Profile

Cover photo
Dana Hunter
Lived in Seattle, WA
15,951 followers|706,228 views
AboutPostsPhotosVideos+1's
People
In her circles
137 people
Have her in circles
15,951 people
solidsurface staron's profile photo
Sachin Yadav's profile photo
Tai Minh Corporation's profile photo
Shawn Hartman's profile photo
Moon Mount's profile photo
Dustin Worrell's profile photo
Prashastha P's profile photo
Elias DeWitt (Reality Enthusiast)'s profile photo
Shawn Jameses's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Currently Beating Cell Phones into Submission by day, geoblogging by night. I write for the Scientific American Blog Network and am a proud part of FreethoughtBlogs.
Basic Information
Gender
Female
Story
Introduction
Science Blogger, SF Writer, Compleat Geology Addict, and Owner of Homicidal Felid.
Bragging rights
I finished NaNoWriMo one year. Never bloody again.
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Previously
Seattle, WA - Tempe, AZ - Flagstaff, AZ - Prescott, AZ - Sedona, AZ

Stream

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
***This post is pinned to the top. After reading, please scroll down for new content. Thanks!*** I’m still looking for a part-time job to supplement my writing income so I can stop begging off you all, but we’re not quite there yet.* I’ll need your help to make it through this month. I don’t want …
1
Tom Nathe's profile photoDana Hunter's profile photo
2 comments
 
+Tom Nathe  <3 I'll probably still need help next month if you want to pitch in a few dollars. Just don't give more than you can spare!
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
Thanks to you, my darlings, Misha and I are housed for another month! But we've still got bills to pay and food to put on the table. If you've got a bit to spare, please give us a hand. Even if you can't help by donating, sharing this post would definitely help. Thank you so much!
Thanks to our wonderful and generous readers, Misha and I have managed to keep ETEV going so far, but it’s tough out there for freelancers. Until I manage to wrangle a day job with a steady paycheck, we’ll still need your help to keep ourselves housed and fed. If you like what you read here …
5
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
Here's a word you don't often apply to a forest: eroded. We don't expect live trees to be eroded. The slope they're standing on, sure: that can erode. Maybe the soft alluvial soil down by the river erodes in a flood, leaving roots exposed and trees more prone to fall in the wind. But would you say wind or water or slope failure is "eroding timber"? Probably not.

But it turns out that the force of a directed volcanic blast is very good at eroding timber. There's really no other good way to describe what a hot, incredibly fast, powerful flow of gas and debris does to forests. It's not just that it knocks trees down: it fragments and drags them, incorporates them into itself, doing to them what water does to earth and stones, and leaving behind patterns that can be read by geologists as they determine what the directed blast did.
5
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
****UPDATE: I got word that some of you are having trouble getting the Donate button to work. If it asks for an email addy, use dhunterauthor @ yahoo. Remove the spaces and add .com. Easy-peasy! If…
1
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
A falling tent heralded catastrophe.

Until the summer dry season comes, things in the Pacific Northwest are perpetually wet. Edward Smith and his companions, camped 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Mount St. Helens, had set their tent on its side to dry out. At 8:32 am, an unusually strong wind gusted, again, and again: the tent tumbled, and a sound like a trio of rifle shots sounded. The surrounding pressure seemingly changed; they found themselves forced to the ground. And then the leading, black edge of the blast cloud soared overhead. Chunks of juvenile gray dacite fell like hail, some as large as golf balls. In the rock rain, Edward and his companions watched the cloud rush to the north before abruptly pulling back to the south. Blue sky appeared, briefly, though the black cloud never completely left his sight. Then the interlude ended. The blackness roared back. A cedar fell; seconds later, he told geologists, "there were no trees left." They tumbled in eerie silence, in eerie stillness, no sensation of the blast that ripped them down. "Whatever happened," Edward said, "it happened over our head."
5
2
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
A few seconds after the beginning of the directed blast, life within roughly ten kilometers (6.2 miles) of Mount St. Helens within the blast zone was about to be extinguished.

"Directed blasts," Rick Hoblitt, Dan Miller, and James Vallance wrote in their 1981 paper on the blast deposits, "typically devastate large areas... and kill essentially all above-ground life within these areas." Human and animal, arthropod and avian, tree, bush and flower, all perished. Between its kinetic and heat energy, the directed blast released the equivalent of 24 megatons of energy in a few short moments. This is one megaton short of the theoretical yield of the largest hydrogen bombs the United States ever created; the first nuclear bombs to destroy a city were only 15 and 21 kilotons, respectively - orders of magnitude smaller. Instruments measuring the blast saw "amplitude variations comparable to those caused by detonation of nuclear devices in the 1-10 mt [megaton] range."

There are words for eruptions like this. They belong to the Volcanic Explosivity Index. The qualitative description for Mount St. Helens's climactic eruption is "paroxysmal," but it achieved a mere "very large" as a descriptor. Some versions of the VEI become speechless at that point; others scale up to "huge," "humongous" and "indescribable."
7
5
Add a comment...
In her circles
137 people
Have her in circles
15,951 people
solidsurface staron's profile photo
Sachin Yadav's profile photo
Tai Minh Corporation's profile photo
Shawn Hartman's profile photo
Moon Mount's profile photo
Dustin Worrell's profile photo
Prashastha P's profile photo
Elias DeWitt (Reality Enthusiast)'s profile photo
Shawn Jameses's profile photo

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
We continue our journey through the USGS database full of delicious Mount St. Helens photos. Today, I have a fine selection spanning before, during, and after the May 18 1980 eruption. Enjoy!
4
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
Geologists did a lot of talking to trees in the aftermath of Mount St. Helens's eruption. They had a lot of questions, and the trees had a lot of answers*.

Few talked to the trees as extensively as Richard Waitt. He was investigating the blast deposits, and found the trees to be quite helpful. His work in the field led him to identify three primary layers: A1, the base, was pretty full of gravel. A2, the next level up, was a coarse sand, and the final, A3, a fine air-fall sand.** Throughout those layers were trees and bits thereof, and he queried them closely to figure out the progress of the lateral blast and how it had left its deposits.
Geologists did a lot of talking to trees in the aftermath of Mount St. Helens’s eruption. They had a lot of questions, and the trees had a lot of answers*.
5
1
Vicky Veritas's profile photo
 
Amazing tale of survival! Thank you, +Dana Hunter!
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
See all that lovely damage? To scientists, it's lovely data. You can't precisely create a directed blast in the lab - for one thing, people the next lab over may become upset, and for another, I'm not sure we could build stratovolcanoes in the 1980s. Not that I'm sure we could now. But what we did have were auto parts catalogs, forced-air ovens, and silicone oil. Norman Banks and Rick Hoblitt availed themselves of all.
10
3
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
The conversation might have gone something like this:

Geologists: "Hey, boss person, we need to order vehicle parts and then destroy them. For science!"

Boss person: "Ummm... okay."

The thing is, things happen to vehicles when they're caught up in a directed blast. What the volcano did to them can tell us a lot about what was taking place inside that blast cloud. Vehicles in the blast zone at Mount St. Helens sustained all sorts of damage.
6
Add a comment...

Dana Hunter

Shared publicly  - 
 
For most survivors of Mount St. Helens's catastrophic lateral blast, the devastation was nearly silent. You would think that a wall of ash, hot gas and rock hurtling at a minimum of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph), mangling vehicles and ripping down every tree in its path, would be loud, incredibly loud - but only one witness reported hearing much more than a rumbling sound. Some said it sounded "like a freight train," others that it was similar to a prop plane or jet. Some said the rumbling was loud, a roar: others described it as soft, "barely audible." This close to the mountain, the cloud seemed to destroy even its own sound. In the debris-laden cloud, "sound was attenuated more than 10,000 times as rapidly as in clear air." Witnesses described the approaching cloud as a "wall," and like a wall, it served to mute sounds, leaving no more than an eerie rumble to audibly signal its approach.

It did not look so calm as it sounded.
2
Add a comment...
Dana Hunter's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
Looking For Detachment: Lida Summit Roadcut
highway8a.blogspot.com

When I pulled up to Lida Summit two years ago—I was on my way to a property examination and had decided to check out the Lida and Palmetto a

Announcing the Atheist, Humanist, and Skeptic History Index
freethoughtblogs.com

Politics. Sex. Science. Art. You know, the good stuff.

SOS Earth Science
www.aophomeschooling.com

Reaffirm your homeschool student's understanding of God's creation with Switched-On Schoolhouse Earth Science from Alpha Omega Publications!

Just in Time for Christmas! All the Gargantuan Guides in One Place! | Ro...
blogs.scientificamerican.com

Do you still have gifts to buy? Don't want to leave the comfort of your home or office? Are you dreading the very thought of stepping ...

Abandoning All Y'all For Oregon
entequilaesverdad.blogspot.com

My intrepid companion, Sony Cyber-shot and I are off to Oregon. We should have plenty of lovely pics and interesting tidbits when we get bac

Oreogeny! The Compleat Sequence | Rosetta Stones, Scientific American Bl...
blogs.scientificamerican.com

Did you know you can illustrate geology with food? It's true! And tasty. Just about every foodstuff can be dragooned in the interests of edu

Exclusive Sneak Preview of Metamorphic Madness | Rosetta Stones, Scienti...
blogs.scientificamerican.com

Oh, my darlings, will I have treats for you! Lockwood and I are in the midst of our geoextravaganza tour down the Oregon coast and across ..

Vaginas invade Michigan
whitecoatunderground.com

In medicine, it’s generally a good idea to tell things like they are. If a resident asks me what to expect when opening an abscess, I should

Keep Religion Out of Health Care
freethoughtblogs.com

Don't let this decision be made without you. Voice your opinion.

Apology from the AAI President
www.atheistalliance.org

Atheist Alliance International (AAI) is the umbrella organization of atheist groups and individuals around the world committed to promoting

On Sexual Harassment | Richard Carrier Blogs
freethoughtblogs.com

Thunderf00t's post today on the ongoing sexual harassment policy debate (titled MISOGYNIST!!!) has already generated nearly 600 comments (an

I | En Tequila Es Verdad
freethoughtblogs.com

You want to know about Dana Hunter, then, do you? I'm a science blogger, SF writer, compleat geology addict, Gnu Atheist, and owner of a - e

All You Seattle-Area Folks Wanna See a Summer Play, Right? | En Tequila ...
freethoughtblogs.com

So there's a little bit of a lot, here. You've got literature, you've got Cuban-American culture, you've got the Roaring Twenties, you've go

Annoying Church sign of the Day: Friends. « Stupid Evil Bastard
stupidevilbastard.com

Every day as I commute into work I pass by a church sign next to the freeway. Like many other church signs, it has a spot for witticisms and

Charles Southwell: “The Singularly Perverse Character of Human Intellect...
freethoughtblogs.com

My reading of 18th and 19th century freethinkers continues apace. Charles Southwell – radical bookseller, socialist “missionary,” publisher,

Off to the Blast Zone | En Tequila Es Verdad
freethoughtblogs.com

This means I'll have limited access to the intertoobz, and first-time commenters will be stuck in moderation until I can set you loose. Sorr

The Right to Bear Arms
freethoughtblogs.com

What occurred in Connecticut was absolute pandemonium. The scenes were completely grizzly and judging from the comments it has polarised the

Not one more execution | Maryam Namazie
freethoughtblogs.com

Don't forget that today is the international day of protest against executions and for the release of political prisoners in Iran. Join this

Freethought Friday: “Whom Shall We Thank?” | En Tequila Es Verdad
freethoughtblogs.com

I have now read and marked up dozens of books by freethinkers of the past, including eleven of twelve volumes of Robert G. Ingersoll. In rea