Manual Volcano

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But the instruments — which will be housed in four-feet-tall boxes with radio antennas and solar panels on the outside — violate the Wilderness Act , which prohibits any new structures and even noise pollution within federal wilderness areas. In reviewing Dr. To Jonathan Fink, a geologist at Portland State University who also wrote a public comment in favor of volcano monitoring, this argument is misplaced. Fink said. And I think letting a helicopter in to put some instruments in that can then be monitored remotely seems like a pretty minor exception to the wilderness policies.


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Other critics say the project is far from necessary. But Dr. Moran and others argue that the work is not possible unless they get up close, and before the volcano begins to rock. When Mount St. They only had one seismometer two miles to the west of the volcano. So they rushed to place more instruments on its slopes a risk that would not be allowed today and within days they knew the volcano itself was shaking.

Helens allowed. But tremors began in the late afternoon, and by p. With such a narrow window, the first line of defense is to have a solid monitoring network in place whenever a volcano awakens. Although none of these volcanoes appear to be building toward an eruption today, there is no question that they pose a serious hazard. There, 80, people live in the path of disaster and yet the mountain only has 19 instruments, which scientists say is not enough given its vast size.

Glacier Peak in northern Washington has produced some of the most explosive eruptions in the contiguous United States, meaning the ability to throw enough ash into the air to halt air traffic for days or even weeks and cost billions of dollars. It has only one seismometer. Without equipment to detect the eruption, airplane passengers just might find themselves living a high-altitude nightmare.

In , a Boeing flew through an undetected ash cloud in Alaska. All four engines shut down and the airplane went into a nose-dive. It descended 13, feet before the pilots were able to restart the engines.

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Hundreds of thousands of people fly across the West Coast and above active volcanoes every day. Eruptions in Alaska and California would also be felt across the nation. Anchorage is a major cargo hub , meaning that many FedEx or U. But an eruption might bring that to an alarming halt. Driedger said. Driedger notes that there are still a number of steps before any instruments can be placed on Mount Hood.

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They will now have to choreograph the assembly of instruments, hire personnel and schedule helicopter trips around weather and other potential obstacles. Moreover, the Forest Service and the observatory could still face a legal challenge from Wilderness Watch or other groups that adds years to the installation, if not blocking it altogether.

Macfarlane, whose group is discussing litigation with an attorney but has not yet decided whether to file suit. And then there is more work to be done monitoring other hazardous volcanoes beyond Mount Hood. Volcanologists across the nation were pleased this March when Congress passed the National Volcano Early Warning and Monitoring System Act , which seeks to ensure that volcanoes nationwide are adequately monitored.


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  • Nor will it change the fact that scientists like Dr. Moran must still grapple with regulations protecting federal wilderness. So Dr.

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    Moran, aware that litigation is a possibility, is moving forward with caution. This month, his team will begin to install monitoring stations at Mount Hood. Eventually he would like to install more instruments on Mount Hood, but first he needs to create sufficient networks elsewhere. While they wait, Dr.

    Moran and his colleagues will hold their breath, hopeful that these volcanoes stay in a deep slumber, but aware that one just might rouse at any moment. Log In. The Kagoshima branch of the weather agency rated the volcano as Level 2 Friday, indicating "Do not approach the crater. Japan's most active volcano, Mount Sakurajima sits on a peninsula that was formerly an island. Lava from a eruption connected it with the Osumi Peninsula on Kyushu island.

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    World News. By Ed Adamczyk. Friday's eruption of Japan's Mount Sakurajima volcano sent a plume of ash 3. Read More Lava from Hawaiian volcano fueled algae super bloom in Pacific Ocean 1 dead, 2 injured in Stromboli volcano eruption Indonesia's Mount Sinabung volcano erupts again.

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