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Yellowstone - a possible solution

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posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 07:52 PM
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Various media sources claim that the Yellowstone supervolcano may be overdue for an eruption anytime soon. This may or may not be the case.

What we can say for certainty is that if it does erupt again it will destroy the United States and blow the rest of the world into the Dark Ages and a new Ice Age.

Basically what happens when it does blow is that a HUGE amount of gas builds up from the underlying magma which causes the caldera to rupture catastrophically.

Have you ever opened a bottle of pop (soda to you Americans) when it has been violently shaken? Ever had to clean it off the ceiling? That's what happens when you open it too quickly. If you've ever had a bottle of pop which you know has been shaken and thus released a huge amount of gas in the bottle which is just waiting to explode outwards when you take the bottle-top off what do you do?

You unscrew the top very, very slowly. Thus allowing the built-up pressure to be released safely and in a controlled manner.

Would it be feasible to send drills down to release the pressure very slowly? As long as the pressure release was only slightly greater than the pressure build-up would this stop the caldera from rupturing and could it be accomplished in a safe way?

I would welcome any thoughts on this.

edit on -05:0008America/Chicago2015805xRAmerica/Chicagob by PheonixReborn because: (no reason given)

edit on -05:0008America/Chicago2015805xRAmerica/Chicagob by PheonixReborn because: Typo x2




posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 08:18 PM
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a reply to: PheonixReborn
Good idea, but wouldn't the drills melt as they dig through into the magma?

How about dropping a nuke under the surface and blasting a giant "vent" for the pressure to escape?
That could work, maybe.

Or how about everyone just move out of the range if they are concerned about it.
Let mother nature do her thing. Sometimes you need to let the zits just pop on their own.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 08:33 PM
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Never you would cause an eruption. Super volcanos only erupt every 50,000 to 100,000 so I'm not sure what you mean by soon. A supervolcano like that is far beyond todays tech.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 08:37 PM
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originally posted by: FinalCountdown
a reply to: PheonixReborn
Good idea, but wouldn't the drills melt as they dig through into the magma?


I'm neither a geologist nor a metallurgist but if the drill melts then the gas escapes anyway taking the molten metal with it. Or so I'd think.


How about dropping a nuke under the surface and blasting a giant "vent" for the pressure to escape?
That could work, maybe.


The whole point is not to allow the gas to escape quickly which would cause a catastrophic eruption.


Or how about everyone just move out of the range if they are concerned about it.
Let mother nature do her thing. Sometimes you need to let the zits just pop on their own.


There is no "out of range" if Yellowstone blows. Its the end of the world as we know it.
edit on -05:0008America/Chicago2015837xRAmerica/Chicagob by PheonixReborn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 08:41 PM
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originally posted by: Anbuzak11
Never you would cause an eruption. Super volcanos only erupt every 50,000 to 100,000 so I'm not sure what you mean by soon. A supervolcano like that is far beyond todays tech.

Yellowstone last blew 650 thousand years ago.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 08:48 PM
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posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:07 PM
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Sorry if I've given anyone nightmares

edit on -05:0009America/Chicago2015809xRAmerica/Chicagob by PheonixReborn because: (no reason given)



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:27 PM
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If you shook a bottle of pop and then drilled a hole in the cap, it would still erupt violently, drill a smaller hole and it would become even more violent enough to maybe blow the whole top off with a lot of force. I think if Mother Nature is ready to blow her top, that nothing we do would be enough to stop it, I look at a Volcano eruption as a preventive measure the earth is taking to avoid an even more violent self destructive eruption somewhere so when ready, let it go, otherwise we would just delay results until later when the bottom could blow out all at once.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:33 PM
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a reply to: DJMSN

The opposite is true. Bigger hole means larger escape of gas. Smaller hole means smaller escape of gas.

Try the shook-up soda bottle challenge then come back after you've dried yourself off.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:34 PM
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It's nowhere near technologically feasible right now. All of the pressure trying to escape through a narrow opening would be an uncontrollable amount of pressure that would enlarge the vent catastrophically, like a pin prick in a balloon- we don't have strong enough tape to pull off that trick on a caldera.

Our best bet in the near term is to start planning mitigation techniques for the aftermath.

We'll need a chemical agent to condense ash out of the air rapidly and a means to distribute it when aircraft can't operate.
We'll need a trick to keep accumulating ash from collapsing buildings.
We'll need a food interruption plan.
Etc etc

Realistically we're going to lose a couple states nobody really goes to anyway, and have a HORRIBLE year economically, and have a couple million casualties, but there's really no reason America would have to collapse from a Yellowstone Eruption. If we can deal with the ash and the hole in the middle of the country we can cope.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:40 PM
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a reply to: The Vagabond

Again... try the soda bottle experiment. See what happens if you just twist the bottle-top very, very slightly so only a controlled amount of gas escapes.

There are hydrothermal vents all over Yellowstone which are releasing pressure right now. You don't see them blowing the lid off the caldera.

Controlled release of the building pressure just might work.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:44 PM
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originally posted by: PheonixReborn
a reply to: DJMSN

The opposite is true. Bigger hole means larger escape of gas. Smaller hole means smaller escape of gas.

Try the shook-up soda bottle challenge then come back after you've dried yourself off.

Assume the resultant caldera from the last eruption was 23 miles across. How much larger than that would the drill have to be to release pressure at a meaningful, lower rate?



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:45 PM
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originally posted by: PheonixReborn
a reply to: The Vagabond

Again... try the soda bottle experiment. See what happens if you just twist the bottle-top very, very slightly so only a controlled amount of gas escapes.

There are hydrothermal vents all over Yellowstone which are releasing pressure right now. You don't see them blowing the lid off the caldera.

Controlled release of the building pressure just might work.

I've done that, and the pressure blew the cap out of my hand.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:54 PM
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originally posted by: paradoxious

originally posted by: PheonixReborn
a reply to: DJMSN

The opposite is true. Bigger hole means larger escape of gas. Smaller hole means smaller escape of gas.

Try the shook-up soda bottle challenge then come back after you've dried yourself off.

Assume the resultant caldera from the last eruption was 23 miles across. How much larger than that would the drill have to be to release pressure at a meaningful, lower rate?

It would be much, much smaller. I don't think you're quite getting the gist of this.

You release the gas very, very slowly. Much like twisting the top of a shook-up soda bottle if you don't want it to erupt violently.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 09:55 PM
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originally posted by: paradoxious

originally posted by: PheonixReborn
a reply to: The Vagabond

Again... try the soda bottle experiment. See what happens if you just twist the bottle-top very, very slightly so only a controlled amount of gas escapes.

There are hydrothermal vents all over Yellowstone which are releasing pressure right now. You don't see them blowing the lid off the caldera.

Controlled release of the building pressure just might work.

I've done that, and the pressure blew the cap out of my hand.

Then you're not doing it right.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 10:01 PM
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First: it was 640,000 years ago for the last super eruption.

There have been three: 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago.

Unfortunately 3 eruptions is not quite enough to make predicting the next eruption a sure thing. You have an interval of 800,000 years and one of 660,000 years.

Second: drilling holes into something under pressure, may not be the smartest thing to do. This isn't a soda. It's a HUGE magma chamber that is under a LOT of pressure.

A balloon would be a better analogy: if it's under a lot of pressure with the skin stretched thin, doesn't mater how small the hole or how slow you make it, that balloon will pop!

Drilling holes there just might make what you're fearing come true.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 10:14 PM
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originally posted by: eriktheawful
First: it was 640,000 years ago for the last super eruption.

There have been three: 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago.

Unfortunately 3 eruptions is not quite enough to make predicting the next eruption a sure thing. You have an interval of 800,000 years and one of 660,000 years.


Getting shorter, don't you think? And I'd like to point out that at the very start of this thread I stated that an imminent eruption may or may not happen. I was just speculating on a possible solution to prevent it happening.


Second: drilling holes into something under pressure, may not be the smartest thing to do. This isn't a soda. It's a HUGE magma chamber that is under a LOT of pressure.

A balloon would be a better analogy: if it's under a lot of pressure with the skin stretched thin, doesn't mater how small the hole or how slow you make it, that balloon will pop!


It's not a balloon. It's a planet with a solid crust many miles thick and the pressure beneath that crust is localised. It's not as if a small pin-prick will release the entire contents of the Earth.


Drilling holes there just might make what you're fearing come true.


Or it may stop it coming true.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 10:23 PM
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a reply to: PheonixReborn

I was with the first responder, thinking the drill would melt. Side question. Seen stories and pics of the roads around yellow stone melting. Is this why you think it might go off soon?



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 10:28 PM
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a reply to: PheonixReborn

Your last sentence is what I'm talking about: we don't know enough.

Yes, we know a lot more about volcanoes than we used to. However, we don't know everything that there is to know.

Just in the last few years, the map of the magma chamber has changed, as in: they keep discovering new things.

From an engineering standing, what you are suggesting is beyond anything we can do right now. You want them to drill a hole down into the magma (never mind that the bit and shaft will melt well before it even gets to it) in order to release the pressure of that magma.

What are you going to use to control that flow? We're talking about something on the order of milions of PSI or more.

They don't have anything that can do that. So instead what you'll have done is created a path for that pressure to release itself. Worse: what type of damage has been done to the crust in order to drill down? What cracks have been cause (making for more ways for it to travel)?

It's a moot point though as we don't have the technology to do what you're suggesting. Any drill head will be destroyed by the heat before it even gets down that far.

If it makes you feel better, Yellowstone may be naturally releasing it's pressure over time on it's own. There have been other eruptions in more recent times there that were not super eruptions. The most recent was 70,000 years ago. It could be that it's been regulating itself in more recent times.



posted on Aug, 18 2015 @ 10:32 PM
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a reply to: Reallyfolks

I don't know if it will go off soon or not. But at some point it will go off. I was just asking for thoughts on how to stop it.

I'm quite alarmed that people don't understand that a slow, controlled release of pressure is how you open a shook-up soda bottle, though!



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