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A Supervolcano Beneath Mt. St. Helens?

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the don't-know-where-i'm-a-gonna-go dept.

Earth 180

We've discussed the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone a few times here (not going to blow, 2004; going to blow, 2008). Now scientists are pondering whether a large area of conductive material beneath Mt. St. Helens might contain enough magma that the area could be classed a supervolcano. The jury is still out on this one. Reader nhytefall sends us a New Scientist progress report. "Magma can be detected with a technique called magnetotellurics, which builds up a picture of what lies underground by measuring fluctuations in electric and magnetic fields at the surface. The fields fluctuate in response to electric currents traveling below the surface, induced by lightning storms and other phenomena. The currents are stronger when magma is present, since it is a better conductor than solid rock. ... [M]easurements revealed a column of conductive material that extends downward from the volcano. About 15 km below the surface, the relatively narrow column appears to connect to a much bigger zone of conductive material. This larger zone was first identified in the 1980s by another magnetotelluric survey, and was found to extend all the way to beneath Mount Rainier 70 km to the north-east, and Mount Adams 50 km to the east. It was thought to be a zone of wet sediment, water being a good electrical conductor. ... [Some researchers] now think the conductive material is more likely to be a semi-molten mixture. Its conductivity is not high enough for it to be pure magma.. so it is more likely to be a mixture of solid and molten rock."

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Mount Helen? (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321685)

Yeah, most slashdotters would mount anyone with that name.

Re:Mount Helen? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322509)

Chances are that they'll forget to use sudo the first time...

Lava life? (1)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321719)

Yay, they found more Lava.

... umm. Now what?

Re:Lava life? (5, Informative)

BPPG (1181851) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322337)

Not to be a nit-picker, but lava and magma aren't actually the same thing; lava is magma flowing on the Earth's surface. The properties of the two are the same, aside from lava being surrounded by relatively cool air, and magma being surrounded by insulating earth.

I know that doesn't really answer your question, but consider this; It's not lava yet.

Re:Lava life? (2)

awarrenfells (1289658) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322405)

Indeed, sir! Indeed.

I know jack all about geology and vulcanology. Thanks for the info though. ^_^

i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321735)

i shit out an obama.

plop!

Re:i just got off the toilet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321951)

...and I just shit out a Michelle!

Hey, if we put them both on the floor and stomped on them do you think that we could also make Malia and Sasha [masslive.com] from the splatter?

Re:i just got off the toilet (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322017)

Why the fuck do journalists pretend that Michelle Obama is some kind of supermodel? She looks like a gorilla with makeup. There are some hot black girls, but she's not one of them. It's nice that she has skinny arms and didn't blow up like a cow (or nigger bitch) when she popped out the shorties, but age adjusted, she's got to be one of the ugliest first ladies ever.

Re:i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322059)

when she popped out the shorties, but age adjusted, she's got to be one of the ugliest first ladies ever.

troll aside, this was hilarious.

Re:i just got off the toilet (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28323055)

troll aside, this was hilarious.

and 100% correct!

face it obama worshipers; he's not the messiah you all claimed he was and she's not the hot, progressive first lady that the media keeps pushing down our throats.

Gov. Jindal isn't worried (5, Insightful)

PotatoFiend (1330299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321783)

But Democratic leaders in Congress -- they rejected this approach. Instead of trusting us to make wise decisions with our own money, they passed the largest government spending bill in history, with a price tag of more than $1 trillion with interest. While some of the projects in the bill make sense, their legislation is larded with wasteful spending. It includes ... $140 million for something called "volcano monitoring." Instead of monitoring volcanoes, what Congress should be monitoring is the eruption of spending in Washington, D.C.

-- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321839)

Yep. And next time Louisiana gets slammed by a big storm (and it will) Jindal or his successor will go running to the Federal government for help, all the while whining that not enough was done to predict or prepare for the event. But volcanoes? Pffft. Everyone who has to worry about that is a damnyankee anyway.

(Of course, if it weren't for those damnyankees, Jindal himself would never have had a prayer of getting elected county dogcatcher in any ex-Confederate state, much less governor ... but we're not supposed to mention that either.)

Louisiana politics have always been deeply corrupt, but they used to be relatively sane. I'm not sure what happened.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (-1, Offtopic)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321919)

Ah, I see I got hit by the right-wing mod-bombers too. Reality's well-known liberal bias is hard for you guys to deal with.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322135)

Why do you consider facts to be "right-wing"? You must then consider left-wingers to live in a fantasy world?

(My own personal opinion is that this is true, but I am not a right-winger myself.)

Leave the politics out of it, and let's just consider MONEY. If those bastards want to live in a hurricane zone, below sea level, fine. Let them. But not on my nickel.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0, Offtopic)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322201)

Either you completely misread my post, or you're deliberately twisting my words. Given your posting history, the first seems more likely. The facts in this case completely support the "liberal," "left-wing" position, in either case ... which is usually the way to bet.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322231)

What happened was that I did not realize that both posts were from you. So yes, I misinterpreted what was being said.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (2, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322367)

Leave the politics out of it, and let's just consider MONEY. If those bastards want to live in a hurricane zone, below sea level, fine. Let them. But not on my nickel.

It's interesting that libertarians and other assorted nutjobs always point out that no one has to live in hurricane zone or below sea level, yet fail to realize that they themselves don't have to live in a civilized, cooperative society. They can move to Somalia or some other governmentless hellhole and be free of taxes and all that they imply.

But of course following his own advice would inconvenience the nutjob himself, rather than some unknown people.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322713)

Just love the straw-man argument. More! The more I hear the more I will know how to defend against.

Just out of curiosity, though, why do you consider Libertarians to be "nutjobs"? You have a problem with free markets, or the Constitution? After all, those are the two big things Libertarians stand for.

And... how would "following his own advice" be inconvenient. Assuming I were a libertarian, the fact is that I live neither in a hurricane zone, OR below sea level. Nor in a coastal area subject to typhoons or tsunamis. Nor in an area that is prone to earthquakes, or lava flows. Hmmm... seems that I am following my own advice...

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28323021)

libertarians always go on about how a place with no government would be paradise. Well there is such a place: Somalia. Why don't you move there to establish the libertarian paradise. That neither you
nor the other libertarians don't shows that libertarians are just wannabe freeriders.

To Anonymous Coward: (1, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28323037)

No, they don't. Those are anarchists, not Libertarians. Please learn the difference, because the difference is very big.

As far as your other statements, I will just ignore them, because they simply do not apply to Libertarians. Tell you what: try looking up "anarchy" and finding out what it means. Then, go insult the Anarchy party, because there is one.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322907)

I'm not sure I see the connection between someone's choice to live in a hurricane zone below sea level, and having no Government? The Government doesn't tell me I have to live in a particular part of the country, I'm free to move where I like, within certain boundaries of course. Given this, I choose to live above sea level, relatively close to the coast line near some quiet beaches.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

DarkOx (621550) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322977)

Fine but the city was basically destroyed. When it was built it made sense powered freight transportation and fishing were both important so it was logical to construct cities on the coast. Its not reasonable to pick up and move a perfectly good city but when its devastated to the degree New Orleans was why should we rebuild it? Why not move the entire thing 50 miles inland? A short (cheap to replace) stretch of rail road could connect the docs to the city and other ground transport. Moving freight by rail is very cheap, so no problems there. The fishermen would have a little longer commute again they could use the rail in and out at night, as well as to haul their catch back.

If public money is going to be used for disaster relief ( and I agree that it should be in most cases ) then their should at least be some plan to avoid or mitigate the potential loss from future disasters. So I agree with the parent. Its ok if you want to live below sea level in a hurricane zone but if you want but if you expect to use my nickel to rebuild your city after its destroyed then I get to at least insist you put it some place more sensible given the modern world.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (3, Informative)

jabithew (1340853) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322423)

Why do you consider facts to be "right-wing"? You must then consider left-wingers to live in a fantasy world?

Interesting you mention this. I'm just reading Alan Sokal's Beyond the Hoax, where he criticises the liberal-left academic post-modernists for trying to undermine facts. Of course, he then goes on to criticise the fundamentalist right for the same thing, and notes the irony that the latter wouldn't have been able to succeed without the groundwork of the former.

So there was a period (pre-Bush, essentially) where the literary academic establishment did consider facts to be a right-wing anti-progressive and revisionist construct, or some other such spew of verbal diarrhea. Guess what goes around comes around after all.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (2, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322827)

I misunderstood the poster's intent... but it is an interesting topic.

Without claiming that either side is correct politically, I will say that it is my experience that those on the Left, relatively speaking, tend to be more concerned with idealism than with verifiable facts. Which is a very dangerous thing to let loose on the American people.

On the other hand, idealism or no, the Right has done considerable damage to the American people and their society over the last 8 or 10 years itself. So... it has just been one variety of bad after another.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322655)

And the next time an earthquake strikes California, I don't want MY tax dollars paying for it. It's what the morons get for living along a fault line.

And the next time an F5 tornado wipes out an entire town in Kansas... the gub'ment better leave MY money alone. They had it comin'!

And the next time a strong rain storm floods the entire Missouri Valley... not on MY dime, brother!

And when a cat-IV hurricane turns up the Atlantic Coast and obliterates Washington, DC, they're on their own! What idiot lives near an ocean, anyway?

I'm only payin' for people DIDN'T deserve to have their homes destroyed.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (3, Interesting)

blincoln (592401) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322681)

If those bastards want to live in a hurricane zone, below sea level, fine. Let them. But not on my nickel.

How would you feel about dealing with the massive economic hit to the country involved in all of the people living in similar areas relocating? Whether the government funded it or not, you'd be talking about bringing huge pieces of industry to a standstill for years.
Oh, and don't forget about the ruin you'd wreak on the country by shutting down all of the ports on two of the three coasts. Nearly anywhere that is capable of being a useful port is also going to be victim to natural disasters of some kind - whether it's hurricanes in the South or earthquakes in the West. But, you know, while you're relocating all those millions of people, maybe you can have them dig a container-ship-sized canal to Idaho. Not many options for that in the South, since (AFAIK) most of the states between the South and e.g. Michigan (which already has water access) are hit by tornadoes.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322775)

well, fuck yes. I'd rather deal with relocating people then the eternal cost of supporting them with welfare. What makes you think that Katrina was an anomoly, or that physics won't win in the end. You're a fucking retard.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322795)

Relocation? That's called "TFB".

Look, let me make my position clear: living below flood level is STUPID. Period. I don't want to pay for their levees, or relocation, or rebuilding, or any of it, any more than I would want to pay for somebody who burned their house down by using a turkey fryer indoors. Stupid is stupid.

Personally, I would just consider it evolution in action. The average intelligence of the human race goes up a fraction.

And before you accuse me of being a hypocrite, let me repeat what I wrote elsewhere in this thread: I don't live in a floodzone, or a hurricane zone, or an area that is subject to typhoons, or tsunamis, or dust storms, or earthquakes, or...

If you live in a hurricane zone AND below flood level (on the COAST yet...), then if your property gets flooded, you are not a "victim of a natural disaster" at all. You are a victim of your own stupidity. I'll keep my money and offer no sympathy.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1, Troll)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322851)

And just let me add this: Louisiana (and New Orleans in particular) politicians took Federal (read: your and my) money, that was supposed to be used to shore up the levees and so on, and spent it instead on their own favorite local pork projects. So, while I don't have ANY sympathy for the flood victims, I would go further and say that those politicians ought to be in prison, if not shot outright.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322191)

Ah, I see I got hit by the right-wing mod-bombers too.

What's up with those lately? They're all over the place with their brave and honest "-1 Overrated" judgments.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322273)

A fair number of them, I think, have realized that they can't possibly win in an actual debate, so when they get mod points they scan through stories looking for something that presses their political hot buttons.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322789)

If I throw a mod-bomb straight up, then do I get mod-up or mod-down?

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321967)

Fuck Louisiana. They passed the Science Education Act [richarddawkins.net] which mandates that creationism, er..."intelligent" design, must be taught alongside evolution.

Fuck the south, and FUCK RELIGION. Hmmph. Talking to a fucking invisible man in the sky. Pure and utter stupidity.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322001)

mod parent up. not a troll.

He Was Exactly Right (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321869)

This volcano monitoring spending was part of an economic stimulus bill.
What in the hell does spending on volcano monitoring have to do with stimulating the economy, I have no idea. Maybe we should be funding this, but it has nothing to do with the issue that he was addressing.

It was a bit clumsy, but Jindal was dead on correct in criticizing the pork that goes on in Congress.

Re:He Was Exactly Right (4, Interesting)

PotatoFiend (1330299) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322053)

It can be reasonably argued either way as to whether funding for volcano monitoring belonged in that particular bill (I urge you to consider how the economy might be affected by a volcano-scale natural disaster -- the possible nullification of any progress stemming from the bill's other economic recovery provisions).

More poignant however was the obvious subtext of Jindal's message, which was mockery of science. You probably wouldn't agree, but it'd certainly be worth my taxpayer dollars to fund a permanent residence for Gov. Jindal at the summit of Mt. St. Helens.

Re:He Was Exactly Right (0, Offtopic)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322177)

Stimulus? bwahaha. Earlier this week, Caterpillar (bulldozers and stuff) announced 66 more employees would be laid off, on top of the 400 or so in the last 9 months. This is noteworthy because they (and Barack Obama) had previously stated that the stimulus would prevent this from happening. Maybe if that money was spent on repairing roads and bridges (never forget minnesota!).

So far, the stimulus money has only had one effect: raising interest rates. 46% (or more) of government spending is borrowed money. People with money to lend are getting vocal about the US being a credit risk (Hillary Clinton and Tim Geithner both made trips to China to beg them to keep loaning money). This has resulted in a spike in interest rates which makes it more expensive to refinance mortgages (the one bright spot in our economy) or buy a house.

I'm in the process of buying a house right now and that translates to $10,000 being thrown around my community, mostly to small businesses. Plus I'll be spending another few thousand on furniture and appliances (which will be made in the US if at all possible).

The economy will recover when housing prices deflate to their true value, consumers start buying houses again, and zombie companies (Citibank, BoA, Chrysler, GM) are allowed to fail.

The stimulus should have consisted of an $8000 tax credit for house purchases (to everyone, not just new home owners), ban credit default swaps, ban interest only mortgages, ban option-arm mortgages, and have fannie mae/freddy mac (if not all banks) require 10% downpayment on all mortgages. Get rid of the speculation, get rid of the gambling, get rid of the liar loans.

Re:He Was Exactly Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28323063)

s/borrowed/created out of thin air/

Re:He Was Exactly Right (2, Funny)

chefshoemaker (1485151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322295)

You insensitive Bizatch!!! I happen to be a Volcano Monitoring Technician. I sit on a rock in Yellowstone for 8 hrs. day, 5 days a week, concentrating on the vibrations coming through the ground and the effects of the magnetic waves on various metal objects. My homeless technical training makes me ideal for this position, so said PrezBO

Re:He Was Exactly Right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322641)

I sit on a rock in Yellowstone for 8 hrs. day, 5 days a week, concentrating on the vibrations coming through the ground

Are you sure it's a rock?

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (4, Insightful)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321903)

Wow, parent got modded troll pretty fast. Apparently the Republican mod-bombers are out in force.

It is a fact that Jindal, governor of a state (Louisiana) which has suffered mightily from natural disasters (hurricanes) in the recent past and will inevitably do so in the future, criticized Federal spending on a program designed to predict and prepare for natural disasters (volcanoes) which could easily be as devastating if not more so. It is also a fact that Jindal made this a partisan issue. Pointing this out does not constitute a troll.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322961)

2 questions, then:

1) What is a bill funding volcano monitoring doing in a "stimulus" package?

2) While the need to monitor volcanoes is important, do we need to spend the money right now?

The volcano monitoring funding wasn't put included in the bill for some high scientific purpose - it was pork. It may be worthwhile, and even necessary, but don't kid yourself: if the sponsor had another place to spend the money for more political gain, volcano monitoring wouldn't be on the radar.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

DerekLyons (302214) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322091)

Well, he's right to some extent. Funding for ongoing projects (like volcano monitoring) should be in the normal budget - the stimulus bill was supposed to be for one-time expenses and to kick start the economy, not for pork or to circumvent the normal budget process. I can't help but wonder how much 'seed' money for ongoing projects/pork is hidden in the stimulus money.
 
Disclaimer: Puget Sound area resident, and one aware of the difference between volcano monitoring and basic research.

Re:Gov. Jindal isn't worried (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322233)

If well looks very shortsighted, there is another thing we should think around this. If a deployed volcano monitoring system confirms that it will blow in short time, what could be done? Defusing? Will the probably short time before it happens give any advantage in the preparations for it over starting after or starting now, making us more prepared in general for any mid-sized disaster? Of course, could make a difference to people living in a somewhat short range of the explosion.

In the other hand... a supervolcano could not happen in his lifetime, but another election surely will.

Don't panic (4, Funny)

Lost Penguin (636359) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321819)

It connects to Yellowstone, and will soon be a second moon.

Re:Don't panic (3, Funny)

ionix5891 (1228718) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322723)

thats no moon

Re:Don't panic (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322865)

That isn't a moon. It's a space station.

I'm wondering, with all this magma? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321823)

Might there be a volcano under Mt. St. Helens?

Re:I'm wondering, with all this magma? (1)

MadnessASAP (1052274) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321977)

That's crazy talk!

Re:I'm wondering, with all this magma? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322127)

It's not crazy. It's advanced!!

Re:I'm wondering, with all this magma? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322535)

Not sure why this is off-topic. The title struck me as odd, too. Wouldn't Mt. St. Helens be the volcano? I don't think you can have a volcano beneath a volcano.

If the west coast blows up (5, Funny)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321845)

can I have your stuff?

Re:If the west coast blows up (1)

orngjce223 (1505655) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322209)

Yeah, but it'd be buried under feet of magma and ash.

Yeah, you can have it, but good luck finding it. :P

Re:If the west coast blows up (1)

kbrasee (1379057) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322325)

People did it when Louisiana was under feet of water, I figure magma and ash will not be too difficult.

Re:If the west coast blows up (1)

failedlogic (627314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322809)

Well Silicon Valley already had its bubble burst. So are you saying its about time it blows up by a volcano? When the city of Atlantis rises again, we'll see who the fools are.

hmm if it did blow (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321847)

The force could be enough to take out all the chairs in the Microsoft campus, regardless of what news was being digested by the CEO at the time.

Re:hmm if it did blow (1)

selven (1556643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321953)

I think you mean:

The force could be enough to take out 173 libraries of congress, regardless of what news was being digested by the CEO at the time.

Re:hmm if it did blow (1)

el3mentary (1349033) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322087)

The force could be enough to take out 1.73 libraries of congress, regardless of what news was being digested by the CEO at the time.

There, fixed that for you.

Re:hmm if it did blow "I used to say the West..." (1)

davidsyes (765062) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322575)

That is, the upper northern West Coast was LONNNNG overdue for a tsunami or Mt. St. Helens mega eruption, and that if it took out ms, that that would be fine by me. Unfortunately, ms would have enough backups around the world to rise from the ash, either as a new fearsome giant, or a bunch of smaller ones that some expected the anti-trust cases might produce.

BUT... maybe Mt. St. Helens might become the new force of open source? Or, the new source of open FORCE. If it smacks ms, it would be a New Caldera Era, SCO (Sporadic, Combustible Obliteration)....Yikes!

pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (4, Funny)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321857)

I did a little reading under Supervolcano on Wikipedia and it says "...supervolcano was not a technical term used in volcanology. The term megacaldera is sometimes used.."

You got that? It's a Megacaldera guys. Only total n00bz call it a supervolcano! I bet you guys called Yoda a Jedi Knight too....everybody knows he was a Jedi MASTER.

....hehe...supervolcano.

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (2, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321897)

Presumably before he was a Master he was a Knight. Once a Master always a Master but once a night is enough....

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (5, Funny)

syousef (465911) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321985)

"...supervolcano was not a technical term used in volcanology. The term megacaldera is sometimes used.."

It's a supervolcano if it wears it's underwear on the outside.

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322527)

It's a supervolcano if it wears it's underwear on the outside.

Volcanoes do that sometimes. I note that at least Ms. Helens has red panties. Hot!

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322819)

That's a motivational speaker.

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322077)

Shit! "Caldera"!?! That's what SCO linux used to be called! And this is MEGA Caldera, a million times caldera! This must be the latest move of Microsoft. They're gonna blow shit up! Duck and cover!

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

Bill, Shooter of Bul (629286) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322163)

Well, if they want a big grant, they'll soon learn to start calling things by their more dramatic names.

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322213)

Really, it's neither.

Technically, either a volcano or a volcano is where volcanic activity is exposed on the surface. A volcano is a source of magma. A caldera is the "crater" that often appears at the center of a volcano. Neither have a whole lot to do with a massive reservoir of magma, which is... a massive reservoir of magma.

Except for the postulated mix of magma and water, there is not much new here. It has long been accepted that Mount Ranier, Mount St. Helens, and probably Mount Baker are connected underground by channels, if not a huge lake, of magma.

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322249)

Parent should say "either a volcano or a caldera..."

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322353)

Isn't Megacaldera a heavy metal tribute band from the SCO group?

Re:pffft! It's not "Supervolcano" (3, Funny)

dimeglio (456244) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322391)

In my opinion, all volcanoes are all "super." Monsters like Mt. Etna and Vesuvius would be typical in size. Super would be what? The size of Cuba, Iceland, Tasmania - that would be super. How about exovolcanoes (or is it exoplanetary volcanoes)? Do you use the same scale?

I suppose that since the Mt. St-Helens is in the USA, it must be a super something.

Mega Caldera?!?! (1)

absurdist (758409) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322561)

Jesus, does this mean we're going to have to go through the whole SCO fiasco again on a grander scale?

Evil Americans (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321859)

"These enormous eruptions can spew enough sunlight-blocking ash into the atmosphere to cool the climate by several degrees Celsius."
  .
This is yet another Yankee trick to deny global warming. Go home, and turn off your volcano.

Volcano! (4, Insightful)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321875)

    There's always a volcano about to erupt, or a fault going to shatter in an earthquake, or a comet that's going to smash into the earth, or a polar ice cap that's going to melt. It's always something.

    Wake me up when Vesuvius erupts; California becomes "the Island previously known as California"; New York is under water; or an planet splitting meteor strikes. Otherwise, it's not news, it's fear mongering. Wolf has been cried too many times for people to be concerned any more.

    I've lived in Florida for years. Hurricanes are far more likely to blow through than a volcano destroying a vast swath of the US, yet seasoned residents (those of us who have lived through more hurricanes than we can count) just make sure we have some food and water at home, and a way to cook. Live on high ground, and cross your fingers a tornado doesn't take your house away. Tornadoes during hurricanes are very likely, but the square footage of land destroyed (houses, upturned cars, etc) are so small compared to the square miles of potential damage area that you may as well play the lottery and expect to win.

Re:Volcano! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321907)

    There's always a volcano about to erupt, or a fault going to shatter in an earthquake, or a comet that's going to smash into the earth, or a polar ice cap that's going to melt...

or a simulation that will BSoD, or another Intel FPU bug or a...

Re:Volcano! (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28321929)

I suggest you actually read the summary. It doesn't say that Mount St. Helens is going erupt and destroy life as we know it, or anything like that. It says "Hey guys, what if that large area under the ground isn't actually water like we thought and is actually semi molten rock?". To which the answer is, "Well that might mean we need to classify it differently." That's it. No grand and dire warnings, suggest an idea that would further our understanding of at least a piece of the earth.

But don't let me interrupt your off topic rant.

Re:Volcano! (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322067)

    A miscategorized geological formation isn't newsworthy unless they're trying to imply something else. It would have just been changed on a few note sheets and ignored.

    No, that dike isn't a dike, it's a levee. No, that lake isn't a lake, it's a pond. No pluto isn't a planet, it's a misclassified astronomical object. No it's not TV, it's HBO.

Re:Volcano! (3, Informative)

ultranova (717540) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322473)

A miscategorized geological formation isn't newsworthy unless they're trying to imply something else. It would have just been changed on a few note sheets and ignored.

This isn't a generic news site, thought; it's "news for nerds". And the story is not about a miscategorization, it's about new findings about a major geological feature.

Re:Volcano! (0)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322019)

Anyone woke you last time an hurricane lvl 5 hit a big city?

Change happens, and some of it is big and abrupt. Will happen tomorrow? next century? Is not for losing the sleep for what could happen that you cant predict nor prevent, but neither is for denying that will happen in some moment of the (maybe far, maybe near) future.

If makes you happy, you can take it as the "news" that Mars will hit Earth like in a billon years, odds are not low that it will no happen in your lifetime (specially if a big tidal wave from Canary Islands sinks Florida in the next few days :)

Re:Volcano! (4, Informative)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322235)

    Actually, yes, I was woken up last time a Category 5 hurricane was about to hit. We don't panic because it's reported "This could be the worst hurricane season ever!" That's not news either, it's fear mongering. It's something to worry about when there's really a storm coming, and you may have a day or few days notice. It may be a Category 2 hurricane now, but when it arrives it could be just a tropical depression or a Category 5 hurricane. It may turn towards us. It may turn away from us. When it looks likely that it will hit, that's when we take precautions.

    When Hurricane Andrew came our way, we stored some water, make sure we had food and cooking supplies, and locked down everything we needed to. We were within the storm, but not near the eye. Not that the eye matters that much, these storms are wicked most of the way across.

    We watched Hurricane Isabel, but it turned away from us.

    Hurricane Ivan wasn't much to see when we got it.

    Hurricanes Katrina and Rita danced around us, so we were lucky.

    Hurricane Wilma wasn't terribly strong when it got here.

    A few years ago, I believe 2005, we had 4 hurricanes back to back. I was living out of state, but I had to fly back for work. My first flight was delayed because of the hurricane. They reopened the airport, and I caught the second flight. About a day after I landed, the next storm came in, and low lying areas were evacuated. We were moving equipment between data centers, and had just gotten it all inside when the edge of the storm hit. I called a provider to have a circuit turned up, and they asked "you do realize you're in the middle of a hurricane, right?" I had a 4wd rental SUV (with insurance, of course), food and water were secured at home. Power and traffic lights were spotty throughout the area. I received one phone call for an evacuation. Someone I knew had a Porsche, and couldn't get down his street because of the flooding and trees down. Flood waters were starting to come up, and the wind was driving the rain through his window seals, so the whole West side of his house was soaked. I drove Tampa to Clearwater, got him out of his home and to another friends place on higher ground. It's interesting driving in a hurricane across a bridge. It's hard to see, the winds push you around, the waves are crashing over the side of the bridge, but there are no cars on the road. :) It was us and police looking for people in trouble to help out. If we had seen a stopped car and someone trying to get our attention, we would have picked them up and taken them to safety, just as the police would have.

    Hurricanes are probably one of the best times, because most people turn to each other. The police aren't out trying to write traffic tickets. They're evacuating people from their homes (either mandatory or on calls for help), and looking for people stuck on the side of the road, or in other trouble. No questions are asked, they are just helped. Friends help out friends. People on higher ground give those on lower ground a place to stay until it's over. When its over, neighbors help neighbors with anything they can.

    During Hurricane Elena (1985), because it lingered off shore from us, the lowland houses flooded. We lived inland, and had 8 or so people staying with us for several days. After we lost power, food was cooked on the BBQ. Everyone was happy and fairly comfortable. 3 tornadoes hit our property, one on the house directly, and two uprooted trees and tossed them. When it was safe to go home (i.e., the flood waters had gone down enough to drive home), they went home and started cleaning up. Our only damage was a destroyed 50' TV antenna. The low lying houses weren't all so lucky.

Re:Volcano! (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322453)

    Let me rephrase my previous response.

    Hurricanes happen a lot. Category 5 hurricanes happen enough to make it a concern.

    Volcano's erupt ... umm ... Well, the last major eruption in the US was Mt. St. Helens in 1980, and there haven't been any major eruptions in the last decade [msn.com] .

      Compare that to 8 Category 5 hurricanes [wikipedia.org] in the Atlantic in the last decade.

    Or we could look at a longer time span. 14 major volcanic eruptions world wide in the last century. There were at least 32 Category 5 North Atlantic hurricanes and 12 Category 5 Pacific Cyclones in the last century, but there may have been more that were not detected since our technology wasn't good enough to detect them.

    The list of total hurricanes is really long. Long enough where I couldn't find a straight list of them. Just looking at hurricanes that hit Florida there have been 327 in the last century.

    We kind of joke about some of them though. It's sometimes hard to tell the difference between a regular afternoon thunderstorm, tropical depression, tropical storm, or category 1 or 2 hurricane, without a proper weather forecast. We can have storms that knock down trees that are just thunderstorms. There was a thunderstorm not too long ago that induced tornados that destroyed several homes. Here's an example from 2007 [msn.com] , where a building collapsed, and several vehicles were overturned. Here's another example from 2006 [baynews9.com] of approx 100 homes damaged, 15 condemned after the storm. Both of these are NOT tropical weather formation related.

    They broadcast warnings on all stations on the radio and TV (that pesky EAS [wikipedia.org] thing) to let people know to seek shelter. I used to have a neat add-on on my old work cell phone that would beep at me and show me the text and map of dangerous weather. We were out shopping a few years ago, and as it turned out a tornado was headed directly towards us. We got went inside a safe building, and they advised all customers to get to the back of the store, just in case. No panic. No "oh my god, it's the end of the world", just get back where it's safe, away from the windows. The tornado dissipated before it reached us, but there were power lines down, and trees thrown across roads.

Don't worry (1)

Leuf (918654) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322467)

Once the magnetosphere starts to reverse it will wipe out all communications and you won't have to hear any more about potential disasters. However you'll be mutating into a jellyfish from the cosmic rays, so it's a bit of a toss up.

Re:Don't worry (1)

JWSmythe (446288) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322719)

I misread your comment the first time, and I read "you won't have to hear any more about political disasters". I was overjoyed. :)

    If I'll be turning into a land dwelling walking jellyfish, you better say the magic words. "You, for one welcome our mutated jellyfish overlords". :)

Wake me (2, Funny)

icebike (68054) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321885)

Wake me when Rainer and Adams all start smoking at the same time.

Otherwise, in people as well as volcanoes, an occasional good healthy belch relieves a lot of pressure.

Just terrific (1)

friedman101 (618627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321909)

Great, first we lose the Sonics and now our city is gonna be the next Pompeii. Great era to be a Seattleite

Re:Just terrific (1)

elvesrus (71218) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321915)

At least you aren't in Portland...

Re:Just terrific (1)

DarkVillain (832405) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322003)

True... living literally right in the middle between Seattle and Portland, I wouldn't choose to be in either one.

Re:Just terrific (4, Insightful)

MarkvW (1037596) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322015)

Look on the bright side. A volcano just does what it does. It won't try to hold a city hostage like professional sports teams do!

A threat to Mentifex artificial intelligence (0, Offtopic)

Mentifex (187202) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321943)

Mount St. Helens is close enough to Seattle WAC USA that I used to watch eruptions from the shores of Green Lake in North Seattle. A superuption from a supervolcano could take out the Microsoft campus [microsoft.com] in Redmond WA USA and the Mentifex AI Project [google.com] in Seattle. Then maybe the world would be better off without either of them.

In Other News... (0, Troll)

Afforess (1310263) | more than 5 years ago | (#28321981)

Scientists remember that Earth's core is made up of magma, so it only makes sense that alot of it exists...

So, to summarize recent science news on Slashdot: (5, Funny)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322009)

If the supernova don't get us the supervolcano will!

Re:So, to summarize SENSATIONALISM on Slashdot: (1)

radtea (464814) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322105)

Fixed the subject line for you. The only reason these things are in the news is the sensationalism, not the science.

If anyone was honest about reporting threats to human well-being they would be saying, "Sensationalist News Reporting Proven To Be A Threat To Human Life."

At least we know that sensationalist news reporting, unlike supernovae and supervolcanoes and super-anythingelse, has actually already killed people, and will certainly do so again in future.

Re:So, to summarize SENSATIONALISM on Slashdot: (1)

Sulphur (1548251) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322753)

They are called guards.

Re:So, to summarize recent science news on Slashdo (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322321)

The real question is whether this is just large enough to be a supervolcano, or merely a really large volcano (and the age of the scientist determining this).

Comments (0, Troll)

smoker2 (750216) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322169)

Judging by the comments posted so far, if it is a super volcano, and it does blow, nothing of value will be lost.
That is all.

Just as old newspaper proverb says... (2)

dvh.tosomja (1235032) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322413)

If there is question mark in the title - answer is no!

but didn't congress (0)

teknosapien (1012209) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322571)

Vote down Volcano monitoring here in the US? Stating that it was not necessary? I wonder what this news will do to the thought that its not needed?

HOUSE FOR SALE (2, Funny)

kibrenner (1576115) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322593)

Scenic Blue zone location... peek a boo view of the mountain... today... OK so I live between St Helens and Rainier... (the mountains, not the towns) I guess if the megacaldera DOES go.. I won't have to worry about the value of my home..... Back to mowing....

New Sensationalist again (0, Flamebait)

Charles Dodgeson (248492) | more than 5 years ago | (#28322721)

See this comment [slashdot.org] and the reply to it.

For more than ten years the New Sensationalist [newscientist.com] has been predicting catastrophes, world changing technologies, and the like. It's about time someone tried to call them on it.

Predict catastrophe, get highway. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28322915)

#1. Predict catastrophe
#2. Build highway [katu.com]
#2. ???
#3. Profit!

This just in... (1)

d4nowar (941785) | more than 5 years ago | (#28323069)

Mt. St. Helens is a big volcano!

Tune in at eleven.

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