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Is the Yellowstone supervolcano dying ?


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#1    UM-Bot

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 09:57 AM

In the event of an eruption the volcano could spew out 2,000 times the debris of Mount Saint Helen's.

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The largest known active volcano in the world, the Yellowstone Caldera has gained a lot of media attention in recent years after it was revealed that this sleeping giant had the potential to erupt at any time and cause untold devastation across hundreds of square miles.

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#2    Lilly

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:33 AM

Since the researchers concluded this:

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The last known eruption took place 70,000 years ago but was a lot smaller than eruptions prior to that and many of Yellowstone's trademark geysers and hot springs have been helping to dissipate some of the energy building up below the surface.

While the research team was keen to emphasize that the volcano is still very much alive, chances are good that we won't see a catastrophic eruption at any time in the foreseeable future.

I'm not going to lose any sleep worrying over this one.

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#3    skookum

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 10:56 AM

I am sure somebody will jump in to discredit these findings.  Some people just to seem to be able to live with an end of the world scenario looming.


#4    Frank Merton

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:02 AM

Opportunity for great celebration; one of the threats to our civilization may not be so serious.  Thing is, its a big bubble down there and what is below it may reinvigorate it some day.

Last time I counted there were a couple dozen known ways we could all be wiped out, none of which has more than a minute probability.  Still, adding up minute probabilities can end up with a total a good less minute.


#5    Br Cornelius

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:20 AM

Science tells us that some similar event as the eruption of Yellowstone in the past reduced the human population to a few thousand. We were nearly wiped out previously and we could be again.


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The Toba catastrophe theory suggests that a bottleneck of the human population occurred c. 70,000 years ago, proposing that the human population was reduced to perhaps 10,000 individuals[3] when the Toba supervolcano in Indonesia erupted and triggered a major environmental change. The theory is based on geological evidences of sudden climate change and on coalescence evidences of some genes (including mitochondrial DNA, Y-chromosome and some nuclear genes)[4] and the relatively low level of genetic variation with humans.[3]
However, such coalescence is genetically expected and does not, in itself, indicate a population bottleneck, because mitochondrial DNA and Y-chromosome DNA are only a small part of the entire genome, and are atypical in that they are inherited exclusively through the mother or through the father, respectively. Most genes in the genome are inherited from either father or mother, and thus can be traced back in time via either matrilineal or patrilineal ancestry.[5] Research on many genes finds different coalescence points from 2 million years ago to 60,000 years ago when different genes are considered, thus disproving the existence of more recent extreme bottlenecks (i.e., a single breeding pair).[3][6]
On the other hand, in 2000, a Molecular Biology and Evolution paper suggested a transplanting model or a 'long bottleneck' to account for the limited genetic variation, rather than a catastrophic environmental change.[7] This would be consistent with suggestions that in sub-Saharan Africa numbers could have dropped at times as low as 2,000, for perhaps as long as 100,000 years, before numbers began to expand again in the Late Stone Age.[8]



http://en.wikipedia....tion_bottleneck

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#6    Frank Merton

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:24 AM

As I understand it the most rapid and extreme evolution happens in such bottlenecks when a population is under serious selective pressure and new genes have a better chance if even by drift alone.


#7    toast

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:28 AM

No, there is no Yellowstone Caldera. No, no, no. What?
There wasn`t a Yellowstone Caldera and there will be no Yellowstone Caldera.
I want that there is no Yellowstone at all. Never and anywhere.
Can we talk about orbs or so? Can we?

Edited by toast, 27 March 2014 - 11:30 AM.

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#8    Br Cornelius

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:31 AM

View PostFrank Merton, on 27 March 2014 - 11:24 AM, said:

As I understand it the most rapid and extreme evolution happens in such bottlenecks when a population is under serious selective pressure and new genes have a better chance if even by drift alone.
You are probably correct.
i would just point out that  the Toba event would have been a considerably smaller event than even a diminished  Yellowstone eruption. If Yellowstone went off it would represent another mass extinction event which humans would be unlikely to weather. A wiping of the slate so to speak. In the past such events have been signifcant spurs to planetary evolution with the transition from Dinosaurs to mammals been one of them.

From lifes perspective (ie the perspective of DNA) all such events are mere road blocks on the road.


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Edited by Br Cornelius, 27 March 2014 - 11:32 AM.

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#9    maximusnow

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:14 PM

The Quiet before the storm !!!


#10    GreenmansGod

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:16 PM

It us my understanding of volcanoes is they they move as the plate moves and there is some thought it is moving under the mountains and is less likely to erupt.  I don't remember where I heard that, though, so I might me wrong.  



Edited by GreenmansGod, 27 March 2014 - 01:18 PM.

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#11    Br Cornelius

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:33 PM

That would certainly be good.

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#12    Child of Bast

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:38 PM

View PostGreenmansGod, on 27 March 2014 - 01:16 PM, said:

It us my understanding of volcanoes is they they move as the plate moves and there is some thought it is moving under the mountains and is less likely to erupt.  I don't remember where I heard that, though, so I might me wrong.  



I have heard the same thing from an old friend whose husband studied these things.

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#13    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 01:57 PM

View Postskookum, on 27 March 2014 - 10:56 AM, said:

I am sure somebody will jump in to discredit these findings.  Some people just to seem to be able to live with an end of the world scenario looming.
Don't look in my direction for that.  We've known for roughly a decade that there isn't enough eruptible magma to cause significant volcanic activity.  Of course that could change, but we'd detect the earthquakes and know long ahead what was coming.  For the next thousand years, there doesn't seem to be anything to worry about.

On the other hand, steam explosions, some fairly large, have occurred since the park was founded.  Those could be a problem for park visitors or rangers, or maybe even a buffalo or two, but probably wouldn't have an effect outside the park boundary.  I'd like to take a mid-winter snowshoe hike along the Firehole River; maybe a week or so.  Bet you could get some really neat photos doing that.
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#14    Doug1o29

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 02:02 PM

View PostBr Cornelius, on 27 March 2014 - 11:20 AM, said:

Science tells us that some similar event as the eruption of Yellowstone in the past reduced the human population to a few thousand. We were nearly wiped out previously and we could be again.
I understand that there are no volcanoes on earth currently capable of such an eruption and that it would take at least a millennium for the needed lava to accumulate.  Even so, some big eruptions have occurred among smaller volcanoes.  Tamborra, Krakatoa, Thera and Vesuvius come to mind.
Doug

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Ignorance is not an opinion. --Adam Scott

#15    Noteverythingisaconspiracy

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Posted 27 March 2014 - 03:03 PM

Atleast this one is not active anymore:

http://en.wikipedia..../Siberian_traps

It possibly killed 90 % of the life on earth. Now thats what i call a volcano.

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