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Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the here-comes-the-boom dept.

Earth 41

ananyo writes "Volcanologists detonated explosive charges buried in a meadow in Ashford, New York, blowing 12 small craters in the ground and throwing debris 80 meters in the air. The aim was to recreate, in true-to-life detail, what happens when a volcanic eruption punches through Earth's crust. The work could guide the way that active volcanoes are monitored, and could help safety officials to decide where to restrict public access at volcanoes such as Italy's Stromboli, where dozens of tourists arrive every night to watch spectacular fire fountain displays."

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I just very very sorry... (0)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43713275)

Oh please! Mythbusters did this five years ago...

Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions? (5, Funny)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about a year ago | (#43713479)

Learn to please these researchers. Don't be so selfish, thinking only of your own gratification! Listen to what your researcher is saying and respond to the signals being sent.

You'll find that it's better for both of you - and the researcher won't have to fake these eruptions anymore. A veritable Mt. St. Helens awaits!

Re:Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions? (1)

Frosty Piss (770223) | about a year ago | (#43713591)

That's a very erotic take on my comment, Mr. Cornelius. I am intrigued, please sign me up for your newsletter, and let me know where the "key parties" you attend are being held.

Re:Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43715471)

I personally take exception to this research, which may very well disturb the natural order. Just think, if some moron doesn't make it close enough to the edge of the volcano to collect his Darwin Award, he might go on to breed, or breed even more, just as stupid as himself. This may even endanger others around them and multiply the carnage. There are bull riders, boxers, motorcycle ice racers, human cannonballs, crop dusters, circus geeks and gay people for a reason; some genetics are panting and wheezing, "No, I just can't take another iteration, take me out of the game PulEEEZah". So , upon the wisdom and lifes mission of Biologist/Scholar/Gentleman; Marlin Perkins, which left us all with the instructions "Do not interfere with the animals natural activities, it is Natures way, here in this Wild Kingdom", we can rest assured this research is WRONG!

Anyone who "needs" to know where a key party is, already knows to go to their local Craigslist and look under " Casual Encounters", then "MW4MW".
It's handy for finding pics of a lot of the local perverts or gauging the decline of western civ, whatever you want to call it today.

Re:Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43716001)

Oh... I always thought that MW4MW was hermaphrodites looking for love. Now, I'm disappointed. It's just swingers.

Re:I just very very sorry... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43714847)

It's a joke you stupid fuckers.

What Value Does Linux Advocacy Have? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713299)

Do you benefit from coming here? Is there value in the content you read? I sincerely hope so.

It requires no more effort than what you might spend for that exotic blend of coffee first thing in the morning each day.

Take one of those five dollar bills and set it aside. Make a small donation today to help me continue this advocacy and survive.

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... moments later (1)

kencurry (471519) | about a year ago | (#43713313)

The tiny town of Ashford was engulfed in molten lava. Nearby, residents are wondering if study approval got proper scrutiny.

Mini Volcano (2)

bigredradio (631970) | about a year ago | (#43713315)

The first thing that came to mind was the baking soda volcano that are a part of every 6th grade science fair. I wonder how many of these researches saw this as the "grown-up" version.

Re:Mini Volcano (1)

mooingyak (720677) | about a year ago | (#43714107)

First thing in my mind too was that this was a "grown-up" version, but I think you and I mean different things by that.

I'll show them all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713339)

Muahahahaha! My 4th grade science teacher laughed at me when I said I'd make a mini model volcano for the school science fair! But now I'll show them! I'll show them all!

Re:I'll show them all! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713887)

Go back to work, Jeff. I wasn't joking about you being "laid off."

So, they blew up a meadow? (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713353)

That's some groundbreaking research right there.

Re:So, they blew up a meadow? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713387)

O.O ........ =.= I see what you did thar...

Been there done that (0, Redundant)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about a year ago | (#43713399)

Baking soda and hydrogen peroxide is cheaper than C4.

Re:Been there done that (2)

tippe (1136385) | about a year ago | (#43713447)

True, but I'd take a C4 volcano over your grade-school peroxide and soda volcano any day.

When in doubt, C4! (heh, heh, heh...)

Re:Been there done that (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43718165)

Isn't C4 highly toxic, carcinogenic even?

Obligatory (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713401)

So does my wife!

Re:Obligatory (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713545)

Bravo, sir. Nothing else to see here.

More sensationalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713469)

What a ridiculous headline.

Re:More sensationalism. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713501)

You're right. The headline would be more accurately expressed as:

Researchers simulate pyroclastic events by substituting explosives for the natural explosive force of the pressures exerted upon the earth's crust at thin spots, thereby gaining containable, small-scale reference data on the nature of such events.

cheap thrills ? (-1, Troll)

KernelMuncher (989766) | about a year ago | (#43713513)

This seems just like an excuse for overgrown 12 year olds to play around with explosives. I have to question the scientific merit of this "experiment".

Re:cheap thrills ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713535)

Who the hell cares? An excuse to play with explosives is a good enough reason in its own right!

Re:cheap thrills ? (1)

xmundt (415364) | about a year ago | (#43714669)

Greetings and Salutations;
          Big thumbs up to this! WHile scale explosions CAN provide useful data, I am not sure that (other than the coolness factor) there is any reason for this to show up on Slashdot.
            Pleasant dreams
            Dave Mundt

The aim? (1)

sls1j (580823) | about a year ago | (#43713645)

"The aim was to recreate, in true-to-life detail, what happens when a volcanic eruption punches through Earth's crust."
Hugh, it seems to me the aim an excuse to play with explosives.

Especially since it DOESN'T model eruptions. (5, Informative)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#43713923)

"The aim was to recreate, in true-to-life detail, what happens when a volcanic eruption punches through Earth's crust."
Hugh, it seems to me the aim an excuse to play with explosives.

Especially since it DOESN'T model eruptions - especially the explosive kind.

One of the major martyrs to science is the geologist who died in the most recent explosive eruption of Mount Saint Hellens. It was known that some mountains explode, and that this was the usual mode for this volcano. But it was a big mystery HOW they exploded.

He was too close to escape when the action started. But he had a (film) camera with him. So he took a series of photos as the mountain went off, then wrapped his camera in his backpack and jacket before the devastation got to him. His camera was recovered, the film developed, and running the series of stills as a movie made the mechanism utterly clear. It was an "Of COURSE!" moment.

In this case there is a LOT of gas pressure under the mountain. This pressure, not just the buoyancy of the lava, is much of what is pushing the mountain up. Meanwhile, the weight of the mountain is what is holding the gas down, at enormous pressure.

Eventually the mountain is pushed up enough that a rock avalanche starts on one side. This releases some of the pressure, which lets the gas push the mountain up further, making it shrug much more of the side off in an enormous rock slide. One side of the mountain slides away. This leaves the gas pressure held down only by the remaining rock, which is insufficient for the task. Before the rock slide is more than about a quarter of the way down the gas is blasting the remaining rock into fine dust and launching it into the stratosphere -(as well as sideways, so goodbye neighborhood). Essentially the whole mountain goes away, leaving a crater where rebuilding the mountain for the next cycle begins.

Let's see you model THAT with explosives! (Hint: If you're throwing rocks you didn't use enough explosives.)

Lesser eruptions have a number of models, depending on things like the composition of the lava (including how much gas is bubbling out of it, like soda fizz once the lava makes it to near atmospheric pressures). Explosives don't do those justice, either.

Re:Especially since it DOESN'T model eruptions. (1)

LocutusMIT (10726) | about a year ago | (#43721001)

You're actually confusing three people caught in the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens:

David Johnston: The volcanologist stationed at the Coldwater II observation post (now Johnston Ridge). He was able to make one quick radio call to the USGS before he was killed by the lateral blast and buried by the landslide. His body and equipment were never found.

Reid Blackburn: A photojournalist covering the buildup to the eruption. He was killed when the pyroclastic flow engulfed the area in which he was camped. His car, body, and camera were recovered, but the film was damaged by the intense heat and was not salvageable.

Gary Rosenquist: An amateur photographer camped near St. Helens with a few others. One of his party mentioned that the side of the mountain was becoming "fuzzy," and Rosenquist pointed his camera and held down the shutter release. He survived because the pyroclastic flow was diverted by a series of ridges away from his campsite.

Re:Especially since it DOESN'T model eruptions. (1)

Ungrounded Lightning (62228) | about a year ago | (#43729111)

THANK you for that correction.

I got the story from the voiceover on a video made from what was apparently Rosenquist's film. Don't know if I misheard/misremenbered it or if it included the misattribution of the film to Johnston (or Blackburn).

Acceptable Risk (1)

xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) | about a year ago | (#43713655)

>> could help safety officials to decide where to restrict public access at volcanoes such as Italy's Stromboli, where dozens of tourists arrive every night to watch spectacular fire fountain displays

Let's not go there, please. If we lose a couple of dozen tourists, that's an acceptable risk. Hell, there's many things all of us do (skydive, kayak, rock-climb, drive on interstates, eat cheeseburgers, visit hospitals) that expose us to risk...but without those risky experiences, life wouldn't be nearly as much fun.

"Nanny-staters, git off muh lawn!"

Re:Acceptable Risk (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43714911)

I agree, we don't need nannying. We also don't need to spend another red cent rescuing yet another fucking moron stuck on a mountain side or some other remote location because "life wasn't fun enough". If you go hiking with bears, expect to get eaten.

So, let me get this straight. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713881)

They recreated a volcano eruption that is true to life, but they had no lava, no ash blown in the air, no steam and no intense heat? They basically blew a hole in the ground and called it a volcano? Youd think after all the years mankind has been blowing holes in the ground they would have the info they needed by now.

They tried to recreate something that happens every night in order to see it so they can tell officials how far to restricts civilians?

Im having a real hard time finding any real use for this experiment or justification. It sounds more like they had some extra money in the budget that needed spending, or they are just really bored, or their department was up for review and they needed something quick to put on the books as projects completed.

The title of this submission is a sham, a fake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43713939)

Title: "Researchers Fake Mini Volcanic Eruptions"

fake (verb)
1. To contrive and present as genuine; counterfeit.

The title of this submission is a sham, a fake - but not the work done by volcanologists. I believe the word the submitter is looking for is "simulate" or "model", as the volcanologists were attempting to understand more about how volcanic eruptions affect the terrain around them.

Fuckers! (1)

evil_aaronm (671521) | about a year ago | (#43714057)

This is my neighborhood! Go do this shit in your own backyard! Just because we're sparsely populated, out here, doesn't mean we don't care if you ruin our terra firma.

Left behind were craters as wide as 2 metres and as deep as 45 centimetres.

Oh. Never mind. Geez, I didn't even hear the blasts...

Why not use a computer model? (1)

G3ckoG33k (647276) | about a year ago | (#43717097)

Why not use a computer model? There has been very large money already spent on nuclear explosion simulators. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and other places have the computing expertise. Why would anyone use the real thing today? It is so unpredictable, you cannot calculate on it very well ad hoc. In a simulator you can at least determine how much unpredictable you want.

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