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Earth Science

Deep Magma Chambers Seen Beneath Mount St. Helens (sciencemag.org) 66

sciencehabit writes with news that scientists have imaged the magma chambers responsible for the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. From the Science story: "Geoscientists have for the first time revealed the magma plumbing beneath Mount St. Helens, the most active volcano in the Pacific Northwest. The emerging picture includes a giant magma chamber, between 5 and 12 kilometers below the surface, and a second, even larger one, between 12 and 40 kilometers below the surface. The two chambers appear to be connected in a way that could help explain the sequence of events in the 1980 eruption that blew the lid off Mount St. Helens."
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Deep Magma Chambers Seen Beneath Mount St. Helens

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  • Big Trouble (Score:5, Funny)

    by khr ( 708262 ) <kevinrubin@gmail.com> on Thursday November 05, 2015 @08:42AM (#50869777) Homepage

    Mt. St. Helens's 1980 eruption was the biggest thing I ever got in trouble for. Really...

    Early in the morning, everyone was asleep and the house started shaking, and my father yelled from the other room "quit jumping on the bed!" and I yelled back "I'm not!" and the rumbling didn't stop, the blinds clattering against the windows and he yelled "Dammit! I said quit jumping on the bed right now!" and I yelled, "but I'm not!"...

    I was in big trouble... They grounded me practically for life, for not stopping jumping on the bed and lying about that.

    Fortunately later that evening we watched the news and I was vindicated... It really wasn't me.

    • by funkelectric ( 931604 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @09:30AM (#50869929)
      So you jumped on the bed, caused a huge frigging volcanic eruption and managed to get away with it all. Nicely played.
    • Re:Big Trouble (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Dutch Gun ( 899105 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @02:47PM (#50872203)

      Heh, nice. I believe it was a Sunday morning, and our family was up and about already. We heard the explosion a few hundred miles north, much further away than you, apparently. My dad joked "well, there went Mt. St. Helens", since it was in the news, and people were anticipating some sort of event. We all chuckled, just figuring it was a sonic boom from the Whidby Island naval air base or something like that.

      We were shocked to learn later that day that what we heard was actually St. Helens erupting. Ash got spread thousands of miles away, but we never got anyone of it, since we were north and the wind blew everything east.

      About a year later, we got a chance to see the blast zone, which was still mostly barren, at least of large-scale life. It was absolutely a surreal scene, as though a person had swept their arm over a forest of matchsticks.

      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        I'd just gotten out of the military and was a combination of drunk and high when we got some ashes all the way on the East Coast. It wasn't a whole lot but the sky was darker than normal and the sunset was rather pretty for a couple of days, as I recall. I only recall one person dieing from it. Some researcher or another. There might have been a second one, a journalist? I don't really remember. I think that was the most interesting thing for me, I'd expected more doom and gloom.

        • by Nethead ( 1563 )

          57 people. http://www.olywa.net/radu/vale... [olywa.net]

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            I don't remember them making the news. :/ I do remember the one guy and I think there might have been a journalist who was mentioned. Interesting link - still doesn't job any memories. ;-) I was, shall we say, celebrating at the time.

            • by Nethead ( 1563 )

              I was moving from Yakima (Eastern Washington) to Seattle that morning and wondered why the sky was so black to the south going over the pass. Didn't know until I got unpacked and Walter Cronkite was telling me that the town I grew up in and left that morning was now covered in several inches of volcanic ash. http://media.kimatv.com/images... [kimatv.com]

  • by Anonymous Coward

    The hand drawn diagram in the article hardly constitutes imaging. IT is no much different than the cross section pictures of stratovolcanoes we've been looking at for 50 years. It would be far more interesting to see the migrated (processed) seismic image for ourselves.

    • Re:Image? (Score:5, Funny)

      by Jhon ( 241832 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @11:12AM (#50870499) Homepage Journal

      They couldn't show you the REAL images. You would have seen an entire abandoned Dwarven community. And that big red blob? Balrog city, of course.

      The 1980 'event' was a fantastic battle that destroyed the Elves living in the forest on the mystic Mt. St. Helens.

      The surviving Dwarves moved back to Italy to rebuild under Mt. Vesuvius.

  • Geoscientists? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Not-a-Neg ( 743469 ) * on Thursday November 05, 2015 @09:37AM (#50869955)

    I thought they were called Geologists?

    • by idji ( 984038 )
      i imagine a geologist looks at rocks, a geoscientist thinks about how rocks change and their chemistry, and a geophysicist thinks about how rocks move and transfer heat.
      • i imagine a geologist looks at rocks, a geoscientist thinks about how rocks change and their chemistry, and a geophysicist thinks about how rocks move and transfer heat.

        Why wouldn't you just call them a geochemist then?

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          For the same reason we don't call a car mechanic who specializes in engines an engineer.

          It may be more appropriate to the word meaning in a strict sense, but less useful to the general conversation.
    • They want to keep up with the climatologists - er, climate scientists.
    • They got tired of Sheldon Cooper deriding Geology, so changed the name of their field to hide their origin?

      • The change came from the Oil and Gas Sector where the geologists got tired of putting up with being paid less than engineers that couldn't find their ass with both hands and a flashlight.

        • by AK Marc ( 707885 )
          Wasn't there a term invented for the people who are really good at one thing, but they generalize that proficiency into other areas they aren't competent in?

          I find that common in engineers. "I can design a flow valve, so obviously, I can run a computer" So the engineers at the oil company I dealt with were the IT department. And they had an IT department. The IT department spent more time cleaning up after then engineers than everything else combined. The first VM I ever saw was an engineer's machine
  • by JudgeFurious ( 455868 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @10:58AM (#50870407)
    Balrog. Gotta be a Balrog.
  • Come on... I need this in either football fields or minutes...

  • by mu51c10rd ( 187182 ) on Thursday November 05, 2015 @11:26AM (#50870603)

    Anyone else had a natural inclination to read about liquid hot magma in Doctor Evil's voice?

  • This man was hiking, he video tapes [youtube.com] the eruption and then has to escape it on foot. If you want to see his life and death part skip to 2 minutes where he says "I honest to god think I'm dead." Cause he can't breath. He does survive though.

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