Author Topic: Topic Suggestions: Volcano  (Read 3346 times)

Offline creuzerm

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Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« on: January 31, 2009, 11:07:58 AM »
Just reading the news about Mount Redoubt in Alaska. I found an article where people are taking the most basic precautions, getting dusk masks.

http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5hcWJaxwgurm_TV9AVcObQBWbS25QD961D1MO0

How about a show on surviving a volcano? Talk about different threats they create, at different distances. The stuff like this article says, getting goggles & dust masks, and maybe the lesser known stuff like vehicle air filters, generator air filters, etc. Maybe a bit on how to clean up the mess?

Some of these events have a long range impact. I remember the year Yellowstone burned, It darkened the skies in Wisconsin. Some wonderful sunsets that year.

Does anybody have any insight from Mt. St Helens?

One thought I have, is if the ash makes it here to Chicagoland before the rains knock it out of the sky, I was thinking of getting a new air filter for the week for my truck instead of my K&M air filter. That way I don't ruin the better K&M filter.

Offline Stein

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #1 on: January 31, 2009, 11:53:28 AM »
This is the biggest large-calamity natural disaster we face where I live.  We have St. Helens active as well as Rainer dormant.  The only saving grace is that our house is not downwind from either.

Volcano eruptions take many different forms from the big explosion (dust) to the lava type in Hawaii.  Assuming we are dealing more with explosion types, there are many hazards:

  • Concussion wave
  • Massive landslides
  • Landslides turn into flood/debris flows when they hit rivers
  • Potential forest fires
  • Abrasive dust accumulation which impacts vehicles, people, power distribution, agriculture, wildlife, travel of all types, rescue efforts and just about everything else
  • Floods, including rivers shifting course, bridge damage, road washouts, etc.

In short, it leads to short term concerns as well as very long term issues with the landscape.

I was living in Montana when St Helens blew and we had about 1" of ash if I remember right.  That is about 700 miles and there were people East of us that got it as well.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #2 on: January 31, 2009, 11:54:38 AM »
I think that this could be interesting.  If there was a big eruption on the west coast of the US, it would impact the entire country.  I think that dealing with ash would be most of the information put out, though.  I guess if you are close to a volcano, warning signs of an imminent eruption would be another good topic.  Maybe possible uses for volcanic ash.  Anyone know if it can be used to help condition soil?

Only thing I remember about the St Helens eruption is what it did to my brother's car.  He had an orange Celica and was stationed in Idaho when it erupted.  The ash left a bunch of little white spots all over the car.  Everywhere there was a drop of water, the ash ate away the paint.

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #3 on: January 31, 2009, 12:00:16 PM »
One huge threat from a volcano eruption that most people do not think about is ash build-up. Volcanic ash is unbelievably heavy once it gets wet. Think liquid concrete.

MANY buildings have their roof collapse due to a build up of just a few inches of ash.

Waiting for the rain to clear the roof of your house is a BAD idea. You need to be on the roof sweeping it off as it piles up. But you MUST wear a good quality dust mask. If ash gets into the wet atmosphere of your lungs, it solidifies just like concrete.

Offline Beetle

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #4 on: January 31, 2009, 12:28:38 PM »
I was on my neighbors roof watching St Helens blow her top. Pretty cool event to watch, RIP Harry Truman....

Offline archer

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #5 on: February 01, 2009, 11:43:57 PM »
Volcano eruptions take many different forms from the big explosion (dust) to the lava type in Hawaii.  Assuming we are dealing more with explosion types, there are many hazards:

  • Concussion wave
  • Massive landslides
  • Landslides turn into flood/debris flows when they hit rivers
  • Potential forest fires
  • Abrasive dust accumulation which impacts vehicles, people, power distribution, agriculture, wildlife, travel of all types, rescue efforts and just about everything else
  • Floods, including rivers shifting course, bridge damage, road washouts, etc.


Also add to the list: Pyroclastic flow
Extremely dangerous and fast moving. A link for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyroclastic_flow

Offline creuzerm

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 05:36:11 PM »
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090203-alaska-volcano-pictures-redoubt.html
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/02/090202-tokyo-volcano-ash-pictures-ap.html

This is one of those unknowns to me. Volcanoes and Earthquakes I have yet to experience. Maybe that explains this curiosity I have for this Alaskan mountain.

It's likely to not have any significant direct impact on me, living all the way in the Midwest.
The short term price of Canadian wheat and Montana beef may be a bit higher due to down-wind effects. I don't really know.

Discounting a 'yellowstone event' because if the speculations are even remotely true...

There are documented instances in recordable history where big volcanoes have had significant long term effects on global climate.  I want to say it was Pinitobo or something like that which cooled the whole planet for 3 years. That was, 1700 1800s? I forget and am too lazy to look it up now, maybe somebody here remembers more clearly?

I remember that for Mt St. Helens, they where using snow plow trucks to move the ash off the roads. They couldn't figure out what to do with all this ash until somebody decided to start making glass out of it.  Anybody in the area verify these stories? I was one at the time, so this is all childhood school time stuff coming back to me.

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 06:19:10 PM »
I spent a few weeks in Hawai'i this fall and was able to take a helicopter tour over the active volcano on The Big Island. It was surreal. Watching the lava dump into the ocean was amazing. All of the energy being expelled from the temperature difference between the molten lava and 70+ degree ocean water results in huge boulders of molten lava erupting into the air, for hundreds of feet. Simply awe-inspiring.

Another interesting thing is the VOG. Think smog but caused by a volcano. It is heavy with sulfur. I was on the Big Island for 3 days and had a low level headache the entire time. The local explained that visitors typically have that reaction.

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Re: Topic Suggestions: Volcano
« Reply #8 on: February 07, 2009, 03:54:15 PM »
Well having been through Mt. St. Helens I can share a little. At the time I was living in the Columbia River gorge. We didn't get hit by much there but I had to make a trip to Yakima May 24 1980. I had heard what it would be like but was not prepared for what I encountered. The ash was very think on the roads and when the wind blew the visibility went to ZERO. Also I did not have an extra air filter so had to stop along the road several times to shake the ash out of the filter I had. That was when I learned another one of my very good uses for panty hose. I now live about 35 miles NW and nearly looking into the crater. And keep in mind that the ash never goes away. We still find it in the moss on trees and it will really do a number on yer saw chain if ya don't peel that moss off before cutting. Yes anybody who lives in volcano country should have a supply of dust masks, extra air filters for vehicles (and panty hose to extend filter life) and DON'T FORGET YER PETS. If you have pets and other animals. If you have critters that will be out side make some provisions to protect their lungs as well.