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15 years of magma inflation near Three Sisters, Oregon- and its implication for Yellowstone

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posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 08:50 PM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
reply to post by TrueAmerican
 
Yes, NEIC is not ideal, but maintaining 24-hour service in Seattle requires hiring an 8-person rotation (minus a couple who we already have for the working day), a fraction of $1M per year.


And it's in the context of fighting foreign wars, and the whole political perspective, that better choices can be made by government on where to spend limited funds. Like that, right there in Seattle.

But it would seem that public figures would need to be careful of what they say of their perspective on where the government should be spending its money. Cause that's our money.

Just to be clear, as you say, ultimately the point of all this is to bring about the overall point that Congress really needs to fund NVEWS. If they just backed off production of any number of military projects, or even a fraction of that, you guys would have the money to do it.

I won't expect comment from you on political aspects of the issue, but hey, what the heck, right?




posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 08:57 PM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Right - the issue of political commentary.

Fortunately (given the unsatisfactory way most political arguments progress) it's clear that I should either play the seismology expert and avoid politics or pretend I know politics, and not talk about seismology, nor even mention my official job.

And with regard to funding, we can only point out the advantages of taking particular steps to mitigate the risk of natural hazards, but advising them on how to raise the funds or what to cut to find the funds is clean outside my bailiwick.



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 09:20 PM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
And with regard to funding, we can only point out the advantages of taking particular steps to mitigate the risk of natural hazards, but advising them on how to raise the funds or what to cut to find the funds is clean outside my bailiwick.


Then don't mind me as I slam the insanity home one more time to the crowd from a more zoomed out focus at the moment. I'll get over it. I really want better equipment and watch at YS and LV though, of that I am clear. Key instruments are down, in need of repair, and more is needed. If I had the money, I'd give it to you. But I don't.

I have also been advised that certain people cannot "lobby" for things, either. So that's another predicament all by itself. If you are around for the seismology part, that's great, and good to have you as a resource.



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 09:47 PM
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:raises hand to ask questions:

Is there any reason why a separate group of people can not conduct monitoring on their own?

I realize that many of these spots are on federal land, and the feds may be rather picky about who can and can not do this, but what about different educational groups such as universities?

The idea I'm thinking of is a non-profit group, that can find funding through donations, with volunteers from those educational centers (world wide).

I obviously am out of my element here, and there may be reasons that are very obvious to you gentle men, but could you explain why that might not work to us more mundane, non-earthquake, non-volcano experts?

Just curious.



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 10:14 PM
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For TA - We can't lobby, but we can offer ideas with cost-benefit analyses. NVEWS is such a plan, basically made by volcanologists to fill their view of the need. The problems are the usual ones - politics runs on 2- and 4-year cycles, earthquakes and volcanoes strike with hundred or even 10,000 year recurrence.

For Erik - Short answer - it's complicated. There is nothing stopping non-USGS agencies from doing the monitoring. But monitoring is expensive, and the government is unlikely to pay for it twice. My PNSN, for example, costs roughly $2M per year to run, and uses about $10M in equipment, covering the states of Oregon and Washington.

I don't think anyone can do what we do nearly as well for the price. Another advantage we have is that, for our expertise, we don't mind being underpaid because we enjoy the work.

But it's a bit like the US Postal Service - some parts of monitoring are expensive, some cheap. Technology is on the move, and new options open more quickly that established personnel can take advantage of them. Some of the more useful parts might be competed for by other groups, and our price be undercut. This point comes up most often with earthquake early warning, where simple measurements and new devices and means of communications are the way to go.



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 11:11 PM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
For TA - We can't lobby, but we can offer ideas with cost-benefit analyses. NVEWS is such a plan, basically made by volcanologists to fill their view of the need. The problems are the usual ones - politics runs on 2- and 4-year cycles, earthquakes and volcanoes strike with hundred or even 10,000 year recurrence.


Yeah well, from what I am seeing it's going take either YS or LV to unleash a tiny little bit of their fury one of these days and scare the pants off the people obstructing funding. Let's just hope that it's not after a real mess they decide to fully fund it. Or perhaps a full fledged lesson with Rainier may be in order? I don't know what it's going to take. So consider this just more exposure to the issues involved. Is what we're here for, right?



posted on Mar, 5 2012 @ 11:51 PM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


I consider that politicians hear from everyone that wants money, and unless the danger is tangible to both them and their constituents, they give it low priority. Disasters like MSH, Katrina, Sumatra and Japan validate danger warnings, some other disasters fail to ever materialize (mad cow?, Y2K?, the missile gap?, etc.). So I don't completely hold it against politicians that they want disaster potential demonstrated before their eyes.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:19 AM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
So I don't completely hold it against politicians that they want disaster potential demonstrated before their eyes.


Again? After MSH? But in a much worse way? Then maybe they should all go on a field trip to Yellowstone, and get a first hand perspective on just how big that thing really is.

Typical politicians.


So you have any comments on a more technical nature about the point of the basaltic magma, and the particular problems this could present at Yellowstone at detecting magma movement at deeper levels with the lack of widespread broadband in the park? Or am I so far off base I am wasting my time?



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:27 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 



So you have any comments on a more technical nature about the point of the basaltic magma, and the particular problems this could present at Yellowstone at detecting magma movement at deeper levels with the lack of widespread broadband in the park? Or am I so far off base I am wasting my time?


...I was about to ask you to explain in more depth about your title and how the uplift in Oregon correlates to Yellowstone. Interesting question, and one I am interested in hearing.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:28 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Seriously, I don't know much about it. One could apply InSAR and GPS to try to capture the uplift from an intrusion or lack thereof, which is generally accurate to about a cm. One could add in gravity to better understand the uplift.

I think the U of Utah crew has a GPS network, and that would be the right way to check uplift. But I don't know how to interpret the uplift that they've seen in the context of what is expected and what has been observed in the rest of the world.

There is more than just politics in which I am not an expert - I wish I knew more.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 12:58 AM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
Seriously, I don't know much about it. One could apply InSAR and GPS to try to capture the uplift from an intrusion or lack thereof, which is generally accurate to about a cm. One could add in gravity to better understand the uplift.


Yeah but that assumes there would be any uplift at all, which of course there has been, even though it's slowed lately. Due to the impermeable layer, the chances are actually good for lateral injection to occur there, no?

And I am just trying to see if there is any value to anyone making the point that after being aware of a few basic principles and study of seismometer types and distribution in the park, it is not that hard to see certain problems arising. Especially when some principles of wave propagation, attenuation, and the depth of that magma chamber are considered. And we already know that hotspot's moving NE under the SW bound NA plate. Laterally, not vertically.

Again, just reinforcing the point that volcanoes, and especially that big, should not be turned over to anyone less than qualified to be watching real time data out of that park. EVER.

Could simple staggering of shifts by +/- 1 hour could get more eyes on real time data for more of each day?



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 03:56 AM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


Surely uplift is common around volcanoes though, simply a form of the earth breathing? I realise it is also a sign of an eruption but most of the time where there is an uplift, nothing happens - which i guess makes predicting whether uplift is a bad thing or not even harder.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 06:30 AM
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Oh I didn't mean solicit more money from the Government, I meant private and public donations, and while your costs that you mentioned are high, it is not outside of the norm for many non-profit organizations to operate with those levels of funds.

The only reason I brought this up, is as you say, in many ways you are at the mercy of the government or state run organizations. Governments prioritize their funding, and while I can understand that EQ's are a more immediate threat, we should not ignore (or maybe that world is too strong, let's say "give little attention to") volcanoes that are here.
This means you all are at the mercy of funding cuts and political motivations. Certain politicians will promise their voters to slash spending, and people as a whole have short term memories. Earthquakes happen all the time. Large volcanic eruptions like St. Helens do not, and it's been 30 years.

But again, I was just wondering. Thanks for actually answering my question (that's a hint)



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 06:47 AM
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TrueAmerican, you always have plenty to say on the topic of EQ's, and you always bring interesting threads concentrating on the americas. A thread a while ago now of 2011 EQ activity www.abovetopsecret.com... opened my eyes to hot spots. Here's the video onehuman highlighted.


I'll just quote if I may the post I made in that thread.



Looking near the end after all the yellow place markers are down, the surprising thing to me was the relatively small amount of eq events in North America. Compare that to the Japan, Indonesia, NZ regions! Yet we keep hearing all these dire doom predictions for North America, I know its bound to happen eventually, but the fear mongering would be far better geographically placed in other areas. Pause at 6:53 to see what I mean.


Sure, it is good to remain vigilant on these things, I do applaud your effort there. But by listening and seeing the worldwide action, I think it would be good to concentrate some of your skills (which you have in spades) on the areas most likely in the pathway of disaster.

Sure YS will blow big one day, (I hope its not until long after were gone), but I'd wager ($5, I'm cheap shhh) that your object of affection is going to slumber for many more centuries.

(edit to add, I do agree monitoring should be public 24/7 free to all of all this info. Seti at home has proven there is a whole gaggle of folks willing to go over data for free)
edit on 6-3-2012 by Qumulys because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 10:03 AM
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as politely as I can say, the OP TA is very respected and all but he and the John guy were talking over heads with regard to terms and I dont feel addressed more than:::::
yes it can be monitored but
no we cant get the funds,


@Westcaoast: Your question about Jellystone was never answered...It was the headliner of the OP

seriously?

I grew up in the Rogue Valley I too have a interest.
edit on 6-3-2012 by rebellender because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 11:08 AM
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reply to post by rebellender
 


Regarding Yellowstone, my impression is that it is quite well monitored, considering that the kind of eruptions that happen on the 10,000-year time scale would not affect as many people living nearby or flying over as about a dozen other more dangerous and less monitored volcanoes.

It has erupted on a colossal scale in the past, but with about 1,000,000-year recurrence times, preparing much for such very rare events is not money well spent statistically.

The current activity at Yellowstone is fairly modest, and does not foreshadow much chance of a major eruption. I don't know enough to comment on TA's ideas about what might be happening, and how specific monitoring might provide a more accurate diagnosis.

Generally, implementing NVEWS, which would plan for monitoring numerous US volcanoes, in total is about a $500M plan. It makes sense to me, but then I am a geophysicist who would love to study the measurements.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 04:37 PM
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Originally posted by JohnVidale
Regarding Yellowstone, my impression is that it is quite well monitored...


Yeah well that was my impression too, until I really checked into it. And I will argue that point all the way into next week. And there is more, not mentioned yet.


The current activity at Yellowstone is fairly modest, and does not foreshadow much chance of a major eruption.


No one can say that for sure, because we have never ever witnessed the eruption of a supervolcano, and especially with modern instruments to be able to make judgements on what symptoms might characterize a rapid onset situation. I am especially interested in that, and the extent of mitigation for such a situation. And what I am finding is not good.


I don't know enough to comment on TA's ideas about what might be happening, and how specific monitoring might provide a more accurate diagnosis.


Which is why once again I will make the point that even in the case of professional directors of seismic networks, such as yourself, that are very good at characterizing earthquakes out of the context of a volcano, much less a supervolcano, you are not the kind of people, with all due respect, that I would for even one minute consider turning over the monitoring of YS park or LV to. Not for even a second. And much less the NEIC- cause they are of the same breed.

Have you figured out yet that I am seriously opposed to this decision, and why? I have just showed that regular earthquake people are not up for that specialty type of job- at least, not without a lot more study.


Generally, implementing NVEWS, which would plan for monitoring numerous US volcanoes, in total is about a $500M plan. It makes sense to me, but then I am a geophysicist who would love to study the measurements.


Well, so you have some pull John. Why don't you use that to get someone like Jamie Farrell or Bob Smith in here and tell me how absolutely whacko I am, because of x, y and z. I swear, I'll shut up and go away forever and no one including ATS will ever hear from me again.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 09:04 PM
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reply to post by TrueAmerican
 


I'm afraid the basic point is that I'm an earthquake seismologist, and CVO is the group that has the volcanologists. Steve Malone here at UW is an excellent volcano seismologist, in many days and reachable by phone much of the rest of the time, but retired.

The only reassurance I can give you is that when the volcanoes do anything, we're on the phone within a couple of minutes with CVO, and CVO can get eyes from the other 4 observatories on the data in just a few minutes more.

From my non-expert POV, the VOs are doing the right thing, and if Congress thinks it is worth another half billion dollars, they will be doing even more.

LOL. I don't think we'll see Steve, Bernard Chouet, Bob Smith, Dave Hill or Chris Newhall on here arguing.



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 09:39 PM
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The way forward would be to set up an open source seismograph network. If all the components and boards can be ordered, people would build these things(class', nerds, college kids, ect). I understand that the sensor itself could be costly( precise seismic detector/sensor) , but making a plug and play network open to anyone would be somewhat easy nowadays. Write an application that can see all the on-line sensors and maybe make a separate data-logging application.

All open source, so people donate time or money if they see benefit or interest. Let's keep the government, or any type of authority out of control of something that should be world wide.
edit on 3/6/2012 by Metatronin because: (no reason given)



posted on Mar, 6 2012 @ 10:52 PM
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reply to post by Metatronin
 


There are groups pursuing open-source, volunteer networks, and they've been laboring for decades, usually with a university person as the co-ordinator. Maybe they'll take off better soon. Smartphones, for example have rudimentary seismometers inside. Stanford's quake catcher and Caltech's community network in Pasadena are two examples. GPS data is getting more widely available, also.

The catch is that not all the expense is the sensors. Data transmission is not simple and data analysis also is non-trivial. Designing a system that will work IN an earthquake, and will stay online after an M7 foreshock can be tricky. Testing a system that will only be hit every 20 years is another challenge.

Nothing is impossible, but we're not close to a volunteer, open system now.



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