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Significant Uplift at Yellowstone Observed

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posted on Mar, 2 2006 @ 11:08 PM
I know there have been two recent topics started about Yellowstone. This isn't a "what if" type topic. What I am going to show you is real data collected over the past several years.

Over the past several months I have been very concerned with the lack of earthquake activity in Yellowstone. We are talking about a very active region. In 2002 the park saw 2350 quakes ( . There were over 500 in November of 2002 alone. You expect a hundred quakes a month. This was not the case in November of 2005. This was the official USGS report on Yellowstone for November 2005.

"November 2005 Yellowstone Seismicity Summary

During the month of November 2005, 34 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone region. The largest of these shocks was a magnitude 2.1 on November 17, 2005 at 3:00 PM MST, located about 8.0 miles north of West Yellowstone, Montana. No earthquakes in this period were reportedly felt.

Earthquake activity in the Yellowstone region is at relatively low background levels"

There were 34 quakes in one of the most active regions in the country. There were two things that came to mind. Perhaps things were shutting down. But I also remember what a scientist said when he went out to Mount St. Helens back in 1980 after there had been a great deal of earthquake activity and ground deformation. He went out to Washington to observe the mountain but became discouraged after the mountain went quiet. Basically when it seemed as if nothing significant was going to happen a major quake hit the mountain which resulted in the largest landslide ever observed and the explosion of the mountain.

Does the activity at Yellowstone fit either of these scenarios? It is hard to say because Yellowstone is so unlike any other volcano on earth. But lets look at some of the information that has come from the USGS.

In Feb 2006 the USGS issued its report on Yellowstone for Jan 2006. Here is what their report stated.

"January 2006 Monthly Update

During the month of January 2006, 67 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone region. The largest of these shocks was a magnitude 2.6 on January 17, 2006 at 10:20 AM MST, located about 18.5 miles west northwest of West Yellowstone, Montana. No earthquakes in this period were reportedly felt.

Earthquake activity in the Yellowstone region is at relatively low background levels.

During the past year, continuous GPS stations have recorded between 4 and 8 cm of uplift over much of the Yellowstone caldera (except the northern part near the Norris geyser basin). An example can be found at:

The magnitude of uplift is within the bounds of typical Yellowstone deformation, but at a somewhat higher rate. Over the same time period, earthquake activity has been relatively low. YVO scientists continue to monitor the ground deformation and seismic data in the Yellowstone region. Many similar caldera systems around the world regularly exhibit changes greater than those observed at Yellowstone and do not progress to eruptive activity. The changes we are measuring at Yellowstone Caldera are scientifically interesting and will be watched closely.

Later this month, we will publish an article on the YVO website to describe deformation data in more detail. We'll discuss acquisition, interpretation, and recent observations at Yellowstone and elsewhere."

Yes it is a long quote but all the information contained is of great significance. It is important to preserve this data because it is contained on a page that changes every month and within a few days to a week this information will be gone. You can find the monthly updates here.

If you look back to the November 2005 review you will see what a normal USGS report looks like. They don't elaborate on things. It is pretty much cut & dry. The Jan 2006 (posted in Feb) report contained a significant amount of information. And has been the case over the past months the quake total is relatively low. But lets look at some of the key points.

Earthquake activity in the Yellowstone region is at relatively low background levels.

During the past year, continuous GPS stations have recorded between 4 and 8 cm of uplift over much of the Yellowstone caldera (except the northern part near the Norris geyser basin)

Many similar caldera systems around the world regularly exhibit changes greater than those observed at Yellowstone and do not progress to eruptive activity.

The changes we are measuring at Yellowstone Caldera are scientifically interesting and will be watched closely.

The first bolded topic mentions low activity which is obvious but important to remember. The 2nd issue mentions uplift of 4cm to 8cm for the past year. It is significant but you will see shortly just how significant it really is. And just what did happen at Norris? I have yet to find the answer to that. Why do they bring up the eruption scenario in the 3rd point? I think the 4th point speaks volumes. There is something going on that they are very interested in.

Lets look at the uplift. 2005 saw 4cm to 8cm with the exception of Norris which remains a missing puzzle piece. Just recently a report was issued on Yellowstone that discusses the uplift from 1996 to 2003 which states the park has seen uplift of 12 cm (actually 125mm). The image posted in the report says the uplift was 125mm from 1996 to 2000. One of the dates is wrong. Lets assume the 2000 date is wrong and the uplift is actually through 2003 which would make the uplift a little more conservative. It just means that 2004 would be unaccounted for. The reports I had seen said the uplift ended in 2003 which would make sense with the 1996-2003 timeframe and no uplift info for 2004. The USGS report can be found here.

Here are the important uplift images.

The first 2 images show uplift through 2000 or 2003 depending on which year you think is accurate. The final image shows a change in uplift unlike anything seen in the past decade with 80mm of uplift in 18 months.

There are unanswered questions for me.

What is happening at Norris?

Did the 125mm of uplift occur between 1996 and 2000 or 1996 and 2003?

Was there much deflation during the early parts of 2004 prior to the significant uplift?

What is the net uplift since 1996?

Quakes in a volcanic system are usually a sign of rock fractures. When it gets quiet like this and the uplift continues it makes me wonder if the magma has done the work it needs to clear a path and now things can flow freely. It may be nothing but the significant uplift with so little quake activity is something to keep an eye on.

I know this has been a long post and hopefully I didn't ramble too much. If anyone has anything they'd like to contribute to this please feel free to add on.

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 09:01 AM
Thanks for this post - I have found it most informative. In general, the officials are at least not telling everything. In this effort to present the facts in a certain way, they, obviously, make mistakes.
Maybe, if we had that power, maybe we would do the same? Maybe general public is not mature to know all the facts? Maybe you cannot simply tell them: "Yellowstone might errupt soon, chances are 10%..." - what do you do when the panic spreads?

posted on Mar, 3 2006 @ 10:30 PM
Good info Indy, considering I live about 140 miles from Yellowstone I will review all the data, was not aware of this new activity and I visit the park about every year. There have been numerous uplifts in the past but they are always dismissed as normal.

But what is normal? compared to what? there is not enough history of scientific monitoring to determine what is normal and what is not.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 12:29 AM
If you can find out anything it would be greatly appreciated. 80mm of uplift in Yellowstone in a single year seems like alot. It wouldn't be alot for a normal volcanic system. The ground deformation at St. Helens was much greater. But it also happened over a much smaller area.

Also the thing about these images like I posted above is that pretty colors can be misleading. You see all these colors and think "wow". Adjusting the scale can change a persons perspective. So instead of 20something mm running the scale they could have just as easily made it 100mm. But that wouldn't have looked as impressive.

Who else here lives near Yellowstone?

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 02:24 AM
I think a huge bubble will form, before it blows. These uplifts are not very big compared to the scale of the thing. Also, there wll probably be a huge amount of gas and energy burping out before.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 11:57 AM
I do notice one thing about Yellowstone over the years (and I have been going there for 30 plus years) is that there are increasingly more areas closed off to the public then there were in the past. Maybe they are becoming more safety minded, or the park is becoming more unstable as time goes by.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 12:15 PM
Imbalanced.... the problem is we don't know what to compare things to. Big bubble? Do you really get a big bubble in this kind of system? Is the big bubble already there and we don't know it because it formed 500 years ago? Are all the geysers the signs that an eruption is almost here. Or have they been here forever? Yellowstone operates on a time scale unlike any other system. So you really can't look at traditional volcano warning signs.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 09:16 PM
Has anyone seen this months Nature magazine.....

Nature 440, 72-75 (2 March 2006) | doi:10.1038/nature04507

Uplift, thermal unrest and magma intrusion at Yellowstone caldera
Charles W. Wicks1, Wayne Thatcher1, Daniel Dzurisin2 and Jerry Svarc1

Top of pageThe Yellowstone caldera, in the western United States, formed 640,000 years ago when an explosive eruption ejected 1,000 km3 of material1. It is the youngest of a series of large calderas that formed during sequential cataclysmic eruptions that began 16 million years ago in eastern Oregon and northern Nevada. The Yellowstone caldera was largely buried by rhyolite lava flows during eruptions that occurred from 150,000 to 70,000 years ago1. Since the last eruption, Yellowstone has remained restless, with high seismicity, continuing uplift/subsidence episodes with movements of 70 cm historically2 to several metres since the Pleistocene epoch3, and intense hydrothermal activity. Here we present observations of a new mode of surface deformation in Yellowstone, based on radar interferometry observations from the European Space Agency ERS-2 satellite. We infer that the observed pattern of uplift and subsidence results from variations in the movement of molten basalt into and out of the Yellowstone volcanic system.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 10:55 PM
Its interesting that the article only says that the last eruption was 640,000 years ago. I guess it is a little alarming to find out the the eruptions before that one were 1.2 million and then 1.78 million years ago!

If you do the math, you will see a pattern emerge.

Thats what I like to call the "holy crap" effect.

.....also, has anyone ever considered that our enemies would use this against us? maybe through Scalar Waves that would break the rocks above the magma chamber...kinda like how a doctor would break up a kidney stone.

posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 01:37 AM
good point, i was thinking bubble from observations with normal volcanos and the fact they buldge before going off. I just think that something that big would have to give some sort of warning signs. I also think that as soon as all the animals move away from the park then its time to move. They can smell and hear things alot better then use humans

posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 03:07 AM
If what I was reading is correct the last eruption was 70,000 years ago. The last super eruption was over 600,000 years ago.

posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 03:35 PM

based on the above link, if it does erupt, could be a super volcano. it could destroy for hundreds of miles around the volcano.

posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 09:51 PM
the "last eruption" that happened 70,000 years ago wasn't an explosion at all. It was more of a constant lava flow...kinda like how the hawian volcanos erupt. Scientists consider this event 70,000 years ago to have been a good thing...because it could mean that the system has turned into a venting system rather than a super volcano. The past Super Volcanic Eruptions were... 640,000 years ago...then 600,000 years prior in 1.2 million years ago...and the 3rd one was 1.78 million years ago. So when is the next one due? Holy Crap, it was 40,000 years ago!!!

Now the question to ask yourself... Did the event that took place 70,000 prevent the volcano from exploding this time around? Keep in mind, there is no way for scientists to know if lava flow events were developing prior to the previous super eruptions.

I would say, the recent Growth of the Area and the new Gysers...there is another event going to take place in the future...the only question is when and how big.

posted on Mar, 6 2006 @ 11:51 PM
I'm located 90 miles from Yellowstone in a totally different mountain range and two of my neighbors are having serious problems with their water wells. As of yesterday my closest neighbors well started smelling like sulfur and they cannot drink the water any more. The other neighbors (about 10 miles from me down by the river) well turned super hot and completely melted the PVC piping in the house.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:14 AM

You have voted Indy for the Way Above Top Secret award. You have two more votes this month.

Thanks a lot for the info Indy. This is indeed worrysome.

Have you taken a look at the new La Niña that has suddenly appeared earlier than it has ever been recorded? i started a thread in this forum about it, but I hardly have any time to make proper research like I used to be able to do.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 01:20 AM
BTW, I now live in Casper WY, altough my job takes me closer to Canada every day, I am not very far from Yellowstone, maybe 150-200 miles. If you take I25 out of Casper the first sign you see points towards Yellowstone. Although I am close to it I havne't found the time yet to take a trip there, and I am not too sure I want to get closer to it if you get my drift.

posted on Mar, 7 2006 @ 03:06 PM
Keep in mind that even southern Canada would recieve a foot or more of unbreathable ash that when combined with water/rain will turn into concrete and crush roofs and clog up cars/homes air filters. The ash which is actually rock turned into a gas-like form gets into your lungs you will suffocate as your lungs turn into about the iron lung!

The Ash Zone for a Super Volcanic Eruption covers 500 miles from Mexico to Canada and if it ever happened America would be utterly destroyed West of the Mississippi.

To make things worse... In the Event of a SuperVolcanic Eruption a lot of force will be unleased from the Earth...which could be the trigger that sets off both the New Madrid Fault and the San Andreas Fault Zones.

There is no know way to stop this event. Some say that we should try to artificially vent the volcano before it is full in order to prevent a full explosion...but that would still cause a minor supervolcano in a populated area. All I can say is...Thank God for Roosevelt and his National Parks Program otherwise the area would have grown very populated, a result of the wonderous displays of the volcano's power and beauty,...and hot springs!

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