Mitch Battros
Seismologist Indicate Serious Concern Yellowstone Volcano...
Mon Aug 11 22:18:26 2003
64.140.158.212

Mitch Battros wrote:
Seismologist Indicate Serious Concern Over Yellowstone Volcano...
08/09/03
by Mitch Battros (ECTV)

Yellowstone plateau has been volcanically active for 2 million years. It has been the scene of some of the world's largest eruptions. The Yellowstone caldera has one of the world's largest hydrothermal systems. The last large eruption was 70,000 years ago. There are some who believe Yellowstone has a 70,000 to 80,000 year cycle. Yes, that would mean at any time, Yellowstone could come alive.

[NOTE: This 70,000+ year cycle corresponds to the last time the orbit of Mars came this close in relationship to Earth. Last time the caldera blew, it left approx. 20 feet of ash in the Paradise Valley north of the Park which I've seen, now compressed to about 4 feet, in water well drillings. - CR]
Yellowstone's world-famous natural history is marked by such colossal volcanic events that their reflections in today's landscape are difficult to grasp and impossible to take in at just a glance, even for those familiar with the signs of past volcanism.

The stunning features of Yellowstone National Park result from great explosive eruptions and profound collapse of the ground, enormously thick lava flows, uplift and extensive faulting, and the erosive power of flowing water and ice. For more than a century, geologists have discovered and analyzed evidence of the dramatic events that have shaped the land here. When combined with growing knowledge about how volcanoes work and the never-ending motion of Earth's surface, the evidence tells a remarkable story of the Yellowstone landscape.

Saturday 9th August 2003 It has been disclosed today, scientists plan to set up a temporary network of seismographs, Global Positioning System receivers and thermometers to monitor increasing hydrothermal activity in the Norris Geyser Basin and gauge the risk of a hydrothermal explosion. The goal of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory is to pinpoint underground sources of hydrothermal steam and learn more about how seismic activity affects the basin.

Scientists do not expect a volcanic eruption. However, small hydrothermal explosions occur in the park almost every year. Usually they are not noticed until after the fact. The Norris Back Basin has been closed since July 23 due to the formation of new mud pots, changes in geyser activity and much higher ground temperatures, as hot as 200 degrees in some areas. Vegetation has been dying due to thermal activity and altered eruption intervals for several geysers. Increased steam discharge has been continuing, according to park officials. Hydrothermal activity has been increasing each year in the basin, but the increase in recent weeks has been especially rapid. ______________________________

The volcanism most directly identified with the Yellowstone region has, during about the past 2 million years, built an immense volcanic plateau that straddles a high mountain divide--the Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field. This volcanic region has evolved through 3 cycles of voluminous outpourings of rhyolite lava and volcanic ash, each of them climaxing with one of Earth's greatest pyroclastic-flow eruptions and the resulting collapse of a central area to form a large caldera. Other eruptions have poured out basalt lava flows around the margins of the volcanic field.

Yellowstone's volcanism is only the most recent in a 17 million-year history of volcanic activity that has occurred progressively from southwestern Idaho to Yellowstone National Park. At least six other large volcanic centers along this path generated caldera-forming eruptions; the calderas are no longer visible because they are buried beneath younger basaltic lava flows and sediments that blanket the Snake River Plain.

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