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Scientists Believe Mt. St. Helens Could Be a Supervolcano

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posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:53 PM
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New Zealand Scientists Published an Article Stating that Mount St. Helens Could Be a Brewing Supervolcano



www.associatedcontent.com...


Is Mount St. Helens a Supervolcano? According to findings from New Zealand scientists, Mt. St. Helens could be exactly that. Mt. St. Helens has been known for years as one of many volcanoes that litter Washington State and the "ring of fire" that works its way around the Pacific Ocean.

It's an interesting notion that has been presented by these scientists, which includes the theory that several of the largest volcanoes in the area are actually linked by underground caverns. What that could mean is that they all work together to form one large Supervolcano, and that Mt. St. Helens could be at the center of it all. The thought process behind the article that these New Zealand scientists published in NewScientist, is that three of the major volcanoes in the area are linked by a deep column that leads to a pool of what could be molten rock. That pool of molten rock is theorized to connect Mount St. Helens to Mount Rainier and Mount Adams as well. That would make it one of the largest Supervolvanoes in existence, and hold the potential of a cataclysmic eruption that could be devastating. Such an eruption would be able to blanket the sky with ash and basically lower the temperature of the entire planet over a certain span of time.


Local experts think the conductivity the New Zealand scientists are seeing may just be water.

I am curious to know what our resident quake watchers think of this theory.

How does Yellowstone fit into the equation?

Since there has been some activity at Mt. Saint Helens in the last few years it fuels the interest a bit more.




posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 12:56 PM
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Wow that is pretty interesting! I hope to god we're not around
when that sucker decides to go off though, as an ice age just does NOT sound appealing to me


S&F, good stuff!



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:19 PM
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Just a quick question for anyone who has a quick answer: How long is the estimation when it comes to the ash blocking out the sun? Also, would it be global or cover the Earth in bands of blockage, dictated by global wind currents?

What would be the total area of direct devastation from a supervolcano? I see some sources state that up to 50,000 direct deaths will be attributed to this event, and that's only from the direct disaster.

It wouldn't take that long to cause mass extinctions I suppose.

It could take just a year or two for people to start dying by the masses from starvation as crops wither and die from lack of sunlight.

Humans are not dinosaurs though, and it's likely that a percentage will survive albeit with a lot of difficulty


[edit on 14-6-2009 by star in a jar]

[edit on 14-6-2009 by star in a jar]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:38 PM
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reply to post by star in a jar
 


Short answer to a long question
... The document listed first in this www.google.com...]&rls=org.mozilla:en-US
fficial&hs=dDS&ei=jqM5StPuJIPIlAeUs5HzDQ&sa=X&oi=spell&resnum=0&ct=result& cd=1&q=super+volcano+damage+estimator&spell=1 Google search is quite good.

This paper also brings up something I've not really seen discussed a lot about the effects of a supervolcanoe eruption:


There is no difference, to the victim between Scorpion poison and Maries Disease that is caused by the razor sharp dust blown out of the volcano.


You don't really ever think about the impact of "glass" being blown everywhere.


Edit: to fix link.. ok that didn't really fix it but it should work

[edit on 14/6/2009 by Iamonlyhuman]

 

mod edit: I tried to fix it, too.

If all else fails, do a search for super volcano damage estimator


[edit on 17-6-2009 by DontTreadOnMe]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:44 PM
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I'm no expert on volcanos, but I think we would have known by now whether St. Helens was a supervolcano or not. We definitely would have known when it erupted in 1980, that's for sure. It's possible that Yellowstone could set it off, but an eruption of the same magnitude? Something tells me no. Perhaps this is just a distraction? Yellowstone is more than enough cause for concern by itself.

To my knowledge, the strongest eruption from a volcano that wasn't "super" was Krakatoa and based on what I've read about that one, Mount St. Helens was nothing compared to that. If one of the world's supervolcanos erupted, the effects would be felt worldwide. Take Toba for example. It erupted around 73,500 years ago and is said to have nearly caused the extinction of humans. It erupted for two weeks and recieved the highest Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) rating of eight. As far as I know, this is the only eruption to have ever rated an eight on the VEI in recorded human history. Mount St. Helens was only a five.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 01:49 PM
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Well, mechanical death (blown glass, heat, etc.) aside, I think humans would fare ok from an event like this in the long run. We have the capability to make grow lights a other things that can help grow plants. Make no mistake, this would be a bottleneck event, though. We migth even fall down to just a handful of genetic lines again as we have in the distant past. But this sort of cleaning of the gene pool is probably a normal occurrance.

The only downside, of course, is that most of our history will be wiped out and 1000s of years from now there will be unbelievable legends of global empires fighting each other with amazing weapons that would burn the skin off of man and harness the power of the sun... oh wait, those legends already exist...



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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and i QUOTE from your article

"That would make it one of the largest Supervolvanoes in existence,"

That is utterly absurd

Olympus Mons on mars is easily superior.

Not to mention the countless other planets "IN Existence"

its no wonder i blow these guys off , its absurdity


"Olympus Mons (Latin for "Mount Olympus") is the tallest known volcano and mountain in the Solar System and was formed during amazonian epoch. It is located on the planet Mars at approximately 18°N 133°W / 18, -133. It is three times taller than Mount Everest. "

en.wikipedia.org...

[edit on 14-6-2009 by muzzleflash]



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 03:11 PM
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Originally posted by muzzleflash
and i QUOTE from your article

"That would make it one of the largest Supervolvanoes in existence,"

That is utterly absurd

Olympus Mons on mars is easily superior.


Even ignoring Mars, it wouldn't be. To erupt on a scale larger than Yellowstone, maybe, if it has a large enough chamber. But Iceland (viewed as a whole) is pretty much a Large Igneous Province, and that is even bigger than Toba. It is, in fact, constructive.

I do not think it likely that The St Helens - Rainier - Adams system is capable of a super eruption. It could be, given that we have no idea what a super volcano looks like prior to it's first VEI 8 eruption, but I doubt that it will happen any time soon. Just because they are connected to a magma chamber which is Yellowstone sized, doesn't mean it is eruptible. And to join all three, it would need to be really large, and assuming each has their own individual chamber, a large scale eruption would be unlikely.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 05:32 PM
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I dont think it qualifies as a super volcano, but Mt St helens is one of many volcanos around the cascadia subduction zone.

Mt St helen's erution in 1980 was small potatoes compared to other notable eruptions, since weve been walking around.

The long valley caldera in ca. , when it erupted 780k years ago, it left a caldera 11x 20 miles and expelled 600 cubic kilometers of material.
It flung rocks as far away as kansas


toba lake, 75k years ago left a caldera 19 x 60 miles and expelled 3000 cubic km of material, and plunged the earth into the ice ages.
It buried india in 6 inches of ash, and was for times bigger than the eruption at yellowstone 680k years ago.


krakatoa's 1880's eruption was a lady finger blast that only expelled 21 km^3 of material and nobody knows how big its 536 eruption that started the dark ages was.

Thera boomed to the tune of 100km^3 , when it wiped out the protype civilization of plato's Atlantis, the minoans.

Tambora was big as well but a 100km^3 it is still micro sized compared to toba lake.

Mt st helen only expelled 1.2km^3 of material.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 05:34 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


olympus mons doesnt matter, its on mars

And even if it wasnt long dead it still wouldnt matter
ITS ON MARS



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 05:56 PM
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Originally posted by star in a jar
Just a quick question for anyone who has a quick answer: How long is the estimation when it comes to the ash blocking out the sun? Also, would it be global or cover the Earth in bands of blockage, dictated by global wind currents?

What would be the total area of direct devastation from a supervolcano? I see some sources state that up to 50,000 direct deaths will be attributed to this event, and that's only from the direct disaster.

It wouldn't take that long to cause mass extinctions I suppose.

It could take just a year or two for people to start dying by the masses from starvation as crops wither and die from lack of sunlight.

Humans are not dinosaurs though, and it's likely that a percentage will survive albeit with a lot of difficulty


[edit on 14-6-2009 by star in a jar]

[edit on 14-6-2009 by star in a jar]




Better question....Is there any way to clear up the sky faster than normal once this does happen? Like a wind tech or something that we can put in the sky to make the stuff rain down so it clears up faster? Or like 20 HUGE air filters around the world ?



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 07:18 PM
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Originally posted by rogerstigers
Well, mechanical death (blown glass, heat, etc.) aside, I think humans would fare ok from an event like this in the long run. We have the capability to make grow lights a other things that can help grow plants. Make no mistake, this would be a bottleneck event, though. We migth even fall down to just a handful of genetic lines again as we have in the distant past. But this sort of cleaning of the gene pool is probably a normal occurrance.

The only downside, of course, is that most of our history will be wiped out and 1000s of years from now there will be unbelievable legends of global empires fighting each other with amazing weapons that would burn the skin off of man and harness the power of the sun... oh wait, those legends already exist...

I disagree with your assesment. We have history to provide a clue to what would happen. The History or Discovery channel just ran a special on super volcanos, and when they talked of Toba, and the problems it created, the logical progression could be made to today. because of the weather change it created, many thousands of people died of starvation. Yes, today we have technology to grow food in greenhouses, but there is no way in heck there is enough of that supply to feed the world. Millions are starving now all over the world. If one weather changing event happens like the eruption of a super-volcano, we are screwed. there's barely enough food to go around now.
With no growing season for at least a year, the whole earth is screwed big time. the volcanos are mother nature's way of thinning the population. It's happened before, and it will again--just a matter of time.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 07:41 PM
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reply to post by mrpotatohead
 


Hey, I agree with you. Note, I did say this will be a bottleneck event with us potentially falling to just a handfull of genetic lines. Alright, I admit I said human kind will be OK, but I meant ok in light of an ELE. I think we'd survive as a species, but we might fall down to just a few million people left.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 07:48 PM
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reply to post by star in a jar
 


something on the scale of toba lake would start to block out the sun in just a few days. and it took 60,000 years for the earth "recover" and come out of the ensueing ice age.

Even with todays technology it could result the total collapse of civilization as we know it.
Billions of people will die in the first few months afterwards.
The ashfall area just depends on the nature of the eruption.
But when toba erupted it covered the entire indian subcontinant to a depth of 6 inches and up to 20meters deep at one location, thats in india some 3000 miles away.
The pyroclastic flows alone covered 7800 sq miles to a depth of 2000'.

And as terrifying as a super volcano is the opening of a large igneous province is far worse, covering country sized areas in lava thousands of feet deep, and changing the very composition of our atmoshpere.
At least it looks as though the magma plumes that create large igneous provinces happen after massive celestial impacts in the deep oceans.
So if one of those ever rips open we'll already have been killed off and wont really care.



posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 08:02 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


Unlike 'us' these Scientists don't purposefully go out of the way to derail. I am certain that they were referring to Supervolcanoes on Earth only, no need to become hyper sensitive because they didn't mention Olympus Mons.

I think this is an interesting proposal and merits closer attention.
Certainly shows that New Zealand Scientists are up there with the best in the World and that we produce world class vulcanologists (no, really, we do!).

I will take their word over any ATS member at this stage. They have done the work. Now we see the classic academic arm-wrestling as they try to get to the nitty-gritty...

Nobody mentioned the UltraPlinian Taupo eruption of c.1800BP. Bad research folks






posted on Jun, 14 2009 @ 09:12 PM
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reply to post by aorAki
 


I was going to mention taupo b ut got side tracked , I would really like to do the taupo offroad race but thats beside the point


taupo erupted around 130 ad and was of good size releasing 150km^3 during a very violent erution that was noticed in rome and china.lake taupo



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 12:24 PM
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reply to post by muzzleflash
 


You have to remember, that Olympus Mons is in reality more related to Mauna Loa and the Island of Hawaii than a "supervolcano"


As for Mt. St. Helens being a "supervolcano" I doubt it. You have to remember the reason why Mt. St. Helens and the Ring of Fire exists to begin with. The volcanos on our western side are the direct result of the Pacific and Juan de Fuca plate subducting under the North American Plate. This is what triggers the volcanism and earthquakes in the region. As the oceanic plate subducts under the continental crust, the oceanic crust melts. The lighter materials and the melted rock is then bouyed up to the surface and erupts as a volcano. Usually these volcanos are more explosve, but they are not like the hotspot volcanos like Yellowstone or Long Valley, which have large calderas, which are fed by a hotspot. Hotspots are generally not thought to be connected to the subduction process, (as far as I know), and are more related to mantel plumes.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 02:12 PM
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reply to post by GenRadek
 


Mantle plume hot spots are likely related to asteroid/comet impacts in deep ocean basins.
In a large percentage of hot spots there is an anti podal impact site associated with it.
The deccan traps are the mantle plume hot spot from the chixulub impact and the siberian traps are the hot spot associated with the permian extinction impact event.

What is very interesting is that there is no normal mechanism to account for the eruptions in the owens valley area.
These volcanoes are not caused by subduction, do they have an anti podal impact site? I remember reading that there was a large impact in oceana around 750-800k years ago might that have been the one.

More about antipodal hot spot pairs

fascinating stuff



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 02:14 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks09
 


Originally posted by punkinworks09
 

I was going to mention taupo b ut got side tracked , I would really like to do the taupo offroad race but thats beside the point


taupo erupted around 130 ad and was of good size releasing 150km^3 during a very violent erution that was noticed in rome and china.lake taupo

That eruption was pint sized compared to the Oruanui eruption of approximately 24,500 BC.

This eruption is known as the worlds largest eruption in the past 70,000 years, with a VEI of 8. No humans lived on NZ during the eruption (at least, not that we know of. I personally believe their were other races living on NZ pre-maori, but that's a different topic.) I can't even imagine the scale of an eruption of this magnitude (even though I used to live in Taupo), but I don't think anyone could live to tell you what it looked like.

Getting back on track, I don't think we know enough about the eruption mechanisms of a 'super volcano' to be able to tell with Mt St Helens and co. They may be linked to a central chamber, but does that mean they could erupt simultaneously in a 'super' eruption? I guess we'll never truly know till it happens.



posted on Jun, 15 2009 @ 02:27 PM
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reply to post by punkinworks09
 


I have heard of that theory too, its an interesting idea really. thanks for the extra info!


But what about Hawaii? I mean, this hotspt has been around for quite a long time, I dont see how it would fit with the impact idea?




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