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Yellowstone magma much bigger than thought

montana usa super-volcano destruction global event geological survey

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#1 Hum

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 22:47

HELENA, MT –  The hot molten rock beneath Yellowstone National Park is 2 1/2 times larger than previously estimated, meaning the park's super-volcano has the potential to erupt with a force about 2,000 times the size of Mount St. Helens, according to a new study.

By measuring seismic waves from earthquakes, scientists were able to map the magma chamber underneath the Yellowstone caldera as 55 miles long, lead author Jamie Farrell of the University of Utah said Monday.

The chamber is 18 miles wide and runs at depths from 3 to 9 miles below the earth, he added.

That means there is enough volcanic material below the surface to match the largest of the super-volcano's three eruptions over the last 2.1 million years, Farrell said.

The largest blast -- the volcano's first -- was 2,000 times the size of the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens in Washington state. A similar one would spew large amounts of volcanic material in the atmosphere, where it would circle the earth, he said.

"It would be a global event," Farrell said. "There would be a lot of destruction and a lot of impacts around the globe."

 

"We do believe there will be another eruption, we just don't know when," he said.

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#2 wrack

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 23:12

Nature! We are so puny against it.



#3 OP Hum

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 23:35

It would be nice if they could drill a small hole to ease off the pressure.



#4 Raa

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Posted 17 December 2013 - 23:38

It would be nice if they could drill a small hole to ease off the pressure.

But that might set it off :(



#5 DocM

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:24

^ very likely. Taking off the pressure could make the gases dissolved in the magma begin to boil out, rapidly. Think in terms of opening an 18 mile wide bottle of Coca Cola that has been dropped a few times.

#6 Phantom Helix

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 02:50

^ very likely. Taking off the pressure could make the gases dissolved in the magma begin to boil out, rapidly. Think in terms of opening an 18 mile wide bottle of Coca Cola that has been dropped a few times.

 

 

Diet-Coke and mentos lol



#7 Pam14160

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:03

If this volcano blows it will be likely the end of civilization as we know it.  Been reading up on some of the other great volcano disasters of the past 3000 years, and most of them weren't even in the ball park compared the one under Yellowstone, and their deaf toll was quite large, and in some cases extremely nasty when it came to changing the planets weather patterns. . .have a nice day. . . :woot:



#8 DocM

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 03:16

It's theorized that the Toba supervolcano (Sumatra) blew ~70,000 years ago, causing a global extinction event that left only 3,000 to 10,000 humans alive. This resulted in a genetic bottlenect that can still be seen in our genome.

#9 Shiranui

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:02

Should cool the planet down a bit. Give the polar bears a change to increase their numbers.

#10 Torolol

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 05:32

how much it worth for geothermal electricity?



#11 Zaic

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:14

I bet there are at least 10 other similar or even more bigger volcanoes around the globe that are laughing while reading this...



#12 TMYW

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 06:24

Nature! We are so puny against it.

 

 
From Wikipedia:

Half the geothermal features and two-thirds of the world's geysers are concentrated in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone is seriously ready to blow at any time.

 



#13 Growled

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 16:42

If this volcano blows it will be likely the end of civilization as we know it.  Been reading up on some of the other great volcano disasters of the past 3000 years, and most of them weren't even in the ball park compared the one under Yellowstone, and their deaf toll was quite large, and in some cases extremely nasty when it came to changing the planets weather patterns. . .have a nice day. . . :woot:

 

I hope I'm not alive when that happens. I guess I probably won't be after it happens, at least probably not for long. I am really depressed now, thanks. :p



#14 Geoffrey B.

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 16:51

thankfully statistically it will never happen in our lifetimes :D so we have that going for us.



#15 Roadrunna

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Posted 18 December 2013 - 16:52

If this volcano blows it will be likely the end of civilization as we know it.  Been reading up on some of the other great volcano disasters of the past 3000 years, and most of them weren't even in the ball park compared the one under Yellowstone, and their deaf toll was quite large, and in some cases extremely nasty when it came to changing the planets weather patterns. . .have a nice day. . . :woot:

 

Well, I'm already hard of hearing so I won't notice any difference!