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Thread: Yellowstone Caldera Activity

  1. #31
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    Interesting minor development, Hebgen Lake, about 70km west and north of Yellowstone Lake, has been having a very low intensity group of quakes ranging from .05 to .5 in magnitude.

    Doubtful this will develop into it's own swarm, but it's starting to look like a set of 'sympathetic' low level quakes.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Interesting minor development, Hebgen Lake, about 70km west and north of Yellowstone Lake, has been having a very low intensity group of quakes ranging from .05 to .5 in magnitude.

    Doubtful this will develop into it's own swarm, but it's starting to look like a set of 'sympathetic' low level quakes.
    Hm, where do you find the data for these "under .5" quakes?

  3. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj_0001 View Post
    Hm, where do you find the data for these "under .5" quakes?
    It's on the USGS, Yellowstone area EQ map.

  4. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Interesting minor development, Hebgen Lake, about 70km west and north of Yellowstone Lake, has been having a very low intensity group of quakes ranging from .05 to .5 in magnitude.

    Doubtful this will develop into it's own swarm, but it's starting to look like a set of 'sympathetic' low level quakes.
    Hebgen was the site of the '59 quake which killed 28 people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Ye...one_earthquake

    I suppose it's not too surprising that the area is showing signs of activity at the moment, the stresses on the crust will be at a maximum on the 11th, when the moon is at closest perigee this year within 16 hours of being full, plus earth is only a few degrees past perihelion. Additionally, the Moon is near it's highest declination this cycle, taking it almost as close as it gets to being overhead at Yellowstone.
    Last edited by Stroller; 2009-Jan-07 at 03:52 PM. Reason: typos :0)

  5. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroller View Post
    Hebgen was the site of the '59 quake which killed 28 people.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1959_Ye...one_earthquake

    I suppose it's not too surprising that the area is showing signs of activity at the moment, the stresses on the crust will be at a maximum on the 11th, when the moon is at closest perigee this year within 16 hours of being full, plus earth is only a few degrees past perihelion. Additionally, the Moon is near it's highest declination this cycle, taking it almost as close as it gets to being overhead at Yellowstone.
    Nice information on the Hebgen historic quake.

    As to the Moon's influance on Volcanic regions, that really should be an ATM (Against the Mainstream) Topic and not a General Science topic.

    It's been covered before as a topic on these forums.

  6. #36
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    Whoops, my bad.

    I thought it was quite well known after the big tsunami a few years ago that there are lots of instances of quakes and volcanos at new and full moon when they coincide with perigee. I don't know of a rigorous statistical analysis though so I'll stop there. )

  7. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroller View Post
    Whoops, my bad.

    I thought it was quite well known after the big tsunami a few years ago that there are lots of instances of quakes and volcanos at new and full moon when they coincide with perigee. I don't know of a rigorous statistical analysis though so I'll stop there. )
    And I was going to ask for one hoping that there was one showing either a correlation or anti-correlation. Shucks!
    Last edited by jlhredshift; 2009-Jan-08 at 01:29 AM. Reason: spelling

  8. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stroller View Post
    Whoops, my bad.

    I thought it was quite well known after the big tsunami a few years ago that there are lots of instances of quakes and volcanos at new and full moon when they coincide with perigee. I don't know of a rigorous statistical analysis though so I'll stop there. )
    It's been acknowleged by some geologists that the moon has a minimal influance on earthquakes and volcanoes, but if I remember the statitics correctly, there was only a .01% increase in activity due to the moons influance based on it's position.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    As to the Moon's influence on Volcanic regions, that really should be an ATM (Against the Mainstream) Topic and not a General Science topic.

    It's been covered before as a topic on these forums.
    Got a link?

  10. #40
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  11. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    It's on the USGS, Yellowstone area EQ map.
    Hunh?

    I don't see anything below 1 on the map. Is there some option I don'tknow about, or are you reading the "list all quakes" list?

    The nearest I see to Hegben is south of West Yellowstone, hardly in the Hegben fault area.

  12. #42
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    Please don't throw me to the lions in ATM this is just for info and I'm not making any claims but I just looked up Mayon for interest.

    Biggest erruption in last 400 years was Feb 1st 1812:
    Perigee was Feb 2 12:36 at 363414 km 2 days 6 hours before full moon.

    Longest erruption in last 400 years started Jun 23 1897. It lasted 7 days.
    Apogee was Jun 25 22:21 at 405625 km 4 days 4 hours before new moon

    On 10 August 2008 Phivolcs issued the following news statement:
    At 9:12 A.M. today, Mayon Volcano manifested mild ash explosion that reached an approximate height of 200 m
    Apogee was on the same day Aug 10 20:19 at 404556 km but nearly a full 6 days before full moon.

  13. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj_0001 View Post
    Hunh?

    I don't see anything below 1 on the map. Is there some option I don'tknow about, or are you reading the "list all quakes" list?
    This is the EQ map I get to from USGS (actually Univ of Utah). The map itself doesn't show <1, but the listing does.

    http://www.seis.utah.edu/req2webdir/...llowstone.html

    I don't see a map with the smaller quakes on it.

  14. #44
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    Yes, but again 13 instances of 47 that occur roughly close to a full moon +- 6 days, is close to 1/2 of a lunar cycle, so there really isn't a correlation to be made here.

    Again, there is some very minimal influance, moon tides being one of many items that trigger the release of built up presure does happen, but you own data there could be shown to also match coincidence.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by jj_0001 View Post
    Hunh?

    I don't see anything below 1 on the map. Is there some option I don'tknow about, or are you reading the "list all quakes" list?

    The nearest I see to Hegben is south of West Yellowstone, hardly in the Hegben fault area.
    Try here, there are still about 3/4 of them being shown on this one.

    http://www.seis.utah.edu/req2webdir/...llowstone.html

  16. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Try here, there are still about 3/4 of them being shown on this one.

    http://www.seis.utah.edu/req2webdir/...llowstone.html
    That's the one I linked to above. It doesn't show the small quakes on the map.

  17. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Yes, but again 13 instances of 47 that occur roughly close to a full moon +- 6 days, is close to 1/2 of a lunar cycle, so there really isn't a correlation to be made here.

    Again, there is some very minimal influance, moon tides being one of many items that trigger the release of built up presure does happen, but you own data there could be shown to also match coincidence.
    Sure, and I'm not making any claims. I think the correlation tightens up quite a bit when you look at occurrences which are near full/new moon, and perigee/apogee though. This is much less frequent, and is often found to occur very near major events. Still of very little use in prediction though, so falls into the class of "gee, look at that, but so what" phenomena I guess.

    Perhaps if a volcano was already bubbling, and new moon was due at perigee in mid december, you might choose another time to go on a crater watch.

  18. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    That's the one I linked to above. It doesn't show the small quakes on the map.
    Theyare very tiny, three or four of them of them are just a little east of the C shape in Hebgen lake.

    On the Ledgend you can see the size of 1.0 boxes or larger, the ones next to Hebgen lake are about 3 pixels in size, so are a bit difficult to see.

  19. #49
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    Oh, yeah, there they are. Thanks. I guess I was paying too much attention to the legend.

  20. #50
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    There was a second, smaller swarm event on Friday. However the with EQ Maps site appears to be having issues right now. It's close to the same area as the first swarm is about all i can tell at this point.

  21. #51
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    This smaller swarm was located just east and a little north, in a known fault zone location.

    There has also been an even smaller swarm event on the west side of the lake.

    Nothing to worry over, all this really means is the main swarm may have rearranged the stresses in the caldera a bit and it appears some of the falut zone areas around it are settling out the stresses in thier locations.

    At this point they do seem to be related, but not due to any magma intrusions. It's looking more and more like Yellowstone just had a case of 'gas' and it's stomac is just quietly rumbling as it settles down.

    There are still no indications of any changes in hydrothermal activity or in CO2/SO2 emissions. No indications of changes in chemical compositions of the geyers either.

    It's still too soon to tell if the main event is truely done.

  22. #52
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    I keep waiting for a "burp" in the form of a steam explosion. It really looks like a bunch of hot water decided to push its way up.

    But we shall see. It's Yellowstone. It could burp, it could do nothing. We could maybe just barely wake up tomorrow morning and find the lake down 10' ... Although that last might worry me

  23. #53
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    I'll say this about Yellowstone seismology, it is a very active area. I actually assisted in some of the work there by Dr. Smith more than 20 years ago. His work there has been something I have followed every since. One has to be very careful attaching significance to any particular quake or even a small swarm, but his statements in regards to the December swarm were the strongest he has used for awhile. I will continue to follow with interest the events there.

    Any statisticians: what would be the probability of being alive when Yellowstone erupts be if it were assumed that it has a 50 percent chance of erupting in the next 50,000 years and the average life span being 80 years?

  24. #54
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    Its good to be informed. Its also good to be aware of what 'might' or 'could' happen. BUT. its foolish paranoia to worry about what you can do nothing about.
    With some interest in this topic as that paranoia haunts me. I live in New Zealand...
    More years than I care to say, Ago... I too wondered at the possible effects of lunar tidal actions triggering seismic events... but no... and I looked for over a whole year. Still no. Proof enough that just this month the moon was as close to planet Earth as it gets and on the full moon and not a major event ( yes there were some...) just the usual from across the globe ...
    It would be equally foolish to ignore the rumbling deep beneath Yellowstone.
    I want it both ways... I would like to witness the power of this Earths fury... I enjoy the high standard of living we have become accustomed to. Just because humanity has inhabited a area or location. Does not rule a massive eruption out.

  25. #55
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    Maybe you can help me understand something else Gavin...

    Lately there's been discussion that the steam from some of the geysers is looking more dark, like it could possibly be producing smoke instead of steam at times. (Which is turning into, if it's smoke showing at time, then that could be a sign of a possible eruption, etc.) Here's some examples:

    http://i282.photobucket.com/albums/k...09_Cropped.jpg

    http://atsmedia.cachefly.net/uploads...th2_jan_21.jpg

    If you look in the second one, the front geyser has the dark colored cloud (what's being thought to be as smoke) while there is one in the background that's very white (which is what is said to be the steam.)

    Thanks in advance!

  26. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by half-jack View Post
    Lately there's been discussion that the steam from some of the geysers is looking more dark, like it could possibly be producing smoke instead of steam at times. (Which is turning into, if it's smoke showing at time, then that could be a sign of a possible eruption, etc.) Here's some examples:
    Can't say for certain, but those look a lot like they're just in their own shadow, or in the shadow of a cloud or other plume of steam.

  27. #57
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    Actually James, I was talking in some other threads and they said exactly what you said. That you can't really tell because there are so many different factors that can change it's brightness such as it being in it's own shadow, contents of the actual steam, etc. Thanks for your input!

  28. #58
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    I agree it appears to be a lighting difference between the two. If it were volcanic gasses venting the buffalo might have been affected too.

  29. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by astromark View Post
    I too wondered at the possible effects of lunar tidal actions triggering seismic events... but no... and I looked for over a whole year. Still no. Proof enough that just this month the moon was as close to planet Earth as it gets and on the full moon and not a major event
    The max forces are at a new moon perigee, when the moon is between earth and sun. That's coming in July.

  30. #60
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    Can "harmonic tremors" be used to predict an eruption of a volcano like the Yellowstone Caldera? Or is that tech only valid for stratovolcanoes?

    (Sorry if this has already been asked.)

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