Yellowstone supervolcano melting roads and causing park closures

Jul 16, 2014 Full story:

One of the main roads through Yellowstone National Park has been closed temporarily because the ground under it got too hot, and melted the asphalt.

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“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07


#1 Jul 16, 2014
Hmm. One other way around the problem is to change the source of the tar.

Saudi crude which is the classical tar source for decent roads self anneals in hot sun, which stops winter potholes. The tar in those cases contains a lot of long chain hydrocarbons with the occasional aromatic group tacked on, and is a thermoplastic mix. This gets to be a bit of a problem when thermal input liquefies the tar, hence the goopy mess near the geyser basins.

The tar from petroleum distillation light oil (classical of the USA south & also North sea crude), is rich in aromatic hydrocarbons which solidify into crystals in a shorter timespan & tends not to anneal in the hot sun. Initially thermoplastic, this tar will often oxidise and become thermosetting in a matter of a few months. In classic freeze thaw conditions this type of tar creates giant potholes & scattered gravel as seen in the Uk after some years of bad winter weather 7 reliance one usage of local source North sea tar for roadmetal. For yellowstone this type of tar will tend to fail to melt following laying until geyser eruptions start to pop up through the road.
Problem there is that freeze thaw potholes are a risk in colder roads, so will need to have 2 different tar types on tap for road maintenance.

Have a nice day: Ag

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