Dr Seth Moran, Russia, Thom Hartmann discussed on Thom Hartmann

Automatic TRANSCRIPT

School of thought sees Russia under Putin as well we can decline in power the book the Russia trap. foreign. this is the Thom Hartmann program. Dr Seth Moran has been looking into the possibility of volcanic eruptions in the Pacific Northwest among other things he's a scientist in charge of the cascades volcano observatory by the US Geological Survey G. U. S. G. S. dot gov is the website doctor Moran et al I hope I'm saying prancing your last name correctly welcome to the program. thank you. our eighteen you're talking about a volcano in my backyard specifically Mount Hood a you say it's silent now won't last the it won't stay that way why is this a concern and and why do we not know more about it that way that we should now. yeah well we know enough about not good to understand what it's done in the last couple hundred thousand years we know that it most recently wrote to then seventeen eighty one and that that was a dozen year long option and before that it was about fifteen hundred years ago before that it was maybe almost ten thousand years so it's been sort of service body in terms of how frequently interrupted that's one of the concerns is that we don't really know you know it's gonna wrapped in a in in a decade or a hundred years or another couple thousand years and we have to treat it as if it could wake up tomorrow. it is that there are signs that it is still on a live system in the sense that they are earthquake swarms that happened there fairly routinely there's some ball can't gases that come out of the event for that said the seventeen eighty one or option and that's one of the few volcanoes in the cascades that still it gets well kind of gases so they're not definitely signs that we should be expecting it to erupt again the sixty million dollar question is when yeah I and maybe have a multi billion dollar question since this thing is visible from downtown Portland on its its roots in just right up the road from us if this volcano melts I mean there are correct me if I'm wrong there are glaciers on Mount Hood I wouldn't that melt an enormous amount of ice and couldn't that flood the Columbia River and take out Portland in other places. well the good the first couple things for sure Portland's a fair distance away it would certainly be you know it if there was a phone or option it would certainly disrupt. the greater Portland area to varying degrees about the places that are most most concern obviously the ones that are close and not good is is relatively unique in the cascades and that it has your brown residents that live in what we would consider to be your best work the near field I spray things could happen fairly fast and it was wouldn't take a very large eruption to have a fairly large impact on the ski areas government capped the highways that go pastor highway twenty six thirty five. back in in seventeen eighty one there were there were blood flows what we call lahars that were produced by Russians that melted snow and ice and water flow down the sandy and certainly reached into the Columbia and up and actually but the leftover sentiments not form be sandy river delta it goes out into the club yeah that's interesting so where is the and that I think is one of the larger issues here is that you know this isn't just a local a story context in my understanding and and this you know from from reading articles about this year I have not discussed it and please correct me if I'm wrong or or fill me in on this my understanding is that many of these volcanoes around the country you know been in Hawaii the the the potential organic activity around Yellowstone is some of these some of these little cameras are actually fairly well monitor they've got all kinds of stations around them they're testing for gas is the testing for for activity but that not hurt in a number of other potential all can I was in the United States are not being well monitored because we have done such a good job of protecting the forests around them is wilderness areas that we can't quote build a building which might even just be a little ten foot square twenty foot high monitoring station of some kind on the side of a volcano do I have that right. well it's certainly a complicated issue and it's it's so let me go go with the first part of your question that for sure they're walking is like nothing Helen's which are very well monitored and nothing else had to Russians in the last forty years and so it stands to reason that it would be quite well monitored it's also true in the cascades the lobby other volcanoes that we think have the potential to erupt again are in places that had land use restrictions there's a number that our national parks like not re nearing crater lake and there's others that have a lot how are our used to partial or total wilderness and about who is one of those English because neither sh that the land use restrictions are are you know are real and we take them seriously and our proposals to install instruments are what we feel are kind of the bare minimum for us to be able to to to do the job and make sure that we can help protect people there's other reasons why somebody kills are not as well mantras others and and one that has to do with their incredibly remote and there's a lot you know up in Washington call glacier peak that's in the middle of the glacier peak wilderness and there's no roads out there and there's no infrastructure like you know. antenna towers and things like that that we can hang our radio antennas on and so it just the whole question of if we were to put a station out there getting the data out there's infrastructure that development that has to happen and so it's it's stuck taking a longer to figure out how to work in places where we can so remote the logistics are hard and we also the winners are really rough and winners can be pretty brutal on instruments and one of the things that we've learned over the course of working at St Helens in part is is how to build things so that they will last through the winter right now we have is a again correct me if I'm wrong in this be from Alaska all the way down to California there's a hundred and sixty one active volcanoes seven of the ten most dangerous American volcanoes are in the cascade range and six of those are not adequately monitor do I have the right. it's it's it's around there yeah and by adequate what we mean is something like on the order of a dozen to twenty or so seismometers and GPS instrument the seismometers there for us to record really small earthquakes and the GPS receivers are there to tell us if the ground is deforming which would happen if man was starts moving underground and often times when volcanoes wake up the initial warning signs are produced can be subtle the earthquakes can be small the ground information can be can be also quite small and so that's the rationale for having that many instruments twelve twelve to twenty and and there's not that many volcanoes that have that level that being said a number the volcanoes have what we consider to be a basic level so mountaineers in that category although it's actually getting close to being where we wanted to be who is also in that category it's got eight seismometers right now and and that's not bad. the problem there really is that it only has three GBS instruments and that number needs to be greater if we're gonna be able to detect a permission on a small scale and other countries that have this problem Japan Chile Iceland there are they doing a good an adequate job of monitoring their all cans in different countries are are are doing things in some cases better than we are Japan as you know one of the the gold standard out there and you know part of the reason perhaps is that there are volcanoes rough more frequently in people that the job more recently Bible candles and so it that that hazard is is this fracture in the minds of people there. but and and truly more recently I also has has bolstered its network and that's also in response to a couple of. decently large eruptions that got it got a lot of people's attention remarkable stuff Dr Seth Moran the scientist in charge of the cascades volcano observe observatory thanks so much for dropping by today I your local great talking with the I've I've really.

Coming up next