Seismologist Worried Over Yellowstone Volcano
- 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.
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
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
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.
Thought For The Day
"We do not so much need the help of our friends as the confidence of their
help when in need."
Vatican Sayings, Epicurus
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