EXCLUSIVE: Interview With USGS Yellowstone Scientists

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posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 08:35 AM
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ATSNN Exclusive
ATSNN is proud to provide an exclusive email interview with a number of scientists working in the USGS Yellowstone program. The interview was submitted on February 6, 2004, and was completed and provided to ATSNN on March 9, 2004. A sincere and heart-felt thank you goes to Dr. Henry Heasler, Ph.D., Supervisory Geologist, USGS Yellowstone National Park, who served as the focal point for all interview communications. Dr. Heasler’s willingness to participate in this interview and go the extra mile to ensure each question was submitted to the appropriate USGS scientist is greatly appreciated. Special thanks also go to ATS members kukla and astrocreep for participating in the development of the interview questions.
 

These questions were formulated toward the end goal of addressing long-standing questions concerning the current situation at Yellowstone. These questions have been discussed for some time here at AboveTopSecret.com, as well as at other websites. In addition, ATSNN hoped to address certain rumors that seem to never have evidence provided with them, such as the dying off of wildlife, etc. We sincerely hope we have achieved these goals.


Q: There have been continuing rumors at various web sites that animals are either leaving the park en-masse, or dying in large numbers. These rumors include stories of large numbers of fish dying in Yellowstone Lake. The cause is stated as increased toxic gaseous emissions. Are there animals leaving the park? Or dying in large numbers? Are there large numbers of fish being found dead in the lake?

A: Toxic emissions are no worse than usual at Yellowstone. The park's wildlife population has undergone no problems due to toxic emissions. Some of the park’s wildlife is migratory, such as bison, elk, and many species of birds. This year’s migrations were not unusual. Large numbers of dead fish were not found in Yellowstone Lake, or any other lake in Yellowstone.


Q: What is the condition of the new fumarole near Nymph Lake?

A: Forceful clouds of steam were noted issuing from a line of vents to the northwest of Nymph Lake on March 10, 2003. The thermal activity could be seen easily and heard from the Norris-Mammoth road. The area of thermally cooked trees became more visible throughout 2003. However, forceful clouds of steam were no longer visible on December 5, 2003. The changing hydrothermal activity near Nymph Lake is an example of Yellowstone’s dynamic geologic environment.


Q: On 9/15/03, the Old Faithful, Denny Creek and Maple Creek webicorders were showing strong and sustained motion. This motion continued for almost a day and no quakes registered on the finger list. Can you please explain the nature of the event on 9/15/03 and the discrepancy on the quake list?

A: The seismic data shown on the webicorders is only stored in online form for a week. The earthquake data are however also archived and accessible to the public in five forms: (1) as monthly listings of current earthquakes are in the data archives of the University of Utah Seismograph Stations data archives at www.seis.utah.edu/recenteqs and also at www.seis.utah.edu/fingerplan (2) in catalogs of epicenters and magnitudes of earthquakes for the entire recording period of the Yellowstone seismic network, from 1973 to the present, at www.seis.utah.edu/catalog , and (3) earthquakes of larger than magnitude 3 are shown and listed on the U. S. Geological Survey Maps of Recent Earthquake Activity web site at earthquake.usgs.gov . For advanced users, digital seismic waveforms for Yellowstone are archived as part of the ANSS (Advanced National Seismic Network) digital library for regional networks of the U.S. in the Composite Earthquake Catalog at quake.geo.berkeley.edu , and in the IRIS (Integrated Research Institutions in Seismology) data base at www.iris.edu .

In general, there are many, many things that can contribute to the signals on seismograms. These include of course earthquakes, but also wind, passing cars, snowmobiles that we call cultural noise.. To locate as an earthquake, several different seismic stations must record waveforms from the earthquake that are analyzed digitally and that allow an epicenter to be located. If the earthquake waves for a discrete event cannot be seen on multiple stations, then they probably aren't an earthquake. Also if they can be correlated, they still might not register as a Yellowstone earthquake because the earthquake may have been well outside Yellowstone, even around the world for large earthquakes. Our web site doesn't provide a list of every earthquake that is detected by the Yellowstone seismic network. You can check the University of Utah web site at www.iris.edu/data to obtain a list of earthquakes that might have caused the readings on Yellowstone seismometers for last month. Because Yellowstone seismic network is constructed to provide accurate data for the Yellowstone region, including a strip around its border, the UUSS (University of Utah Seismic Station) web pages (currently used by YVO) only list earthquakes within the those bounds. All other earthquakes will be located by the relevant local network or by ANSS.


Q: Also, in the period of November/December, as well as in the past two weeks, there have been swarms of earthquakes in Yellowstone (over 20 in a short period of time at the end of last year; over 30 in one week this month), but the seismic activity reports continue to state “seismic activity remains at background levels”. Can you please explain magnitudes and frequencies that constitute “a background level” so that we can understand what would legitimately be measured as above that?

A: Earthquake swarms are groups of earthquakes occurring closely in time and space. This type of activity is common in Yellowstone and is distinguished by our analysts. However, many of the periods of what appear to be persistent ground shaking and that users may suspect are swarms can be attributed to wind and cultural noise and to technical problems that appear as seismic events We suspect that the swarms you refer to are from one or more of these sources. To get a feel for what does trigger an earthquake location, we'd recommend going back to the webicorders for the time period of any specific event that does make the Yellowstone catalog. You'll notice there are many small events that could have multiple origins. Our use of background levels refers to our interpretation of the activity for a montly period compared to the long term levels of activity we have recorded over the past years.


Q: Do you know why the GPS velocity vector data on the University of Utah’s web site hasn’t been updated since mid-2003? And can you provide us an estimated date that it will be brought back online for the public?

A: High precision GPS data are collected and analyzed at the University of Utah. Data analysis of GPS data is not automated because information on the position of the satellite orbits that contain the GPS satellites is not available for sometimes several weeks. Thus the coordinates of the Yellowstone GPS sites are not finalized for a longer time than the seismic data that are analyzed daily by our seismic analysts. Also the ground motion that GPS sensors are responsive to is much slower, moving at inches per year, compared to the signals of an earthquake that only last a few seconds to minutes. Thus we process GPS data over long time periods, such as days, even though they are recorded at 15 second intervals. You can see the finalized ground movement vectors at mines.utah.edu/velocity and time-series of (determined once per day) at www.mines.utah.edu/time_series . These data are used for assessing ground motion histories of the Yellowstone volcanic system and allow our scientists to identify ground motions that correspond to volcanic (magma and hydrothermal fluids) fluid movement, earthquakes, etc. A USGS system interrogates many of the western U.S. GPS networks for data on a daily basis that provides an automated but preliminary satellite orbit data. These are not as accurate nor checked for any errors or data glitches by an analyst, thus it is more up-to-date but does not provide final solutions. You can see those data at: quake.usgs.gov/YellowstoneContin

Maps and technical information on the Yellowstone GPS network is available online at the University of Utah website www.mines.utah.edu/~ rbsmith .


Q: Why was the Mt. Sheridan webicorder deactivated and will it be brought back on line? If so, when?

A: This station operates in one the most rigorous and exposed mountain climates in the Rocky Mountains. It is atop Mt. Sheridan, at 10,308 feet high, in a remote wilderness of Yellowstone. This station frequently encounters winds of over 70 mph, ice of several feet thick can encase the antennas, temperatures of – 40°F or lower in the winter, etc. This station is recognized for its noisy environment but it provides key data in the southern side of the Yellowstone caldera for day-to-day surveillance and we choose to put more reliable seismic stations on the public web site. Also because stations have intermittent technical difficulties we may remove or add stations as needed to our web site recordings.


Q: There have been no updates on the bulge in Yellowstone Lake in some time. Could you please update us with whether this bulge has continued to grow, decreased, exhibited new behavior, etc.?

A: There is no continuous monitoring of ground movement of the lake bottom. In the last few years, the USGS researcher who has worked on studies of Yellowstone Lake obtains data once per summer. This summer there were no changes observed to this area called the Weasel Creek/Storm Point Vent System. As explained on our web site, we still have no evidence that this feature is either new or changing.


Q: Could you respond to whether the following activity criteria, as compiled by USGS, has been observed recently at Yellowstone? And what overall activity level do you currently place Yellowstone at (Green, Yellow, Orange or Red)?

A: YVO has no color-code system at present, but may adapt one in the future to be consistent with the other USGS observatories. Yellowstone National Park encompasses many different geyser basins and such a large area (over 8,500 square kilometers) that a single overall activity indicator may not be feasible for the park.


Q: Have you seen a transition from high frequency earthquakes to volcanic earthquakes VLPs or harmonic tremors?

A: No. It’s worth noting, though that normal behavior of a hydrothermal system in other volcanic areas may include VLP and tremor, none have been detected in Yellowstone. Such signals are caused by fluid motions rather than tectonic rock fracture. Also a more complete set of wider frequency seismometers would be very useful to monitor such signals throughout the entire Yellowstone volcanic field. Currently, we do not have funds to support such a network. We have recently applied for funds to support a postdoctoral researcher to look at the kinds of seismic and deformation signals that are the day-to-day behavior of shallow geothermal systems.


Q: Have you seen rates of deformation anywhere in the caldera that have warranted an increased condition code? What level is the deformation criteria at currently?

A: No. Upward and downward movement of the ground has been observed at Yellowstone using GPS and satellite interferometry measurement and many other caldera systems. This has lead to the idea that the dynamics of caldera ground motions are a composite of magmatic and hydrothermal fluid movement, but they have not led to eruptions in historic time at Yellowstone.


Q: Has there been an increase in emissions of CO2, SO2, H2S or 3He/4He fumarole gases? What criteria level would you place the gaseous emissions at currently?

A: There is no continuous gas monitoring in the park. We are still obtaining an accurate record of background compositions and overall fluxes of gas from the park. Provided increased funding, we hope to improve our gas monitoring system in the future. YVO has not observed any dangerous change in the emissions of gasses.


Q: Has there been a pronounced ground cracking with displacements across individual cracks of a few cm or more or distributed sets of tension cracks and/or slip on opposing sets of normal faults bounding a graben?

A: No. Displacements along deforming ground have not been observed. The “cracks” in the ground that have been observed are in thermal basins and are associated with water movement.


Q: Has there been new fumaroles and/or hot springs developing or a vigorous increase in output from existing fumaroles and/or hot springs?

A: Yes, some individual features have become more vigorous and new features have formed. However, other features have decreased in activity. YVO’s best estimates indicate a relatively constant thermal water outflow both with respect to temperature and volume, in 2003. Changes in individual thermal features are quite normal in Yellowstone.


Q: Has there been any instances of differential magnetic field changes of 5+ nT within a week to 10 days between 3 or more stations?

A: There is no continuous monitoring of the magnetic field in Yellowstone.


Q: Do you feel that there has been enough disclosure to the general populace, either through formal USGS press releases, or media coverage, on the current conditions at Yellowstone to create an awareness level appropriate for the current situation?

A: Yes. The interest in Yellowstone’s volcanic aspects provided an excellent opportunity to educate people about Yellowstone National Park. Inquires from the press were answered and the press were encouraged to travel to Yellowstone for first-hand observations. Local press agencies (such as the Cody Enterprise, the Billings Gazette, the Bozeman Chronicle), regional agencies (such as the Kansas City Star) and national and international media (such as the New York Times) all carried articles on Yellowstone’s highly dynamic geology. Discussions were also carried on the radio (such as National Public Radio) and television (such as Salt Lake City, Utah; Denver, Colorado; Billings, Montana; Cheyenne, Wyoming). The Internet has also carried a great deal of information. Unfortunately, many of the internet stories were based in fiction rather than fact. Rumors such as the reported closure of Yellowstone Lake or the closure of all of Norris Geyser Basin could easily be checked and found to be false.


Q: Concerning the radius for damage if the supercaldera were to erupt, is there a contingency plan in place for a defined area around Yellowstone? If so, what is it and what are the parameters of the defined area?

A: Our job at YVO is to provide adequate warning of volcanic activity at Yellowstone. The USGS Volcano Hazards Program has this responsibility at Yellowstone and at all other US volcanoes, nationwide. We also provide information on the present state of seismicity, ground deformation and other measurable parameters. We are not a civil defense agency. Such planning is left to the park and to the surrounding communities and states.


As an aside, Yellowstone has erupted about 30 times since the last caldera-forming eruption, 640,000 years ago. Nearly all these eruptions produced relatively smaller lava flows than the notorious three giant eruptions that formed the calderas of Yellowstone. If this sort of eruption were to occur today, as would be the most likely scenario for a Yellowstone eruption, there would be minimal effects outside the Park. Thus, the supposed radius of damage you quote is only for an extremely unlikely kind of volcanic eruption.



[Edited on 11-3-2004 by SkepticOverlord]




posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 08:50 AM
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What puzzles me, though, is in the answers part, the person was mentioning that there is no changes going on, nothing noticable... yet the same person mentioned that they don't have the GPS activated, there isn't any gas detectors, or no funding to monitor the .............. .

I may have to re-read it... but it is a good story!




posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 09:14 AM
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Great job Valhall,Kukla,and Astrocreep.

Reporting the truth may not always be as fantastic as perpetuating a fiction but it is far more important.

As with Kano's contact with NASA this also shows that specialist are willing to submit information via this site and can expect in return to be reported accurately.



posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 10:45 AM
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Great reporting you three. Excellent job. This is the kind of stuff I like to see coming from our ATS Community.



posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 12:00 PM
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Awesome work Val and others! You're a great asset to ATS and these are the kind of stories that set us apart from others.

Massive thumbs up! I've been waiting for this to come out!



posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 12:27 PM
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This post is a testament to the validity, integrity, and quality of ATS and ATSNN.com. Work such as this exemplifies the level of dedication and commitment of it's contributing members, and will ensure continued success of the ATS family of information services well into the future.

I predict that in very short order, ATS will achieve a status of excellence the World (wide web, maybe beyond...) over. And it will be as a result of work like this.

Thank you for this very informative and valuable piece. It is a great credit to ATSNN.com, it's members, and will ensure a strong and lasting ATS legacy.

Your medal's in the mail. Keep it up!

DeltaChaos



[Edited on 10-3-2004 by DeltaChaos]



posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 05:35 PM
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High precision GPS data are collected and analyzed at the University of Utah. Data analysis of GPS data is not automated because information on the position of the satellite orbits that contain the GPS satellites is not available for sometimes several weeks. Thus the coordinates of the Yellowstone GPS sites are not finalized for a longer time than the seismic data that are analyzed daily by our seismic analysts. Also the ground motion that GPS sensors are responsive to is much slower, moving at inches per year, compared to the signals of an earthquake that only last a few seconds to minutes. Thus we process GPS data over long time periods, such as days, even though they are recorded at 15 second intervals. You can see the finalized ground movement vectors at www.mines.utah.edu... and time-series of (determined once per day) at www.mines.utah.edu... . These data are used for assessing ground motion histories of the Yellowstone volcanic system and allow our scientists to identify ground motions that correspond to volcanic (magma and hydrothermal fluids) fluid movement, earthquakes, etc. A USGS system interrogates many of the western U.S. GPS networks for data on a daily basis that provides an automated but preliminary satellite orbit data. These are not as accurate nor checked for any errors or data glitches by an analyst, thus it is more up-to-date but does not provide final solutions. You can see those data at: quake.usgs.gov...


First of all, 2 of the three links provided are dead links that we've refered to before in the research project. Secondly, the base correction data for the sats is automated and readily abvaliable for differential correction within an hour. I know we can't plot the velocity vectors in real time and he mentions the need for a long term comparison which I would expect would be weekly or perhaps monthly. Why we haven't seen an update since 03, I haven't a clue.



posted on Mar, 10 2004 @ 10:31 PM
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Good job reporting, but keep in mind that this is Only public information and with that in mind you may have to go below the surface to get to the core.



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 01:18 AM
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I've been watching Y/S for months now, visible proof has been seen via weather.unisys.com/satillite/sat_ir_us_loop-12.html
This can be seen as dark stripe through low cloud cover, this is i/r heat penetrating through the clouds. Most prominant near Alberta mountain range at Idaho border areas. Moisture venting can be seen at times from Alberta, crossing throough the Y/S area almost uninteruppeted to the Mexico border. Ground heating greater than can be accounted for from solar heating, indcating sub surface sources of heat.
I've seen clouds cross over the westeren Alberta mountains, disappear with 'dry heat' lifted from fractures in this area, and reappear with SIGNIFICANT increases of moisture added from fracture areas. Any of the examples I've sent to seis.utah.edu have been ignored, ie, no replys, pro or con.
Look for yourself at the unisys site.
I'll send some good examples for anyone who cares to look.

teslahertz@excite.com



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 01:41 AM
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Moisture venting can be seen at times from Alberta, crossing throough the Y/S area almost uninteruppeted to the Mexico border.


While that is a possibility, I would suspect that surface temperatures would rise accordingly. The 90-day anomaly maps for surface temperature indicates some negligible warming in the area but not in the patterns you’re describing.

www.cdc.noaa.gov...

The 90-day anomaly maps of surface winds would also display the behavior. There is an anomaly near the Alberta / Idaho border but it doesn’t reach to Mexico.

www.cdc.noaa.gov...



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 09:09 AM
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Originally posted by astrocreep



High precision GPS data are collected and analyzed at the University of Utah. Data analysis of GPS data is not automated because information on the position of the satellite orbits that contain the GPS satellites is not available for sometimes several weeks. Thus the coordinates of the Yellowstone GPS sites are not finalized for a longer time than the seismic data that are analyzed daily by our seismic analysts. Also the ground motion that GPS sensors are responsive to is much slower, moving at inches per year, compared to the signals of an earthquake that only last a few seconds to minutes. Thus we process GPS data over long time periods, such as days, even though they are recorded at 15 second intervals. You can see the finalized ground movement vectors at www.mines.utah.edu... and time-series of (determined once per day) at www.mines.utah.edu... . These data are used for assessing ground motion histories of the Yellowstone volcanic system and allow our scientists to identify ground motions that correspond to volcanic (magma and hydrothermal fluids) fluid movement, earthquakes, etc. A USGS system interrogates many of the western U.S. GPS networks for data on a daily basis that provides an automated but preliminary satellite orbit data. These are not as accurate nor checked for any errors or data glitches by an analyst, thus it is more up-to-date but does not provide final solutions. You can see those data at: quake.usgs.gov...


First of all, 2 of the three links provided are dead links that we've refered to before in the research project. Secondly, the base correction data for the sats is automated and readily abvaliable for differential correction within an hour. I know we can't plot the velocity vectors in real time and he mentions the need for a long term comparison which I would expect would be weekly or perhaps monthly. Why we haven't seen an update since 03, I haven't a clue.


Base correction for differential GPS is totally different than satellite corrections for static GPS. Correctly calculating precisely where the satellites are (not where they think they are) is a difficult task that involves considerations of ionospheric scattering, tropospheric moisture, timing issues, and most importantly, offsets due to solar winds on the solar panels. These errors can be on the order of meters and need to be accounted for when taking static measurements.

Now, why static and not differential measurements. Differential measurements show your location relative to another nearby receiver (ususally within 50 km), while static measurements have the potential to give you a location in a global reference frame. The clear advantage to a global reference frame measurement over a differential measurement is that you can get sub-cm deformation (when averaged over hours) relative to a fixed frame. This means, that you would be able to see any deformation that occured, and not just that which occurs differently than the base station used for differential. In fact, the thing that is most clear in most static measurements is plate tectonics. If you look at a static GPS signal (processed in a global frame), you can actually witness the North American Plate Move west at a couple of cm/year....that is pretty cool, and something you will never get from differential signals.
Imagine if there was a deep source causing wide-spread deformation. Certainly, this is something we would want to know about. Well, if you are using differential GPS you are out of luck. Though both the base and the receiver station may be moving quite rapidly, if they are going in roughly the same direction you will not be able to tell. They would both be passengers in the same car, so to speak.

Anyway, though I dissagree with the statement that they cannot automate the process, several other institutions do this just fine (JPL, USC, MIT, U. Miami), though corrections are made after 2-4 weeks when the precise orbit information has finally been determined. I would like to clear up that it is not simple and it is certainly not differential GPS that they are doing.



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 10:02 AM
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Excellent work Val

It is quality research like this that makes ATSNN stand out as a source for reliable information.



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 08:12 PM
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Okay, I've also been doing survey GPS subcentimeter for the last 4 years and it doesn't take me the better part of a year to have my data ready. If it did, I'd likely not have a job long. In fact, my position is now GIS Specialist so I understand perfectly what you are saying. What I'm saying is that updated data is long overdue.

[Edited on 13-3-2004 by astrocreep]



posted on Mar, 11 2004 @ 10:23 PM
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Originally posted by astrocreep




[snip]

www.mines.utah.edu...
www.mines.utah.edu...
quake.usgs.gov...



First of all, 2 of the three links provided are dead links that we've refered to before in the research project.


No offense intended, but I was able to navigate to all three links - none were dead. Perhaps the site was having momentary difficulties.



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 01:49 AM
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I really dont know what to think except that interview with USGS scientists or not I would have to say they work for the federal government or at least get some kind of funding through them. I think everyone is a liitle fast accepting them at face value.



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 06:28 AM
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tracer,

I don't agree. As some one who works in the scientific community (only private industry), I can testify that the one thing a scientist or engineer wants to do is tell the truth. And if you get more than one scientist involved, you'll damned sure get the truth. Because they like to pick on each other's answers.

I can tell from these answers that the scientists involved just answered as honestly as they could. In fact, it does not appear that much wordsmithing even took place. These are unpolished, technical answers.

They have admitted that there are technical gaps in the monitoring of Yellowstone. They have admitted that there are funding gaps in the monitoring of Yellowstone. And they have admitted that the Mt. Sheridan seismo has been taken offline because it would take more time to answer the public's questions about some of the readings (apparently caused by really adverse weather conditions) than they have time to commit and still get their jobs done.

I absolutely positively believe every anwer given was honest.



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 08:18 AM
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One point of clarification on the Mt Sheridan webricorder. It was deactivated in late summer, before any snow had fallen. I would also note that the webricorder was displaying very strong movement the day it was deactived and coincided with 4 new webricorders going public. I understand that weather conditions can certainly affect the performance of data transmission and hardware, but to claim that severe weather was interferring with the accuracy of the station at that particular time is a stretch.



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 08:28 AM
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I know of several high mountains that snows fall upon year round...

Are you sure there was no snow up there?

m...



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 09:19 AM
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Springer,

I'm sure there was snow up there but it certainly wasn't the dead of winter. The other point I would note is that the scientist never says that it was deactivated, only removed from the public side. My concern is ... if they are going to maintain it, why not keep it public?



posted on Mar, 12 2004 @ 10:47 AM
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The Yellowstone Supervisory Geologist totally got this question WRONG:

Q: Concerning the radius for damage if the supercaldera were to erupt, is there a contingency plan in place for a defined area around Yellowstone? If so, what is it and what are the parameters of the defined area?

He avoided the question by citing the expected radius that will be effected by the small, "normal" eruptions and then saying "the supposed radius of damage you quote is only for an extremely unlikely kind of volcanic eruption".

I can't believe he said this. He is supposed to be a geologist/scientist, but he answered it like a politician. I should not be surprised because that is exactly what the position of Supervisory Geologist is (I personally know his predecessor, and one of the reasons he left the job was because it was more of a political/administrative job than he wanted.)

Yellowstone is a caldera, which is a large "bowl-shaped" depression in the Earth's crust that formed when the large magma chamber beneath the area was rapidly emptied in an explosive eruption. Eruptions of this scale occurred 645,000, 1.3 million, and 2.1 million years ago. Geologically speaking, the next large eruption could happen any minute. The evidence of past 3 eruptions and the fact that the crust in the Yellowstone area is rising (presumably because magma is being forced up into the overlying crust) are strong indicators that another large eruption sometime in the future is probable, not "..extremely unlikely"

Now there are those that claim there won't be another explosive eruption because the overlying crust is too fractured, and the system cannot build up enough pressure for another large eruption. There are two things wrong with this assumption:

1) we don't know how fractured the crust was preceding the past eruptions, so they are assuming there were none, but if you inject a large magma chamber beneath the crust it will crack, so I don't know how anyone can substantiate this claim. Even if this line of reasoning is valid, if a future eruption is only a fraction as powerful as the past eruptions it will be devastating.

2) Fractures may in fact facilitate a large eruption. The pressure driving the eruption is not the force of the magma pushing on the crust- it’s the release of gas within the magma. Think of a coke in a plastic 20 oz bottle that is violently shaken up. What happens when you crack open the lid? The same thing happens with magma. So fractures in the crust are needed to get things started, and once they do, there is no stopping it until the magma chamber is emptied.

I understand that the Supervisory Geologist does not want to create a panic, but I believe there is plenty of evidence pointing to a large-scale eruption in the near future.

Although it would be devastating, a large eruption would also be fascinating to study.





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