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Old 04-11-2016, 11:19 PM
Interrobang!? Interrobang!? is offline
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How horrible was it to be killed by Mount St. Helens?

For a long time, because he was the famous holdout, I thought that Harry "I'm not leaving" Truman was the only person killed when Mount St. Helens erupted in 1980. Turns out that about 57 people died that day.

My question:

How horrible a death was it for those people killed by and in the immediate aftermath of the big eruption?

Several relatives have commented that "they died doing what they loved" or "where they loved," but I can't imagine that being killed by pyroclastic flows is a good death —or is it so quick and overwhelming that it's not bad? Did Mr. Truman have time and circumstance to regret his stubbornness, or was it over pretty quick?

Basically, how awful is it to be killed by a volcano?
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:25 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Pyroclastic flows can reach 450 miles per hour and 1800 degrees F. I think you would be killed essentially instantaneously when it hit you.
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Old 04-11-2016, 11:30 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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This article says that most people died from asphyxiation from hot ashes. That might be painful but quick. Harry Truman himself was buried in an avalanche of snow and mud. I would think it was probable he died of the force of the impact but he might have suffocated after having been buried.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:33 AM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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See Herculaneum, the city buried by hot ash from Mt Vesuvius in AD 79:

The study of victims' postures and the effects on their skeletons indicate that the first surge caused instant death as a result of fulminant shock due to a temperature of about 500 °C (932 °F). The intense heat caused contraction of hands and feet and possibly fracture of bones and teeth.

And...

In contrast to Pompeii, where casts resembling the body features of the victims were produced by filling the body imprints in the ash deposit with plaster, the shape of corpses at Herculaneum could not be preserved, due to the rapid vaporization and replacement of the flesh of the victims by the hot ash (ca. 500 °C).

Quick, unpleasant death. However, I imagine the expectation and anticipation was much worse to bear.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:49 AM
snowthx snowthx is offline
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Here is another article from National Geographic suggesting the extreme heat caused death too fast for suffocation at Pompeii:

About three-quarters of the known Pompeii victims are "frozen in suspended actions" and show evidence of sudden muscle contractions, such as curled toes, the study says.

"Heretofore archaeologists misinterpreted them as people struggling to breathe and believed they died suffocated by ashes," Mastrolorenzo said. "Now we know that couldn't be."

Because of the extreme heat, "when the pyroclastic surge hit Pompeii, there was no time to suffocate," he said. "The contorted postures are not the effects of a long agony, but of the cadaveric spasm, a consequence of heat shock on corpses."


Grim, but I can think of worse ways to go.

Last edited by snowthx; 04-12-2016 at 12:49 AM. Reason: added link
  #6  
Old 04-12-2016, 02:23 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Accounts from 1902 Mt. Pelée (30,000 dead) are pretty horrific. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mount_Pelée
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:30 AM
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Pyroclastic flows can reach 450 miles per hour and 1800 degrees F. I think you would be killed essentially instantaneously when it hit you.
David Johnston was the volcanologist who witnessed the 1980 eruption of St. Helens and was shortly thereafter killed by it. He died pretty much as you describe, as did Harry R. Truman; my guess is they didn't suffer much.

Death need not happen so quickly. After the 2014 eruption of Mount Ontake, authorities recovered numerous dead bodies, but they also recovered one live (albeit unconscious) person who had been buried in ash. The recovery of a live, ash-covered person suggests (to me at least) that the deaths of the others were probably not instantaneous. They may have been asphyxiated or poisoned by gases emitted by the volcano, or had their lungs wrecked with ash. Likely not pleasant.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:20 AM
watchwolf49 watchwolf49 is offline
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This just goes to show you, and it will show once again ... A mountain is something / you don't want to fuck with / don't want to fuck with / don't fuck around
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:49 AM
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Reading this thread reminded me about the whole volcano making a person's head explode thing. Is it true that this happened to some of the residents of Herculaneum?

Interesting list of the ways a volcano can kill you, some seem very insidious indeed, I would just stay away.

http://io9.gizmodo.com/5901183/10-bi...o-can-kill-you
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:08 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Ordinarily the proximate cause of death is something easier explained, i.e., here, burned to death.

Similar to the remark by one of the robots in MST3k, when someone finished off the buttered potatoes you could hear his heart 'splode.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:17 AM
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Reading this thread reminded me about the whole volcano making a person's head explode thing. Is it true that this happened to some of the residents of Herculaneum?
The skull is not a sealed vessel. There are large passages for things like optic nerves, spinal cord, etc. If you heat a head to the point that the water inside it boils, the steam will exit through these passages. It may extrude some gray matter and flesh in the process, but it seems unlikely to me that the tissue occluding these holes would be strong enough to allow the buildup of pressure to the point that a BLEVE event would cause violent rupture of the brain case.
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Old 04-12-2016, 09:26 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Another vote that the anticipation was the worst part for most folks. For most of them once the consequences arrived wherever they were it hurt like heck, but only for a second or so. If that long.

It's statistically pretty certain somebody was close enough to the lethal perimeter that they died a more gradual death. E.g suffocated by their damaged lungs or simply crushed badly enough to be eventually fatal, but not quickly fatal.


As with most accidents / weapons / forces of nature the two best places to be are far away and right in the middle. It's the in-between zone that holds all the horror.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-12-2016 at 09:26 AM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:21 AM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Here's a map of the locations of Mt. St. Helens fatalities. Almost all of them were within the direct blast zone, and experienced temperatures of more than 300 F. Their deaths were probably as nearly instantaneous as possible.

Last edited by Colibri; 04-12-2016 at 10:22 AM.
  #14  
Old 04-12-2016, 10:25 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
...
As with most accidents / weapons / forces of nature the two best places to be are far away and right in the middle. It's the in-between zone that holds all the horror.
I remember--and I hope I remember correctly--joking with a Con Ed crewman in a hole in the street and he said that if there's a leak as we speak, an explosion from a tossed lit cigarette (mine, perhaps) would blow me up up but not him.

Does that sound right?

His punchline/point was exactly the opposite as LSLGuy's here--which is why I bring it up--and since that time (years) I think of it whenever I see a guy in a narrow pipe-access in a street, and always wish I could remember exactly what he said.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 04-12-2016 at 10:27 AM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 10:58 AM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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This is guesswork, but he may have meant that where he was half in the underground chamber the mixture would be too rich in gas to ignite. Whereas you, out in the open air, would be in the area of correct mixture. So the explosion would happen where you are, not where he is. IOW you're in the middle and he's far away (by his thinking).

If that's what he meant, it's sorta true. But probably not true enough to save him. Once the mixture gets too rich in gas it also gets unbreathable. So instead of being blown up he asphyxiates. Not an obvious improvement in my book.

Further, as between standing 1 foot or 6 feet from a large natural gas explosion I don't think there's too much difference. Either way it won't hurt for long.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-12-2016 at 11:02 AM.
  #16  
Old 04-12-2016, 10:59 AM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Here's a map of the locations of Mt. St. Helens fatalities. Almost all of them were within the direct blast zone, and experienced temperatures of more than 300 F. Their deaths were probably as nearly instantaneous as possible.
Awesome find. Thank you. Yeah, all of those folks went real quick.

It'd be interesting to know how many people were where on the mountain further afield. IOW, a pin map of survivors, both injured and unscathed.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:15 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Thanks LSL.

BTW, "LSL"-->?
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:18 AM
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Awesome find. Thank you. Yeah, all of those folks went real quick.
Here's the original link. Unfortunately the interactive feature of the map, which apparently included cause of death, seems not to work any more.

Quote:
It'd be interesting to know how many people were where on the mountain further afield. IOW, a pin map of survivors, both injured and unscathed.
There's more information here.

Quote:
In all, there were 36 victims brought out of the devastated area. But after all of the searching, rescues and recoveries, there were still many people who were never found. By the third week following the blast, 25 people were confirmed dead but 47 were still on the missing list. Luckily, 15 of the missing were later found alive.
This seems to imply there were 36 people brought out alive.

Also:

Quote:
Four indirect death were caused by a cropduster hitting powerlines during the ashfall, a traffic accident during poor visibilty, and two heart attacks from shoveling ash.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:20 AM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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To be more clinical about it, the heat shock would be all the more with a steam component in comparison/addition at the same temperature of heated gas or radiative.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 04-12-2016 at 11:25 AM.
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Old 04-12-2016, 11:37 AM
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Here's a map of the locations of Mt. St. Helens fatalities. Almost all of them were within the direct blast zone, and experienced temperatures of more than 300 F. Their deaths were probably as nearly instantaneous as possible.
My understanding is that inhalation at temps like that will sear the gas exchange membranes in your lungs, effectively halting oxygen transfer to your blood, rendering you unconscious in probably less than 20 seconds. Mercifully, it wouldn't be the unpleasant sensation you get from holding your breath for five minutes, it would be the relatively painless sensation you get from sucking on a helium-filled balloon.

That's all separate from any pain you'd experience due to the high temperatures on your skin and in your respiratory tract, and any physical bombardment with volcanic missiles.
  #21  
Old 04-12-2016, 12:00 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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...
BTW, "LSL"-->?
The initials of the town I lived in when I joined. Think like NYCGuy. Not real exciting.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:01 PM
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At least one person had a presumably painful death:

Quote:
At one point, about 14 miles from St. Helens, Hagerman spotted tracks in the ash. He followed them until he found two men on a road along the Toutle River. They were part of a logging crew caught in the surge.

One was on his feet and was asking for pain medication, Hagerman said.

"He's 14 miles from the mountain, and he has these big welts on his face," Hagerman said. "His hands are black. I learned later that was because his gloves had fused to his hands."

Hagerman flew the men to safety. The man with the welts survived. His co-worker later died of his burns.
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Old 04-12-2016, 12:01 PM
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Awesome find. Thank you. Yeah, all of those folks went real quick.
Agreed. This is exactly the kind of thing I was curious about. Thank you, Colibri.
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:44 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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I watched this last night. One does have to wonder about people who would take a 3-month-old tent camping.

http://www.c-span.org/video/?407135-...ssion-eruption
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Old 04-12-2016, 01:48 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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Primitive humans have been "camping" with 3-month olds ever since 3-month olds were invented. Barring the occasional volcano they seem to survive just fine.

Last edited by LSLGuy; 04-12-2016 at 01:48 PM.
  #26  
Old 04-12-2016, 01:59 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
Pyroclastic flows can reach 450 miles per hour and 1800 degrees F. I think you would be killed essentially instantaneously when it hit you.
Instantly? Human flesh is thick. Your brain is protected by skull and retains consciousness unless deprived of oxygen. Pain registers almost instantaneously.

I'd expect at least 10 seconds of hideous agony.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:05 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Instantly? Human flesh is thick. Your brain is protected by skull and retains consciousness unless deprived of oxygen. Pain registers almost instantaneously.

I'd expect at least 10 seconds of hideous agony.
I expect that in most cases you would be knocked unconscious by the shock wave. The shock wave broke off large trees at the base. It would be like slamming into a wall at hundreds of miles an hour. In any case, 10 seconds is fast compared to most other ways of death.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:20 PM
Velocity Velocity is online now
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In any case, 10 seconds is fast compared to most other ways of death.
Fast, yes, but 10 seconds of being burned is a very long 10 seconds.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:33 PM
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I expect that in most cases you would be knocked unconscious by the shock wave. The shock wave broke off large trees at the base. It would be like slamming into a wall at hundreds of miles an hour. In any case, 10 seconds is fast compared to most other ways of death.
Nitpick: 450 MPH, while more than enough to flatten old-growth forests, is not a shock wave.
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Old 04-12-2016, 02:50 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Fast, yes, but 10 seconds of being burned is a very long 10 seconds.
Cite?

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Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
Nitpick: 450 MPH, while more than enough to flatten old-growth forests, is not a shock wave.
Nitpick right back. The definition as found in dictionaries does not require the wave to be faster than the speed of sound. The technical definition does not make the non-technical definition wrong.

Quote:
shock wave

Simple Definition of shock wave
: a movement of extremely high air pressure that is caused by an explosion, an earthquake, etc.
: a usually negative response or reaction that many people have to a particular thing

Full Definition of shock wave
1: a compressional wave of high amplitude caused by a shock (as from an earthquake or explosion) to the medium through which the wave travels
2: a violent often pulsating disturbance or reaction <shock waves of rebellion>
  #31  
Old 04-12-2016, 04:09 PM
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Spend some time and watch the entire video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fArB...&nohtml5=False

Officially, 57 people were killed by the eruption. Perhaps another dozen might have been caught but no record exists. Had the eruption occurred an hour later, the death toll might have been in the thousands.

Last edited by Duckster; 04-12-2016 at 04:13 PM.
  #32  
Old 04-12-2016, 05:16 PM
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As with most accidents / weapons / forces of nature the two best places to be are far away and right in the middle. It's the in-between zone that holds all the horror.
Similar stories about the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- The least horrendous place to be was right at, or near, Ground Zero, where the victims presumably got vaporized faster than a nerve impulse can travel from one synapse to the next.

People farther away got horribly incinerated -- not all of them fatally. There are stories of burnt people walking along the roads toward the river to jump in, their charred integuments dragging along the ground behind them.
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Old 04-12-2016, 05:19 PM
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A few weeks after Mt. St. Helens went kablooie, I happened to travel by commercial airliner from the Bay Area to Seattle. We flew right over Mt. St. Helens on the way, just slightly off to one side of the crater. The pilot dipped his starboard wing so passengers could see it out of the windows -- we could look directly into the crater, which was still smoking. For some great distance all around, everything was a uniform solid gray. The trees, of which there were a great many, were all laying on the ground like heaps of pick-up-sticks.
  #34  
Old 04-12-2016, 07:34 PM
LSLGuy LSLGuy is offline
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For folks interested in Mt. St. Helens specifically I give you the official MSH volcanocams: http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/

The uppermost pic is a static file image. The dynamic ones are down below. I check about once a week to see how the seasons are progressing.

In the top static image there's a rounded bulge filling most of the right-center of the wrecked crater. That lump is all new since the eruption. It's growing slowly but more or less continuously. Which is another way of saying we've probably not heard the last from Mt. St. Helens.
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Old 04-12-2016, 07:36 PM
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Originally posted by Machine Elf
The skull is not a sealed vessel. There are large passages for things like optic nerves, spinal cord, etc. If you heat a head to the point that the water inside it boils, the steam will exit through these passages. It may extrude some gray matter and flesh in the process, but it seems unlikely to me that the tissue occluding these holes would be strong enough to allow the buildup of pressure to the point that a BLEVE event would cause violent rupture of the brain case.
Well it seems the logic applied is that the superheated pyroclastic flows and ash heated the air almost instantly to about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm aware that the skull is not airtight which actually I would think would make the head explosion thing more plausible. The superhot temperature air would make its way to via thermal transfer through conduction right? The areas like the eyesockets and such might act as a pressure relief valve but could probably only handle so much and they make it sound like this temperature increase happened so fast in the articles I read.

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/secrets/inve...rculaneum/116/

I think its a given that your brain and cerebrospinal fluid are going to stand up to considerably less heat and pressure than the skull and with the resulting pressure, do you think its at least theoretically possible? Now I don't know if people's heads really "exploded" scanners movie style but maybe its just hyperbole on the part of the authors but maybe it was enough to essentially shatter all of the skull but not to literally explode it where there is nothing left.

I keep seeing it brought up in different articles on the city of Herculaneum that I'm reading but after google image search I've yet to find pictures of skeletons with missing heads.

Last edited by pool; 04-12-2016 at 07:38 PM.
  #36  
Old 04-12-2016, 07:53 PM
snfaulkner snfaulkner is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Machine Elf View Post
The skull is not a sealed vessel. There are large passages for things like optic nerves, spinal cord, etc. If you heat a head to the point that the water inside it boils, the steam will exit through these passages. It may extrude some gray matter and flesh in the process, but it seems unlikely to me that the tissue occluding these holes would be strong enough to allow the buildup of pressure to the point that a BLEVE event would cause violent rupture of the brain case.
Scientific documentary PROOF that heads can explode from internal pressures.
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Old 04-12-2016, 08:16 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by Senegoid View Post
Similar stories about the aftermath of the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki -- The least horrendous place to be was right at, or near, Ground Zero, where the victims presumably got vaporized faster than a nerve impulse can travel from one synapse to the next.
...
Since this is being addressed in all sorts of responses--in this thread and a million others in the ever-popular series "what's it feel like/die in ..."--

The nervous system of systems of pain is sketched here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocice...ystem_Overview

Given the above, and that the proper interpretation of the the sensory system and pain subjective experience is understood by me at 0.00001%, I merely supply in addition this (edited) table devoted to sensory-fiber types of nerves, from Wiki "Nerve conduction velocity" (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nerve_...ion_velocity):

Type | Conduction velocity | Associated sensory receptors

I 80–120 m/s Responsible for proprioception
Ib 80–120 m/s Golgi tendon organ
II 33–75 m/s Secondary receptors of muscle spindle/all cutaneous mechanoreceptors
III 3–30 m/s Free nerve endings of touch and pressure/Nociceptors of neospinothalamic tract/Cold thermoreceptors
IV 0.5-2.0 m/s Nociceptors of paleospinothalamic tract/Warmth receptors
  #38  
Old 04-12-2016, 08:18 PM
Leo Bloom Leo Bloom is offline
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Originally Posted by snfaulkner View Post
Scientific documentary PROOF that heads can explode from internal pressures.
Not gonna click. It's from that movie. Betcha.... Not gonna click.

ETA: Scanners. Just remembered. Not gonna click. Also: mentioned above.

Last edited by Leo Bloom; 04-12-2016 at 08:22 PM.
  #39  
Old 04-12-2016, 08:44 PM
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Blipverts. All the documentary proof anyone needs.
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Old 04-13-2016, 07:25 AM
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Well it seems the logic applied is that the superheated pyroclastic flows and ash heated the air almost instantly to about 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. I'm aware that the skull is not airtight which actually I would think would make the head explosion thing more plausible. The superhot temperature air would make its way to via thermal transfer through conduction right? The areas like the eyesockets and such might act as a pressure relief valve but could probably only handle so much and they make it sound like this temperature increase happened so fast in the articles I read.
The temperature increase can't happen that fast. The brain isn't liquid; it doesn't circulate within the skull. This means that the outer layers have to be boiled dry before the inner layers can boil. That includes the skull itself: you have to heat the bone hot enough so that it dries out, and only then can it get hotter than 212 and begin to boil the grey matter contained therein. If you're going to heat the brain up fast enough so that the steam generation exceeds the relief capacity of the various fenestrations, then the skull is going to be charred away, or at least structurally compromised. It could conceivably crack (and relieve the pressure), but I'm having a hard time believing it could explode under any reasonable definition of the term.

Maybe an experiment is warranted. The next time you roast a lamb head, turn the temp up to "Hades" and leave the head in the oven for a few hours. A time-lapse video posted to YouTube would be great, thanks; maybe it'll even end up in a "GoPro Hero" compilation.
  #41  
Old 04-13-2016, 10:14 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by LSLGuy View Post
For folks interested in Mt. St. Helens specifically I give you the official MSH volcanocams: http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/

The uppermost pic is a static file image. The dynamic ones are down below. I check about once a week to see how the seasons are progressing.

In the top static image there's a rounded bulge filling most of the right-center of the wrecked crater. That lump is all new since the eruption. It's growing slowly but more or less continuously. Which is another way of saying we've probably not heard the last from Mt. St. Helens.
About 10 years ago, MSH hiccuped but that turned out to be a false alarm.

No, it's definitely not an extinct or even dormant volcano.
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Old 04-13-2016, 10:34 PM
Senegoid Senegoid is offline
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Sequential thread titles!

How horrible was it to be killed by Mount St. Helens?

What "instantaneous/painless" deaths are not instantaneous/painless?
  #43  
Old 04-14-2016, 06:49 AM
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Sorry to burst your bubble (!), but one thread was inspired by the other, so not really coincidental.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:20 AM
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About 10 years ago, MSH hiccuped but that turned out to be a false alarm.

No, it's definitely not an extinct or even dormant volcano.
Even Ranier is an active volcano, too, right? Which is goddamn terrifying.
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Old 04-14-2016, 09:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post
Even Ranier is an active volcano, too, right? Which is goddamn terrifying.
Yep. Rainer is about a close to Seattle as Mt Hood is to Portland. Fortunately, the same precautions and I imagine better warning systems (as used for MSH) would be used today if either of them showed any signs of emerging activity. However, a lot more people in either case would need to be moved a safe distance.
  #46  
Old 04-14-2016, 01:39 PM
Saint Cad Saint Cad is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post
Even Ranier is an active volcano, too, right? Which is goddamn terrifying.
From my Ph.D in Geology cousin. Yes and YES!!!!
  #47  
Old 04-14-2016, 03:13 PM
Machine Elf Machine Elf is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowthx View Post
Yep. Rainer is about a close to Seattle as Mt Hood is to Portland. Fortunately, the same precautions and I imagine better warning systems (as used for MSH) would be used today if either of them showed any signs of emerging activity. However, a lot more people in either case would need to be moved a safe distance.
Rainier is problematic because:

-there's a lot more ice on top than there was on MSH, so the resultant lahars will be much larger/more destructive, and

-Rainier has far more people in close proximity to it than MSH did when it erupted.

This map shows a number of cities that would be wrecked in the event of a Rainier eruption.
  #48  
Old 04-14-2016, 09:38 PM
Northern Piper Northern Piper is offline
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Originally Posted by Duckster View Post
Had the eruption occurred an hour later, the death toll might have been in the thousands.

Why?
  #49  
Old 04-14-2016, 10:33 PM
TroutMan TroutMan is offline
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Why?
A lot of loggers would have been in the danger zone by then.
  #50  
Old 04-14-2016, 10:43 PM
Duckster Duckster is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
About 10 years ago, MSH hiccuped but that turned out to be a false alarm.

No, it's definitely not an extinct or even dormant volcano.
The hiccup was a bit more than that. I was up there on a Saturday when there was a harmonic tremor. Imagine staring at something so crystal clear one moment and the next moment it got all fuzzy. It was a bit scary. The USGS believes the late 2004 event was actually a delayed continuation of the larger 1980 event.

In July 2014, scientists set off a series of explosive charges in 23 bore holes around the volcano. Each bore hole was about 80 feet deep and contained 1,000-2,000 pounds of explosives. It was a massive ultrasound to determine just how big the magma chamber is below the volcano. They found there are two large chambers under the volcano.

Quote:
Originally Posted by troub View Post
Even Ranier is an active volcano, too, right? Which is goddamn terrifying.
Actually, the Three Sisters area of central Oregon had most scientists worried, until recently.

I wouldn't want to be in the path of a lahar flow if Mount Rainier blew.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Northern Piper View Post
Why?
Local and state authorities had bowed to public pressure to allow loggers back into the area. Even on a Sunday, it was expected several thousand people could have been working in the larger blast area the day of the eruption, had it occurred an hour or two later.
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