Saturday, January 10, 2009

News: "Quakes shake loose fears about Yellowstone volcano"

Some of you may know this, there have been a couple of documentaries on The National Geographic Channel & possible some others about it. Anyway, Yellowstone National Park is located atop of a mega volcano, or sometimes referred to as a supervolcano, called Yellowstone Caldera. In fact, Yellowstone would not be what it is with out the volcano. There would be no geysers or other geothermal features, which is the number one attraction to the park. With out the volcano, it would just be another nice place to hike & see wildlife, which is enough for me, but the unusual activity is wonderful too. If you've never been, you should definitely plan a trip. Yellowstone & Arches run a close race at being my all time favorite National Parks.

So, the reason I'm talking about this is there have been an increase in the geological activity over the last few weeks. It has some concerned being that the volcano is long over due for an eruption but at the same time does not worry the scientists too awfuly much because they believe the chance of an eruption any time in the next 100 years to be highly unlikely. Still, I find it quite interesting. Here are some quotes from an article The Weather Channel posted on their website yesterday (1/9/09), entitled "Quakes shake loose fears about Yellowstone volcano":

"Hundreds of small earthquakes at Yellowstone National Park in recent weeks have been an unsettling reminder for some people that underneath the park's famous geysers and majestic scenery lurks one of the world's biggest volcanoes."

"In the ancient past, the volcano has erupted 1,000 times more powerfully than the 1980 blast at Mount St. Helens, hurling ash as far away as Louisiana. No eruption that big has occurred while humans have walked the earth, however, and geologists say even a minor lava flow is extremely unlikely any time soon."

"'To those of us who have been following these events, we know that something is brewing, especially considering that Yellowstone is over 40,000 years overdue for a major eruption,' warned a posting on the online disaster forum"

"Earthquakes are hardly unusual in Yellowstone. Hundreds occur in the park every year. Earthquake "swarms" like the recent activity also aren't uncommon, although the 900 or so quakes that began Dec. 26 and significantly tapered off about a week later appear to have been the most energetic swarm in more than 20 years."

"The most powerful temblor was magnitude 3.9, just short of being able to cause moderate damage. The vast majority of quakes were too weak to be felt by people."

"Heasler said the odds of a cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone any time soon are astonishingly remote -- about the same as a large meteorite hitting the Earth. The last such eruption occurred 640,000 years ago. The last eruption of any kind at Yellowstone was a much smaller lava flow about 70,000 years ago."

"Much more likely, he said, would be a hydrothermal explosion in which underground water encounters a hot spot and blasts through the surface. Small hydrothermal explosions producing craters a few feet wide occur in Yellowstone perhaps once or twice a year. Large hydrothermal explosions leaving craters the size of a football field occur every 200 years or so, according to a 2007 paper co-authored by Heasler, Lowenstern and others."

Anyway, I thought that was pretty interesting so I thought I would share it with all my faithful readers. Thanks for stopping by. :)


jinxxxygirl said...

I find this kind of thing interestion too. Surprised i hadn't heard about it before that all the quakes were going on. But i don't always keep up with the news. LOL! Hows your weightloss journey coming this week? Doing great things with that grocery haul??? I hope your having an awesome week. I love your videos and your blog. Your cat is so adorable. I have a black cat (about 4 years old) named Jinx ( hence my user name LOL)
Just keep taking baby steps in the right direction and before you know it they will be a part of you and a habit. Stay warm. Jinx

kris_tea said...

Honestly, it didn't really make headlines. I just happened to see a small link while checking the weather. I probably wouldn't have noticed it but I'm very interested in Yellowstone & volcanos.

I'm getting back into the swing of things after Christmas. I think I've lost weight this week but I'm not sure yet.

Thanks. :)