back to article From 0 to ERUPTION in 60 days: You thought that volcano was COLD?

Volcanoes can become ready to blow in less time than scientists had previously thought, but their magma is usually kept in a cool, near-solid state. Volcano erupting New research on Mount Hood in Oregon suggests that volcanoes can come up with liquid hot magma in as little as a couple of months, but most of the time, they …

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  1. Richard Pennington 1

    Basic physics

    Paragraph 3: heating the magma *decreases* its viscosity, making it more mobile.

    1. Irongut Silver badge

      Re: Basic physics

      Basic counting. That's paragraph four.

      1. Gene Cash Silver badge

        Re: Basic physics

        Did you miss paragraph 0 ?

  2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    Ouch!

    If the peanut butter in your fridge is at 750°C, then your fridge has probably malfunctioned. It may even be on fire...

    Also, biting into the subsequent peanut butter sandwich might be quite painful. It would be almost as hot as biting into a Pop Tart*.

    * Or napalm covered in cardboard, as I once saw them described. To be fair, the cardboard is covered in sugar...

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The 50 to 75 degree increase in magma temperature can be accomplished easily by sharks with frikkin' laser beams on their heads.

    1. Petrea Mitchell
      Alien

      Re: Laser beams

      Or alien death ray strike, if I remember _The Lathe of Heaven_ correctly...

      1. ps2os2
        IT Angle

        Re: Laser beams

        How about a death star in stead. That will bake your peanut butter cookies.

  4. John Smith 19 Gold badge
    Thumb Up

    Impressive.

    Actual data gathering and a surprisingly small temperature difference making a huge difference to wheather it will blow.

    Thumbs up for data collection.

    Also suggests that the problem of "eruption" is when there's a big pressure build up.

    Which suggests that some bore holes drilled into ares normally solid could act as safety vents and turn a Krakatoa like eruption into a a (very) large number of dribbles.

    Still pretty dangerous to be around but not quite the epic scale of destruction.

    1. Charles Manning

      Correlation != causation

      It is not the temperature that causes it to blow. Rather the temperature is a symptom of the local activity.

      Even just the friction caused by magma movement under such huge pressures is going to lead to the magma heating up.

      Drilling into the magma is unlikely to help. As soon as the stuff flows enough to relieve pressure, the "peanut butter" is under ligh pressure and any holes you drill will be bunged up pretty smartly.

      1. I. Aproveofitspendingonspecificprojects
        Boffin

        Not quite so simple, sonny

        https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/sci.geo.earthquakes/Siz1Kg5v8CY

        Nothing to do with the physics of course. (Volcano physics is about as alien as you can get.) Once the crystal cavern has been shattered, all you need is water and the right timing. Volcanoes are notorious for their capacity to hold water. And even more famous for shedding it.

      2. Wzrd1

        Re: Correlation != causation

        "As soon as the stuff flows enough to relieve pressure, the "peanut butter" is under ligh pressure and any holes you drill will be bunged up pretty smartly."

        Not quite. Gases tend to push that peanut butter about rather briskly. Think of a tube of tub caulk being run over by a heavy lorry.

        Remove that gas, the eruption is lessened to eliminated, for some volcanoes.

        For others, all bets are off...

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
      Happy

      Re: Impressive.

      Which suggests that some bore holes drilled into ares normally solid could act as safety vents and turn a Krakatoa like eruption into a a (very) large number of dribbles.

      That's all very well. But I've seen various documentaries on both film and TV where people start drilling into volcanoes, or the centre of the Earth. And invariably, every such project ends in earthquakes, fireballs and megadeath, or the break out of demonic hordes.

      So I'd prefer my volcanic eruptions to be left as nature intended. And to be very very far away. Which is why I choose to live in boring old Blighty.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Impressive.

      some bore holes drilled into ares normally solid could act as safety vents and turn a Krakatoa like eruption into a a (very) large number of dribbles.

      Wouldn't you end up with a multi-spout lava fountain, a bit like you find in shopping malls? :)

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    It doesn't make you...

    ...want to set up a secret base in one then. I guess I'll have to find another place to take my white cat and spiffy dressed minions.

    1. MrDamage
      Holmes

      The difference between

      An evil genius, and a mad scientist, is that the evil genius knows to set up his lair in an extinct volcano, and not an active one.

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge

        Re: set up his lair in an extinct volcano

        Yes, but then the mad scientist engages the positronic echopositioning confabulator and inadvertently drills a hole to the Earth's core, thereby re-activating the volcano and ruining the draperies.

    2. ps2os2

      Re: It doesn't make you...

      My minions are dressed in thousand island and they are tasty too.

  6. Florida1920
    Flame

    Not that pointy-eared dude

    I remember the days when they were called vulcanologists, and a real man never went anywhere without a hammer.

  7. hapticz

    not to worry

    the easiest 'remedy' is to get the fools out of the way when these pimples on the surface of the earth get infected with the irritations from within the globe and decide to blow their lid.

    The few human blobs that hang back for a 'last good look' or to (ahem) 'defend their property' deserve a severe blow to their existence, and to their irrational delusions of grandeur that they own any, lo, a miniscule fractional speck, of this life giving orb.

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