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The gases dissolved in this lower magma then violently expanded, creating the volcanic plume that lasted for nine hours and sent ash as far away as the Great Plains. "The hummock-filled terrain," said Pallister, referring to the small, irregular mounds of rock dispersed throughout the area in the wake of the explosion, "opened the eyes of the scientific community worldwide about laterally directed events at volcanoes.” "There's a vast field of those hummocks near Mount Shasta [in California] that geologists had scratched their heads about. Although it is exceedingly rare for a volcano to erupt without any warning in the preceding weeks, the goal is to learn to see the warning signs even further in advance.
In an instant, it became clear," Pallister said, that a lateral blast had occurred there as well. "We know the magma system must be doing something," Malone said, "We need to try to understand better what happens in between, to detect changes years before an eruption.
This is equivalent to 1,600 times the size of the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima" (U. These class 8 super-volcanos erupt extremely rarely (otherwise we wouldn't be here), but when they do, more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash are ejected, the climate of the whole planet is affected for extended periods of time, and mass-extinctions can be expected. To get anywhere close to that kind of energy release, the U. and Russia would have to use their entire nuclear arsenals simultaneously, and even that might not be enough to compare depending on how long the volcanic eruption lasts.
Millions of Douglas fir trees lay like as many match sticks on the scorched Earth.
A number of forces, including the amount of gas in the magma, the rock structure inside the volcano, and the asymmetrical way that magma rose to the surface contributed to the massive devastation of the explosion.
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Helens is a volcanic mountain in the Cascade Range in Western North America, in the state of Washington.