Yellowstone Earthquakes: Supervolcano Update

Jan 3, 2009 | Posted by: roboblogger | Full story: Free Republic

"We don't think the amount of magma exists that would create one of these large eruptions of the past," he said.

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Since: Oct 08

Mentor, OH

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#1
Jan 3, 2009
 
I cannot believe some sort of evacuation plan is not in place. Someone is asleep at the wheel! Granted it is a large area. Someone needs to get on this! Who changes the alert level?

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#2
Jan 9, 2009
 
The magma is there but it is NOT close enough to the surface to influence the hydrothermal system.

The next major ascending Rhyolite pluton & associated gas is ~30Km beneath Nt.washburn and is responsible for the swell and the gorge where yellowstone lake drains to the N. of the park.
The same pluton is ALSO responsible for the broad swell that created the lake. That one appears to have about 1500 to 4000Km3 of eruptable gas rich magma similar to the eruption volume totals of the previous calderas.

The last (for the ref of Bill Bryson) emerged in the W. of the caldera approximately 150000Bp and is in large part responsible for the massive rhyolite dome flow complex in the W. part of the caldera and the current high level hydrothermal system that we all know & love.
That one was a small pluton about similar to the one that caused Island park caldera with about 500Km3 of eruptable magma. It dod not form a caldera because it hit the residual rhyolite of the 600000Bp double caldera of about 10,000Km3 and most of the gas reheated & remobilised that magma creating the dome complex which erupted under ice when the overlying ice cooled & rigidised the caldera roof.

The quakes are the result of recompression of the Rio Grande rift following the 1700AD megaquake of Cascadia which ran out @ Yellowstone in the N. and well E. of Colorado in the S. before the runout footprint swung round to Panguitch in the Basin & range. The megaquakes reach Yellowtone approx once every 2400 years.
A deep basalt fracture may also squeeze into the residual high level magma in the not too distant future it will not be enough to cause an eruption but keeps the W.caldera magma ~15000Km3 nice & hot but relatively gas poor.

Basalt eruptions in the Snake river plain are due 300-700 years from now from northern fractures in the backarc basin.

Have a nice day: Ag
truthist

Katy, TX

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#3
Jan 10, 2009
 
Adrian Godsafe MSc,

What is the uncertainty on the "1/2400 years?"

FYI:
http://www.livescience.com/common/media/video...

Also,
Generalizing surficial geological maps for scale change: ArcGIS tools vs. cellular automata model
http://www.citeulike.org/group/8203/article/3...

Thanks.
Mike Meaningless

United States

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#4
Jan 10, 2009
 
"As in the Days of Noah..."
As many have seen on the Discovery channel, Science channel etc, the destructive possibility
of Yellowstone pretty much says, Adios USA!
As with an imminent inbound asteroid,comet,nothing can be done so nothing will be said, let it happen, and pick up the pieces,if any afterward.There is no such thing as a cataclysmic warning siren.
A hundred, a thousand years in geological time is a wink of the eye. These experts while well intentioned have no more insight on timetables
than you or I.
Watch when goverment and selected VIPS start dissapearing believeing they will ride this out
underground the chosen race to start over the human race. ROTFLMAO

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#5
Jan 13, 2009
 
truthist wrote:
Adrian Godsafe MSc,
What is the uncertainty on the "1/2400 years?"
FYI:
http://www.livescience.com/common/media/video...
Also,
Generalizing surficial geological maps for scale change: ArcGIS tools vs. cellular automata model
http://www.citeulike.org/group/8203/article/3...
Thanks.
About every 400 years or so.

The main uncertainty rests with the backarc r/lx vector which is variable and runs in sectors with the segments bound by transform faults and "hard edged".

The driving force is the hotspot plumes overridden by the N.American continent which back up & compress the E. part of the continent (hence the compression quakes in central continent & E. coast Appalachians). This coupled with backarc spreading of the subaerial basin & range creating the basins & ranges with time.

hotspot#0 Edziza. Canada.
vector driver SW. links to rift driving Juan de Fuca plate & rifting Canadian rockies driving into Alaska & also occasional SW.jog over pacific plate.

hotspot#1 Chilcotin Britich Columbia Canada.
Vector driver SW.(last r/lx 1350+-50AD cause of penultimate tsunami @ Seattle causing whole arc mega quake to Nor cal).

hotspot#2 Yellowstone USA.
Vector driver WSW & also end point linker to Chilcotin SW. & also WSW. and W. & WNW. with links to lower latitude hotspots.(last r/lx 1700AD)

hotspot#3 Colorado USA.
Vector driver W. and WNW. and link to Yellowstone & Panguitch (last r/lx 1700AD)

hotspot#4 panguitch. Central Basin & range region USA N. of Grand canyon region.
vector driver NW. and WNW.(last r/lx 1700AD).

hotspot #5 Raton-Clayton SE.rockies USA.
vector driver WNW.(very rare in link with Colorado).
vector driver SW. through Sierra Madre Mexico (very rare) last r/lx late Pleistocene as a result of detachment of hotspot from previous link with Rio Grande rift.

hotspot#6 Durango Mexico.
Driver which initiated Gulf of california rift, now detached from hotspot. drives "mexican wave" r/lx (last event 1315+-50AD vector SW): vectors SW. and WSW. tends to alternate.
This hotspot main driver for r/lx of central mexican Basin & range to Rio Grande rift with multiples of ~750 years with distance from arc front & most backarc magma squeezed NW. to erupt at N. part of basin in S.rockies USA volcanic fields such as Carriozozo and Sunset crater.

next mexican wave due 2080+-50AD.

that do ya?

have a nice day: Ag
truthist

Katy, TX

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#6
Jan 13, 2009
 
Adrian Godsafe MSc,

Thanks:) Hot spots happen to be my best spots to visit :(

You know about my questions :) Where do you get the uncertainty numbers? What qualifications are there for hot spots?

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#7
Jan 14, 2009
 
truthist wrote:
Adrian Godsafe MSc,
Thanks:) Hot spots happen to be my best spots to visit :(
You know about my questions :) Where do you get the uncertainty numbers? What qualifications are there for hot spots?
The hotspots are defined as the central point over the upwelling mantle plumes which previously drove the spreading centre of the OLD pacific plate which has now been partly overrun by the N.American continent.

They are defined as regions of exceptionally high heatflow, and also as a result of being an upwelling, they are on the top of a geoid swell with radial outflow of mantle rock which originated from deeper hotter levels of the mantle.

Hawaii is a very obvious and also relatively young hotspot with an obvious connection to the core/mantle boundary & tholeiite shield volcanoes on top.
Other hotspots erupting Tholeiite basalt are Yellowstone, and Panguitch, both are older then hawaii and are more important in the spreading of the mantle rather than the dumping of basalt onto the surface from a plume head magma pool. Durango hotspot in Mexico is ALSO producing Tholeiite but most of this magma incorporated into deep fractures during r/lx of the central mexican plateau part of the basin & range emerges in the wide secton with the longest squeeze in time closer to Panguitch than Durango, around the Mogollon rim & Colorado plateau areas. It also erupts backarc magma over the hotspot itself in Durango proper where its local spreading keeps the crust dilated longer then adjcent segments, Paradoxically the bulk of the backarc magma it imports from elsewhere is alkaline in composition (damned confusing).

One other Tholeiite hotspot controlling spreading at the Juan de Fuca plate rift remnant is "Axial" which forms the axial volcano & related rift volcanoes & associated chain of seamounts on the pacific plate side, it may also be labelled by the seamount chain whose name escapes me @ present mainly because all my info is in France right now.

Old hotspots tend to have disconnected from the core/mantle boundary and they are cooler being derived from upwelling within the mantle generally being kept going by the spreading centre which previously "joined the dots".

Edziza, Chilcotin, Colorado, and Raton-Clayton are all now erupting relatively low volumes of alkaline magma rich in Potassium & Sodium from magma stored primarily at deep levels (90 to 200Km). They are however very good at knocking off bits of old eclogite from the base of the continental keels, and this is cold & heavy.
Colorado in particular has been subject to rejuvenation from CO2 rich material upwelling in a blob from the core/mantle boundary & has created a localised Rhyolite volcanic caldera field along its hotspot track with at least 9 yellowstone sized calderas in it.

Alkaline hotspots tend to concentrate on spreading rather than magma generation, they DO however build interesting volcanoes, the hotspot track of Raton-Clayton extends all through the S. part of the Colorado plateau & was responsible for the taos shiled volcanoes in the Rio Grande rift. It is also the 1st to contact the continental shield E. of the rockies & is burning its way through the eclogite at 150-200Km down right now. Its last eruption was Capulin cone which is a nice landmark, the product of the last r/lx to reach the crust overlying the hotspot.

Hotspots done; Have a nice day: Ag

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#8
Jan 14, 2009
 
truthist wrote:
Adrian Godsafe MSc,
Thanks:) Hot spots happen to be my best spots to visit :(
You know about my questions :) Where do you get the uncertainty numbers? What qualifications are there for hot spots?
The uncertainty rests with the vectors and the distance of the hotspot driving spreading from the arc megathrust @ the front of the backarc basin.

The S. part of the basin & range backarc basins in the Sierra madre Mexico is the easiest to work out.
The mexican wave is approx 765+-50 year intervals, the last was a range & backarc event terminating S. of the Durango hotspot with vector SW. The interval time is best worked out from the activity of the stratovolcanoes which recieve the magma from the fractures generated by the r/lx @ the base of the crust & then squeeze them into the volcano, since the arc is arcuate the vector of r/lx is critical to which volcano gets the magma which cannot travel sideways indefinitely because it will eventually contact the forearc & go no further, so some are active and others dormant through the r/lx cycle.

The Sierra madre region & central mexican plateau is wedge shaped so r/lx here results in short runout near the Mexican arc, and long runout further N. bordering the Gulf of California. in WSW. vector r/lx driven by the Durango hotspot, the Mexican arc will have a recurrence interval time similar to the present (~700-800 years), the adjacent segments adjoining Durango about 1400 years, and the central mexican sector if runout goes to the Rio Grande rift backarc backfault, anywhere from 2000 in the S. to 6500 years at Taos near the Raton-Clayton hotspot. For Raton-Clayton itself r/lx will result in close to 8000 years of squeeze in time, at a rate of 4.5cm/yr. versus the Rivera plate which is the Mexico side sliver of the Gulf of california rift. The squeeze in time for a backarc basin is a MINIMUM of the runout so do the math and work out how high the Sierra madre will go in the region around the Colorado river delta if Raton-Clayton hotspot decompresses.

NOTE. Runout in backarc r/lx does NOT always reach the backfault. The last event resulting in the Sunset Crater cinder cone did not run to the backfault across the Sierra madre, and hit the Colorado Plateau region at about the point of intersection of the Grand canyon, hence the recent Grand canyon lava flows & ALSO sunset Crater as a result of the squeeze in of the fracture system via increasing pressure from SSE heading to NNW. as the Cocos & Rivera plates impinged upon the backarc in the squeeze in stage (squidge).

The same thing applies in the N. part of the system where the basin & range backarc is present. The difference HERE is that the vectors are different and interchange & swap.

end part 1

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#9
Jan 14, 2009
 
part 2

Yellowstone in particular is responsible for r/lx of the backarc and aslo for the bulk of the Tholeiite in the snake river plain where the crust is quite thin. The squeeze in of the prior r/lx is therefore a history of volcanism in the region with the usual runout being from Yellowstone-Panguitch and magma emergent in the Snake river plain where the stress field is decompressed longest.

The interval time between gaps for snake river plain magma is ~2400 years with events typically variable by 400 years around that date. Intervening r/lx may ALSO take place on other vectors with runout reaching the snake river plain rather then the controlling hotspots (oh no!), this adds a lot of confusion to the workings out. Yellowstone however typically affects & controls r/lx of the N. part of the Cascades so that is rather more handy.

The Chilcotin hotspot is also very handy in that IT is by & large responsible for r/lx in the Garibaldi volcanoes chain which gave major episodes (a few Km3) of volcanism on average 1200 year intervals with runout to the backarc centre, and ~2800 years with runout to the backfault @ the Chilcotin hotspot.

The bad news is that backarc backfault r/lx driven by the hotspots produce mega quakes covering the entire Cascadia arc.

Volcanism @ panguitch is typical after an r/lx with vector NW. which hits the hotspot, & will also affect the Black rock desert volcano.

end part 2
truthist

Lutz, FL

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#10
Jan 14, 2009
 
Thanks, Ag :)

When you say CO2-rich do you mean carbonates?

Also I'd like to know what your view is on the ejection of CO2 as being experimented righr now in USA for storage of CO2 from coal burning electric plants
truthist

Lutz, FL

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#11
Jan 14, 2009
 
Thanks again while we are tapping at the same time .. it seems...

A personal note; I was at the caldera of the volcano at Raton-Clayton as the sun was setting

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#12
Jan 14, 2009
 
truthist wrote:
Thanks, Ag :)
When you say CO2-rich do you mean carbonates?
Also I'd like to know what your view is on the ejection of CO2 as being experimented righr now in USA for storage of CO2 from coal burning electric plants
Rich in CO2 gas. The magma in general is too hot for it to condense carbonates & these only crystallise in the coldest fraction at the point where the bulk of the silicates are already solid.

Carbonate rich alkali magmas have erupted at the Leucite hills wyoming in the midway point between the Colorado & Yellowstone hotspots and slightly upstream where residual magma in crystal margins has collected and ponded.

The Leucite hills are a downwelling & magma trap storage system rather than a geniune hotspot & is VERY notable for the rich variety of wierd pseudo scientific names for individual batches of K rich magma tapped from the small magma chambers in events that have incorporated batches into the base of the crust after r/lx which generated VERY wide base crustal fractures which tapped the deep (~150Km) magma chambers.

In general the CO2 incorporated from the core/mantle boundary is an assist gas giving a bit of "oomph" to the magma as it erupts and will put a lot of basalt onto the surface or into a high level magma chamber at the point of deep crustal fracture. It IS however very hot and will melt material in proximity in its own right so will add to the melting as the plume ascends to the surface assisting the H2O in generating a supercritical fluid solvent.

Have a nice day: Ag

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#13
Jan 14, 2009
 
part 3
The S, part of cascadia is controlled by spreading from the Panguitch hotspot and is typivally in multiples via N.california of 750 years. It may however be twice that time but is unlikely.

Nor Cal is a backarc basin extending to the Owens valley rift with the bulk of the backarc magma ponding in the central part under long valley & the Mono-Inyo supervolcano. r/l;x extending to the backfault @ Panguitch will also extend to the backfault at Nor cal which is close to the Gulf of California & the W. part of the Mogollon rim of the Colorado Plateau SSW. of Panguitch. The S. Cascades appears to react rather strongly to r/lx from Panguitch & Nor Cal and the volcanoes of the S.cascades in large part react as if they were all part of the same system with runout typical to mid part of the Oregon Cascades between the 3 sisters & Mt Hood.

Medicine lake shield volcano tends to recieve most of the backarc magma, Shasta tends to recieve most of the arc magma, and lots of little monogenetic shields & cinder cones indicate that lots of other fractures tend to hit the forearc after a NW. vector r/lx without contacting a major volcano. It also indicates that a major r/lx in SW.vector covering the whole cascadia zone is rare or a large volcano would result from localisation of the fractures.

r/lx of the N.Cascades between Yellowstone & Panguitch seems to get in the way of pure NW.vector r/lx to the backfault @ Panguitch.
Panguitch also gets in the way of r/lx at Colorado which means that the 1700AD event @ Colorado & the continental USA WNW.vector was unusual, which means that the hot sulphur spring is a relatively new feature & Dotsero volcano will eventually have a near neighbour (long time in future).

The result is that for NW. vector r/lx the typical effect is a backarc event covering Nor cal and the bulk of the S. and central Cascades in a boomerang shape with arc magma eventually appearing @ Shasta & lassen & backarc magma eventually at Medicine lake, the Mono-Inyo supervolcano, and the odd dot in the arc centre if no other r/lx hits further N. before the magma gets there... via fractures striking NE-SW.

In general r/lx at Yellowstone-Panguitch either to the backarc central OR to the backfault as in 1700AD will get in the way of magma in the central Cascadia backarc and incorporate it into fractures typically roughly in line with the cascadia arc (typically 15 deg either way or in line with N-S).

The North Cascadia backarc r/lx interval time is roughly 850 years but with a VERY wide error bar as seen by the events of the Snake river plain.
The large volcanoes in central Oregon (3 sisters) and Newbwrry volcano in the backarc appear to recieve the bulk of the classical WNW, and WSW. vector magma during mega quakes but they have long repose periods during normal activity dominated by events driven by Panguitch & Nor Cal backarc basin where these 2 volcanoes lie close to the edge of the runout areas covered.

end part 3

“Geologist [I'm Climate Change]”

Since: Mar 07

Nuneaton

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#14
Jan 14, 2009
 
part 4

NOTE: in classical backarc basins with the stress field equal from one boundary to the other, the bulk of backarc magma ends up being squeezed into a large volcano in the centre of the backarc basin. The arc sector will have volcanoes scattered around the margins where individual segments have different spreading rates, and a large well fed stratovolcano in the middle of the arc sector of the basin closer to the megathrust than the backarc giant volcano.

Cascadia with typical WNW, and WSW. r/lx has identifying volcanoes for this type via the arc volcanoes Lassen, Shasta, 3 sisters (central), Hood, and Rainier {arc}. The giant volcano in the backarc is Newberry volcano.

The OTHER large volcanoes are indicators that vector change for r/lx is VERY important in Cascadia in particular. Medicine lake, the giant backarc volcano of the NW. vector r/lx is more voluminous than Newberry volcano.

The vector changes for r/lx thanks to the numerous hotspots at numerous individual spreading velocities (on top of the plate motion of the N.American continent) also results in vastly more stratovolcanoes in the arc than would typically be the case. It has also resulted in a giant backarc volcano in N.Cascadia (Baker).

Timing.

The last r/lx, 1700AD ran out to Yellowstone, Colorado (& continent), and panguitch on a WNW. vector covering the Cascadia zone from Baker to Lassen in a mega quake and also decompressed Vancouver island in the forearc (good news for the Canucks). The biggest runout was in the 3 sisters region Oregon, so for now there will be a classical squeeze in with the volcanoes @ the runout edge erupting 1st and the centre erupting later & larger.

The prior r/lx was 1350+-50AD and will probably be better dated via better dendrochronology and 14C dating in the drowned forest @ Seattle,(it may be earlier, but not later).
This one decompressed the Chilcotin hotspot via a SW.vector including all the garibaldi mountains & possibly also the Edziza hotspot, terminating NW. of Yellowstone and running through all of Cascadia to below Lassen, where it decompressed the forearc of Nor Cal precipitating immediate r/lx of Nor Cal (Gorda arc) & backarc on a NW. vector with rapid effect @ the mono-Inyo supervolcano where the r/lx ran out.

All of cascadia is now decompressed in WNW. and SW. vectors, but Nor cal is close to r/lx and the SE. part of the basin & range near panguitch to Nor cal is still compressed. The transform faults make the basin hard edged so that bit is next to undergo r/lx and a small part of the Basin & range will follow r/lx of Nor Cal NW.~750 year interval time.

Hence error bar ranges.

have a nice day: Ag

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