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Forecasting Volcanoes

Forecasting Volcanoes

During the first two hours of Friday's show, volcanologist Robert "R.B." Trombley, Ph.D., (swvrc.org(1)) discussed volcanic activity around the world and his ERUPTION Pro 10.5 forecasting software. Trombley currently monitors 494 active volcanoes, which have erupted at least once in the last 10,000 years. Using complex math and historical data, Trombley's forecasting software has accurately predicted 89.36% of the volcanic eruptions for 2004.
One potentially devastating volcano that Trombley cannot forecast, however, is Yellowstone. According to Trombley, Yellowstone has erupted a total of three times, the last time was 640,000 years ago. He said the problem with forecasting Yellowstone is the lack of historical data to plug into his software. Despite the insufficient data, Trombley believes Yellowstone will erupt again.
Trombley is most concerned with Mount Rainier, which he calls "the single most dangerous volcano in United States." He said Rainier has erupted 19 times and is overdue for a massive eruption on the scale of Mount St. Helens. Fortunately, there is almost no chance of Rainier erupting in 2004, Trombley concluded.

1. http://www.swvrc.org/

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