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Thread: Yellowstone Caldera Activity

  1. #61
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    I was actually interested in the moon's gravitation pull causing events to happen as well. For the most part, what I've read is No. Just cause, even though there's one coming up in July, we've had several others and nothing to that effect. I dunno.

  2. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by half-jack View Post
    I was actually interested in the moon's gravitation pull causing events to happen as well. For the most part, what I've read is No. Just cause, even though there's one coming up in July, we've had several others and nothing to that effect. I dunno.
    Don't know if this is helpful, but I read somewhere that not only does the Moon create tides in the ocean, but also that the crust can be "pulled" about a foot at times.

  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by half-jack View Post
    I was actually interested in the moon's gravitation pull causing events to happen as well. For the most part, what I've read is No. Just cause, even though there's one coming up in July, we've had several others and nothing to that effect. I dunno.
    Think of it as repeatedly bending a metal strip. For many times, nothing happens, then...

    2004 Dec 27 19:16 apogee 406487 km + Full+1d 4h

    Quote Originally Posted by wikipedia
    The 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake was an undersea earthquake that occurred at 00:58:53 UTC on December 26, 2004, with an epicentre off the west coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. The earthquake was caused by subduction and triggered a series of devastating tsunami along the coasts of most landmasses bordering the Indian Ocean, killing more than 225,000 people in eleven countries, and inundating coastal communities with waves up to 30 meters (100 feet) high. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recorded history. Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India, and Thailand were hardest hit.

  4. #64
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    When Yellowstone goes there will be plenty of activity leading up to it. If all the other indicators were there and the Moon was moving to apogee or perigee then maybe it could be the straw? What will be interesting right now is the measurements of uplift in the dome. As far as harmonics go I would think that it would apply to Yellowstone as well since I believe harmonic tremors are largely caused by moving magma and there is plenty of that under Yellowstone.

  5. #65
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    Looks like YS is getting active again. -sigh-

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

    So much for finally relaxing. Just when I thought things were ok enough to go about my business. lol

  6. #66
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    May I suggest that you don't need to post essentially the same thing in both threads? I think we've got all the same people.
    _____________________________________________
    Gillian

    "Now everyone was giving her that kind of look UFOlogists get when they suddenly say, 'Hey, if you shade your eyes you can see it is just a flock of geese after all.'"

    "You can't erase icing."

    "I can't believe it doesn't work! I found it on the internet, man!"

  7. #67
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    Yeah, sorry about that. Won't happen again...

  8. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by half-jack View Post
    Looks like YS is getting active again. -sigh-

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

    So much for finally relaxing. Just when I thought things were ok enough to go about my business. lol
    As I said before small tremors are present in Yellowstone all the time. It is only when they concentrate or get to more significant size that it is concerning. You will note if you scroll down on the link you provided that the largest of these tremors was 1.6. You wouldn't notice that if you were standing on top of it when it registered. By all means dont let that dissuade you from keeping tabs on things though.

  9. #69
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    Well, still no official updates from USGS on this. Usualy they are weekly, but nothing since the 9th.

    There have been a few micro-swarms, one in the same location, and two in other regions. Over all it looks like it's settled down for now.

    I'm hoping that the delay in updates is because they are processing the 400+ EQ events into a tomographical image of the area.

  10. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Well, still no official updates from USGS on this. Usualy they are weekly, but nothing since the 9th.
    During periods of inactivity the official Yellowstone Volcano Observatory web site normally only post monthly activity reports. When they post updates its because something interesting is happening at the time to warrant it. keep watching for signs of uplift or shrinking of the caldera dome, there should have been measurements made and some indication of what is happening underneath can be inferred from these measurements.

  11. #71
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    Just a quick link for those that may be interested this link is for earthquakes worldwide greater than 2.5. Today there was a 2.8 in Yellowstone, whether a swarm will follow is to seen.

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/...uakes_all.html

  12. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tucson_Tim View Post
    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.)
    Good question, I suspect that we would need to see a few examples of Yellowstone type eruptions to be able to answer with it any certainty.

  13. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grashtel View Post
    Good question, I suspect that we would need to see a few examples of Yellowstone type eruptions to be able to answer with it any certainty.
    Thanks Grashtel. I see one problem with seeing a Yellowstone eruption: being around afterwards.

    I do find volcanology fascinating - if I could ever have another career, that would be it.
    Last edited by Tucson_Tim; 2009-Jan-28 at 11:32 PM. Reason: Misspelling

  14. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Grashtel View Post
    Good question, I suspect that we would need to see a few examples of Yellowstone type eruptions to be able to answer with it any certainty.
    Yes, Hot Spot volcanoes and Caldera's also have Harmonic Tremors. Harmonic Tremors are a function of Magma, heated water, steam, or other fluids/gasses moving through a fissure or weak spot. The thicker the substance, the longer and more intense the tremors are.

    So tremors due to magma are more intense and longer episodic duration due to it's thick viscosity.

    And yes, Old Faithful geyser erupting does show up as a very weak and short duration harmonic tremor on it's seismograph.

    I have -not- studied this, but I suspect there is some way to differentiate them from seismological data. Or at-least to make a determination as to the viscosity of the substance moving that caused the tremors.

  15. #75
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    Update from USGS: (Excerpt taken from full report)

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/
    Seismicity Summary: Beginning Dec 26, 2008, the second largest earthquake swarm of Yellowstone's recorded seismic history occurred beneath the north end of Yellowstone Lake. The swarm continued into Jan. 2009, but subsided rather quickly in activity on January 5. The Lake swarm consisted of 813 well-located earthquakes with magnitudes ranging from -0.8 to 3.9. This sequence contained 19 earthquakes of M>3.0 as well as 141 events of 2<M<2.9. Several of the M>3 swarm events were felt throughout Yellowstone National Park and surrounding area.

    In Jan. 9 to Jan 12, a secondary swarm of 35 earthquakes occurred near the northeast edge of the Yellowstone caldera, about 10 miles (16 km) NNE of the north end of the Yellowstone Lake swarm. This sequence included events with magnitudes of 0.4 to 3.3.

    These and all other Yellowstone GPS data are being analyzed for unusual properties that may be associated with the Yellowstone Lake swarm.
    Well the swarm is officialy done. It will be intresting to see what the GPS data indicates over the next months as it's compiled.

  16. #76
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    No information yet on GPS readings from the swarm.

    However another small swarm occurred on the 25th in another non fault zone region of the caldera. This is just a few kilometers North of the main Geyser area so it it likely a hydrothermally related event. Interesting none the less.

    2.7 2009/05/25 04:55:00 44.601N 110.811W 0.8 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.4 2009/05/25 04:53:52 44.607N 110.812W 0.8 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.9 2009/05/25 04:41:42 44.587N 110.809W 5.1 25 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.9 2009/05/25 04:39:52 44.580N 110.806W 3.2 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.1 2009/05/25 04:38:52 44.591N 110.818W 7.4 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 04:36:45 44.596N 110.807W 3.9 25 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.9 2009/05/25 04:28:37 44.597N 110.831W 5.9 23 km (14 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 04:05:09 44.589N 110.873W 1.2 20 km (13 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.5 2009/05/25 03:38:35 44.596N 110.833W 0.6 23 km (14 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT

  17. #77
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    Sorry, got a few questions:

    What's a swarm by the way? A series of mini-earthquakes?
    Are they common/uncommon?
    Regarding future doom, are swarms a good sign? Or a bad sign?

  18. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post
    Sorry, got a few questions:

    What's a swarm by the way? A series of mini-earthquakes?
    Are they common/uncommon?
    Regarding future doom, are swarms a good sign? Or a bad sign?
    Taking your questions in order:

    A bunch of earthquakes in one area.
    Usually, although they can be big ones, too.
    Common in volcanic and seismic zones.
    No. They sometimes presage large eruptions.
    Yes. They sometimes presage large eruptions.

  19. #79
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    Quote Originally Posted by geonuc View Post
    No. They sometimes presage large eruptions.
    Yes. They sometimes presage large eruptions.

    Thanks!

  20. #80
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    Quote Originally Posted by PraedSt View Post

    Thanks!
    Well, but the history of eruptions at the Yellowstone hot spot is that large is very large, and therefore, very BAD!

  21. #81
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    Hi, Thank you for the updates and your informed view of Yellowstone.
    It is most appreciated.
    Best regards,
    Dan

  22. #82
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    Ok Updated list on the mini swarm, 30 of them are located in the same region just a few KM north of the main geyser area. 5 of the events are a smaller sequence due east of the main geyser at the edge of the Caldera region.

    This is not unusual activity, in that sometimes a larger swarm will be followed by a smaller swarm in another location. While I definitely do not think this is any signal of impending doom, the location of the January mega-swarm and these two swarms -seems- to coincide with and arc that is a close match to the estimated edges of the magma pool under the caldera. Starting from Yellowstone lake area (Jan's swarm) and moving north westward to the 30 swarm area, then following the edge line SW to the caldera edge of the 5 event swarm (yesterdays swarms).

    I'm placing my bets now on that this is likely indicative or either continued uplift activity from the magma pool, or the beginnings of deflation activity due to a magma pool size decrease. The location of the three swarms now just seems too coincidental to all be simple hydrothermal activity, and more likely due to uplift or deflation activity.

    This is not odd behavior though, in that some volcanic regions typically flip-flop between periods of uplift and then deflation. So again, you don;t need to be stocking your fallout shelters.

    Can't totally rule out hydrothermal activity though. It's just beginning to look less likely of an explanation.

    0.6 2009/05/25 13:23:06 44.595N 110.825W 6.5 23 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    0.9 2009/05/25 11:40:09 44.617N 110.799W 7.4 25 km (15 mi) E of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.4 2009/05/25 08:14:33 44.576N 110.811W 6.3 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.0 2009/05/25 07:53:54 44.590N 110.794W 8.2 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    0.6 2009/05/25 07:12:20 44.610N 110.812W 10.1 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.5 2009/05/25 07:08:52 44.586N 110.828W 7.0 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 06:30:10 44.575N 110.810W 5.8 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    0.5 2009/05/25 06:28:55 44.589N 110.789W 8.9 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.1 2009/05/25 06:15:37 44.593N 110.787W 8.9 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    0.5 2009/05/25 06:14:13 44.617N 110.797W 6.9 25 km (15 mi) E of West Yellowstone, MT
    0.9 2009/05/25 06:09:40 44.600N 110.801W 8.4 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.1 2009/05/25 06:09:08 44.594N 110.805W 8.5 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.3 2009/05/25 05:29:43 44.598N 110.798W 8.6 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.5 2009/05/25 05:28:34 44.596N 110.822W 7.7 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.1 2009/05/25 05:24:58 44.614N 110.824W 7.6 23 km (14 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.0 2009/05/25 05:08:13 44.589N 110.805W 8.9 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.2 2009/05/25 05:06:14 44.615N 110.803W 7.5 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.6 2009/05/25 05:03:56 44.588N 110.793W 9.1 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.3 2009/05/25 05:02:03 44.583N 110.788W 7.4 27 km (17 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.5 2009/05/25 04:57:39 44.591N 110.804W 8.1 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.6 2009/05/25 04:56:01 44.592N 110.794W 8.1 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 04:54:59 44.581N 110.808W 7.5 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.3 2009/05/25 04:53:52 44.582N 110.798W 7.6 26 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.3 2009/05/25 04:51:00 44.597N 110.815W 2.5 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.4 2009/05/25 04:49:23 44.580N 110.817W 6.2 25 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.9 2009/05/25 04:41:42 44.587N 110.809W 5.1 25 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.9 2009/05/25 04:39:52 44.580N 110.806W 3.2 25 km (16 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.1 2009/05/25 04:38:52 44.591N 110.818W 7.4 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 04:36:45 44.596N 110.807W 3.9 25 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.9 2009/05/25 04:28:37 44.597N 110.831W 5.9 23 km (14 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.6 2009/05/25 04:05:09 44.589N 110.873W 1.2 20 km (13 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    2.5 2009/05/25 03:38:35 44.596N 110.833W 0.6 23 km (14 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.4 2009/05/25 03:21:57 44.616N 110.805W 6.7 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT
    1.4 2009/05/25 03:20:58 44.614N 110.815W 5.8 24 km (15 mi) ESE of West Yellowstone, MT

  23. #83
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    The monthly summary is due June 1st. Uplift was continuing slowly according to the May 1st update.

    Recent ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera is a good background piece on what it all means. It's from 2007.

    The caldera is alive. It breathes.

  24. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by dgavin View Post
    Ok Updated list on the mini swarm, 30 of them are located in the same region just a few KM north of the main geyser area. 5 of the events are a smaller sequence due east of the main geyser at the edge of the Caldera region.
    That's pretty much centered on Fountain Flats drive, I just noticed, and there is a (*&(*&load of hydrothermal activity there, including "Great Fountain" geyser and a whole lot of fairly hot little features. Last year when I was there one was trying to eat the roadway.

  25. #85
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    I have the seismic activity for Yellowstone bookmarked and I check about once a week. There are swarms occurring a couple times a year. Although seeing them makes me raise my eyebrows I don't get overly worried about them.

    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo/public...09/09swarm.php
    It is possible that the swarm has ended, although a return of activity may occur as previous Yellowstone swarms of this size have lasted for tens of days to many weeks. Swarms are common at Yellowstone.
    On thing that I have always wondered though about the Yellowstone caldera is that we are looking at the location of the last eruption. If we look at historical data, the caldera is moving north east every time in blows. Should we be more worried about an eruption occurring closer to Billings, Mt than the current location?

  26. #86
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    The Hot spot typically only moves at about a rate of 25km per 1 my in relation to the surface. The Magma Pool's movement is actually sporatic, typically being stationary for 2 to 5 S.V. eruptions before the hotspot forms a new pool at a different location near by.

  27. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by beskeptical View Post
    The monthly summary is due June 1st. Uplift was continuing slowly according to the May 1st update.

    Recent ups and downs of the Yellowstone Caldera is a good background piece on what it all means. It's from 2007.

    The caldera is alive. It breathes.
    The breathing doesn't bother me. It's the pontential for belching, burping and projectile vomiting that have me concerned.
    Time wasted having fun is not time wasted - Lennon
    (John, not the other one.)

  28. #88
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    We have similar crustal breathing here in the US Northwest but the underlying cause differs. Here it is crustal plate pressure rather than (an) underlying magma chamber(s). If the Olympic Peninsula fails to exhale, it could mean the big one is about to arrive.

    Periodic Slow Earthquakes from the Cascadia Subduction Zone

  29. #89
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    I've always wanted to know if there was anything we could do to mitigate the super-eruption that we know will occur in this area at some point.

    Can we drill to relive pressure? Underground nukes?

    Just curious.


    Rob

  30. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by robross View Post
    I've always wanted to know if there was anything we could do to mitigate the super-eruption that we know will occur in this area at some point.

    Can we drill to relive pressure? Underground nukes?
    We don't know for sure that one will occur.

    If one is due to occur I don't see that there's much we can do about it except evacuate. The magma chamber is over 40 miles across and the energy involved is incredible. Setting off a nuke would probably be a bad idea, it might even trigger the eruption.

    Engineering on that scale is just not an option right now. Best bet is to just hope the continental plates will shift enough to move the chamber below the danger line.

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