict it. Amazing.

        They say they can't predict it, and then they don't. They only say that it seems more likely than ever before.

        And that's a prediction.

        Then you fail to read. Sadly, not amazing, nor unusual.

        Oh internet, so fast on the useless attacks. Will there be a day when people keep it civil?

        • Re:Um... (Score:4, Informative)

          by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @08:35AM (#47466025) Homepage Journal

          And that's a prediction.

          If the water in your kettle is hotter than it's ever been before, then you know it's closer to boiling than it ever has been before. You can say that without announcing the time at which it will boil, or even whether it will boil. And that's why it isn't a prediction.

          Oh internet, so fast on the useless attacks. Will there be a day when people keep it civil?

          That day will have to come after people start R'ing TFA and understanding it before posting. But in fact, I was perfectly civil. I may have misstated the case slightly, however. He may have read the article, and simply failed to understand what he read. I don't want to attribute to one type of incompetence what is actually due to another.

    • by neurovish (315867)

      They have no way of predicting when an eruption might happen, but the potential seems greater than ever.

      They say they can't predict it, then in the same sentence predict it. Amazing.

      It only seems that way....like somebody was sitting there looking at Mt. Fuji and got the willies.

    • by wbr1 (2538558)
      Okay. You have a full 2-liter soda bottle. You drop it from hip height to the floor. The shock releases dissolved gas, increasing the pressure in the bottle. Now pick it up and drop it again. And again.

      At some point the bottle will fail and the soda will erupt.

      Can you say on which drop? Can you say how it will fail (split seam, pinhole rupture that expands, cap failure?)

      No? But you can say that it likely will if the behavior continues.

      Lets take another example, say HDD failure. Any HDD will fail

      • On the first drop of the bottle the cap loosens slightly but stays in place. The bottle hisses as some of the pressure is released. When you pick it up awhile later and drop it again, the pressure has mostly equalized, but a second drop, and it hisses some more. A little while later you pick up the bottle which is now full of flat soda.

  • "Oooh look, incendiary rounds! Gotta try these out at the range!" - God

  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @08:14AM (#47465885)

    The only thing missing from this breathless article was an animation of a scientist inspecting a piece of monitoring equipment, watching the needle bury itself, and screaming "it's over 9000!!!"

  • Mt. Miyajima? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by superflippy (442879) on Wednesday July 16, 2014 @09:02AM (#47466237) Homepage Journal

    Mt. Fuji is more well known, but I wonder how all this seismic activity is affecting Mt. Miyajima in the southern part of Japan? It's another active volcano, one I visited in the 90's. It was actively smoking at the time, and surrounded by lava beds.

    • by steelfood (895457)

      Considering Miyajima is in the south, away from all the geological activity farther up north, the effect of the earthquakes will not be nearly as great.

      Then again, volcanoes are an unpredictable thing. Even minor shifts of the crust can have major implications, if the shifting, however minor, is just right. Sometimes, it's a matter of when. But I'm sure there are instruments monitoring these things. If there was any change detected, it'd be on the news as well.

  • I think thanks to more recent research by geologists, we now know that most volcanic eruptions occur after a series of very specific types of earthquakes around the volcano. This is why seismic sensors are placed all over many Japanese volcanic mountains, for example Mt. Aso and Sakurajima on Kyushu and both Mt. Fuji and Mt. Asama (since both mountains if there is any major eruption could seriously affect the Tokyo metropolitan region).

"It's what you learn after you know it all that counts." -- John Wooden

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