Volcano in the Forecast

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 6,889
    Research from UC Davis and Oregon State University found that volcanoes can quickly become active after years of dormancy. Their findings also suggest a new way to forecast volcanic activity.

     A dormant volcano can quickly become active again according to new research by UC Davis and Oregon State University. They may now have new information that will lead to new eruption forecasting.  Looking at Mount Hood in Oregon, they found that the magma located about three miles below the surface has been near-solid for thousands of years.  However, they also found that it takes a very short period—as little as a few months—for the magma to liquefy.  This can happen if magma from closer to the Earth’s crust rises and warms the solid magma or even if temperatures rise just slightly.  They likened the near-solid magma to peanut butter in a jar in the fridge—it’s not really going anywhere.  While they say Mount Hood has liquid magma only about 10% of the time, meaning it is mostly dormant, researchers say that the presence of liquid magma at all means there’s an eruption in the forecast.