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#1 2004-03-16 02:13:14

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

I've just found a newspaper article from the Sunday Herald Sun of Jan. 4th 2004, an Australian newspaper. I'd intended to post it at New Mars but it disappeared into a drawer and evaded my attention until now.
    It appeared under the same headings I've used for this Topic and describes a looming threat to civilisation which may be more real, more imminent and just as destructive as a major asteroid impact.

    I'll quote from the text of the article:-

Deadly Threat To Mankind.
    The super volcano below America's Yellowstone National Park has been showing signs of increased activity. If it blows, it will unleash millions of tonnes of ash and molten rock into the atmosphere. The volcano's caldera - or collapsed crater - is about 85 km long and 50 km wide, and underneath is a vast chamber of molten rock. Historically, the super volcano has erupted every 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago.

    It goes on to say:-

A leading expert on hazards facing the planet has predicted it could blow at any time.
    If and when it does, all life within an 800 km radius would be destroyed, and the ash produced will block out the Sun, producing a form of much-feared nuclear winter that has the capacity to destroy mankind.
    Even if the U.S. survived the blast, there is little doubt its period of global dominance would end, leaving the way open for another superpower, possibly China, to reign unchallenged.

    To give you an idea of the possible imminence of this catastrophe, the author of the article describes some worrying events:-

Experts monitoring seismic activity within the park became alarmed last year when the ground grew unusually hot and thermal springs became more volatile.
    This led to a temporary closure of the park.
    Experts called in to discover the causes of these phenomena found a 700 m long bulge beneath Lake Yellowstone.
    They calculated it had already risen 30 m from the lake floor, and could explode any time.

    They included a map of the potentially affected area, radius 800 km, and it includes Vancouver, Seattle, Great Falls, Salt Lake City, Las Vegas, Denver, Phoenix and Albequerque. It's a grim prospect.

    Maybe this is one of the reasons President Bush has decided to go back to the Moon. Perhaps it's becoming urgent that America establishes itself somewhere off-planet and Mars is too far away - the Moon will be quicker. Mars may be just a cover story(?).
    How's THAT for a conspiracy theory?!!    tongue


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#2 2004-03-16 04:05:14

Algol
Member
From: London
Registered: 2003-04-25
Posts: 196

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Apparently the last time it blew it covered the whole of north-america in 20 metres of ash! Thats not something the rain is just going to wash away. sad

Bill Brysons : A Short History of Nearly Everything, has a good chapter on imminent natural disasters - makes you stop and think  ???

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#3 2004-03-16 06:15:26

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

It appeared under the same headings I've used for this Topic and describes a looming threat to civilisation which may be more real, more imminent and just as destructive as a major asteroid impact.

I've heard of this threat before...this very thing has been gone over in a TV program called "Supervolcano", which I've have yet to see, but some of my friends have.  One of the people that I know that saw the show thinks there may have been an "Atlantis"-type civilization prior to the last super volcanic eruption, but who knows what could have existed that long in the past. 

The problem is, if this threat was ever percieved by the public as a real one; as something that could potentially take place in a few years, the global economy would be utterly devastated.  All the world's nations would pull their money and investments out of the U.S., trade would dwindle, and America would literally go bankrupt as millions of people quit their jobs and default on their home mortgages and debts, especially in areas near Yellowstone.  The U.S. government, with little or no money to spend, would be forced to implement martial law and and an artificial economy, which would probably cause further chaos in a land that has never experienced being in a true police state with the government having total control over the population and its daily activities.

For this reason, it would behoove the feds to keep mum about this "threat" whether it's real or not, for if it doesn't happen, goody, things proceed as before.  If it does happen with little or no public warning, hopefully the government would still have enough resources at its disposal to save as many people as possible.  (Guess this means we'd have to occupy South America, as the worst of the effects would be in the Northern Hemisphere...but I'm not too sure about how well Brazil, Argentina and Chile would accept millions of American refugees coming into their nations, even under the threat of devastating warfare... yikes

Kinda scary to even think about....I'm going to bet my chips that this turns out to be a misunderstanding of the geological processes taking place under Yellowstone... ???

B

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#4 2004-03-16 11:25:59

SBird
Banned
Registered: 2004-03-10
Posts: 490

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

The Yellowstone caldera is a bit worrisome but it is unlikely to erupt in the near future.  In fact, some recent evidence seems to indicate that it might be going extinct. 

It has been assumed that the Yellowstone activity is due to a hot spot like the one under Hawaii and Iceland.  You can actually follow the North American plate's progress across this hotspot by following volcanic geological features out West.  The Snake river valley was basically formed when the N. American plate kinda melted like butter over a flame as it passed over the hotspot.  The huge basalt floods millions of years ago that repaved most of Eastern Washiington with 50 feet of volcanic rock were probably a result of this action as well.  You can even see a shift in the direction of the hotspot movement that corresponds to the crustal plates getting knocked out of whack when India hit Asia millions of years ago.  (The same dogleg is why the Hawaiian islands change directions as they receed back towards Alaska.  This includes older islands that have since receeded under the water)

However, a recent meta survey of seismological data reveals the locations of various hotspots.  (hotspots are basically the result of how the mantle convects from the heat it receives from the core.  Because of the particular physical conditions involved, the upwellings tend to occur in thin columns) The hotspot expected under Yellowstone was not found.  This might also explain why Yellowstone just has hot springs and the like instead of more aggregious volcanic activity.  Although it's nota clsoed case, Yellowstone doesn't appear to be a large threat.  ( a recent flurry of reports of increased geological activity appear to have been a hoax)  Although the US government might have information containment policies, I can't see the information being kept secret.  Too many of the researchers at Yellowstone are academics with grad students.  Keeping secrets in that environment is nearly impossible.

However, there has been increased activity in an ancient caldera in CAlifornia.  (can't remember the name of the volcano, though)  If it erupts again, it could be in the same order of magnitude as Yellowstone.

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#5 2004-03-16 20:38:15

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Many thanks, SBird!    smile

    That was a fascinating and very educational reply. It's certainly good to hear a more balanced and less sensationalised report on the Yellowstone situation ... quite a relief, too!!

    That California volcano you mentioned could be a problem, though. I guess we can only hope that nothing happens in our lifetimes or our children's and grandchildren's.


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#6 2004-03-17 06:27:34

Byron
Member
From: Florida, USA
Registered: 2002-05-16
Posts: 844

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

That was a fascinating and very educational reply. It's certainly good to hear a more balanced and less sensationalised report on the Yellowstone situation ... quite a relief, too!!

Yes, I agree!  smile

Enough of this doom-and-gloom stuff...life's way too short to get all twisted up in a knot about this kind of thing... ???

B

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#7 2004-03-17 07:02:01

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

And you're absolutely right, Byron, that we shouldn't "get all twisted up in a knot about this kind of thing...".
    Before SBird educated me about the full facts of the matter, I was thinking scary thoughts about how Yellowstone is 40,000 years overdue for a major eruption! I was also thinking it had been about the same time interval since the appearance of Cro-Magnon man.
    Just imagine! Ever since the dawn of modern man, we've been blissfully unaware that Yellowstone was hanging over our heads - possibly due to explode any minute. And wouldn't it be ironic if, no sooner than we recognised the danger, the damned thing decided to blow!
    And what further irony, that we're finally discussing planet-killing events, like asteroid impacts, and taking the threat seriously, and finally thinking about becoming a two-planet species for safety's sake, and then we get annihilated just before we actually do something about it!

    What a cosmic joke that would be!     yikes


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#8 2004-03-17 10:41:20

SBird
Banned
Registered: 2004-03-10
Posts: 490

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

I was posting on Slashdot recently and arguing with someone who supported the shutdown of Hubble so that we could get to Mars faster so that we could survive an asteroid impact.

I pointed out the following:
1: We've gotten along fine being blissfully aware until about 100 years ago of the threat of asteroids  - it's not worth getting worked up over.
2: The Hubble cancellation saves an amount of money that's pocket change compared to the planned trip to Mars.
3: The Hubble and scopes like it are useful for asteroid defence because of their imaging ability.

Of course, I was probably wasting my time, trying to educate somone on Slashdot... roll

Anyways, I'm much more worried about the fact that Seattle is overdue for a magnitude 9 quake that will also probably cause Mt. Ranier to slough off a couple thousand feet of elevation in a giant landslide that will bury anything left standing after the quake's done with it...

There's actually a realy interesting bit of detective work involving local geology and Japanese tsunami records that they used to figure out how bit Puget Sound quakes are if anyone's interested.

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#9 2004-03-17 11:37:57

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

...so that we could get to Mars faster so that we could survive an asteroid impact.

*I understand the "eggs in one basket" point of debate utilized in these sorts of discussions; but on the other hand, let's recall that Mars is just that much closer to the Asteroid Belt than Earth is (MUCH closer...). 

I prefer other points of persuasion in discussions concerning going to Mars.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#10 2004-03-17 11:58:57

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

That Yellowstone story has been going around the net too long...

It is, again, a successful case of spinning of words by doom- prophets, made easy by our modern access.

Don't worry, there's no reason to, some idiots that try to see thing that aren't there write something vaguely coherent, and it gets picked up by popular press, too lazy to check their sourses, again. Sigh. After a while the truth gets so diluted with rumour, it's barely impossible to get your facts straight. I bet the geologists are sleeping peaceful,  wake up grumbly when they read the sensationalist headlines in the newsstands, and try to shrug it off, knowing there's no cure for modern-day 'forget-the-facts-but-try-to-sell' media-frenzy...

And i use too much '-' in my posts, sorry...

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#11 2004-03-18 02:47:54

Shaun Barrett
Member
From: Cairns, Queensland, Australia
Registered: 2001-12-28
Posts: 2,843

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Oops! Sorry I raised the subject of Yellowstone. I didn't realise when I did it that it was such old news and I made the asinine error of assuming the newspaper reporter had at least the main points of the story correct!
    I shoulda known better.
                                             sad


The word 'aerobics' came about when the gym instructors got together and said: If we're going to charge $10 an hour, we can't call it Jumping Up and Down.   - Rita Rudner

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#12 2004-03-18 10:03:14

SBird
Banned
Registered: 2004-03-10
Posts: 490

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Well, the Yellowstone news is actually only a few months old.  Until they found the hotspot was gone (this still needs to be confirmed, BTW), Yellowstone had remained a significant threat.  In fact, it could still erupt again - even though the hotspot is gone, there could be enough active lava to power another eruption.

Although I'm not a terribly big fan of modern media, I'm glad they error on the side of being too alarmist rather than too complacent.

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#13 2004-03-18 12:24:18

Rxke
Member
From: Belgium
Registered: 2003-11-03
Posts: 3,667

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

big_smile  Shaun, no worries, *a lot* of people took up the Yellowstone story, from different sources, i was only grumpy because i try to quit smoking, and i ran into a heated debate about it, 1;2 months ago... Then the 'issue' was a lot less muddled, now it's a mess, virtually inpenatatable w/o a lot of searching for 'the truth'
IIRC i think slashdot ran a good story debunking it, some weeks ago....

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#14 2005-04-11 13:28:48

Palomar
Member
From: USA
Registered: 2002-05-30
Posts: 9,734

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

*A comment here (rather than in the "Active Terran Volcanoes" thread), as it's strictly on-topic for what *might* happen at Yellowstone -- in reference to Shaun's original post.

Did anyone see "Supervolcano" on the Discovery Channel last night?

I didn't care for it.  I would have preferred a documentary format instead of actors and actresses gaping, gesticulating and gasping through their information-load-dumping lines.  roll  I prefer the more straightforward approach.

Basically I got tired of "doomsday" scenarios as a kid (my parents' "End-Times" crazy church).  This is supposedly predicated on science, though, so I've paid some attention to it.

Another issue with the show which puzzled me is WHY all the British actors?  This sort of attitude is rare for me, because I'm an inclusive person.  Sure, if Yellowstone were to blow, it'd effect more than just the U.S.  Maybe England will try to take over again, in the event?   tongue  :laugh:  But seriously, it was odd watching 3 actors having coffee in San Francisco and discussing the possible impending blow-out, and 2 of them are British.  :hm:  The program already had every American race and ethnicity presented in the show (and of course a broad spectrum of national citizens should be present)...but do we really have to include a marked international presence as well?  Are we "bad Americans" if we don't?

I just thought it rather odd.  When I think of Yellowstone, I don't think of scones and tea...sorry.

--Cindy


We all know those Venusians: Doing their hair in shock waves, smoking electrical coronas, wearing Van Allen belts and resting their tiny elbows on a Geiger counter...

--John Sladek (The New Apocrypha)

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#15 2017-08-19 07:59:43

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Rather than start a new topic lets try and keep it from being political....

Nasa's ambitious plan to save Earth from a SuperVolcano explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.

There are around 20 known supervolcanoes on Earth, with major eruptions occurring on average once every 100,000 years.  Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.”

Yellowstone currently leaks about 60-70% of the heat coming up from below into the atmosphere, via water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks. The remainder builds up inside the magma, enabling it to dissolve more and more volatile gases and surrounding rocks. Once this heat reaches a certain threshold, then an explosive eruption is inevitable.

Instead Nasa have conceived a very different plan. They believe the most viable solution could be to drill up to 10km down into the supervolcano, and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46bn (£2.69bn), it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years.

So free geothermal energy which would cost to implement but would secure safety for the world.

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#16 2017-08-19 08:11:35

SpaceNut
Administrator
From: New Hampshire
Registered: 2004-07-22
Posts: 23,096

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

topic artifacts removed much better reading....

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#17 2017-08-19 16:06:29

Terraformer
Member
From: Logres
Registered: 2007-08-27
Posts: 3,362
Website

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

I wonder what the reaction would be from such a proposal? Would we see "no drilling" protests?

Though, it would mean a trade-off between the risk of triggering a premature eruption and the certainty of an eruption occurring at an unknown time. Trading of uncertainty of time for uncertainty of eruption.


"I guarantee you that at some point, everything's going to go south on you, and you're going to say, 'This is it, this is how I end.' Now you can either accept that, or you can get to work." - Mark Watney

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#18 2017-12-12 14:30:18

Rusakov
Banned
Registered: 2012-12-19
Posts: 34

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

It's probably best to trust what the United States Geological Survey says about Yellowstone: https://volcanoes.usgs.gov/vhp/updates.html#yvo

In short: carry on with your day lasses and chaps, nothing worth worrying about here. cool

Last edited by Rusakov (2017-12-12 14:30:37)


SWAT Kats fanatic

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#19 2021-07-14 06:15:45

Mars_B4_Moon
Member
Registered: 2006-03-23
Posts: 885

Re: Volcanic Holocaust - Monster Eruption Overdue.

Scary dangers of our own natural planet?

Yellowstone volcano hit by 351 earthquakes in just two weeks 'No need to freak out'
https://www.express.co.uk/news/science/ … latest-evg

Fossilized Tsunami 'Megaripples' Reveal The Devastation From The Chicxulub Asteroid
https://www.msn.com/en-au/news/techands … ar-AAM8hZJ

'Wobble' in moon's orbit may lead to record-setting floods on Earth in 2030s, NASA study finds
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nasa-wobbl … te-change/

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