Thursday, October 3, 2013

3 October 2013 Fire beneath the mountain

Cassi Creek:  In case the government shutdown doesn’t irritate you enough to cost sleep, there’s always the threat of the Yellowstone Super Volcano.
          The USGS has a very competent and active volcano monitoring program to analyze the activity of the various volcanoes in and around the U.S.   Excluding Hawaii, the biggest, most potentially dangerous site in the nation is the Yellowstone Super volcano.  This single hot spot, ready to ramp up and blow through is somewhat behind its estimated eruption frequency.  As with all volcanoes, it could blow tomorrow or remain active but non-eruptive for centuries. 
          Yellowstone NP, along with Grand Teton NP comprise one of the most beautiful and fascinating places on earth  Along with mud pots, hot water springs, and other small geothermal features it also has the greatest number of geysers of any nation on earth.         
          It sits atop an enormous hotspot of magma that drives the geothermal features and which will someday blow out the caldera once more.  When it does erupt, the face of North America will change into something that will no longer support millions of people or be arable land.    
          Yellowstone, source of one of the most massive volcanic eruptions ever to occur, is a hot spot.  It is a magma intrusion through the planet’s crust.  It is freestanding as opposed to being located at submergence zones or along crustal rifts.  It has more similarity to the Hawaiian hot spot than to the Pacific Rim of Fire. Or the Atlantic mid-ocean riff.
          Gloria and I got some trimming accomplished today.  Dinner will be hot dogs and beans for me with bratwurst and beans for Gloria.

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