Thursday, January 7, 2016

Super Tremors in Yellowstone? Yikes!

By Cal Orey

Yellowstone Tremors, Past, Present, Future
Tonight I'll make a cameo appearance as a News Segment Guest on Coast to Coast AM. Topic? Will Yellowstone blow and will the U.S. be toast? It seems scientists are dishing about a sooner than later potential global doomsday sci-fi scenario of an overdue supervolcanic eruption like one that happened 2 million years ago. Researchers says a "massive eruption" could hit in the near future...

But as an intuitive this disaster isn't on the top of my "what if" phobia list. I fear a trigger effect of a great quake-tsunami on the West Coast (Greater Los Angeles 4.4 yesterday; King 25 foot waves and erosion of the California coast.  Offshore NorCal--two minor/moderate quakes hit in the past week); or New Madrid Zone/Deep South flooding. I see water, water, water--not fire.

* SCIENTISTS have warned the world that it's is in "volcano season "November-April and there is up to a 10% chance of an eruption soon killing millions of people and devastating the planet.

* According to the USGS website: Although it is possible, scientists are not convinced that there will ever be another catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone.

* Given Yellowstone’s past history, the yearly probability of another caldera-forming eruption could be calculated as 1 in 730,000 . This probability is roughly similar to that of a large (1 kilometer) asteroid hitting the Earth.

* But wait, did you know heavy rain and/or snowfall may trigger volcanic activity (think Hawaii). Let's hope NOOA is right and Wyoming (the land of Yellowstone National Park) will stay dry and El Nino won't go East and stir up Yellowstone tremors.

* Tonight and tomorrow, sleep easy, though. Odds are higher for a great California earthquake to happen first...but then, it could trigger Yellowstone as it did in the film.  Or not.

* But if you want to check out more about a possible doomsday happening--walk don't run to this article noting some gloom and doom scenes.

Yellowstone Caldera at Its Extreme
Keep in mind, it has had signs of past volcanism and super tremors. In fact, in 2002 after Alaska was rocked by a 7.9 earthquake, hundreds of quakes followed in less than a day.  Scientists believe events, like earthquakes and volcanoes, can be linked by a trigger effect. On the big screen, the film “2012” depicts a Southern California Malibu earthquake happens first while strange happenings are already ongoing at Yellowstone, which blows big and bright with surreal effects right after the shaker. In real life this scenario doesn’t seem that far-fetched.

Worse, some geologists believe if a supervolcano happens it will not be another mega-eruption of mid-Pleistocene time. However, if and if Yellowstone blows we can expect grave consequences. Anyone living in the immediate region would be buried in ash and burned by fire and life would cease. As the ash fallout spreads, from state to state, it would affect airline flights, animal food and crops, and result in a volcanic winter—no sun and temperatures would drop drastically. The United States as we know it would be gravely affected for a long time.

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