You are either not logged in or not registered with our community. Click here to register.
 
December 02, 2016, 11:59:29 AM

Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length

Click here if you are having problems.
Default Wide Screen Beige Lilac Rainbow Black & Blue October Send us your theme!

Hark!  The Herald!
Holiday Issue 2016

Wiki Blogs Dicebot

Author Topic: Yellowstone boiling over?  (Read 1749 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Yellowstone boiling over?
« on: December 30, 2008, 06:12:03 AM »

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081230/ap_on_sc/yellowstone_quakes

Quote
CHEYENNE, Wyo. Yellowstone National Park was jostled by a host of small earthquakes for a third straight day Monday, and scientists watched closely to see whether the more than 250 tremors were a sign of something bigger to come. Swarms of small earthquakes happen frequently in Yellowstone, but it's very unusual for so many earthquakes to happen over several days, said Robert Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

"They're certainly not normal," Smith said. "We haven't had earthquakes in this energy or extent in many years."

Smith directs the Yellowstone Seismic Network, which operates seismic stations around the park. He said the quakes have ranged in strength from barely detectable to one of magnitude 3.8 that happened Saturday. A magnitude 4 quake is capable of producing moderate damage.

"This is an active volcanic and tectonic area, and these are the kinds of things we have to pay attention to," Smith said. "We might be seeing something precursory.

"Could it develop into a bigger fault or something related to hydrothermal activity? We don't know. That's what we're there to do, to monitor it for public safety."

The strongest of dozens of tremors Monday was a magnitude 3.3 quake shortly after noon. All the quakes were centered beneath the northwest end of Yellowstone Lake.

A park ranger based at the north end of the lake reported feeling nine quakes over a 24-hour period over the weekend, according to park spokeswoman Stacy Vallie. No damage was reported.

"There doesn't seem to be anything to be alarmed about," Vallie said.

Smith said it's difficult to say what might be causing the tremors. He pointed out that Yellowstone is the caldera of a volcano that last erupted 70,000 years ago.

He said Yellowstone remains very geologically active and its famous geysers and hot springs are a reminder that a pool of magma still exists five to 10 miles underground.

"That's just the surface manifestation of the enormous amount of heat that's being released through the system," he said.

Yellowstone has had significant earthquakes as well as minor ones in recent decades. In 1959, a magnitude 7.5 quake near Hebgen Lake just west of the park triggered a landslide that killed 28 people.



Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #1 on: December 30, 2008, 09:54:24 AM »
Hopefully, these little tremors are relieving some of the pressure that's been building under Yellowstone for all those years.  I saw something on Discovery once about what would happen if that volcano ever re-erupted, and it wasn't pretty.  http://dsc.discovery.com/convergence/supervolcano/under/under.html
« Last Edit: December 30, 2008, 09:57:00 AM by Oniya »

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #2 on: December 30, 2008, 03:51:34 PM »

Not even close to pretty, I saw the same special you linked when it first aired. Yellowstone going again like that isn't a local event; it's a global event. After the immediate fallout, it would be weeks before we could even begin to accurately tally the missing and the dead, which would go into the millions. It would come down the government assessing how much of the continent is still inhabitable, and those portions of the population that can shift outward will, and the rest won't make it. Much of the US and Canadian infrastructure will grind to a halt under the ash plume, and I imagine NORAD and the SAC will go to a heightened state of alert and warm even the nukes up, in case someone out there decides to capitalize on the stunning blow North America just took.

But the ash plume will be so bad that it will tip the globe well beyond anything we're seeing with present climate change. I suspect most countries will just be hanging on to ensure that ends meet. In fact, fighting in a burning house is right up there next to stupid; you might see lots of regional fighting to get to clean water and food, including here in the States, but also I'm willing to bet it could foster unprecedented international cooperation.

Thing is, this will happen eventually; someday Yellowstone the park will be gone, but of course it also rose like a phoenix from the last one 70,000 years ago, all part of a massive cycle of destruction and renewal. Yellowstone is a curiously rare geological hotspot in the center of a continent. It might happen in our era and it might not. Of course it could still happen on a smaller scale eruption and still frack things up badly, the knowledge gained watching this thing and learning from it will be worth more than its weight in gold.



Offline Vekseid

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #3 on: December 30, 2008, 05:00:15 PM »
Some of that is assuming it will happen relatively soon. The eastern half of the US will be comparitively unscathed, and the west coast south of Oregon will receive less of the damage. That is a rather immense amount of the country to be leaving in repairable condition.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #4 on: December 30, 2008, 08:59:13 PM »
Another aspect of this situation is, while the experts said the series of quakes was abnormal, we really don't have seismology records going back far enough to make that determination.  We're talking a landform that been around for millions of years, and we have what, maybe fifty years of detailed seismic records?  A sample size of a few thousandths of a percent isn't even close to enough to establish norms.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #5 on: December 31, 2008, 04:43:26 PM »
Some of that is assuming it will happen relatively soon. The eastern half of the US will be comparitively unscathed, and the west coast south of Oregon will receive less of the damage. That is a rather immense amount of the country to be leaving in repairable condition.

Largely depends on where the ash plume goes, which could be potentially giganormus in size. If the standard eastern winds prevail, I'd expect the fallout to go cross-country and even hit Europe and Africa, that is, assuming a very bad eruption. In that case, several states at least are going to be reduced to a no man's land, the upside is that they're mostly thinly or widely populated areas.

Assuming it will happen relatively soon, yes.


Another aspect of this situation is, while the experts said the series of quakes was abnormal, we really don't have seismology records going back far enough to make that determination.  We're talking a landform that been around for millions of years, and we have what, maybe fifty years of detailed seismic records?  A sample size of a few thousandths of a percent isn't even close to enough to establish norms.

Solid point, and this might be no more than a case of indigestion for Yellowstone.


...then again, with a caldera that size, even a belch could be bad.  :-\

Offline RubySlippers

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #6 on: December 31, 2008, 04:52:11 PM »
You do know Yellowstone is literally on top of a supervolcano, its not likely to erupt at that level for a long time - hopefully.  :-\

Offline Vekseid

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #7 on: December 31, 2008, 05:34:59 PM »
Largely depends on where the ash plume goes, which could be potentially giganormus in size. If the standard eastern winds prevail, I'd expect the fallout to go cross-country and even hit Europe and Africa, that is, assuming a very bad eruption. In that case, several states at least are going to be reduced to a no man's land, the upside is that they're mostly thinly or widely populated areas.

You need to think about what goes on here. The previous three eruptions did not leave significant ashfall east of Minnesota. It seems counterintuitive, but picture it.

The planet is rotating in the opposite direction the wind is blowing. All of that mass, when it gets ejected, assuming no atmosphere, would move west, due to conservation of angular momentum. Normally, a puny volcanic eruption does not have much say in where it goes because the atmosphere is a pretty big thing and has a fair bit of push behind it.

So instead of this big long eastward stream, you have an ashfall region that is largely concentrated on the western continental United States, roughly from the Dakota-Minnesota border, and west of it. The angular momentum is slightly more powerful than the prevailing winds.

Quote
Assuming it will happen relatively soon, yes.

Solid point, and this might be no more than a case of indigestion for Yellowstone.

...then again, with a caldera that size, even a belch could be bad.  :-\

I don't know if there are any studies on intermediate eruptions occurring...

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #8 on: December 31, 2008, 05:57:04 PM »
With a more sizable eruption, ash might get caught up in the upper atmosphere currents, which could result in a different cloud-path.  I'd look more at the ashfall from something like Krakatoa instead of anything smaller.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #9 on: December 31, 2008, 08:27:05 PM »
It would all depends on the magnitude of the eruption and the prevailing winds.  If a substantial amount of the ash made it to the stratosphere, the biggest problem would likely be marked cooling across the Northern Hemisphere for several years.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_year_without_a_summer

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #10 on: December 31, 2008, 08:42:06 PM »
Considering the information about worldwide effects of 'The Year Without A Summer' given in that article, and making even modest upscaling, that could be a significant global crisis.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 12:31:19 AM »
You need to think about what goes on here. The previous three eruptions did not leave significant ashfall east of Minnesota. It seems counterintuitive, but picture it.

The planet is rotating in the opposite direction the wind is blowing. All of that mass, when it gets ejected, assuming no atmosphere, would move west, due to conservation of angular momentum. Normally, a puny volcanic eruption does not have much say in where it goes because the atmosphere is a pretty big thing and has a fair bit of push behind it.

So instead of this big long eastward stream, you have an ashfall region that is largely concentrated on the western continental United States, roughly from the Dakota-Minnesota border, and west of it. The angular momentum is slightly more powerful than the prevailing winds.

I don't know if there are any studies on intermediate eruptions occurring...



If Yellowstone goes big, it will probably take out most of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana directly, but there be collateral damage. With anything even resembling a standard eastbound wind, the ash fallout will likely cover the Great Plains and kill the breadbasket of the country in a single day. Enough high level ash will probably make air travel over most of North America impossible for some time, not to mention how internal combustion engines and machinery fares on the ground.

All I can say, I don't want to be around here when it goes down.  :-\

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #12 on: January 04, 2009, 09:52:26 AM »
Also, if it does something like 'The year without a summer', we'd be losing crops from poor weather and similar causes, not from simple ash-fall.  The areas affected were Europe and the eastern part of North America, while the triggering volcanoes were in the Philippines and the Caribbean. 

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #13 on: January 04, 2009, 10:27:34 PM »
Also, if it does something like 'The year without a summer', we'd be losing crops from poor weather and similar causes, not from simple ash-fall.  The areas affected were Europe and the eastern part of North America, while the triggering volcanoes were in the Philippines and the Caribbean. 

A good natural climate shift or intense solar cycle might be all we need to get our backs to the wall at this point, agreed.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #14 on: January 04, 2009, 11:39:06 PM »
A good natural climate shift or intense solar cycle might be all we need to get our backs to the wall at this point, agreed.

 You can bet that would be blamed on humans as well.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2009, 06:11:10 AM »
You can bet that would be blamed on humans as well.

Well, our actions can help push along a natural climate swing, but there's nothing we can do about sun. It was over the summer that I read an article that the virtually unblemished solar face had developed its first spots of the new cycle. As much as two years ago I read that the current solar cycle was predicted to arrive late but be as much as 50% stronger than the last; which threw off some of the largest flares ever observed.

We grow more vulnerable to these every year as more and more of technology spreads and is potentially exposed to super bursts of solar radiation. How the new cycle plays out, and its effects here, will be interesting to say the least.
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 06:12:34 AM by The Overlord »

Offline Zakharra

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2009, 12:01:18 PM »
 Aren't solar flares a sign of increased solar activity? Ie, the sun's burning hotter?

Offline Zakharra

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2009, 12:05:11 PM »
 On Yelleowstone going boom, where I live all I would face would be earthquakes. Of what magnitude I do not know, but they'd happen. Other than that, there woul be no other affects from the supervolcano blowing up. The prevailing wind would blow any ash and debris away. The only other threats I can see from that is if it woke up some of the long inactive volcanoes here or a forerest fire started from downed powerlines. Even that's depending when the calderra blew.

 Wyomin(sp), SW Montana and SE Idaho would take a heavy hit and everything downwind would suffer too. With that much ash in the air, it would circle the globe in days and lower temperatures a bit.

Offline Oniya

  • StoreHouse of Useless Trivia
  • Oracle
  • Carnite
  • *
  • Join Date: Sep 2008
  • Location: Just bouncing through. Hi! City of Roses, Pennsylvania
  • Gender: Female
  • One bad Motokifuka. Also cute and FLUFFY!
  • My Role Play Preferences
  • View My Rolls
  • Referrals: 3
Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2009, 12:16:47 PM »
You (and everyone else) would face the effects of the lowered temperatures, in the form of ruined crops and consequent shortages/price increases.  Getting through the initial crisis is frequently nothing compared with dealing with the aftermath.

Offline Zakharra

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #19 on: January 05, 2009, 01:43:12 PM »
 You have to survive the short term before the long term comes into play.

 How much do you think it would lower temperatures? It also depends when the thing blows up. If it's winter in the norther hemisphere, it would likely mean a long winter, but that might mean the snow gets the crap out of the air faster too.

Offline The OverlordTopic starter

Re: Yellowstone boiling over?
« Reply #20 on: January 05, 2009, 03:56:59 PM »
Aren't solar flares a sign of increased solar activity? Ie, the sun's burning hotter?

The sun, as stable and static as it appears, is technically a variable star with a roughly 11 year cycle. However, this cycle is very small compared to other stars out there, IIRC the total solar output varies by less than 1% in the course of a cycle. Compare that to variables like red giant Mira that physically expand and contract and vary enormously in size and energy output, and would throb like an enormous heart in the sky of any planet near it.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mira


However, the 11 year cycle on the sun is that one that everyone hears about; there are other internal cycles that run on different timelines. Depending on how many of them overlap at any given time makes a significant difference in output of radiation. The Little Ice Age in Europe is attributed to such activity, due to the Maunder Minimum.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Little_Ice_Age


So the short answer is that the sun isn't really burning hotter overall, other than a gradual warming increase that extends into billions of years and is insignicant in our short existence as a species, but it does go through periods of greater and lesser activity that can definitely affect us.

Watch it over the coming year; right now, today, the solar disk is pretty much flat, but that will evolve over the course of 2009. Compare to the worst we've seen the sun do; here's the standard before-after comparison.


http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/data/realtime-images.html


http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/gallery/bestofsoho.html
« Last Edit: January 05, 2009, 04:02:54 PM by The Overlord »