Using Cosmic Rays to Predict Volcanic Eruptions?

Guest “cool schist” by David Middleton

Are Cosmic Rays a Key to Forecasting Volcanic Eruptions?
A combination of relativistic particles and artificial intelligence may provide a new way to forecast when a volcano could erupt.

By Mara Johnson-Groh 23 hours ago

Forecasting volcanic eruptions is notoriously challenging, but a team of Japanese scientists may have found a new method using relativistic particles from space.

A new pilot study, conducted on a highly active Japanese volcano, used a type of high-energy particle called a muon to map the interior structure of the volcano. When analyzed with machine learning algorithms, these maps could help diagnose when a volcano is about to blow. Thus far, the feasibility of the method has been examined on only one volcano, but it could eventually be more widely applied as the technique is further refined.

Eruption forecasting typically relies on volcanic gas emissions, surface changes, or seismography—which measures trembles in the ground that are often a precursor to eruptions. The new method instead took a visual approach and built on the imaging technique known as muography. First developed in the 1970s to map secret chambers in Egyptian pyramids, muography uses cosmic rays—high-energy particles originating on the Sun and across the galaxy—to map giant objects, similar to an oversized X-ray machine.

[…]

Although this pilot study was conducted on only one volcano, it has the potential to be extended to other volcanoes in the future, though there are potential roadblocks. Deep learning works only for large data sets, which don’t yet exist for many volcanoes. And acquiring sufficient data requires a large number of eruptions, a limiting factor for volcanoes that aren’t as active as Sakurajima. 

[…]

Citation: Johnson-Groh, M. (2020), Are cosmic rays a key to forecasting volcanic eruptions?, Eos, 101, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EO142927. Published on 21 April 2020.

EOS

Pretty cool schist! Although this bit is funny:

[A]cquiring sufficient data requires a large number of eruptions, a limiting factor for volcanoes that aren’t as active as Sakurajima. 

Cosmic rays can only be used to predict eruptions of volcanoes that erupt frequently.

Now, on to some very uncool schist… [Insert hairpin-turn segue]

Day Thirty-Something of America Held Hostage by ChiCom-19

Dallas County update, as of noon Tuesday…

4/22/2020
Dallas CountyCHICOM-19
PopulationCasesDeaths
2,637,7722,602642.5%
% of population with0.10%0.00%
% with, rounded0.1%0.00%
% without99.90%100.00%
% without, rounded99.9%100.0%
Menodoza Line (.200)12/15/2034           0.200

0.1% of Dallas County has tested positive for ChiCom-19 and 0.00% have died from it. At this rate, Dallas County will cross the Mendoza Line (.200 batting average) on December 15, 2034. While Dallas County refuses to report how many residents have recovered from ChiCom-19, so we can’t get an accurate count of active cases, the hospital and ICU admission rates indicate that Dallas County is well-past the peak…

Dallas County Health and Human Services
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID‐19) Summary, April 21, 2020
Dallas County Health and Human Services
2019 Novel Coronavirus (COVID‐19) Summary, April 21, 2020

Despite the fact that Dallas County is clearly well-past the peak of the ChiCom-19 hostage crisis, Fire Marshal Gump has extended the hostage crisis through May 15…

Dallas County Commissioners Extend ‘Safer at Home’ Order to May 15
Crowds gathered outside as Dallas County Commissioners worked through tough conversations regarding stay-at-home orders and relieving small business

By Alanna Quillen • Published April 21, 2020

Dallas County Commissioners Tuesday voted 3-2 to extend the county’s Safer at Home order until May 15, keeping restrictions in place about which businesses may operate and how large public gatherings may be while advising people to stay at home unless they are conducting “essential business.”

The county reserves the option to extend the order depending on how cases and testing develops in the county in the coming weeks. The county’s disaster declaration, a separate document, is in effect until May 20.

During the meeting a dozens of demonstrators staged a protest outside the County Administration Building at Dealey Plaza. Critics of the stay-at-home order complained about the loss of jobs and income. Several nurses, who said they were there to support public health, faced off with the demonstrators.

Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang recommended that the court extend the Safer at Home order until May 31. Experts advised that cases should trend downward for at least two weeks before the community begins to return to normal. The choice of May 15th was a compromise.

Commissioners John Wiley Price and J.J. Koch were the no votes. They wanted a better schedule for reopening more non-essential businesses and restoring more jobs.

“I’m talking about people and survival and so that’s the difference,” Price said. “Give them an opportunity to survive.”

[…]

NBC5DFW

This is worth repeating:

“I’m talking about people and survival and so that’s the difference,” Price said. “Give them an opportunity to survive.”

Dallas County Commissioner, Precinct 3 John Wiley Price (D)

Truly strange times… I have been in almost total agreement with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price over the past month… And I never agreed with him on anything over the past 35 years.

The votes to continue the hostage crisis into at least mid-May were:

  1. County Judge Clay Jenkins, AKA Fire Marshal Gump (D)
  2. Commissioner, Precinct 1 Theresa Daniel (D)
  3. Commissioner, Precinct 4 Elba Garcia (D)

All left-wing Democrats.

Gump and Dallas County Health and Human Services Director Dr. Philip Huang were among many government officials relying on the wildly inaccurate COVID Act Now models as justification for strangling our economy.

Dallas County Judge Clay (Fire Marshal Gump) Jenkins babbling incoherently.

Bear in mind, the purpose of the COVID Act Now models is to perpetually keep the economy shut down:

This model updates every 3 days and is intended to help make fast decisions, not predict the future.


Covid Act Now

When Gump cited the model in the image above (March 23), Texas hospitals were on the verge of being overwhelmed with ChiCom-19 patients, if we didn’t self-immolate our economy. The model has Texas at around 2,300 hospitalizations by April 8. As of April 20, the number stood at 1,678. They have since adjusted their model downward to erase its past failures. Even then, the current model has Texas hospitals looking like the “bring out your dead” scene in Monty Python and the Holy Grail, within two weeks of releasing the hostages. I didn’t do a screen capture of the Texas model back on April 7; but I did grab one today.

https://covidactnow.org/us/tx

I did get a screen capture of New York and can compare it today’s model.

On April 8, New York has less than 16,000 hospitalized ChiCom-19 patients… But stood at the edge of the abyss.
As of April 22, New York State was still at the edge of the abyss.

So why is the organization or seemingly innocent online mapping tool using inaccurate algorithms to scaremonger leaders into tanking the economy? Politics, of course.

Founders of the site include Democratic Rep. Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins and three Silicon Valley tech workers and Democratic activists — Zachary Rosen, Max Henderson, and Igor Kofman — who are all also donors to various Democratic campaigns and political organizations since 2016. Henderson and Kofman donated to the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016, while Rosen donated to the Democratic National Committee, recently resigned Democratic Rep. Katie Hill, and other Democratic candidates. Prior to building the COVID Act Now website, Kofman created an online game designed to raise $1 million for the eventual 2020 Democratic candidate and defeat President Trump. The game’s website is now defunct.

Perhaps the goal of COVID Act Now was never to provide accurate information, but to scare citizens and government officials into to implementing rash and draconian measures. The creators even admit as much with the caveat that “this model is designed to drive fast action, not predict the future.”

They generated this model under the guise of protecting communities from overrun hospitals, a trend that is not on track to happen as they predicted. Not only is the data false, and looking more incorrect with each passing day, but the website is optimized for a disinformation campaign.

A social media share button prompts users to share their models and alarming graphs on Facebook and Twitter with the auto-fill text, “This is the point of no return for intervention to prevent X’s hospital system from being overloaded by Coronavirus.”

The Federalist

The votes to liberate the hostages at the end of April were:

  1. Commissioner, Precinct 2 J.J. Koch (R)
  2. Commissioner, Precinct 3 John Wiley Price (D)

Fortunately for us hostages, the Governor of the Great State of Texas outranks Fire Marshal Gump.

Dallas County extends stay-at-home order through May 15, but Abbott may overrule action
BY STEFAN STEVENSON
APRIL 21, 2020

Dallas County extended its coronavirus pandemic stay-at-home order through May 15, two weeks beyond the statewide order from Gov. Greg Abbott.

Tuesday’s 3-2 vote by county commissioners could be overruled by Abbott. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, who cast one of the three votes to extend the order, said he’ll leave it up to the state to decide.

[…]

Fort Worth Startle-Gram

ChiCom-19?

In my never ending effort to eliminate political correctness, I refer to all things coronavirus as ChiCom-19.

Fire Marshal Gump?

County Judge Clay Jenkins is the chief executive of Dallas County and presides over the County Commissioners Court. He looks like the Jim Carrey character, Fire Marshal Bill from In Living Color and he talks like Forrest Gump.

What do ChiCom-19 and Fire Marshal Gump have to do with using cosmic rays to predict volcanic eruptions?

Absolutely nothing.

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55 thoughts on “Using Cosmic Rays to Predict Volcanic Eruptions?

  1. Ohh…Myy…Gawd.

    Hospital admissions peaked out on CDC week 13 at ~180. OK.
    The COVID Act Now model predicts a peak of 280,000 hospitalizations if restrictions are lifted.
    More than a factor of 1000x, after the epidemic has run it’s course.
    (What’s a few orders of magnitude between friends?)
    It is –
    1) Terrifying
    Or
    2) Hilarious
    It depends on whether you can do math and understand things like charts and graphs.

    We all know that Liberals, famously, can not do math.

    Thanks for the update, maybe I can take a look at my state.

    Imaging the inner workings of a volcano with muons, OK.

  2. Good morning, David, good posting. First comments about predicting volcanic eruptions. Japan is a volcanic arc associated with a subduction zone, so the volcanoes line up at a regular distance from the subduction zone. Volcanic eruptions are traditionally predicted by increased seismic tremors (magma moving against wallrocks), hot springs heating up, ground inflation, and flow of volcanic gases (like killed campers at Mammoth Lakes, Kalifornia). I watched the Mt. St. Helens warning signals increase, and warned the FAA (utilizing my geology degrees and my FAA Air Traffic Controller Certification) not to allow flights over the volcano alt night and to keep flights away from the down-wind side during the day, as the eruption signals were accelerating dramatically. Note that this was contrary to official USGS advice (this is an andesitic volcano and they erupt fairly calmly). Cosmic Ray/muon mapping is a possible refinement of mapping the size and movement of the magma chamber, but the above monitors work very well, the problem is that the density of the monitors usually is insufficient. As Regards Dallas County held hostage by Chicom-19, here in Mendoza Province, Argentina, there are currently 45 infections in a population of 1.7 million (70 total positive, 8 deceased, and 17 cured), and we are in our fourth day without a new case, but this is day 33 of a quarantine. How can one in every 37,000 population hold a Province hostage? Politics? Fundamental change toward absolute government dependence? Wow! The Chicom-19 virus is trying to change the world into China (politically!). Stay sane and safe (play golf in your back yard with your dogs for caddies-they really like it and work for table scraps!).

    • Tuesday to tuesday new, tested, infections in our state.

      Date Total Change
      March 17 11 11 *to date
      March 24 27 16
      March 31 120 93
      April 7 221 101
      April 14 282 61
      April 21 322 40

      Even if one were to assume that these are all community spread, and my guess is a large fraction are carried in from traffic on the interstate highways, we are on the decay curve and have been for weeks. Our Governor to his credit is placing us on a track to get out of the corner we are painted into, but the usual suspects, including hand-wringers in the press and members of the medical community are trying to resist — both of these groups hold an opinion that a wave of illness will sweep over us in late May. From where I ask? Moreover, there has been a significant effort on certain parts of the medical community to help spread the disease. They think they are immune by their special circumstances.

      Various local officials have granted special exemptions in places, some officials think they have authority to maintain much stricter orders, there is fear and superstition. The barriers to completely normalcy are many. Who knows how officials will behave of the ratio week to week rises in places.

      I would suggest a more rational approach, which i have outlined for the Governor repeatedly. We’ll probably get around to it after having tried everything else.

      • I wouldn’t put it past any Dem Governor or Dem controlled State (Wash, Ore, Calif etc.) to maintain their Shelter-in-Place orders for as long as possible since it has a positive effect on emissions figures and … Damn the Economy, Full Stop Ahead!!!

    • Ron
      I’m pretty certain that there were no campers killed at the Mammoth Lakes campground. As I recollect, the forest service was curious why so many trees were dying, and investigated. They discovered that there was significant outgassing of CO2 and closed the campground precisely to prevent any campers from not waking up in the morning.

      Now, Africa is another story!

      • Clyde, you are correct, I mis-remembered. In 2006 three ski patrol members were killed at Mammoth when they were trying to fence off a hot spring that had dramatically increased in temperature, and they fell into it. Yes, a lot of trees are dying at Mammoth because of the outgassing. I tell my friends to drive quickly past Mammoth and don’t stop for anything, especially loud noises.

    • Andesite volcanoes are calm?

      Like Mt Mazama, Bezymianny, Lassen Peak, and if you want a real corker, Glacier Peak, source of some big ignimbrites? All these just to name a few.

      • Curtis, the “tend to be calm” was the USGS position, and is generally correct for a fair amount of andesitic volcanos. However, as shown by your list, they can work themselves into a more pyroclastic/explosive eruption. The mechanism for this is delayed eruption of flows and accumulation of gas in the magma chamber. The issue with Mt. St. Helens was that the north side bulged tremendously and the eruption continued to be late. The landslide unroofed the magma and the pressure drop allowed vesiculation of the magma, producing an explosive pyroclastic event.

  3. Piers Corbyn has been a promoter of the idea that volcanic activity can be forecast by solar activity. Unfortunately, following his ever more hysterical conspiracy theories about covid, and especially its links to 5G mobile, his views on anything more complex than what day it is are not to be trusted.

    • This particular method involves using muons to map the interior of volcanoes, in order to be able to measure magma movement in real-ish time. Probably not what Mr. Corbyn has been promoting.

  4. We will have an interesting experiment beginning tomorrow with several states, including my State of Oklahoma, lifting some restrictions on businesses like tatoo parlors, which have a hard time social distancing. I guess we’ll see just how effective wearing masks will be.

    I guess we will also be finding out if the protestors who did not maintain social distancing will be having an outbreak of Wuhan virus.

    I think it is people’s right to protest, but it is selfish and stupid of them not to take the maximum precautions they can take. They are endangering others by these kinds of actions. Don’t confuse patriotism with stupidity.

    Protest, and wear your mask, and keep your distance, stupid.

  5. David,
    Another interesting post although the study is more like a hiccup with only one volcano studied. I would say there is a very real connection between the study and Fire Marshal Bill; they show the opposite ends of the spectrum of scientific inquiry.
    The cosmic ray study opens the door to many possibilities for more accurate prediction of eruptions, earthquakes and even extreme weather events; it’s the SUN and cosmic ray flux! There are a huge number of areas where more real science can be used to increase our understanding of the Universe and our place in it. It used to be called the Scientific Method I believe.
    Fire Marshal Gump, on the other hand, shows what happens when politicized science (or sciency politics) is used as the basis for policy decisions. Just like the Green Raw Deal, the Chicom-19 Virus is being used to bludgeon Western democracies into something more authoritarian and less prosperous to please the perversities of our sociopathic ruling elite. We really need to have a testing system in place for detecting sociopathy and the Dunning-Kruger Effect in our leaders. The only problem would be that the majority would probably need to be replaced by those who are more competent and intelligent. At least it shouldn’t be hard to upgrade our pols judging by their words and actions!

        • So using an politically unapproved name is “embarrassing”? Really?
          This site is still great and if you disapprove so much, nobody is forcing you to read David’s posts.

          • China OWES the world $TRILLION$ for their allowing Chicom-19 to spread beyond their borders and the subsequent underhanded squashing of data to the rest of the world

            That’s it…
            From now on COVID-19 Out and Chicom-19 in

        • Swedish meatballs and Italian pizza are embarrassing also! And don’t get me started on German sausages – They are the wurst!
          (I’m soooooo woke!)

          • Swedish meatballs and German sausages might be good on a pizza… Some people put pineapple and Canadian bacon on pizza.

          • Russian dressing, Brazil nuts, Swiss cheese, Dutch apple pie, Canadian bacon, Belgian waffles, French toast, Greek salad, Jamaican jerk chicken, Cuban sandwiches, Irish stew, American cheese, English muffins, Spanish rice, Peking duck (or is it Beijing duck now?)…
            And now I find out Ebola is named after a river in Africa!

        • Yes, it should more properly be called the “Chinese Wuhan Red Death.”

          How’s that for propriety?

      • Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb ?

        The Geopolitical Virus contagion has reached the EU :
        https://www.german-foreign-policy.com/en/news/detail/8252/
        “There is a public perception that China is providing faster and more helpful support in Europe than the EU and its member states among themselves.” This, however, is a “devastating impression,” the blog quotes Brig. Gen. Armin Staigis (ret.) as saying.

        The British Scoop Jackson Society, and its lackeys, is taking point in this insane war gambit.

    • It is here.
      BTW, is making this sad note on everyone of David’s posts your only purpose in life?

  6. Prediction is difficult — especially about the future. — Yogi (misquoted)
    Volcanoes are hard to predict. Weather is hard to predict. Climate is hard to predict. Earthquakes are hard to predict. Pandemics are hard to predict.
    People fear that which is hard to predict. Those with a socialist bent will use that fear to advance their social agenda. Those with a libertarian bent will use that fear as motivation to find a non-government solution. Those with a (crony-) capitalist bent will use that fear as an excuse to fund their $upporter$ to ‘find’ solutions.

  7. There are volcanoes and then there are volcanoes. This theory only applies to volcanoes with silica rich magma which also happen to be the kind that explode violently. Going back over the records shows most of the really big ones went off during solar minimums. There are studies out there indicating this is statistically significant.

    It only takes a Krakatoa type event to set us back to where growing seasons shrink and food production can be an issue and Anak Krakatau, among others, have become more active in recent months. We shall see if we get enough activity this solar minimum to matter.

  8. Several nurses, who said they were there to support public health, faced off with the demonstrators.

    I certainly do not discount the value of nurses. But they form a bell curve just like everything else. I had a cousin who had a very bad cerebral event some years ago. The medical community did save her life, somewhat against the odds. Then, during recovery and convalescence, the medical community made two sustained and serious efforts to kill her with their “care” — once with a ventilator and once with a sedative. Without her very determined sister as an advocate they would have succeeded. Watch out for highly aggressive and marginally intelligent nurses determined to follow orders to the “t” — nowadays we probably have to add politically motivated to that list.

  9. David Middleton

    “I did get a screen capture of New York and can compare it TO today’s model.” ?

    Great post !

  10. Is there not a theory that cosmic rays cause volcanic eruptions, or at least in certain cases help to trigger them?

    • There’s a theory that covers pretty much every possibility you might ever think of.

      The total amount of energy in cosmic rays, when spread out over an area as large as a magma chamber is too small to be measured. Especially since most cosmic rays are blocked by the atmosphere, much less miles of rock.

      • It isn’t the cosmic rays that penetrate, it muons, which can go deep into the crust. These things actually have enough energy associated with them to influence the viscosity of the magma. Well worth a little research. Wiki has a good explanation of what a muon is.

      • My recollection is that the idea has to do with dissolved gasses being forced out of solution into the gas phase, increasing the pressure in the magma chamber when it is near a point where this could tip the scale.

    • Cosmic ‘rays’ are high energy particles (mostly protons) that strike the atmosphere and the earth.

      As far as I am aware there is no theory that changes in cosmic rays changes or could change the frequency of volcanic eruptions.

      The high energy cosmic particles do not change anything in the earth which could affect the volcano system. There is no possible physical interaction to build a theory on.

      This post seems almost anti science (it does not explain. it confuses) and it seems chippy about nothing which I do not like.

      There is no conflict about a science theory. There is no observation which cannot be explained or that has a false explanation.

      The high speed cosmic particles strike atoms in the atmosphere and produce a heavy electron which is called a Muon. The Muons are used to map the structure of the volcano and more importantly how the volcano changes.

      This new information may enable volcanic eruption predictions.

      Here is a real geological paradox. Paradoxes are something physical that our ‘theories’ cannot explain.

      Based on the analysis of the speed of transit of waves in the earth and the reflections of waves from changes in density in the earth, it is know that the earth contains a solid core surrounded by a liquid core.

      The earth’s core solidification Paradox is a follows:

      The earth’s liquid core temperature is a 1000 degrees Celsius higher than the temperature to cause the core crystallization to occur.

      It is a fact that some unknown (force, process, variable) is causing the earth’s core to crystallize.

      What is causing the earth’s core to crystallize?

      And in addition, there is new unequivocal observational information that the rate in which the earth’s core is crystallizing, is changing in real time.

      Challenging core belief: Have we misunderstood how Earth’s solid center formed?
      Scientists question long-held understanding in new paper

      “So, if the core is a pure (homogenous) liquid, the inner core shouldn’t exist at all because it could not have been supercooled to that extent,” Van Orman said. “And if it’s not homogeneous, how did it become so?

      “That’s the inner-core nucleation paradox.”

      https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/02/180207151842.htm

      Summary:
      Researchers are posing an important question about the formation of planet Earth’s inner core, arguing that it’s time to consider the nucleation paradox at the heart of the issue.

  11. Open the economy, let people support their families.

    Contact your governor: let them know what you think.

  12. I think there was a documentary about using Muon detectors to model the interior of the Vesuvius field area and very interesting it was too – science at its best helping to warn of changes that might otherwise lead to potentially catastrophic loss of life in a heavily populated area.

  13. Thanks, David. Enjoyed the post – as usual.

    My next comments will get me deleted – maybe for life- by the moderators.

    A lot of us are climbing the walls due be being under house arrest, despite the Bill of Rights. We need entertainment.

    [snip…I hear you, but c’mon-mod]

    Are there no existing punishments for ignoring our rights as specifically outlined by the Bill of Rights? Do we need laws at the federal level to ensure this never happens again? The Preamble discusses “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness” as being inalienable rights. Should these governors (and mayors) at least be deprived of such for their unlawful actions? Not just prison terms, but loss of citizenship at least? They are clearly scofflaws at the highest levels.

    But maybe after seeing what was done to Trump for the last three years, we’ve given up, become apathetic. Maybe just lazy. Maybe we’re willing to give up our freedom for the empty promise of safety.

  14. Truly strange times… I have been in almost total agreement with Dallas County Commissioner John Wiley Price over the past month… And I never agreed with him on anything over the past 35 years.

    Dave:

    You’ve expressed your wonderment about this more than a few times lately. Have you considered that ostensibly similar objectives might breed odd bedfellows? What I mean is, while you might want to allow the average citizen to go back to work in order that they become productive, happy citizens thereby benefiting themselves,their families, and thus society at-large, Price might need them to go back to work in order to collect his regular lot of filthy lucre?

    How many drug dealers, car thieves, influence peddlers, etc., don’t have any money to push his way during (and therefore because of) the shutdown? How many back room cuts off the top and “I’ll vote this way,” how many people he’s indirectly blackmailing and/or x number of other probable despicable acts and behaviors the FBI so far hasn’t been able to manage to pin on him but nevertheless have made him rich over the decades (deep breath) . . . won’t get him paid while the state has the economy shut down?

    I mean, Price-man got to get his prices after all, don’t he? Or do you really believe in the darkness of his coeur noir (that’s French for “black heart,” I asked my wife how to say it so I’d look really super cool and wicked smart) that his interest is his neighbor?

    I sure don’t. And I “really” (h/t Jeff) do mean that sincerely.

  15. The Japanese have become quite familiar with this muon mapping technology at the Fukashima Reactor meltdowns. They have used this technique to map out generally where the dense reactor core uranium-fission fragment once molten now solidified blobs (called: Corium) went after they melted through the primary reactor vessels onto the floor beneath the vessel.

    The denser uranium corium blocks the scattering of muons, so the corium shows up as dark patches in the 3-D images.

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