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30 January 2008 @ 09:16 am
wayback wednesday: a question for all the scientists and pseudo-scientists and science-fictionists  
Assuming you were a brilliant scientist with plenty of financial and military support, how would you go about reactivating a volcano that's been dormant for a little over a century?

 
 
Listening to: The Essex Green - "Chartiers"
 
 
 
ayrmontayrmont on January 30th, 2008 09:31 pm (UTC)
Volcanos are created at the boundries of the tectonic plates, usually where they are being pulled apart. As the plates separate, magma can surge up and create a volcano. Volcanos can also form over mantle plumes removed from plate boundaries. Volcano's go dormat when the plate moves so much, taking the volcano with it, that the volcano is no longer at the plate boundries or over a plume. This is what is happening in Hawaii. As the plate moves the island is dragged over the hot spot, with volcanos forming at various times in different spots of the island but the same spot relative to the mantle plum. It is the island that moves not the hot spot. Volcanos that used to be over the mantle plume hot spot go dormant as they are dragged away and new volcanos form in the new land that is now over the hot spot. The cooled magma from the older volcanos is how the islands were formed and are continuing to grow.

So, to "restart" a volcano you would have to drag the volcano back over the hot spot, either a mantle plume or where the tectonic plates are moving apart. Then, to make sure the volcano forms in the same spot, use a drill or explosion to make a conduit guiding the magma up right where you want it.

Would probably be cooler just to punch a big hole in a plate and create an artificial mantle plume. Obviously this would require more than 1 atomic bomb since the atomic bombs that have been exploded didn't accomplish that.

Diary of an Ass Monkey: amd: Luke Cheuh & Teresa MTZassmonkeydiary on January 30th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC)
Cool! Thanks!

Now, what about the volcanoes that erupt, then go dormant for say a century, and then start erupting again? Why does that happen?