Sunday, October 6, 2019

The Yellowstone Volcano—What I Don’t Get



So it comes up on the news from time to time, from one scientist or another. The Yellowstone volcano is past due to erupt. I get that.

Under Yellowstone Park is a layer of magma that, if it gets loose, has enough molten lava to fill the Grand Canyon. I guess I get that as well, although one has to define past due.

(VOX) The Yellowstone supervolcano — thousands of times more powerful than a regular volcano — has only had three truly enormous eruptions in history. One occurred 2.1 million years ago, one 1.3 million years ago, and one 664,000 years ago.

I get that as well. But when dealing with numbers that huge, I’m not all that likely to cancel a summer trip with the kids to see Old Faithful. But there’s lots more interesting stuff on the subject at VOX and you might find it interesting to check out—take your mind off politics for the moment.

Now, for what I don’t get.

We all know now that fracking (the use of pressurized fluid to fracture a rock layer) is followed by clusters of small earthquakes. Earthquakes are triggers for volcanic action--Oklahoma went from 2 earthquakes a year in 2008 to 3 a day.

Yet we’re currently fracking in a cluster of sites in Wyoming near the southern base of Yellowstone.

What I don’t get is tickling the sleeping bear of the Yellowstone volcano.

2 comments:

  1. So, we know the problem, but have you settled on a solution? Exactly what if anything do you propose?

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  2. Fracking needs to be outlawed, for several reasons: 1) It's just another method for accessing fossil fuels that are 'left over' and not easily reached. Fossil fuels are over, the world is going electric, just not soon enough. 2) We're pumping unknown chemicals into the earth--the fracking companies will not reveal what these are, claiming 'corporate formulas'). 3) On almost all fracking sites they destroy groundwater quality and our aquifers are already under critical stress. In some cases tap-water actually catches fire. The next world crisis is going to be water. And finally, 4) the actual topic of the article--earthquakes. We have no idea what the end-game is for follow-on earthquakes, but the surface structure of the earth is more fragile than we understand and my opinion is that we dare not go there. There are nearly 170 'active' volcanoes in the United States alone and 1.500 worldwide.

    Nowhere in the world is fracking not attended by civil resistance and its only purpose is the short-term profit for the oil and gas industries. We've seen where those industries have brought us thus far and enough is enough.

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