Mount Hood and other similar volcanoes could heat and blow faster than has been assumed, but blow could possibly just mean… trickle? The OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (CEOAS) study was coauthored with scientists at the University of California Davis and was funded by the National Science Foundation; findings were released in the scientific journal Nature this week.
But, don’t go selling the livestock and packing up just yet; they also say Mt. Hood’s eruptions aren’t that bad. More like a drip than a deluge. So it’s probably not going to be a Dante’s Peak scenario… probably. But it is still important news.
Regardless of the activity of the mountain, the speed that they found the magma hidden deep down could heat up and erupt is more on the months side than years. The study apparently confirmed that the magma inside is in a cold solid state and has been for thousands of years, almost all the time. But if the lower magma gets hot and mixes with the upper magma, let’s just say, better keep Pierce Brosnan on speed dial.
The study mentions that this type of magma mixing caused Mt. Hood’s previous eruption in the 1790s and probably the one before that too, roughly 1,500 years ago.
Dr. Adam Kent, from OSU, co-author of the study, also stresses that the scientists have many modern tools for detection, thanks in part to studies like these, and if the lower magma starts to liquefy, they’ll be the first to know.