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Is Mt. Rainier Volcano in Washington State Experiencing Tornillos? (I hope not)

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posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:05 PM
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This story begins as of a couple weeks ago, when I noticed some strange signatures in the seismic data from one station at Mount Rainier. For those that don't know me, I am an avid observer of both volcanic and tectonic seismicity, with a pretty lengthy history of such here at ATS. I have pretty good access to raw seismic data, and have a few connections in the scientific world that deal with such things. And usually when I send them something, they respond with an answer pretty quickly. But not this time, and I am starting to wonder what's going on.

I have checked on the PNSN blog, and I see nothing about this. I have first hand experience watching tornillos in seismic data occur at Little Sitkin volcano in Alaska some time ago when there were several hundred of them- so I have an idea of what they look like in the data, both in waveform and on spectrograph.

And yet, tornillos seem to be a not-entirely-understood uncommon phenomena that happens only at limited volcanoes. They are thought to be associated with with some type of fluid movement (magma or water), or possibly even gas. They are usually not necessarily an indicator that a volcano is about to erupt, like at Little Sitkin, which didn't erupt, but sometimes they are. Many scientists were killed when the Galeras volcano erupted unexpectedly following an episode of tornillos.

Anyways, so here's what's up: I believe I have detected many tornillos- or some hybrid form of them anyway- at Rainier.

Just today a couple of odd events registered at Rainier on the USGS website:


They are listed as "Other" events. So let me show you those "Other" events- which is strange because usually the USGS don't post much of anything that isn't either an earthquake or a mine blast. That may be changing with these, so I am not sure of that part, and why all of a sudden they are posting these. These are those events of today in both waveform and spectro, and check the UTC times yourself:


And so here's where this gets dicey, and enters a grey area. You see, usually tornillos exhibit a predominant frequency (where you see the long line coming from the earthquakes in the spectrographs) much lower than this. Somewhere around 2 to 6 hz. But from reading some other docs about tornillos, apparently those frequencies can vary widely, all the way up to 40 Hz. So are these tornillos? It's possible.

But this is just the most recent example, from one station. What gets me is I still have no answer to an email I sent asking for an opinion about this, way before these happened today. Here's the pic I sent them of many others I have discovered at Rainier that occurred recently, in the last month or two, and from different stations:


And so what if they ARE tornillos? Is Rainier about to erupt? I don't know, and no one knows for sure. The fact that Rainier is covered with a zillion tons of ice isn't helping much either. And one of the seismic stations there, RCM, has been down for quite a while now- making monitoring all the tougher.

About the only inference that I can draw from these signatures, if they ARE tornillos- which many scientists might dispute because of the predominant frequency- is that something could be awakening under there. And that would not be good. Much like in my book, when something like a glacier caps the tremendous forces stored under a volcano, those forces have to become orders of magnitude larger to break that cap- so when it finally DOES erupt, it may be a BOOM so big that it will devastate areas far larger than St. Helens did.


A little info on this beast:

Mt. Rainier is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world, and it is on the Decade Volcano list.[7] Because of its large amount of glacial ice, Mt. Rainier could potentially produce massive lahars that could threaten the entire Puyallup River valley.


en.wikipedia.org...

Good luck figuring this one out...
edit on Sat Nov 28th 2015 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)




posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:12 PM
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I googled tornillos, did not get far, please tell us what they are..


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posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:16 PM
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a reply to: wildb

"Tornillo" means screw in Spanish, and if you look at the waveforms, you will see a screw-like resemblance. Like a screw turned on its side.


A tornillo event is a low-frequency seismic event associated with volcanoes. The term, which means "screw" in Spanish, was coined in the mid-1990s at the Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto (OVSP) in Pasto, Colombia to describe seismic events seen at the Galeras volcano.

A tornillo has the following characteristics that distinguish it from other seismic events:

very limited distribution of frequencies (monochromatic)
a long coda that decays slowly
small amplitude

Like volcanic tremor, tornillos are thought to be caused by magma moving at depth.


en.wikipedia.org...
edit on Sat Nov 28th 2015 by TrueAmerican because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:20 PM
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So..............we should be ready to kidnap a pretty girl at gun point and drag her up a mountain?


Had to, sorry.

Wonder why your emails haven't been answered? Could be they didn't see this and your alert got someone's attention?



With 26 major glaciers[23] and 36 sq mi (93 km2) of permanent snowfields and glaciers,[24]


That's a lot of water.



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:21 PM
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interresting TA..:-)
B.T.W you saw the rim-activity of katla?
en.vedur.is...



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:23 PM
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a reply to: DAVID64

lol, yeah, just don't drag her up Mt. Rainier. Hey, she was saved remember. It was for a good cause.

(David is referring to events in my book. Thanks for getting it, btw!)



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:24 PM
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a reply to: DAVID64

Ha, ha!
Gigglesnort!!!

Good one!

WOQ



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:31 PM
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No worries. If it blows it will wipe out small towns like Buckley and Bonney Lake, then head down the valley to wipe out Auburn, Kent, and Renton before it's stopped by the south end of Lake Washington. Or it might also run down the Puyallup River to Sumner and Puyallup and end up in the tide flats at Tacoma. I saw a map at the UW years ago that laid out the potential lava flow very neatly.

If you are anywhere else, you're just a spectator.


+1 more 
posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:38 PM
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originally posted by: schuyler
No worries. If it blows it will wipe out small towns like Buckley and Bonney Lake, then head down the valley to wipe out Auburn, Kent, and Renton before it's stopped by the south end of Lake Washington. Or it might also run down the Puyallup River to Sumner and Puyallup and end up in the tide flats at Tacoma. I saw a map at the UW years ago that laid out the potential lava flow very neatly.

If you are anywhere else, you're just a spectator.


Oh, you mean like the scientist "spectator" who was five miles away from St. Helens when it blew and was never seen or heard from again? Oh, ok...



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 02:39 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

When I saw you had a thread it caught my attention.
I've been watching as much as I can the last few days.
Holiday weekend?
They aren't manned 24/7 are they?
Probably check in by computer every so often?

Increase in perking lately in high 4's & low 5's.
And a couple in the St Lawrence Seaway area,
& one in New Hampshire & South Carolina.
Just made me think hmmm...

WOQ



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 03:56 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican

Buy more food.



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 04:19 PM
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originally posted by: TrueAmerican

originally posted by: schuyler
No worries. If it blows it will wipe out small towns like Buckley and Bonney Lake, then head down the valley to wipe out Auburn, Kent, and Renton before it's stopped by the south end of Lake Washington. Or it might also run down the Puyallup River to Sumner and Puyallup and end up in the tide flats at Tacoma. I saw a map at the UW years ago that laid out the potential lava flow very neatly.

If you are anywhere else, you're just a spectator.


Oh, you mean like the scientist "spectator" who was five miles away from St. Helens when it blew and was never seen or heard from again? Oh, ok...


No, I mean like anyone in Seattle or the Olympic Peninsula who is far enough away from the blast zone to be unhurt. Since Renton and Tacoma are both about fifty miles away, one wonders why you would suggest I meant someone 5 miles away. Even Buckley and Bonney Lake that I mentioned specifically are further away than that. Perhaps you don't really know the area.
edit on 11/28/2015 by schuyler because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 04:24 PM
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originally posted by: wasobservingquietly
Holiday weekend?
They aren't manned 24/7 are they?
Probably check in by computer every so often?


That's what I was thinking. Not sure how long ago you fired off the emails, but maybe they're on a vacation/furlough for the holiday right now. I got the impression you sent the emails awhile back though, so who knows? Maybe they just missed them.



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 04:36 PM
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a reply to: TrueAmerican




Tornillo" means screw in Spanish, and if you look at the waveforms, you will see a screw-like resemblance. Like a screw turned on its side.


Thats what I found but it did not make sense to me, thanks for the answer..



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 04:50 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

I see what you mean, but not sure you see what I mean. The point is that with that massive glacial ice cap, they could be seriously underestimating the force of that blast. Places as far away as Tacoma could be seriously damaged from the blast wave. When Krakatoa went off it was heard up to 4500 km away, and the force of the blast caused a tsunami. Tacoma is what, like a mere 50 km away? Seattle is still only 80 km away. While the very top of the volcano is mostly ice free because the magma heat keeps melting it, that doesn't stop the rest of the glaciers from clamping down on all sides of it with massive force.


Since the last ice age, several dozen explosive eruptions spread tephra (ash, pumice) across parts of Washington. The last magmatic eruption was about 1,000 years ago. Extensive hydrothermal alteration of the upper portion of the volcano has contributed to its structural weakness promoting collapse. An active thermal system driven by magma deep under the volcano has melted out a labyrinth of steam caves beneath the summit icecap.


volcanoes.usgs.gov...



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 04:58 PM
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Thanks TA for sharing.
I've been following PNW and ring of fire activity for many years, especially while living in the Seattle area. When St Helen's blew I was living in Portland.

I think I recall earthquake swarms are the events that seem to get the most attention from seismologists watching the Cascade Range volcanoes. Something to do with the viscosity of magma being thicker and chunkier making more noise than magma in Hawaii for example.

I've not heard of tornillos before this post and had to look it up. Here is a fairly good read I found about earthquake swarms, harmonic tremors, and tornillos others may find useful.
Eruptions Word(s) of the Day: Harmonic Tremor and Tornillos



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 05:04 PM
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We're doomed, doomed I tell ya..





posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 05:25 PM
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a reply to: schuyler

Lots of worries, actually. Though there is absolutely nothing we can do about it. Save hope there's enough warning to get the heck out of the way.

Mudslides and what not might not get to Seattle, or Tacoma, but the shock waves might very well, if it's on the scale of St. Helens. Those could cause significant damage and loss of life.

I remember that day very clearly. Fortunately, I was far enough south that we only got a dusting of ash. Thirty miles north, it was nightmarish. To this day, there are piles of ash along some of the roads.

It all depends upon the type of event.



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 05:28 PM
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the people there are very aware, but willing to stay. Boeing even right on top of the former lahar path....

no one says it but I think one lahar went all the way to the Sound.....prettiest volcano ever....so pointy


I do love the pointy bit...
edit on 28-11-2015 by GBP/JPY because: our new King.....He comes right after a nicely done fake one



posted on Nov, 28 2015 @ 05:39 PM
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originally posted by: TrueAmerican
a reply to: schuyler

I see what you mean, but not sure you see what I mean. The point is that with that massive glacial ice cap, they could be seriously underestimating the force of that blast. Places as far away as Tacoma could be seriously damaged from the blast wave.


That was not your original point and I NEVER said 5 miles away; you did, thus mis-representing what I had said, which was exponentially further away.

Tacoma certainly would, which I specifically mentioned. I know you know this, but the damage from a blast is different from the damage from a pyroclastic flow, with the latter ranging much further. As I stated originally, I've seen maps of these projected flows, which is basically down the valleys. One flow would proceed northward through Renton and stop there. Why? Because Lake Washington intercedes. The same is true of Tacoma because Puget Sound, a large body of salt water, would intercede. The third issue would be ash, which could travel a very long way indeed with the prevailing winds. In the case of Mt. Rainier, just as was the case with Mt. St Helens, the very next mountain south in the Cascade range, the prevailing winds are East, meaning Spokane, once again, would get hit with the ash. That would certainly wreck a few car engines, but it is unlikely to kill anyone outright.

My beef here is that you intentionally mis-represented the facts. You put a Straw Man in there, suggesting I had said someone five miles away wouldn't be harmed when I was suggesting someone in Seattle wouldn't be harmed. Now you are reverting to the idea that a blast may have been underestimated, but that was not part of the original discussion, neither mine nor yours.

It's obvious to me that you've never been here. You don't know the lay of the land, the geography of the area, and you're extrapolating a huge unprecedented and unpredicted blast from a few odd tremors. If Mt. Rainer were about to blow, we'd have ample warning--just as we did with Mt. St. Helens.

You can get a few people excited. After all, this is ATS where everything is blown out of proportion, but you're not to be taken seriously. There is no imminent danger.




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