Accession Number : ADA112420

Title :   Comparison of Mount Saint Helens Volcanic Eruption to a Nuclear Explosion.

Descriptive Note : Technical note,

Corporate Author : DOD NUCLEAR INFORMATION ANALYSIS CENTER SANTA BARBARA CA

Personal Author(s) : Gould,Kenneth E

PDF Url : ADA112420

Report Date : 01 Jan 1981

Pagination or Media Count : 27

Abstract : The phenomena and effects of airblast, ground shock, thermal radiation, cratering and ejecta, and debris cloud and deposition from the eruption of Mt. St. Helens were compared to those that would result from a nuclear explosion to determine if phenomena or effects were analogous and thus might provide useful data for military nuclear weapon effects studies. It is concluded that the phenomena are not analogous. In particular, airblast destruction was caused by clouds of ash driven by subsonic winds, rather than by a supersonic shock wave that would be the damage mechanism of a nuclear explosion. Because of the lack of analogy between the eruption and nuclear explosion phenomena, it appears questionable that any of the effects are analogous; therefore, it is unlikely that anything more of military interest can be gained from studying the effects of the eruption. However, key contacts for further information on the eruption and the associated research studies are given. The comparison of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens to the explosion of a 10- to 20-megaton nuclear weapon is misleading. Such comparisons serve no useful purpose and should be avoided. (Author)

Descriptors :   *VOLCANOES, *NUCLEAR EXPLOSIONS, COMPARISON, ANALOGIES, BLAST, GROUND SHOCK, THERMAL RADIATION, CRATERING, CLOUDS, DEBRIS

Subject Categories : Geology, Geochemistry and Mineralogy

Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE