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Thread: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

  1. #201
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    It seems that in Fox News they are saying that the Washington Monument has tilted.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Creepy Ass Cracka & Site Owner Ryan Ruck's Avatar
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Yep, just saw 51% of people don't pay Fed taxes this morning. Does that count as locusts?

    By the way, patiently awaiting our on scene reporter Phil to check in.

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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Anyone have the number to contact FEMA so I can get my FEMA card and trailer poste haste?

    If it isn't here in the next 30 minutes or less, it will be pretty obvious that Barack Obama hates white people.

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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Anyone have the number to contact FEMA so I can get my FEMA card and trailer poste haste?

    If it isn't here in the next 30 minutes or less, it will be pretty obvious that Barack Obama hates white people.

    Contact Us:
    Disaster Assistance
    Telephone: 1 (800) 621-FEMA (3362)
    TDD: 1 (800) 462-7585
    Fax: 1 (800) 827-8112

    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Libertatem Prius!


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  6. #206
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    I'm praying for you all.

    Saint Paul in the Ephesians 6:12


    "For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms."



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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    No worries BR. No one is hurt, there were NO reported injuries.

    The subways will run tonight at slower speeds.

    The Washington Monument is "tilted" a bit.. no big deal.

    Some ceiling tiles fell off some ceilings and I heard there might be some damage to the Capitol Building dome.

    As I said, thanks from all of us to you for the prayers.

    Better to pray we get rid of the current WH resident though. I suspect God is angry with us for keeping him there....
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO OBSERVATORY MONTHLY UPDATE
    Friday, August 5, 2011 8:15 AM MDT (Friday, August 5, 2011 14:15 UTC)


    YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (CAVW #1205-01-)
    44°25'48" N 110°40'12" W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
    Current Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
    Current Aviation Color Code: GREEN

    During the month of July 2011, 54 earthquakes were located in the Yellowstone National Park region. The largest was a magnitude 2.1 event on July 8 at 7:33 AM MDT, located about 9 miles west southwest of Old Faithful, YNP. No swarms were recorded in July.

    Earthquake activity continues at relatively low background levels. For a map of recent earthquakes, please see:

    http://www.seis.utah.edu/req2webdir/...llowstone.html

    Ground Deformation Summary: The period of caldera uplift that began in 2004 ended over one year ago. Since then, the caldera has been subsiding, though seasonal deformation from ground water changes may temporarily mask the trend. Please see: http://www.uusatrg.utah.edu/ts_ysrp.html for a map of GPS stations in the Yellowstone vicinity. For a graph of daily GPS positions at White Lake, within the Yellowstone caldera, please see: http://pboweb.unavco.org/shared/scri...plotseries=raw.

    ---
    The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) is a partnership of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone National Park, and University of Utah to strengthen the long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone National Park region. Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world and the first National Park. YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.

    CONTACT INFORMATION:
    Jacob Lowenstern, USGS
    Scientist-in-Charge, Yellowstone Volcano Observatory
    jlwnstrn@usgs.gov

    Robert Smith, University of Utah
    Coordinating Scientist, YVO

    Henry Heasler, Yellowstone National Park
    Coordinating Scientist, YVO
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Ruck View Post
    Hopefully this doesn't shake the New Madrid loose!
    This brings up a lot of shelved information, sometime after comes War...on our shores.

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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    I'm a lot more worried about Yellowstone than a 5.8 quake on the east coast.
    Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells

    Some places saw the ground rise by ten inches, experts report.


    Steam rises from Castle Geyser in Yellowstone National Park (file photo).

    Photograph by Mark Thiessen, National Geographic


    Brian Handwerk
    for National Geographic News
    Published January 19, 2011
    Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano just took a deep "breath," causing miles of ground to rise dramatically, scientists report.
    The simmering volcano has produced major eruptions—each a thousand times more powerful than Mount St. Helens's 1980 eruption—three times in the past 2.1 million years. Yellowstone's caldera, which covers a 25- by 37-mile (40- by 60-kilometer) swath of Wyoming, is an ancient crater formed after the last big blast, some 640,000 years ago.
    (See "When Yellowstone Explodes" in National Geographic magazine.)
    Since then, about 30 smaller eruptions—including one as recent as 70,000 years ago—have filled the caldera with lava and ash, producing the relatively flat landscape we see today.
    But beginning in 2004, scientists saw the ground above the caldera rise upward at rates as high as 2.8 inches (7 centimeters) a year. (Related: "Yellowstone Is Rising on Swollen 'Supervolcano.'")
    The rate slowed between 2007 and 2010 to a centimeter a year or less. Still, since the start of the swelling, ground levels over the volcano have been raised by as much as 10 inches (25 centimeters) in places.
    "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high," said the University of Utah's Bob Smith, a longtime expert in Yellowstone's volcanism.
    Video: Yellowstone—World's First National Park.

    Scientists think a swelling magma reservoir four to six miles (seven to ten kilometers) below the surface is driving the uplift. Fortunately, the surge doesn't seem to herald an imminent catastrophe, Smith said. (Related: "Under Yellowstone, Magma Pocket 20 Percent Larger Than Thought.")
    "At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption," said Smith, who co-authored a paper on the surge published in the December 3, 2010, edition of Geophysical Research Letters.
    "But once we saw [the magma] was at a depth of ten kilometers, we weren't so concerned. If it had been at depths of two or three kilometers [one or two miles], we'd have been a lot more concerned."
    Studies of the surge, he added, may offer valuable clues about what's going on in the volcano's subterranean plumbing, which may eventually help scientists predict when Yellowstone's next volcanic "burp" will break out.
    Yellowstone Takes Regular Breaths
    Smith and colleagues at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Yellowstone Volcano Observatory have been mapping the caldera's rise and fall using tools such as global positioning systems (GPS) and interferometric synthetic aperture radar (InSAR), which gives ground-deformation measurements.
    Ground deformation can suggest that magma is moving toward the surface before an eruption: The flanks of Mount St. Helens, for example, swelled dramatically in the months before its 1980 explosion. (See pictures of Mount St. Helens before and after the blast.)
    But there are also many examples, including the Yellowstone supervolcano, where it appears the ground has risen and fallen for thousands of years without an eruption.
    According to current theory, Yellowstone's magma reservoir is fed by a plume of hot rock surging upward from Earth's mantle. (Related: "New Magma Layer Found Deep in Earth's Mantle?")
    When the amount of magma flowing into the chamber increases, the reservoir swells like a lung and the surface above expands upward. Models suggest that during the recent uplift, the reservoir was filling with 0.02 cubic miles (0.1 cubic kilometer) of magma a year.
    When the rate of increase slows, the theory goes, the magma likely moves off horizontally to solidify and cool, allowing the surface to settle back down.
    Based on geologic evidence, Yellowstone has probably seen a continuous cycle of inflation and deflation over the past 15,000 years, and the cycle will likely continue, Smith said.
    Surveys show, for example, that the caldera rose some 7 inches (18 centimeters) between 1976 and 1984 before dropping back about 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) over the next decade.
    "These calderas tend to go up and down, up and down," he said. "But every once in a while they burp, creating hydrothermal explosions, earthquakes, or—ultimately—they can produce volcanic eruptions."
    Yellowstone Surge Also Linked to Geysers, Quakes?
    Predicting when an eruption might occur is extremely difficult, in part because the fine details of what's going on under Yellowstone are still undetermined. What's more, continuous records of Yellowstone's activity have been made only since the 1970s—a tiny slice of geologic time—making it hard to draw conclusions.
    "Clearly some deep source of magma feeds Yellowstone, and since Yellowstone has erupted in the recent geological past, we know that there is magma at shallower depths too," said Dan Dzurisin, a Yellowstone expert with the USGS Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington State.
    "There has to be magma in the crust, or we wouldn't have all the hydrothermal activity that we have," Dzurisin added. "There is so much heat coming out of Yellowstone right now that if it wasn't being reheated by magma, the whole system would have gone stone cold since the time of the last eruption 70,000 years ago."
    The large hydrothermal system just below Yellowstone's surface, which produces many of the park's top tourist attractions, may also play a role in ground swelling, Dzurisin said, though no one is sure to what extent.
    "Could it be that some uplift is caused not by new magma coming in but by the hydrothermal system sealing itself up and pressurizing?" he asked. "And then it subsides when it springs a leak and depressurizes? These details are difficult."
    And it's not a matter of simply watching the ground rise and fall. Different areas may move in different directions and be interconnected in unknown ways, reflecting the as yet unmapped network of volcanic and hydrothermal plumbing.
    The roughly 3,000 earthquakes in Yellowstone each year may offer even more clues about the relationship between ground uplift and the magma chamber.
    For example, between December 26, 2008, and January 8, 2009, some 900 earthquakes occurred in the area around Yellowstone Lake.
    This earthquake "swarm" may have helped to release pressure on the magma reservoir by allowing fluids to escape, and this may have slowed the rate of uplift, the University of Utah's Smith said. (Related: "Mysterious 'Swarm' of Quakes Strikes Oregon Waters.")
    "Big quakes [can have] a relationship to uplift and deformations caused by the intrusion of magma," he said. "How those intrusions stress the adjacent faults, or how the faults might transmit stress to the magma system, is a really important new area of study."
    Overall, USGS's Dzurisin added, "the story of Yellowstone deformation has gotten more complex as we've had better and better technologies to study it."
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by vector7 View Post
    This brings up a lot of shelved information, shortly after comes War...on our shores.
    If New Madrid shakes loose it will cause a lot of damage throughout the Midwest. There are possibilities of 9.0 or higher quakes from that particular fault. 1812 was one if memory serves.

    That one if I recalled changed the course of the Mississippi River.

    Yellowstone is the other issue here in the states. If that blows in our life time, there will be NOTHING left of the US. We will fall absolutely apart, and will without ANY doubt be invaded by China (and possibly Russia) not to mention Mexico and other southern countries.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Truth, fiction and everything in between at Yellowstone
    Jake Lowenstern
    Sidebars:
    Getting to know Yellowstone Print Exclusive
    What is a supervolcano?

    Straight from the Source: Q&A with Ailsa Orr Print Exclusive

    When I was asked to take over as scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) in 2002, I was unaware that soon I would be responding to a rapidly growing urban legend (or perhaps a rural one in this case). Just Google for the words “Yellowstone” and “Doomsday,” and you’ll find hundreds of entries from scores of Web sites warning that the world is about to end at the hands of America’s first national park and largest restless caldera.

    In the BBC-Discovery Channel docudrama Supervolcano, Yellowstone volcano erupts violently, sending hundreds of cubic miles’ worth of debris into the atmosphere and creating plumes of ash and debris that race at hundreds of miles an hour. Although this type of eruption has happened in the geologic past, scientists say an eruption of that magnitude is unlikely to happen anytime soon. Courtesy of Discovery Communications.

    Of course, the Yellowstone caldera is a volcano, and it almost certainly will erupt again someday. It’s possible, though unlikely, that future eruptions could reach the magnitude of Yellowstone’s three largest explosive eruptions, 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions, however, are far more likely, and no eruption seems imminent on the timescale that most people truly care about — their lifetime or perhaps even the next few hundred or thousands of years.

    These realities, however, do not always make it into the coverage we see in TV documentaries, on the Internet or in the popular press. Sometimes, the media bends the realities to make for better entertainment rather than better science, as evidenced by my experiences over the past three years evaluating everything from fictional movies about Yellowstone to dispelling myths on Internet chat rooms.
    What actually is happening

    So, why all the attention on Yellowstone volcano now? Although scientists first recognized Yellowstone’s history of repeated titanic eruptions back in the 1960s, the general public became aware of them only during the past five years or so. The upsurge in interest can be tied partly to the release of an episode of the BBC-produced Horizon in 2000, which addressed volcanic eruptions at Yellowstone and was frequently replayed in the United Kingdom and in North America on the Discovery Channel.

    Around the same time, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Utah and Yellowstone National Park to create YVO. The idea was to formalize what had been an unofficial observatory for many years and create a stronger framework for monitoring and research. A few years later, in late 2002, a number of geological factors contributed to ramping up public interest in Yellowstone and its volcanic potential.

    First, surface waves from the magnitude-7.9 Denali, Alaska, earthquake triggered about 400 small temblors within the park, 3,100 kilometers (about 1,900 miles) distant from the epicenter. Next, Steamboat Geyser, Yellowstone’s tallest and most unpredictable geyser, erupted in March 2003 and again in April and October. A new and vigorously steaming 75-meter (245-foot) line of steam vents erupted within sight of the Norris-Mammoth Road. A trail in the Norris Geyser Basin was closed because of increased steaming and resulting elevated ground temperatures. Our coordinating scientist Robert B. Smith of the University of Utah spearheaded a seismic and GPS-based experiment trying to understand the nature of the changes to hydrothermal features at Norris.

    At the same time, new USGS mapping of thermal features on the floor of Yellowstone Lake resulted in a flurry of articles on Yellowstone’s potential for hydrothermal explosions — events in which geothermal groundwater is flashed to steam, hurling rocks substantial distances and forming craters. These articles reasonably highlighted the active thermal features beneath the lake and the importance of hydrothermal explosions, but they also incorrectly implied that active “bulges” were rapidly forming beneath the lake, that they were ready to explode, and that they could cause volcanism in their wake.
    Eruption on the small screen

    With all this attention on Yellowstone late in 2003, BBC Science decided to produce a two-hour “docudrama” on the volcano and its potential for widespread devastation. Entitled Supervolcano, it chronicles a near-future cataclysm modeled after the Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago, which vented more than 2,500 cubic kilometers of volcanic debris (enough to bury the state of Texas 12 feet deep). The BBC movie cost approximately $5.5 million to make and was co-produced with Discovery Channel, NHK and several other global television interests. It premiered in the United Kingdom in March and in the United States in April.

    Jake Lowenstern, real-life scientist-in-charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), collects geothermal gas in the field. In the docudrama Supervolcano, Michael Riley plays the scientist-in-charge of YVO (Rick Lieberman), and he consulted with Lowenstern on everything from dress code to pronunciation of geologic terms in preparation for his role. Image courtesy of Fraser Goff, USGS.


    Scientists from USGS, Yellowstone National Park, the University of Utah and elsewhere in academia were visited by the film’s producer and writer, prior to filming. They asked us countless questions during script development, including the following: How do you monitor the volcano? What phenomena imply an eruption? Who is responsible for what tasks? What do you do in the field? Where do you stay? How do you get around? Later, we reviewed a draft script for the drama and provided them with our comments and critiques. Michael Riley, the actor playing the YVO scientist-in-charge, phoned me twice, and we had lengthy conversations about topics ranging from “my typical day” to dress code to the proper pronunciation of place names and geological jargon.

    In the end, the BBC Science team did an impressive job of addressing the sorts of scientific issues we would grapple with during the start of an eruption. The drama unfolds as a true scientific thriller, both gripping and fact-filled. The characters, though based only loosely on real people, had motivations and interests similar to mine and those of my colleagues. Although we strongly would have preferred portrayal of the effects of a small eruption, their intent was always to provide a worst-case scenario, and the final product did that very well.

    Surprisingly, our experience with two documentary film programs was somewhat more negative. Both BBC and the National Geographic Channel requested our assistance on documentaries that would explore the effects of “supereruptions.” The BBC program followed its showing of Supervolcano, while the National Geographic program was for its series Naked Science. My naïve assumption was that the filmmakers would interview their subjects and then synthesize the results of what they had learned. In both cases, though, we felt as if our roles had been scripted beforehand and that the filmmakers relentlessly pursued several key quotes that fit neatly within their desired narrative.

    We were never given the opportunity to critique the Naked Science program, and the final product was highly sensationalized. The BBC did allow us to view an early version of their documentary, one which we felt was highly misleading about actual geologic hazards and risks at Yellowstone National Park. Their revised program, entitled The Truth About Yellowstone, was broadcast in the United Kingdom and elsewhere overseas. Although it was much better than the earlier draft, it tended to focus more on corroborating Supervolcano than on providing an unbiased assessment of current events and likely volcanic scenarios. Discovery Channel opted to replace The Truth About Yellowstone with its own documentary hosted by Tom Brokaw. Overall, that documentary was balanced, providing both the science and the sensational with appropriate perspective.
    Explosions in the newspaper

    “Under Pressure? Yellowstone may be getting ready to erupt, scientists say.” This alarming headline grabbed many readers’ attention in Longmont, Colo., in December 2003. Actually, the associated article in the local paper, the Times-Call, was quite good and with the exception of the headline, made no mention of any scientists who thought Yellowstone might be getting ready to erupt. I’ve since learned that headline writers don’t always worry too much about matching headlines to storylines. They can creatively embellish the fundamental science without any serious consequences, at least to themselves.

    And that was true to a limited degree for the wide range of coverage Yellowstone has received in recent years in the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times and CBS News, among many, many others. Coordinating scientists Robert Smith, Henry Heasler (the park geologist) and I have done interviews for scores of newspapers and magazines (including Geotimes), as well as television and radio news stories, some of which were accurate and reasonable, whereas others were sensationalized and twisted.

    Generally, the most carefully researched articles about volcanism at Yellowstone were penned by writers from the local newspapers in Billings, Mont., Jackson, Wyo., and other nearby towns. This paralleled my experience at Mount St. Helens in October 2004, where the local writers were more likely to take the time to get the story right.

    When confronted with a litany of potential eruption scenarios, local reporters covering Mount St. Helens thoroughly educated themselves about the volcano, its history and the techniques used to monitor volcanic activity. They did not want to overstate the danger once they understood that a relatively nonhazardous effusive eruption was underway.

    Similarly, at Yellowstone, local reporters were typically careful, whereas those sitting at a greater distance from the park often viewed the story as ripe for “titillation.” I don’t think it’s a coincidence that so much of the hyperbolic press on the Yellowstone volcano comes from the United Kingdom. In reading many of the U.K. news articles, I cannot but sense an unstated glee as the author recounts the future doom headed for their brethren “across the pond.”

    Cataclysms on the Internet

    Not surprisingly, the Internet is the biggest source of misinformation about Yellowstone’s volcanic past and present. By mid-2003, Internet news magazines and chat rooms had exploded with speculation and fabrications about current events at Yellowstone. One online report was cobbled together “from a series of articles, emails and official information.” It included nuggets such as “The [Yellowstone] Lake is now closed to the public. It is filled with dead fish floating everywhere. The same is true of the Yellowstone River and most of the other streams in the Park.” Later in the same report came the following: “The movement of magma has been detected just three-tenths of a mile below the bulging surface of the ground in Yellowstone raising concerns that this super volcano may erupt soon.”

    The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, shown steaming here in August 2003, is home to many hydrothermal features, which are fueled by an enormous magma chamber seated below much of the park. Image courtesy of Jim Peaco/NPS.


    Needless to say, these statements were not true, and someone did not do a very thorough job of fact checking the story — but that did not stop dispersal of these misleading reports all over the Internet. Similarly, an online Web forum reported that USGS had secretly sent 200 geologists into Yellowstone to study “the situation.” I can only dream that USGS had such resources!

    Most of these articles referred to generic “scientists” who were worried about one thing or concerned about another. None of these people were ever mentioned by name, and I certainly have not met any of these generic scientists — but they sure did seem worried. As a result of these stories, enthusiasts flocked to our real-time data on seismicity, ground deformation and stream flow, looking for any anomaly that might foreshadow an approaching eruption and devastation. Their musings provided fascinating, but unsettling, reading for YVO scientists. Wind, trucks and snowmobiles were interpreted as tremors, swarms and other signs of instability.

    Although the denizens of these chat rooms may have had scant geological education, they were passionate. One online forum sent us a series of penetrating questions about how we monitor Yellowstone. Smith, Heasler and I responded, knowing that our words would be posted on their Web site. Although we were unsure whether answering was a good idea, in the end, we responded as forthrightly as possible. While answering their questions, we admitted that our monitoring system could not predict certain kinds of events (for example, localized steam or hydro-thermal explosions), that we do not monitor gas flux or composition in real time, and that there are many topics that earth scientists still do not understand.

    Our letter was painstakingly analyzed by many in their group, some of whom still accused us of obfuscation and evasion. We soon noted, however, a significant curtailment in their concern — messages to their Yellowstone chat room slowed to a near halt. Overall, I think we gave them what they needed, and we turned a few skeptics into grudging admirers.
    Observations and lessons learned

    My experiences over the past few years have necessarily caused me to reflect on the public face of science, scientific information and scientists themselves. Prior to my role at YVO, I’d worked as a full-time researcher on the geochemistry of magmas and their related hydrothermal systems. I recognized that although my research was relevant to volcanology and economic geology, it explored subjects too arcane to be of much interest to the public. My focus was toward other scientists, and when reporters did venture near my door, I was challenged to convey properly the significance of my work while keeping things simple, technically accurate and appropriately reflective of work done by others.

    So it came as a bit of a shock when regardless of anything I’d actually done as a research scientist, I was now solidly in the role as the point person for a whole host of critical questions. Will it erupt? Why not? When? How do we know?

    It’s been a fascinating transition — one that was not necessarily desired, but that has taught me useful lessons in communicating technical information to a public that truly cares about what scientists say and how we say it. These lessons hold true for people dealing with media in any profession, not just the earth sciences.

    The first lesson is not to talk about a sensitive subject unless you’ve thought about it before, talked about it with others and gotten some feedback. Fortunately at YVO, we have three coordinating scientists with varied expertise and different home institutions, so we have natural checks and balances when we communicate to the public. We’ve learned that it’s critical to keep things as simple as possible. If you’re trying to answer a question, do not give an answer that will spark two more questions. And while there may be 10 different possible ways to answer a technical question, there’s always one that is a bit more direct and more intuitively satisfying, and that’s the one you should use.

    Second, tell the truth and admit when you don’t know something. If you tell the truth as you see it, many will still call you a baldfaced liar. If you choose to hide anything, they’ll know you are one.

    And last, don’t confuse enthusiasm with good outreach: It may work for high school kids but it won’t work with the New York Times or nightly news hours. When we get too casual or enthusiastic, our words come back to haunt us. Our excitement about understanding earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes and floods can be misinterpreted. Reporters may confuse our reconstruction of past events with a prediction of future events. Ultimately, the latter holds their interest.

    In the end, the reporters and filmmakers have the final say. They write the articles and scripts, they choose the quotes and sound bites, and they have the attention of the public. When they work hard to get the facts correct, it pays off. The Supervolcano drama was successful in large part because it was authentic, making the plot more gripping and the whole experience more educational. When the science is ignored, or misunderstood, everyone loses. The challenge for us scientists is to relay both the details and the context of our work, so that society understands that science is ultimately a human endeavor — sometimes uncertain, often complex, but always exciting.
    What is a supervolcano?

    From the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Web site:
    “The term ‘supervolcano’ implies an eruption of magnitude 8 on the Volcano Explosivity Index, meaning that more than 1,000 cubic kilometers (250 cubic miles) of magma (partially molten rock) are erupted. The most recent such event on Earth occurred 74,000 years ago at the Toba Caldera in Sumatra, Indonesia.”
    Examples of volcanoes that have produced exceedingly voluminous eruptions and formed large calderas in the past 2 million years include Yellowstone, Long Valley in eastern California, Toba in Indonesia and Taupo in New Zealand. Other supervolcanoes would likely include the large caldera volcanoes of Japan, Indonesia and South America, among others, according to USGS.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Article above is from June 2005.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Donaldson View Post
    If New Madrid shakes loose it will cause a lot of damage throughout the Midwest. There are possibilities of 9.0 or higher quakes from that particular fault. 1812 was one if memory serves.

    That one if I recalled changed the course of the Mississippi River.

    Yellowstone is the other issue here in the states. If that blows in our life time, there will be NOTHING left of the US. We will fall absolutely apart, and will without ANY doubt be invaded by China (and possibly Russia) not to mention Mexico and other southern countries.
    1. We will fall apart.
    2. China and Russia will have their own issues and be too involved to invade.

    If the Yellowstone Caldera blows, the initial dead will range to the Mississippi. Days or weeks later, as the ash continues to drift down upon ever inch of the globe north of the Equator the famines will start and before the dust is all settled, there will be billions dead.

    North of the Equator, there probably won't be any usable sunlight for at least 6 months and it will continue as long as the caldera seethes and it will probably seethe for years.

    The ash will work its way southward increasing the albedo of the atmosphere enough that even Argentina will have trouble feeding itself.

    No one is going to be invading anyone.
    "Far better it is to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs even though checkered by failure, than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much because they live in the gray twilight that knows neither victory nor defeat."
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Oh, there was really ONE important thing from that article above... let me quote it really quickly, and I'll explain...

    A few years later, in late 2002, a number of geological factors contributed to ramping up public interest in Yellowstone and its volcanic potential.

    First, surface waves from the magnitude-7.9 Denali, Alaska, earthquake triggered about 400 small temblors within the park, 3,100 kilometers (about 1,900 miles) distant from the epicenter. Next, Steamboat Geyser, Yellowstone’s tallest and most unpredictable geyser, erupted in March 2003 and again in April and October.
    THIS is why I posted this, and it's significance to anything here.

    Note the distance from Denali, AK to Yellowstone (a long way off) and yet a 7.9 magnitude quake caused smaller quakes that far off.

    Second... The quake center somewhere in Virgina is only about 700-800 miles, if that, from New Madrid fault system.

    Third, we had quakes here in COLORADO last night (small, but still quakes above magnitude 5).

    Fourth, quakes in one area of the world apparently DO trigger things in other areas, and there's a pretty good theory going about in the geophysics world about something some of you might have heard about called "swarms". Quakes travel in 'swarms'... one series triggering another distant series of quakes.

    My belief is that when you have minor quakes like this scattered across a large region of the planet they tend to happen because something bigger it about to occur.

    Here's a quick fault map of Colorado....

    The quake last night was southwest of Colorado Springs (actually closer to the border of South Colorado, and along I-25 which runs... pretty much by that orange line to the south there on the map above).

    That fault is the one I suspect (but haven't had time to check yet, been busy with other things).



    The last really big quake here was in 1967 and was a 6.5 or so. Before that... well, here's a quote from a news article....

    The last known natural event of comparable size was an earthquake in 1882 in what is now Rocky Mountain National Park, several hours northwest of Denver. That quake, based on historical reports, was about a magnitude 6.5, Ms. Dutton said.
    No quakes to speak of in Colorado since 1882. The article also says that the other two large quakes we've had were determined to be "manmade" due to blasting or mining or something.

    Interesting. We just don't get anything bigger than about 2.5 or 2.6 here. Ever.

    In 2009, we did have a couple of quakes around 3.7 or 3.9....both were in far NW colorado (well north of me, and close to the Wyoming border).

    So... coincidences? Perhaps. Oddly strange ones. Quakes in places that RARELY if EVER get quakes?
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by Malsua View Post
    1. We will fall apart.
    2. China and Russia will have their own issues and be too involved to invade.

    If the Yellowstone Caldera blows, the initial dead will range to the Mississippi. Days or weeks later, as the ash continues to drift down upon ever inch of the globe north of the Equator the famines will start and before the dust is all settled, there will be billions dead.

    North of the Equator, there probably won't be any usable sunlight for at least 6 months and it will continue as long as the caldera seethes and it will probably seethe for years.

    The ash will work its way southward increasing the albedo of the atmosphere enough that even Argentina will have trouble feeding itself.

    No one is going to be invading anyone.
    Well... I have to disagree. This time I know something you don't.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Malsua, my apologies... I used to DETEST when people on Anomalies would use such a line on me. But I happen to know that's a tabletop scenario that has been played out. Invasions from China if something like that happens WILL take place, on the West Coast and through Central America and the Gulf of Mexico.

    Whether they will be prepared to live long enough to take any land is another story... but there will be a major mechanized force that invades. Planes? Nope. Not many will fly.

    Cold? You bet. No sunshine.

    America? We'll have a continuation of government, but there will only be local enclaves who are going to HOPE for help and never get it.

    Resistance? You bet your ass....

    Russians? Maybe not, unlikely depending on if they are "friendly" with the Chinese at the time.

    Chinese? Most certainly.

    Nuclear weapons? Not likely but not ruled out.

    Does Rick really know what he's talking about this time? Yes.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    By the way, judging from this NON-EVENT today in Virgina, just think about what happens for real if there is a 9.0 on the Madrid fault?

    What are these fools gonna do in DC when Hurricane Irene slaps then in 5 days?

    One has to wonder about the mentality of some falling ceiling tiles versus Hurricanes dropping tornadoes one after the other on the leading edge of the "bad zone".

    Wow.
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Is the world's largest super-volcano set to erupt for the first time in 600,000 years, wiping out two-thirds of the U.S.?


    By Daniel Bates

    Last updated at 12:16 PM on 25th January 2011



    • The super-volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has been rising at a record rate since 2004

    It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
    Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.

    Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.

    On the verge of a catastrophe? Yellowstone National Park's caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and scientists monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption (file picture)

    This is the nightmare that scientists are predicting could happen if the world’s largest super-volcano erupts for the first time in 600,000 years, as it could do in the near future.

    Yellowstone National Park’s caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1million years and researchers monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption.

    They said that the super-volcano underneath the Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 - its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the fastest rate since records began in 1923.




    But hampered by a lack of data they have stopped short of an all-out warning and they are unable to put a date on when the next disaster might take place.

    When the eruption finally happens it will dwarf the effect of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull volcano, which erupted in April last year, causing travel chaos around the world.

    The University of Utah's Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone's volcanism told National Geographic: ‘It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high.

    ‘At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption.’

    Area of outstanding natural beauty: The Yellowstone caldera (circled in red) in Wyoming is the world's largest super-volcano

    Scorched earth: An artist's interpretation of how the Midway Basin in the park might look after an eruption


    But he added: ‘Once we saw the magma was at a depth of ten kilometres, we weren't so concerned.

    ‘If it had been at depths of two or three kilometre we'd have been a lot more concerned.’

    Robert B. Smith, professor of geophysics at the University of Utah, who has led a recent study into the volcano, added: ‘Our best evidence is that the crustal magma chamber is filling with molten rock.

    ‘But we have no idea how long this process goes on before there either is an eruption or the inflow of molten rock stops and the caldera deflates again’.

    The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.

    Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.

    In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.

    Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.

    July 22, 1980: Mount St Helens in Washington erupts. A Yellowstone caldera eruption would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful

    Scientists monitoring it believe that a swelling magma reservoir six miles underground may be causing the recent uplifts.

    They have also been keeping an eye on a ‘pancake-shaped blob’ of molten rock he size of Los Angeles which was pressed into the volcano some time ago.

    But due the extreme conditions it has been hard to work out what exactly is going on down below, leading researchers unable to say with certainty what will happen - or when.

    Since the most recent blast 640,000 years ago there have been around 30 smaller eruptions, the most recent of which was 70,000 years ago.
    They filled the caldera with ash and lava and made the flat landscape that draws thousands of tourists to Yellowstone National Park every year.

    ‘Clearly some deep source of magma feeds Yellowstone, and since Yellowstone has erupted in the recent geological past, we know that there is magma at shallower depths too,’ said Dan Dzurisin, a Yellowstone expert with the U.S. Geological Survey at Cascades Volcano Observatory in Washington State.


    ‘There has to be magma in the crust, or we wouldn't have all the hydrothermal activity that we have.


    ‘There is so much heat coming out of Yellowstone right now that if it wasn't being reheated by magma, the whole system would have gone stone cold since the time of the last eruption 70,000 years ago.’
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    Default Re: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    For the record the last known eruption of Yellowstone was 640,000 years ago.

    Before that, roughly 1.2 million.
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