Volcanic Eruption Threat: Mount Rainier in Washington, USA

Mount Rainier

Credit: Public domain photo, by NPS.

Mount Rainier is the tallest mountain in the state of Washington, and in the Cascades Mountain Range, and is an active stratovoclano.[1][2]

Things that melt: Glaciers on top of huge volcanoes

The most massive stratovolcano of the Cascades Mountain Range is located arbor place seattle in close proximity to the Seattle and Tacoma metropolitan areas. Due to potential catastrophic damage in the case of sudden melting of the mountain’s glaciers, which could also include a massive eruption, Mount Rainier is on the list of the world’s most potentially dangerous volcanoes.[1]

The volcano has been relatively quiet for over a thousand years, with only a few smaller eruptive events in recent centuries. However, the volcano is certainly still active and due for a larger eruption someday, although no one can predict when it will occur.[1]

The last sizable eruptions known took place about 2,200 and 1,100 years ago,[2] although they were smaller than what occurred with another Washington stratovolcano, Mount St. Helens, in 1980.[3] The most recent small eruptive event took place in 1894.[2]

Glacial ice on the mountain is estimated at about one cubic mile, and a major cause for concern.[1] This quantity of ice calculates to 4.2 billion tons of ice. Imagine all of this melting quickly in response to eruptive activity, or to hot magma rising within the mountain. It would flood down the slopes, and much of it would slam into and across the nearby heavily populated areas on its way to Puget Sound.[1]

Note: In this article I use some basic volcanology terms, which are defined in Types of Volcanoes and Volcanology Terms. 

Mount Rainier towering over Tacoma, Washington.

Credit: Public domain photo courtesy of USGS.

Mount Rainier towers over Tacoma, Washington. Much of this city of over 200,000 residents lies directly in the potential pathway of massive lahars, or volcanic mud and debris flows, in the event of eruptive activity from the volcano.[1]

Mount Rainier’s history shows what it can do

The stratovolcano has existed, and has been active, for at least 500,000 years.[1] Numerous eruptions have occurred,[2] although I would like to focus on the largest one of the past 10,000 years, which occurred in about downtown seattle condos 3,600 BC.[2]

The event, called the Osceola Mudflow, was an eruption that caused one cubic mile (about four cubic kilometers) of material to come down the northeast side of the mountain. The debris flow, or lahar, is an indication of what could happen again sometime. [1]

When Mount St. Helens, located 50 miles (80 km) southwest of Mount Rainier, had its major eruption in 1980, the resulting lahar was far smaller.[3] In fact, the amount of material that flowed down the flanks of Mount Rainier was 1,400 times the quantity.

Consider that Mount St. Helens was the largest avalanche of material humans have ever observed,[5] and it shows that we have not at all seen what nature is capable of doing. What Mount Rainier has done is far scarier. It completely altered the surrounding terrain, as flows hundreds of feet thick ran into and across much of Puget Sound.[1]

This eruption from 5,600 years ago is relevant today is because the quantity of material that comprised the lahar is almost exactly the same as the quantity of ice that now sits on top of the mountain in the form of glaciers. Much of this ice, plus other rock, soil, and debris, could come crashing down across Tacoma and downtown Seattle, and send tsunamis across Puget Sound.[1]

Consider this: Zoning restrictions due to volcanic hazards are non-existent. Currently there are more than 150,000 people living below Mount Rainier, whose homes sit on old mud flows from the volcano, particularly the Osceola Mudflow. This indicates that these homes are certainly in the potential path of destruction.[1]

Mount Rainier with clouds

Credit: Public domain image courtesy of NPS.

Jed Etters

Only four mountains in the contiguous 48 states have a peak with a higher elevation than Mount Rainier, and none of them are volcanoes. They are Mount Whitney in California, and three peaks in Colorado.[4]

Mount Rainier as it is now

This massive stratovolcano is the tallest mountain in the state of Washington, and in the Cascades Mountain Range. The peak sits at 14,411 feet (4,392 meters), and the mountain towers 13,000 feet (3,960 meters) above the nearby metropolitan areas.[1] It is simultaneously very beautiful and scary.

It is a wonderful national park with skiing, mountain climbing, camping, and many exciting activities. Climbing the mountain is considered dangerous, but not due to the eruption threat.  Thousands succeed at reaching the summit every year. Most take routes that originate from Camp Muir on the southeast flank of the volcano. Only half of the attempts are successful, because adverse weather and problems related to the physical conditioning of the hikers often result in attempts having to being aborted.[1]

As many as seven small eruptions occurred in the 19th century,[2] although the volcano is currently being relatively quiet. Small earthquakes originating inside the mountain occur all the time (typically several per month),[1] which will someday culminate in another eruption. When and how big are unknown.

Where I live in Southern California, we prepare for large earthquakes, which hit every so often. We’re overdue for a really big one, magnitude 7.5 or greater. There are earthquake drills in the public schools, and residents are encouraged to make items in their homes secure. There are also strict building codes.

Washington state has potential for larger earthquakes than Southern California, possibly as large as 9.0,[6] originating with the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the coast, and they have the volcanoes as well, which will strike again someday. Compared with a human lifespan, eruptions and super-size earthquakes are few and far between. However, when one hits there will be a lot of problems despite whatever preparations have been made.

Preparation can, however, minimize the problems that will result. So volcanic activity is closely monitored, and warning systems are in place including sirens, such as might exist in coastal areas prone to tsunamis coming across the ocean due to a large earthquake. Residents take part in drills that include getting to higher ground, which would be necessary in the event of massive flooding.[1]

A lahar flowing northwest, toward Tacoma, could reach Puget Sound within one hour of the eruption, so time is short but not so instantaneous that residents living beneath Mount Rainier would be entirely unable to react.[1]

Mountain climbing on Mount Rainier

Credit: Photo is from Wikipedia, by Troymason, CC BY 2.0.

Mountain climbers traverse one of the glaciers upon Mount Rainier on an attempt to reach the high summit.


In medical marijuana states, ‘pot doctors’ push boundaries

The green-typeface slogan “WE’ED like to be your doctor!” -unmistakably weed-friendly – has attracted hundreds of medical marijuana patients in less than a year to Dr. Bodo Schneider’s clinics in southern Illinois and suburban Chicago.

In New Jersey, Dr. Anthony Anzalone has a similar following at his three clinics, marketed online with a marijuana leaf logo and a “DrMarijuanaNJ” web address.

The two marijuana-friendly doctors in states with similar laws face starkly different treatment by government regulators. When it comes to oversight of boundary-pushing doctors, enforcement practices vary in the 23 states allowing medical cannabis.

Illinois has taken a tough posture. Schneider, a former emergency room doctor, may get his license revoked in a medical board case getting underway Tuesday. Accused of charging patients for marijuana recommendations without a legitimate doctor-patient relationship, he’s the third Illinois physician to face punishment related to medical marijuana in a state where legal sales only started this month.

“I understand why they don’t want everybody and their uncle opening up a marijuana stand,” said Schneider’s attorney, Luke Baumstark. “But I think the regulators have gone after a very high percentage of the people who have tried to use this law at all. It’s over-aggressive.”

New Jersey has taken no disciplinary action against Anzalone, a gynecologist, or any other doctor related to medical marijuana since sales started three years ago, according to Jeff Lamm, spokesman for the state’s Board of Medical Examiners.

“The state’s been very good to me,” Anzalone said in a phone interview. “We’re complying with the law as best we can. … All I’m doing is the job other doctors don’t want to do.”

Indeed, pot doctors fill a void left by physicians unfamiliar with marijuana’s health benefits and fearful of endorsing what the federal government regards as a controlled substance, cannabis advocates say.

Schneider is a “godsend to patients” in southern Illinois, where two major health care organizations actively prevent their doctors from recommending marijuana, said Dan Linn of the Illinois chapter of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.

Writing a law to restrict how doctors recommend marijuana seattle recreational dispensaries is tricky. Lawmakers in Illinois, New marijuana effects Jersey and other states have tried to avoid California’s drop-in, instant how to quit smoking weed exams by attempting to define in legislation a legitimate doctor-patient relationship. Laws commonly call for a “bona fide” relationship with a physical exam and review of medical records. New Jersey doctors must register in a publicly viewable database and take courses in addiction medicine and pain management.

Even in two more tolerant states – Colorado and California – how governments oversee pot doctors has become an issue.

In Colorado, where medical marijuana has been legal since 2000, more than 115,000 people hold medical recommendations because they’re either too young to buy recreational pot or because they prefer a lower tax rate and higher possession limits. Colorado health authorities have grappled for years with ways to curb suspect pot recommendations.

Colorado physicians are barred from working out of dispensaries or having any financial stake in the marijuana business. As in other states, they’re required to examine patients in person once a year.

The Colorado Medical Board says it has sanctioned at least six physicians since 2009 for violating pot regulations, though details of those cases aren’t public. In 2013, one physician received three years’ probation after being convicted of making an improper pot recommendation to an undercover police officer.

In notoriously permissive California, a “Get Baked Sale” of marijuana food products in June had doctors on hand to provide on-the-spot patient recommendations. The state, which was the first to legalize medical cannabis, has disciplined only eight doctors in 20 years for improper marijuana recommendations.

California’s laid-back approach may change. The state recently enacted growing cannabis legislation to require the Medical Board to crack down on doctors who write recommendations without a proper patient exam or valid medical reason.

In Illinois, regulators alerted doctors soon after the medical marijuana law passed in 2013 that one doctor shouldn’t set up shop to treat all the eligible medical conditions, which range from glaucoma to HIV and cancer.

“The Department will continue to closely scrutinize instances where a physician’s practice exists solely to offer medical cannabis certifications,” said Terry Horstman, spokesman for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Supporters fear that Illinois’ harsh stance discourages mainstream doctors from participating and that this pushes patients into the arms of a few pot doctors who may be unmotivated to follow up on patients’ overall health concerns.

Said Chris Lindsey of the Marijuana Policy Project, a national group that supports legally regulated marijuana: “Having a few well known clinics in the state that clearly follow the rules can be a valuable resource, both to patients who otherwise have few options, and for doctors who would prefer to make a referral.”




Creation of the demand:

Reading books is a craze for some due to the people who write it. The people are able to display the writing only because they are published, hence ‘the publishers’ are the source of the creators of reading. When you write a book or any kind of script, either you publish it yourself on the editorial section of a newspapers or books that created the demand for your writing! You could also publish your writing in the magazines or on the internet (in the current day). Readers differ and hence, the demand also differs. The reader’s demand can be gauged and analyzed based on the sales of the books or the feedback given for those articles written in the papers. The genre under which the process of writing is established have to segregated and decided. Some of the cartoon based stories are still in the go as per the demand of the readers. The best example would be ‘Dennis the Menace’ which was first started by Hank Ketcham, is still in the go for continuous demand from nineteen hundred and fifty one. It has the same demand as it had in the initial stage. Readers enjoy the fact that the character in the cartoon ‘Dennis’ never has grown. These are some of the instances that ‘tweaks’ the inquisitiveness of the readers to induce reading and hence, increase the demand for the write-ups.

Sources of Publishers:

There are different sources to publish your article or writing. Publishers out there would publish the books for a price. Nowadays, the trend of e-books is in the demand and hence this reduces the cost to an extent for a writer. The sites who publish the writing ask the writers to buy a couple of copies in order to build the demand accordingly. This is a way of developing and creating the demand for writing. There can be more of writing done on the websites. This is called as the content writing which is paid as per the agreed terms between the writer and publisher.

The first step to be undertaken before the publishing of the article is done is to get the registered number for the publishing the particular book. The rights of publishing the book has to restore with the author and for this the ISBN number has to be purchased by the writer from the isbn.org for an amount that would range about a hundred and above dollars. This is to safeguard the copy write of publishing the book. There should be complete care taken in this regard so that the effort put on the writing is safeguarded and looked into with elegant publishing!This reveals thefact that the work is safe with the registered number and the writer is the lone person for the royalty towards the book. There can be many publishers with different demands of cost. In the era of e-books, the cost of design is also reduced to a large extent. There can be offers that are given by the publisher’s platform. These can be chosen for publishing the writing so that it would be cost effective.