Saturday, June 13, 2009

Geological Movie Review of Dante's Peak - Part 8

- Some questions asked (and hopefully answered) above -
  • Which volcano and eruption is depicted in the first sequence of the movie?.
  • Are mud rain and lava bombs typical of large scale eruptions and what are they anyway?
  • Do eruptions happen in hot springs before surrounding areas and what is the result of an eruption in a spring?
  • Are acidic lakes common in volcanically active areas and how acidic is normal?
  • Do trees get killed off near an active volcano in real life?
  • What is ELF and what does it stand for?
  • What are microquakes and are 25-75 really a common occurrence?
  • What is the size of the eruption that is associated with a particular earthquake?
  • How acidic is it possible for a lake to get and is this strong enough to melt a metal boat?
  • What is a lahar?

- Overview (or important thoughts to take home) -

  • This is one of the most scientifically accurate geology movies out there
  • The most likely eruption at the beginning of the movie is the 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz placing the remaining events of the movie in 1989
  • This conflicts with his mentioning of Mount Pinatubo which erupted in 1991
  • The Cascadian Range has lots of volcanoes that can produce this type of eruption
  • Signs of an impending eruption: Increased amount of gas released, increased earthquakes especially harmonic tremors, lava dome growth and increase is acidity of local water sources (lakes, hot springs, etc.)
  • Predicting actual eruptions is hard
  • The Dante's Peak eruption would not have produced that kind of lava flow
  • An aluminum boat would melt in an acidic volcanic lake but so would the fish and the entire motor rather quickly
  • My personal opinion places the lahar on the first day of eruption since most of the ice and snow should already have melted
  • The pyroclastic cloud occurred almost exactly as it would in real life, showing that it is the most dangerous part of a volcanic eruption
  • ELF is a fabrication of the movie because any real-life ELF transmitters have at least a 10km long antenna

- Non-Geological Notes -

  • In all that ash why are none of the people wearing anything over their mouths? You would think that would be the first thing you did.
  • So why doesn't Grandma wait until she is 3 feet from shore to jump into the lake when it truly was not necessary. Oh wait, she did.
  • Driving on a fresh lava flow? Other than fun, the truck would probably blow up before you even got 1/2 way across.

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