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CNN Oversimplifies The Danger of Yellowstone National Park

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As I read the headline on CNN this morning, I was amazed to see them referring to Yellowstone’s ancient (?) Volcano - which is an oversimplification of the facts, if not grossly misleading. Yellowstone IS NOT the location of an “ancient volcano”, but the site of one of the world’s largest “Super-Volcanoes” which if it ever erupted in our lifetimes, would spell disaster not only for the United States - but could easily be labeled as an extinction level event, and that’s far more serious than CNN’s article would lead anyone to believe:

Magma pushing up ground in Yellowstone

* Molten rock flowing up at rate of three inches per year, study found
* No evidence that an eruption is imminent, study author says
* Yellowstone was once site of giant volcano
* Park is site of Old Faithful and hundreds of other geysers

WASHINGTON (AP) — Yellowstone National Park, once the site of a giant volcano, has begun swelling up, possibly because molten rock is accumulating beneath the surface, scientists report.

But, “there is no evidence of an imminent volcanic eruption,” said Robert B. Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

Many giant volcanic craters around the world go up and down over decades without erupting, he said.

Smith and colleagues report in Friday’s issue of the journal Science that the flow of the ancient Yellowstone crater has been moving upward almost 3 inches per year for the past three years. MUCH MORE

This so-called volcano is far more than CNN represents it to be, and while I’m not predicting an eminent eruption, the rise of three inches per year, to the best of my knowledge and belief -is unprecedented! Here are a couple of reference points for you to judge how serious an eruption in Yellowstone would be:

Supervolcanoes

First shown: BBC2 9:30pm Thursday 3rd February 2000

Exploding VolcanoHidden deep beneath the Earth’s surface lie one of the most destructive and yet least-understood natural phenomena in the world - supervolcanoes. Only a handful exist in the world but when one erupts it will be unlike any volcano we have ever witnessed. The explosion will be heard around the world. The sky will darken, black rain will fall, and the Earth will be plunged into the equivalent of a nuclear winter.

Normal volcanoes are formed by a column of magma - molten rock - rising from deep within the Earth, erupting on the surface, and hardening in layers down the sides. This forms the familiar cone shaped mountain we associate with volcanoes. Supervolcanoes, however, begin life when magma rises from the mantle to create a boiling reservoir in the Earth’s crust. This chamber increases to an enormous size, building up colossal pressure until it finally erupts.

The last supervolcano to erupt was Toba 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. Ten thousand times bigger than Mt St Helens, it created a global catastrophe dramatically affecting life on Earth. Scientists know that another one is due - they just don’t know when… or where. MUCH MORE

Still think Yellowstone is just another volcano? Here’s one more point of reference, and if you choose to research it on your own, there’s a wealth of information on the Internet in regard this subject, and while I’m not attempting to instill fear or panic, as no one can reliably predict when such an eruption could occur, three (s) inches per year far dwarf’s any previous bulging of this site that I’m currently aware of:

Supervolcano Yellowstone

Scientists evaluate natural-hazard levels by combining their knowledge of the frequency and the severity of hazardous events. In the Yellowstone region, damaging hydrothermal explosions and earthquakes can occur several times a century. Lava flows and small volcanic eruptions occur only rarely—none in the past 70,000 years. Massive caldera-forming eruptions, though the most potentially devastating of Yellowstone’s hazards, are extremely rare—only three have occurred in the past several million years. U.S. Geological Survey, University of Utah, and National Park Service scientists with the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) see no evidence that another such cataclysmic eruption will occur at Yellowstone in the foreseeable future. Recurrence intervals of these events are neither regular nor predictable. credit: USGS

Scientists have revealed that Yellowstone Park has been on a regular eruption cycle of 600,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 years ago…so the next is overdue. The next eruption could be 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Volcanologists have been tracking the movement of magma under the park and have calculated that in parts of Yellowstone the ground has risen over seventy centimeters this century. (Emphasis added.) MUCH MORE

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I wonder what the radius of complete and immediate... by Archie on Saturday, Nov 10, 2007 at 6:15:14 PM
The reason I was so outraged by CNN's obvious ... by William Cormier on Saturday, Nov 10, 2007 at 7:17:51 PM
..but we need facts, if for no other reason t... by Sandy Sand on Saturday, Nov 10, 2007 at 7:59:07 PM
I stated the facts, and CNN attempted to play-down... by William Cormier on Saturday, Nov 10, 2007 at 8:24:34 PM
Regarding the relatively rapid "doming" ... by Jim Pivonka on Sunday, Nov 11, 2007 at 12:10:33 PM
Thank you for adding logic and a glimpse of Scienc... by William Cormier on Sunday, Nov 11, 2007 at 12:41:01 PM
I'm no psychologist, so readers will have to &... by Plenum on Monday, Nov 12, 2007 at 3:11:59 AM