Monday, October 04, 2004

yet another blog about Mount St. Helens volcano

Just like several million others here in the Pacific Northwest (USA), I am experiencing the amazing impacts and dare I say, entertainment of the St. Helens volcanic events.

For me however it means quite a bit more. I follow earthquakes (EQs). I have even attempted earthquake (EQ) prediction. {stop laughing} Eventually someone is going to understand enough to do that.

My partner, Arlene, follows volcanoes of all types. As you can guess, the St. Helens activities have us both excited and concerned.

We carefully track and compare the various seismic webicorders that display the many burps and tremblings. Looking for patterns that disclose what is coming. This is something many learned scientists are also attempting with little success. The typical pattern for an earthquake is a sharp jolt on the seismograph followed by a slowly descending vibration. Rather looks like a stingray. When a volcano trembles the pattern is quite different. Yes, volcanoes have earthquakes, but the tremor is different. This appears more like a speech pattern. The vibration builds either slowly or rapidly but not with a jolt. It can vibrate for a long period. The amplitude can be maintained at a near constant rate. In association with the volcano these patterns are associated with magma movement. According to the volcanologists, St Helens is experiencing both EQs and the tremors.

Yep, Arlene and I are really enjoying the entertainment that nature has offered up so recently.

I predict that we will have yet another steam event tonight and perhaps even an actual eruption (magma reaches the surface). At least that is what the patterns demonstrate. We shall see how well I read the patterns.

Rich's EQ pages at
Arlene's volcano page at
Mount St. Helens volcano pages at

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