Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. 24/7 Space News .

No Yellowstone mega-eruption coming, experts say
by Staff Writers
Washington (AFP) April 27, 2014

Yellowstone National Park are fighting viral rumors of an impending, cataclysmic eruption of a mega volcano slumbering at the US Western preserve known for its geothermal features.

Volcanologists said reams of geological data have given them a deep of understanding of the Yellowstone Caldera -- and all signs point to calm.

Over the past several weeks, the Internet has been abuzz with speculation over worrying signs suggesting an explosive awakening for the so-called supervolcano, whose last catastrophic eruption was 640,000 years ago.

That eruption covered a good portion of North America in ash several inches (centimeters) thick, and had a long-lasting impact on the Earth's climate.

A video showing a herd of bison fleeing the iconic Wyoming park went viral.

And several days later, a 4.8-magnitude earthquake, the strongest in three decades, fed the rumor mill still further.

But Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said there was nothing out of the ordinary in the animals' behavior.

"We do have bison, elk and other animals that have moved out of the park recently," he said.

"They tend to migrate at this time... to lower elevations, where they think they can get food, and then they come back."

- No cause for fear -

As for the quake: "It was the strongest in 30 years, but it was not that strong," said Peter Cervelli, a volcano expert at the US Geological Survey.

And such jolts are not exactly rare, with an estimated 1,000 to 3,000 quakes a year at the park.

Like many similar volcanoes in the world, Yellowstone's has a way of breathing, the magma trapped underneath lifting or subsiding in phases.

And because the earth's crust is just four to six miles (six to 10 kilometers) thick at Yellowstone, compared to an average of 18 miles, any pressure exerted by the magma is felt strongly.

"Recently, over the last six months, we are in an episode of uplift," Cervelli said. "This probably explains the recent earthquake."

But he rebuffed rumors that a big eruption was coming.

"I have not made yet an observation at Yellowstone that causes me to be afraid or causes me to wonder if an eruption was coming," Cervelli said.

"We are always prepared to be surprised, and we don't claim to understand everything perfectly."

But he predicted there won't be another major eruption "for the next ten thousands of years."

His confidence was based in part on the many instruments, including dozens of GPS receivers and seismometers, that monitor activity in the volcano whose giant magma chamber measures 55 miles long, 18 miles wide and nine miles deep.

Around a dozen experts are also permanently stationed at Yellowstone.

- Asteroid strike more likely -

Geologist Ilya Bindeman was equally confident, based on his isotopic analysis of the minerals in the volcanic rocks at Yellowstone.

"We know the behavior of the past, and we know at what comparative stage Yellowstone is right now," the University of Oregon professor explained.

And based on that analysis, the volcano is in the process of dying out.

"Caldera cycles go on for maybe several million years, and then it is done," he said.

"I don't think another major eruption is going to happen anytime soon -- at least not for another one million to two million years."

Such an eruption would destroy everything within a radius of several hundred miles and would cover North America in ash, putting an end to agriculture and cooling the Earth's climate for at least 10 years.

The last time the Earth experienced such an eruption was in Indonesia, 70,000 years ago.

But the experts were in agreement: it's nothing we will see during our lifetimes.

"We are more likely to see a major asteroid impact," Cervelli said.


Related Links
Bringing Order To A World Of Disasters
When the Earth Quakes
A world of storm and tempest

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

4,000 Peruvians evacuated from homes surrounding erupting volcano
Querapi, Peru (UPI) Apr 18, 2013
Regional governments in the south of Peru, as well as several local municipalities, have declared a state of emergency and begun evacuating more than 4,000 citizens, as the the country's 18,750-foot-tall Ubinas volcano continues to erupt. The volcano has been smoldering and slowly erupting for a couple weeks now, but yesterday the mountain top spewed a giant cloud of ash two miles into ... read more

John C. Houbolt, Unsung Hero of the Apollo Program, Dies at Age 95

NASA Completes LADEE Mission with Planned Impact on Moon's Surface

Russia plans to get a foothold in the Moon

Russian Federal Space Agency is elaborating Moon exploration program

Mission to Mars

Opportunity Rover Driving Up To Crater Rim

NASA Rover Opportunity's Selfie Shows Clean Machine

NASA's Human Path to Mars

China village gunning for tourists

NASA Selects Commercial Crew Program Manager

NASA Innovative Advanced Concept Program Seeks Phase II Proposals

NASA Names Six New Members to Advisory Council

China issues first assessment on space activities

China launches experimental satellite

Tiangong's New Mission

"Space Odyssey": China's aspiration in future space exploration

Astronauts Complete Short Spacewalk to Replace Backup Computer

No Official Confirmation of NASA Severing Ties with Russian Space Agency

Astronauts Prep for Spacewalk as Mission Managers Evaluate Busy Schedule

Dragon Cargo Craft Launch Scrubbed; Station Crew Preps for Spacewalk

SpaceX sues US Air Force over satellite contracts

Vega for third Arianespace mission, carrying Earth observation spacecraft

Launcher build-up begins for Arianespace's fifth Ariane 5 mission to orbit an ATV

45th Space Wing supports third SpaceX Launch for ISS Resupply mission

An Earth-sized planet that might hold liquid water

Solved: Mysteries of a Nearby Planetary System's Dynamics

Astronomers discover Earth-sized planet in habitable zone

Exoplanets Soon to Gleam in the Eye of NESSI

Engineering Breakthrough Will Allow Cancer Researchers to Create Live Tumors With a 3D Printer

Big data poses great challenges and opportunities for databases

Ames Lab researchers see rare-earth-like magnetic properties in iron

Mantis Shrimp Stronger than Airplanes

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement All images and articles appearing on Space Media Network have been edited or digitally altered in some way. Any requests to remove copyright material will be acted upon in a timely and appropriate manner. Any attempt to extort money from Space Media Network will be ignored and reported to Australian Law Enforcement Agencies as a potential case of financial fraud involving the use of a telephonic carriage device or postal service.