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Could the Yellowstone Supervolcano trigger other volcanic eruptions/earthquakes?

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posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 11:07 AM
Hey, first thread here. Most of the people on this website are I'm sure already aware of just how deadly Yellowstone's supervolcano would be if it were to detonate. There's a nice 10-minute video from the History channel that does a pretty good job of summing it up.

The degree of local destruction, the amount of ash dumped into the upper atmosphere, the general fallout, perhaps even a rough indication of what the imminent warning signs will be, all this seems to be thoroughly covered to the best of our current knowledge.

But I'm a bit fuzzy about one thing, that I don't recall seeing addressed. Roughly speaking, HOW massive will the seismic shockwaves be? Will this be not just a massive volcanic eruption, but a massive earthquake as well? If so, what are the chances that the blast is powerful enough to loosen tectonic plates at great distances from the caldera, triggering earthquakes in the process?

Or am I just completely off-basis here? I'd love your comments/questions/opinions.

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 11:15 AM
reply to post by Son of Will

Don't mean to slam your post but Yellowstone is not where you should be watching for a supervolcano in the US...

No you should be looking a bit further south, in New Mexico.

•Twenty percent of the U. S. National Parks and Monuments based on volcanic themes are in New Mexico. There are more here than Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, and Washington combined.

•The type example and one of the largest young calderas in the world (Valles Caldera) is in New Mexico. Yellowstone is a caldera, but it is a less visually obvious example of this type of volcanic landform.

•Two of the largest young basaltic lava flows in the world (Carrizozo and McCartys) are in New Mexico. Some of the geological terms for surface features on lava flows were first defined here in New Mexico, not Hawaii.

•One of the greatest concentrations of young volcanic steam explosion craters (referred to as "maars" by geologists), occur in New Mexico. Zuni Salt Lake Crater and Kilbourne Hole Crater are two maars in New Mexico often used as type examples in textbooks. The remains of maars literally fill White Rock Canyon and they pepper the surfaces of many of the other volcanic fields, like the Mount Taylor and Potrillo fields. They are more abundant, better preserved, and more diversely exposed than those in the type area (Eifel district of Germany). European geologists come here to learn about maars.

•Several of the largest concentrations of young cinder cones (exemplified by the Raton-Clayton, Zuni-Bandera, and Potrillo fields for starters) are in New Mexico.

•The greatest concentration and best-exposed examples of young volcanic necks in the world are in New Mexico (Rio Puerco Valley).

•The greatest diversity of young volcanic rock types and classic suites of volcanic rocks (for example, the Mount Taylor and the Raton-Clayton volcanic fields) occur in New Mexico.

•The Datil-Mogollon region of New Mexico is one of the largest concentrations of resurgent calderas. These are more eroded than the Valles Caldera, but they are in the same state of exposure as the San Juan Mountains of Colorado, another collection of mid-Tertiary resurgent calderas. You would have to go to the Sierra Madre of Mexico, the Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes in Alaska, or even Armenia to see something similar.

[edit on 20-3-2010 by DaddyBare]

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 11:47 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

That's definitely interesting. Probably enough material there to start your own thread on it, if one hasn't been made already.

However if that were the topic, the question of my OP would not change much. I'm curious, in general, of what kind of seismic events will accompany a supervolcano eruption?

I mentioned Yellowstone specifically because it seems logical to assume that the seismic shockwave is large dependent on variable factors, like depth of the cell, shape, mass, pressure, nearby fault lines, composition of the rocks and mineral layers, that sort of thing.

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 12:02 PM
From everything I've heard, it would be bad. Hopefully not as bad as Krakatoa. When that blew, all the ash in the air caused a mini-ice age by blocking out the sun. That's what I've read, anyway.

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 02:27 PM
This is the global meltdown thread - Financial, not magma.

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 02:58 PM
reply to post by Dbriefed

Oops. I wasn't entirely sure which forum to place this in.

As mentioned above this is my first thread. Do I have the ability to move this? Or does a moderator have to do that? After looking a bit it seems the "Fragile Earth" forum would be most appropriate.

Thanks for the heads up.

posted on Mar, 20 2010 @ 03:40 PM
I used to work for the Gov...BLM in fact, as a wildland firefighter. Anyway, long story short, I spent a few weeks detailed down in Grants, NM to aid in Fire Severity. It's a sub-office of Albuquerque BLM office. We didn't have any fires to fight, but we did get to do some prescribed burning on one of the maars. Very fun times. Also got to check out some of the Lava Tubes that are down in that area. Talk about interesting as well as a bit scary. I'm not one to get lost while out in the woods and whatnot, but traversing some of that lava field, I was easily disoriented due to the lack of visible landmarks for reference. The scenery due to volcanic activity was simply breathtaking. Lava domes everywhere!

Now being close to Yellowstone....generally speaking, and studying some of the history of and geography, it is amazing what the last eruption from yellowstone caused. The east side of Yellowstone is rumored to have thrown out close to 5000 ft of ash over many hundreds of square miles. This ash solidified and was later carved out with time, water, and wind. The canyon that leads from Cody, WY to Yellowstone (East Gate) is the result of this erosion of ash and whatnot.

Anyone that thinks Yellowstone erupting is gonna just be a localized event similar to Mt St Helens is seriously flawed in their thinking. The fallout alone will affect the entire Eastern North America immediately. We are talking a caldera that is roughly 130 square miles. That is comparable to the size of Las Vegas, NV. Now something that size erupting is not going to be a little belch of soot, lava and ash. The eruption is going to eject boulders the size of blocks (i.e. a city block 1/4 mile by a 1/4 mile) as well as rocks the size of houses many many miles into the atmosphere.

This eruption could easily put the Earth into a Major Ice-Age lasting 100's of years if not thousands, following the immediate raising of the temperature of the Earth by many degrees (Global Warming isn't even a good term to relate to the temperature change). This is why this caldera would be termed a "super-volcano" if it erupted.

And with the amount of water currently in Yellowstone Lake, it would also be a very explosive eruption. The eruption would completely reshape the Rocky Mountain Region. But the chances of this happening in our future is very slim. The likely-hood of California falling off the continent due to the San Andreas Fault is more likely in my opinion. My recommendation for any that haven't visited Yellowstone to take the time to spend in this unique area of the world. Not only is the flora and fauna very intriguing to view, but the geography is simply breathtaking, from Old Faithful, to the mini-Grand Canyon that is carved by the Yellowstone River. Just don't be a idiot tourist and think that buffalo are a tame and docile species that can be approached and pet.

posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 11:23 AM
reply to post by DaddyBare

Two of the largest young basaltic lava flows in the world (Carrizozo and McCartys) are in New Mexico. Some of the geological terms for surface features on lava flows were first defined here in New Mexico, not Hawaii.

Do they simply mean lava flowing or are they talking about a flood basalt ?

A flood basalt will not erupt in a violent way bad has the potential to just as deadly as a super volcano

[edit on 21-3-2010 by Sinter Klaas]

posted on Mar, 21 2010 @ 01:25 PM

well acording to this yes it is possible , maybe not on the other side of the world but closer to YS for example long valley .

also when califorina falls of the west cost i can almost garentee that it would cause a chain reaction that could set off YS.

posted on Mar, 22 2010 @ 10:18 PM
A massive eruption like that would most likely cause shifts in the tectonic plates. Wether or not its positive or negative i do not know. I would imagine it would relieve alot of pressure on all the fault lines throughout the United States more focused on the west coast. But then again it could cause more stress depending on how big the super volcano eruption is. Who knows?

posted on Feb, 21 2013 @ 05:21 PM
reply to post by Activated

(I almost forgot about this thread of mine)

I think I might pass the question to some forums that deal more specifically with geology or physics.

Despite being capable of causing total destruction to an area covering several thousand square kilometers, at least the damage would be relegated to that one area. But if it could trigger other events outside the area, the devastation could be even greater than previously thought. It seems to be an answerable question.
edit on 21-2-2013 by Son of Will because: (no reason given)

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