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Thread: Earthquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    What are the chances of a devastating supervolcano in Yellowstone?

    Tuesday 6 January 2009 14.23 GMT

    Intense seismic activity in Yellowstone National Park in the last two weeks has led to speculation that a cataclysmic eruption is imminent. Bill McGuire of the Hazard Research Centre at University College London assesses the evidence.

    Even the smallest supervolcano would produce enough ash to bury the entire UK to a depth of 1 metre.


    Imagine a volcanic blast so devastating it obliterates at a stroke the English county of Yorkshire or the US state of Connecticut; a detonation so titanic it buries a continent in ash and plunges the entire world into a bitter volcanic winter. Volcanic super-eruptions or supervolcanoes may sound like the stuff of disaster movies, but they have happened many times before and scientists monitoring the giant Yellowstone volcanic system in the US state of Wyoming are beginning to wonder if the next one will happen on their patch.

    The Yellowstone volcano is probably most famous for its spectacular Old Faithful geyser, which shoots a column of boiling water to half the height of Big Ben every 90 minutes or so. This, and 10,000 other hot springs, geysers and bubbling mud pots are testament to the enormous heat generated here from molten magma stored deep within the crust. On three occasions over the past two million years, prodigious volumes of magma have blasted their way to the surface, leaving behind three enormous volcanic craters, or calderas, which coalesced to form a vast depression 75km across.

    Like other volcanic caldera systems, such as Long Valley in California and Campi Flegrei in Italy's Bay of Naples, the Yellowstone caldera is 'restless'. In other words, the ground surface is constantly rising and falling, while the region is frequently shaken by swarms of small earthquakes. Over the past two weeks, however, the caldera has become increasingly agitated, inviting talk of an imminent and cataclysmic eruption.

    What are the chances of another super-eruption at Yellowstone in 2009? Certainly, the more than 500 small earthquakes recorded since 27 December are unusual and the seismic activity is now more intense than anything recorded in the last few decades. On top of this, the ground surface has swelled more than 20cm since 2004: a rate three times faster than other episodes of uplift measured since monitoring began in 1923.

    Against this, however, super-eruptions at Yellowstone happen every 600,000 to 800,000 years, meaning that the probability of such an event happening in any single year is extremely small. In fact, eruptions of any size at all are rare, and the last time magma breached the surface was a good 70,000 years ago.

    The current bout of twitchiness at Yellowstone may be the result of new magma breaking rock as it heads towards the surface, but there are other possible explanations too. The quakes may be related to movements along a fault due to the simple relief of stresses accumulated in the crust, or caused by rock fracturing associated with the subterranean movement of super-heated water.

    In fact, explosions of boiling water could well present the main threat, and looking back over the past 15,000 years, such hydrothermal explosions have punched their way through to the surface on more than 20 occasions, leaving behind impressive craters that are now largely water-filled. Around 13,000 years ago, a huge steam blast opened up a hole as wide as inner London, an event that would certainly spoil the day of any hikers in the vicinity should it happen today.

    Even if it does turn out that the recent unrest is due to the movement of a new batch of magma, the chances are that its volume is small and that it will cool and solidify before it reaches the surface. Then again, we can never be absolutely certain. The problem is that we don't know exactly what signs to expect before a super-eruption, because – fortunately for all of us – they happen on average only every 50,000 years or so, with the last one battering much of New Zealand's North Island 26,000 years ago.

    As before all eruptions, we would intuitively expect the ground to swell as new magma made space for itself. Swarms of earthquakes would also be anticipated as the magma broke rock to open a path to the surface.

    Both phenomena are now being seen at Yellowstone, though not on any great scale. With a thousand cubic kilometres of magma involved in even the smallest super-eruptions – sufficient to bury the entire UK under a metre of ash – we might expect unprecedented swelling of the ground surface – perhaps by tens of metres – and huge numbers of earthquakes, with both the swelling and shaking increasing in intensity until the magma eventually blasted its way out.

    But there is another rather worrying possibility. What if instead of forcing its way upwards, the magma stays where it is until natural tectonic forces open a deep fault or fracture that intersects it and provides instant access to the surface? Then we may see almost nothing in the way of warning signs until it is far too late.

    Notwithstanding this possibility, the frequency of super-eruptions at Yellowstone is so low that the chances of the current burst of activity heralding such an event are microscopically small. It is possible that an eruption on a smaller scale could occur, while a steam explosion would be a fascinating and scientifically curious incident, but hardly a world-shattering event.

    A far more likely outcome is that the earthquake swarm will gradually fade away, the swelling that has accumulated over the last few years will subside, and restless Yellowstone will turn over and go to sleep for another few decades.

    Bill McGuire is director of the Aon Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College London. His latest book, Seven Years to Save the Planet, is published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    I've noticed one thing with all these scientists being quoted... They are all saying that this earthquake swarm doesn't mean there is going to be a super-eruption. But, I don't see any of them saying it doesn't mean there will be no eruption. I think that it is far more likely that we'd see a smaller scale eruption probably where those quakes were centered. After all, notice how the quakes were centered in one area and not over the entire caldera. Sounds more to me like a smaller main vent opening up as magma fractures rock and makes its way to the surface. Now, weather or not an explosive eruption (or any eruption at all!) of a single vent could weaken the entire caldera and cause a chain reaction of something larger, who knows...

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Actually guys, the chances of a "super eruption" are 100%. It IS going to happen. Period.

    It might not happen this week, next year or in the next century, but it IS going to happen.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    « Obama: 'Trillion-Dollar Deficits For Years'


    Yellowstone Supervolcano Earthquakes: Update

    January 06, 2009 03:09 PM ET | James Pethokoukis | Permanent Link | Print

    The Yellowstone earthquakes have settled down in terms of intensity, with nothing in the 3.0+ range since January 2. If they heat up, I will be back on this story. Here is the latest from the Yellowstone Volcano Obervatory:
    YELLOWSTONE VOLCANO (CAVW#1205-01-)
    44.43°N 110.67°W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)
    Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL
    Aviation Color Code: GREEN


    Yellowstone Lake Earthquake Swarm Summary as of 6 January 2009
    Through 5 January 2009, seismic activity has markedly decreased. It is possible that the swarm has ended, though a return of activity may occur as Yellowstone swarms of the size usually last for tens of days to many weeks. About 500 earthquakes occurred between Dec. 26 through Jan. 1.


    Three hundred of the earthquakes (including all >M2.0) have been reviewed by seismologists. There have been 86 earthquakes with M > 2.0 and 16 earthquakes > M3.0. About 200 smaller earthquakes have yet to be reviewed. Depths are difficult to determine accurately. The best located earthquakes have depths on the order of 3 to 10 km (1.8 to 6.0 miles).


    From Dec. 26 through Jan 2, the earthquake hypocenters appear to have migrated northwards, starting southeast of near Stevenson Island, with many of the latest events occurring near Fishing Bridge. The recent swarm is well above typical activity at Yellowstone. Nevertheless it is not unprecedented during the last 40 years of monitoring. Swarms are the typical mode of occurrence of earthquakes within the Yellowstone caldera, with magnitudes ranging to > 4.0. The 1985 swarm on the northwest rim of the caldera lasted for three months, with earthquakes up to M4.9 and over 3000 total events recorded. Magnitudes of earthquakes in this swarm range from zero to 3.9. Seismologists categorize those of magnitude less than 3.5 as generally not felt by persons. For perspective, earthquakes of magnitude 3.4 to 4.5 are often felt, as several of the events in this swarm have. A magnitude 5 or greater is generally required to produce damage to buildings or other structures. Improved volcano and seismic monitoring at Yellowstone gives us a greater ability to locate earthquakes, understand their source process and identify anomalous sources of seismic activity.
    New equipment including precise measurements of ground motion by GPS receivers and borehole strainmeters provided by the National Science Foundation's EarthScope and Continental Dynamics Program have been used extensively during the last week of intense earthquake activity. Ground motions accompanying the swarm, from the GPS instruments will take two or more weeks to fully process.


    It is worth noting that in 2004 the Yellowstone caldera began a period of accelerated uplift measured by GPS instruments that was as large as 7 cm/yr (2.7 inches/yr), three times as fast as recorded in the recorded history but has now reduced to about a maximum rate of 4 cm/yr. Scientists have modeled this deformation as due to magmatic recharge of the Yellowstone magma chamber at a depth of ~10 km (6 miles). The area of the swarm is on the eastern side of the uplift area. Earthquakes at Yellowstone are caused by a combination of geological factors including: 1) regional stress associated with normal faults (those where the valleys go down relative to the mountains) such as the nearby Teton and Hebgen Lake faults, 2) magmatic movements at depth (>7 kms or 4 miles), and 3) hydrothermal fluid activity caused as the groundwater system is heated to boiling by magmatic heat.


    At this time, no one has noted any anomalous changes in surface discharges (hot springs, gas output, etc.). YVO staff from the USGS, University of Utah and Yellowstone National Park continue to carefully review all data streams that are recorded in real-time. At this time, there is no reason to believe that magma has risen to a shallow level within the crust or that a volcanic eruption is likely. The USGS Volcano alert level for Yellowstone Volcano remains at Normal/Green.


    Yellowstone National Park is evaluating infrastructure near the north end of Yellowstone Lake to assess if any damage has occurred to facilities. Winter visitor activities and staff operations have not been impacted and continue as normal.
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism









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    Yellowstone Park Sees Incredible Earthquake Swarm
    Posted: Jan 6, 2009 07:35 PM
    Updated: Jan 6, 2009 07:35 PM
    Video Gallery

    <1>

    Yellowstone Earthquake Swarm

    2:48









    By Megan Boatwright, Local News 8 Reporter
    Some pretty interesting things have been happening at Yellowstone National Park since December 26th. Over the last week geologists have recorded more than 400 small earthquakes. Quakes in that number are called an earthquake swarm.
    For a quake to do damage it has to be at least a 4.0 magnitude. None of the recent Yellowstone earthquakes have, but every one has happened in the same spot underneath Yellowstone Lake.
    Robert Clayton has taught geology at BYU-Idaho for six years. "When there's something really interesting happening I post it on my office door so everyone can see," said the professor.
    Things are definitely interesting right now. "That's quite a number of earthquakes," said the excited Geologist. "The ones in bold type are of greater magnitude."
    The incredibly long list represents 400 or more earthquakes that have happened under the lake.
    "We think it's where more magma heat and steam escaped through cracks in the crust," said Clayton. "That's probably what's causing the earthquakes."
    He said the last time Yellowstone saw this kind of activity was close to twenty years ago, "What's interesting about this earthquake swarm is that it's in a very large and active volcano."
    The professor has been monitoring the quakes through Yellowstone's website and BYU-Idaho's own seismograph machine. Although the U.S Geological Survey and the University of Utah, the two organization responsible for monitoring the quakes haven't given an official explanation yet. Clayton has his own theory.
    "It's probably a little bit of magma moving through fractures. There's also a lot of ground water under Yellowstone and some of the shallower earthquakes may be steam explosions and fractures underground,' said Clayton. "Those can have quite a force, and send out shock waves that we record as earthquakes."
    The professor said if there was any room for worry we would already know about it. "An eruption in Yellowstone and anywhere else won't sneak up on us," Clayton said. "Eruptions give lots of warning signs, and we've gotten good at reading those signs. So just having a swarm of earthquakes by itself isn't something to be alarmed about."
    So at the end of the day the quakes amount to nothing more than a geological field day. If you want to take a closer look at what's been happening in Yellowstone visit www.volcanoes.usgs.gov .

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Earthquakes: Small Earthquake in Los Angeles, Larger One in Costa Rica
    An earthquake shook Los Angeles and Southern California for a few moments at about 7:50 p.m. Thursday evening, according to the U.S. Geological Survey and the Southern California Earthquake Center.

    The quake, centered about a mile south of San Bernardino and estimated to be about magnitude 4.5., was felt in downtown Los Angeles and parts of the High Desert and inland Orange County. There were no immediate reports of damage, according to authorities.

    Originally the USGS believe the quake measured 5.0. But officials later downgraded it to 4.5.

    In Costa Rica Thursday,A strong 6.1-magnitude earthquake struck killing a teenager as well as two children selling candy near a national park. Hundreds of tourists were left stranded and damage to buildings in the capital occurred.

    The quake also triggered landslides in rural areas and tore apart a highway near the Poas national volcano park, reprts Reuters.

    The quake's epicentre was 20 miles (32 km) from San Jose at a depth of 21.7 miles (35 km), the U.S. Geological Survey said, and caused shaking for around 40 seconds.

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Looks like activity started to pick back up again yesterday but then the seismograph went offline and still is now.


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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Checked the earthquake list for the area and saw there were a couple new ones with one being a 3.3.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/...5.-105_eqs.php

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Yellowstone had more quakes?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Yep, 3 9 today. One the 3.3, one a 2.4, and the others in the 1.x range.
    Last edited by Ryan Ruck; January 9th, 2009 at 21:39. Reason: Had the wrong number

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Yellowstone Lake Earthquake Swarm Summary as of 8 January 2009

    Image 1. Yellowstone Lake showing location and times of the recent earthquakes from Dec. 27, 2008 (blue) to Jan. 8, 2009 (red). The M 3.0 and greater earthquakes are shown as stars, the smaller earthquakes are shown as circles. During the swarm, the earthquake locations appear to have moved north. For more information on the depths of the earthquakes, see the cross section from X to X' below. Click on the image for a full-size version.

    Seismic activity at Yellowstone Lake in Yellowstone National Park increased in late December 2008. As of January 8, 2009, the seismic activity has markedly decreased (Listen to a podcast with YVO's Scientist-in-Charge about the recent swarm). It is possible that the swarm has ended, although a return of activity may occur as previous Yellowstone swarms of this size have lasted for tens of days to many weeks. Swarms are common at Yellowstone. The last notable swarm occurred in 2004, please see our 2004 article, Yellowstone Earthquake Swarms for more background on earthquakes and swarms at Yellowstone.

    Seismologists Continue To Review The Earthquakes

    About 900 earthquakes occurred between Dec. 26, 2008 and Jan. 8, 2009 in the Yellowstone Lake area. Five hundred of the earthquakes (including all greater than magnitude 2.0) have been reviewed by seismologists. There were 111 earthquakes with magnitudes greater than 2.0 (> M2.0)and 18 earthquakes > M3.0. About 400 smaller earthquakes have yet to be reviewed. [A new Frequently Asked Question about earthquake analysis will be posted here soon]. The largest earthquake during the swarm was a magnitude 3.9 on Sunday, December 28, 2008. One of the analyses seismologists use to talk about earthquakes and swarms is the cumulative seismic moment, which is a measure of the earthquake energy. The cumulative moment (the energy from all the analyzed earthquakes in the swarm) for the Yellowstone Lake Swarm is equal to the energy of a single magnitude 4.5 earthquake (see Image 3).

    Depths for shallow earthquake hypocenters (the point within the earth where an earthquake rupture starts) are difficult to determine accurately unless the seismic stations are spaced much more closely than those in the Yellowstone Seismic Network. The best located earthquakes have hypocenters (depths) of 3 to 10 km (1.8 to 6.0 miles). From Dec. 26 through Jan 2, the hypocenters appear to have migrated northwards, starting southeast of near Stevenson Island, with many of the latest events occurring near Fishing Bridge.


    Image 2. The depth versus location of the Yellowstone Lake earthquake swarm from X to X' on the Yellowstone Lake map. Earthquakes are shown from Dec. 27, 2008 (blue) to Jan. 8, 2009 (red). The M 3.0 and greater earthquakes are shown as stars, the smaller earthquakes are shown as circles. Click on the image for a full-size version.

    Swarms Are Normal At Yellowstone

    The recent swarm is well above typical activity at Yellowstone. Nevertheless it is not unprecedented during the last 40 years of monitoring. Earthquake swarms within the Yellowstone caldera are typical, with magnitudes occasionally ranging above 4.0. The 1985 swarm on the northwest rim of the caldera lasted for three months, with earthquakes up to M4.9 and over 3000 total events recorded.

    The magnitudes of earthquakes in this swarm range from zero to 3.9. Earthquakes with magnitudes less than 3.4 are generally not felt by people unless they are very shallow and you are standing very close to the epicenter (point on the earth's surface above the hypocenter). For perspective, earthquakes of magnitude 3.4 to 4.5 are often felt and there were multiple reports of felt earthquakes during this swarm. A magnitude 5 or greater is generally required to produce damage to buildings or other structures.


    Image 3. Number of reviewed Yellowstone Lake earthquakes in six-hour and three-hour intervals from 12/27/08 to 01/06/09. The green line on the left figure gives the cumulative number of earthquakes; the steep slopes correspond to increase in earthquake number. The red line in the figure on the right gives the cumulative moment, or energy; its sharp increase in the first few days is due to a greater number of large earthquakes with their greater energy release. The total cumulative moment is equivalent in energy to about one M 4.5 earthquake. Click on the image for a full-size version.

    New Equipment Allowed Us To Monitor The Swarm

    Improved volcano and seismic monitoring at Yellowstone gives us a greater ability to locate earthquakes, understand their source process and identify anomalous sources of seismic activity. New equipment including precise measurements of ground motion by GPS receivers and borehole strainmeters provided by the National Science Foundation's EarthScope and Continental Dynamics Program have been used extensively during the last week of intense earthquake activity. Ground motions accompanying the swarm, from the GPS instruments will take two or more weeks to fully process. It is worth noting that in 2004 the Yellowstone caldera began a period of accelerated uplift measured by GPS instruments that was as large as 7 cm/yr (2.7 inches/yr), three times as fast as recorded in the recorded history but has now reduced to about a maximum rate of 4 cm/yr. Scientists have modeled this deformation as due to magmatic recharge of the Yellowstone magma chamber at a depth of ~10 km (6 miles). The area of the swarm is on the eastern side of the uplift area. For more information on the uplift, please see our article Recent ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera.

    There Are Several Causes For Earthquakes

    Earthquakes at Yellowstone are caused by a combination of geological factors including: 1) regional stress associated with normal faults (those where the valleys go down relative to the mountains) such as the nearby Teton and Hebgen Lake faults, 2) magmatic movements at depth (>7 kms or 4 miles), and 3) hydrothermal fluid activity caused as the groundwater system is heated to boiling by magmatic heat.
    At this time, no one has noted any anomalous changes in surface discharges (hot springs, gas output, etc.).

    We Continue To Monitor Yellowstone Volcano

    YVO staff from the USGS, University of Utah and Yellowstone National Park continue to carefully review all data streams that are recorded in real-time. At this time, there is no reason to believe that magma has risen to a shallow level within the crust or that a volcanic eruption is likely. The USGS Volcano Alert Level and Aviation Color Code for Yellowstone remain at Normal and Green.

    Yellowstone National Park is evaluating infrastructure near the north end of Yellowstone Lake to assess if any damage has occurred to facilities.

    Winter visitor activities and staff operations have not been impacted and continue as normal.

    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.

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    I read elsewhere that the geo data was being altered or censored. This is understandable considering the gravity of the problem, it's potential consequences and no real practical plan or preparation for the potential last blast or big geyser.

    canto XXV Dante

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Quote Originally Posted by samizdat View Post
    I read elsewhere that the geo data was being altered or censored. This is understandable considering the gravity of the problem, it's potential consequences and no real practical plan or preparation for the potential last blast or big geyser.
    Sami,

    Where did you read that information? Post links please.
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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    ok- I'll copy it from the site, without comments.

    From The M+G+R Foundation @ EU - US - Published on January 5th, 2009

    We have received from one of our Special List Member additional - and not documentary - information regarding the Yellowstone super volcano issue.

    First: The page from the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program -

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsus/Maps/US2/43.45.-111.-109_eqs.php

    In that report we see many of the minor earthquakes that continue to rock the Yellowstone area which do not show up - as they should - in the general listing page http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/...uakes_all.html nor at the US specific one http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/...quakes_all.php

    We have noticed that on the Yellowstone specific page

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/recenteqsus/Maps/US2/43.45.-111.-109_eqs.php all Yellowstone earthquakes "miraculously" stopped right after midnight from January 2 to January 3. Just as if someone had noticed that the information was out.


    Please Note: Three hours after this post, the above referred page was "miraculously" updated showing thirteen more Yellowstone tremors. Maybe Samantha Stevens, main character of the iconic US TV program Bewitched now works for the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program....


    Second: A youtube report by geologist Christopher C. Sanders posted January 1, 2009 and where he states:


    "I am advising all State officials around Yellowstone National Park for a potential State of Emergency. In the last week over 252 earthquakes have been observed by the USGS. We have a 3D view on the movement of magma rising underground. We have all of the pre warning signs of a major eruption from a super volcano. - I want everyone to leave Yellowstone National Park and for 200 miles around the volcano caldera."


    The youtube report may be accessed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JmFWfmzOoi0

    Regarding the youtube report - Do notice that Mr. Sanders had made the report about a year ago and he spliced in it a new portion with the current information and warning (he now sports a light beard). This is not act act of deception by Mr. Sanders - on the contrary - he just used his initial report as a backdrop for the newer data.

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Here's the portion of this site where news s/a Published on January 12th, 2009

    ....multiple comet impacts around 1500 years ago triggered a "dry fog" that plunged half the world into famine? (1)

    Historical records tell us that from the beginning of March 536 AD, a fog of dust blanketed the atmosphere for 18 months. During this time, "the sun gave no more light than the moon", global temperatures plummeted and crops failed, says Dallas Abbott of Columbia University's Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory in New York.
    is reported.

    http://www.mgrfoundation.org/DidYouKnowThat.html

    canto XXV Dante

    from purgatory, the lustful... "open your breast to the truth which follows and know that as soon as the articulations in the brain are perfected in the embryo, the first Mover turns to it, happy...."
    Shema Israel

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Anyone else have a take on this?

    Advising a state of emergency, hidden quake reports.

    Do we have ANYONE in that region?
    Libertatem Prius!


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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    What I have read and heard isn't that the USGS is being nefarious with the data, it is that there is such a flood of information that the USGS is having problems processing it. As that article points out above, there are 400 earthquakes that they haven't even had a chance to review.

    ETA: Because of the flood of data they are also likely going back and revising quakes they may have only given a cursory examination of originally.
    Last edited by Ryan Ruck; January 12th, 2009 at 22:12. Reason: Afterthought

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    When I see "censored" this means "Government censored". That's the only sort of thing that word covers. If the GOVERNMENT is preventing you from having the data then there is an issue. They are concerned enough to hide information.

    If that's the CASE then - there is a little phrase I've heard over and over in my tenure here - the phrase is "Acceptable Risk".

    This doesn't just include outages, or hardware issues, this includes human lives.

    "Acceptable Risk" is where an area can be obliterated and thousands can die (possibly) and the COST to prepare is MORE than the cost to CLEAN UP the mess.

    Yellowstone is "acceptable risk" which is why people live there. And no one will move them.

    Folks - your lives are on you, NOT the government. Don't LET the government take your guns, don't LET them tell you what to do. You are the person responsible for yourselves. They will not protect you!
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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Concerning Christopher Saunders warning......

    USGS to fight fake Yellowstone warning


    By BRETT FRENCH
    Of The Gazette Staff

    The government is pursuing legal action against a Web site operator who has misrepresented the U.S. Geological Survey in a warning that Yellowstone National Park's supervolcano could erupt soon and that the area should be evacuated.

    "We started to take action as soon as we found out about it," said Jessica Robertson of the USGS. She said the agency was notified of the problem late last week.

    The matter has been referred to the solicitor's office of the USGS, which is pursuing charges of impersonating a federal official as well as violation of the agency's trademark.

    "The main issue we have is we don't want people to believe it's coming from us," Robertson said.

    The evacuation warning followed

    news stories about 500 earthquakes detected mainly around and under the northern end of Yellowstone Lake between Dec. 26 and Jan. 1. Since Jan. 1, another 400 quakes have been detected by the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, which monitors seismic activity in the park.

    By Thursday, the quake activity had markedly decreased, according to the observatory.

    Although they said the activity was "well above typical," scientists at the observatory said on their Web site that such earthquake swarms are not unprecedented in the last 40 years of monitoring, nor is there any call for concern that a volcanic eruption is likely.

    Yellowstone sits atop a huge caldera, or volcanic crater, that encompasses a region 30 miles by 45 miles. The supervolcano's third and last massive eruption occurred 640,000 years ago, although 150,000 years ago a volcanic eruption did create a smaller caldera at the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake.

    Yellowstone National Park officials have received a few calls and e-mails from people wondering if the evacuation alert was legitimate, said Al Nash, the park's chief of public affairs.

    "Somebody went to some effort to make themselves look legitimate and put out a warning," Nash said. "We're concerned because it looks legitimate. It looks pretty official."

    He noted that a lot of the information on the site was lifted from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory site, lending credibility to the false warning.

    The site with the warning, www.worldwaterplan.com, had a link on the bottom of its main page that states in red capital letters: YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK EMERGENCY!

    Clicking on the link led to a page topped by the USGS logo. Farther down was a statement attributed to the man who registered the Web site, Chris C. Sanders, claiming that earthquakes in the Yellowstone area will release poisonous gas. It also claims that Sanders is a geologist.

    "I want everyone to leave Yellowstone National Park for 100 miles around the volcano caldera because of the danger in poisonous gasses that can escape from the hundreds of recent earthquakes. These poisonous gasses that can escape from underneath the lake present even more of a potential problem because of the super volcano," the site quotes Sanders.

    Sanders registered the Web site's domain name. A phone number for him in Little Elm, Texas, has been disconnected. There was no response to an attempt to contact him by e-mail.

    Sanders also posted a video on YouTube.com recommending evacuation. In the video, Sanders points to USGS information about a swarm of quakes in the Yellowstone area as reason to evacuate.

    "Therefore I ask that some politicians or everyone that can get together with your politicians, your friends or local advisers, and ask that everybody leaves the caldera, the surface of Yellowstone National Park, immediately. We have a potential eruption on our hands. Again, this is January 1st, 2009," he said in the video. "This would be a good time to start evacuating."

    In the video, Sanders claims there's "a warning kinda going out with the U.S. Geological Survey."

    Sanders' warning went viral across the blogosphere, prompting postings from people concerned about the possibility of an eruption as well as from those who questioned Sanders' credentials. Conspiracy theorists said that if an actual eruption were eminent, the government would not alert the public.

    It's not unusual for such false postings about Yellowstone to show up on blogs, and even in broadcasts by radio station DJs, who have taken a leap from increasing seismic activity to a supervolcano eruption, Nash said.

    "But I'm not aware of anything quite to this extent," he said.

    The issue highlights Nash's concerns about where people get their news.

    "There is a legitimate place to get this information; this is not it," Nash said of the Web site. "The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory is out there. You can find it. It is run by three really bright geologists. There's really good monitoring in the park. Our offices would be the secondary place to go for information."

    Robertson said this isn't the first time USGS has been falsely used in such claims. She said that in June, a YouTube video used the agency's logo in advancing a claim about the end of the world.

    http://www.billingsgazette.net/artic...ng/18-usgs.txt

    Jag

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    Default Re: Eathquakes, Plate Tectonics and Volcanism

    Scientists Fear Volcano Could Bury Anchorage in Ash

    Tuesday, January 27, 2009

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — It's been nearly 20 years since Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted, but that time of tranquility might end.

    Recent seismic activity could be a prelude to an eruption, "perhaps within hours to days," said geologists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

    The 10,197-foot peak sits about 50 miles west of Kenai and 100 miles southwest of Anchorage. It last erupted during a five-month stretch beginning December, 1989.

    Recent activity began around 1 a.m. Sunday, then it eased about five hours later.

    It was still well above normal "background" tremor levels, said Dave Schneider, a volcanologist from the observatory.

    An observatory crew flew over Redoubt, and it ruled there had been no eruption.

    "There was steaming through pre-existing holes, but there were no new holes. ... and there was no ash on the snow cover," he said.
    Related Stories

    But during the flyover, crew members smelled sulfur, so observatory staff will be monitoring activity and satellite images that identify temperature changes round the clock, Schneider said.

    Observers will also look to weather radar scanners near the Kenai airport for help. Those scanners send data in six-minute intervals.

    These scanners will be able to detect an ash plume should one appear, Schneider said.

    Twenty years ago, an eruption forced mud flows from Redoubt into the Drift River drainage. The flows also caused partial flooding of the Drift River Oil Terminal facility.

    Additionally, the ash plume disrupted international air traffic and a thin ash layer coated Anchorage and surrounding communities.

    Sunday's volcanic activity came on the heels of a magnitude 5.7 earthquake at the mouth of Cook Inlet.

    However, Schneider said that does not necessarily mean the earthquake stirred the volcanic activity. With the two events being more than 100 miles apart, it's even more unlikely, he said.
    Libertatem Prius!


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