Yellowstone UPDATE #4: 2,500 Earthquakes in 115 days

For an unprecedented fourth time, we are updating this story to bring you the current seismic situation at Yellowstone National Park.  The current swarm of 2,500 earthquakes at the park, situated over a massive super-volcano the size of Mexico, is now the second-longest swarm in recorded history  To follow the history of this story:

Yellowstone Update #3: Now 878 Earthquakes in 14 Days! (August 14, 2017)
Yellowstone Update #2: Now 878 Earthquakes in 14 Days! (July 1, 2017)
 Yellowstone Update #1: 464 Earthquakes in 10 Days! {June 22, 2017)
As first reported on June 22, 2017, an ancient super-volcano, or caldera, lies beneath the surface of Yellowstone National Park. About 1,000 to 3,000 earthquakes strike Yellowstone each year, according to researchers – which is now cause for significant alarm, as the park has seen that the annual number of earthquakes occur in just 8 weeks. 

  • CGI enactment of what an eruption of the Yellowstone super-volcano could look like.

    Newsweek reported on October 4 that an ongoing earthquake swarm, which began June 12 of this year at Yellowstone National Park, is now one of the longest and biggest ever recorded.

    Over the past 115 days, the United States Geological Survey (USGS), in its monthly Volcano Notification Service report on October 2, stated that 2,487 earthquakes have now been recorded in the western part of the national park.  This now puts the region on par with the biggest and longest swarm ever recorded – more than 3,000 earthquakes in a 3 month period set decades ago.  USGS said 115 earthquakes had been reported in the park during September 2017.  Of these, 78 were part of the ongoing swarm 6 miles north of West Yellowstone. The biggest event in the swarm last month was magnitude 2.3.

    The USGS report continued:

    “The swarm in no way signals an impending eruption, and it appears now to be coming to an end. However, experts at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) say it has been “fascinating” to monitor and are eager to learn more about it in their analysis of the event.”

    The near-symmetrical Mount Cleveland, Alaska – the most active volcano in America – erupting 23 times since 1776!

    I still cannot believe that the USGS HAS a volcano notification service.  I thought that only Mt. St. Helen’s, Yellowstone and Hawaii were in any way volcanoes of interest.  Turns out that USGS has 6 different volcano observatories, and that there are 276 volcanoes in the United States, most thankfully still inactive – including 4 in American Samoa, 3 in Colorado, 7 in Arizona, 25 in California, 22 in Hawaii, 10 in Idaho, 1 in Louisiana, 2 in Mississippi, 1 in Missouri, 5 in Nevada, 2 in New Hampshire, 10 in New Hampshire, 15 in the Northern Mariana Islands, a stunning 43 in Oregon, 1 in South Dakota, 2 in Texas, 5 in Utah, 2 in Virginia, 16 in Washington state and of course Yellowstone in Wyoming.

    But nothing could prepare me for the news that Alaska has 99 volcanoes – and of those, (are you ready for this) 40 erupted at least once since 1786, 28 have erupted since 1974 – including 9 since 2000, and already 3 since 2016!  Across America, there have been 57 eruptions since 1776 – and only 4 have been in Hawaii!   All 3 Western states – Washington, Oregon and California, have had at least one volcanic eruption in the last 100 years!

    I’m Fed Up With This “No Worries” Nonsense

    If there was no cause for concern, then why do they keep bringing it up?  If there is no possibility of an eruption for an estimated 50,000 years, as USGS advises, then why are we talking about this at all?  Most of the earthquakes are so small, you couldn’t feel the even in the Park.  So why would they release this info to the general public, knowing it could cause concern, if there was no concern.  They wouldn’t be tracking it every month and reporting it back to us.  In fact, had this earthquake swarm not began in June 2017, I would never have known in the first place that Yellowstone National Park even had a supervolcano underneath it.

    Here are the FACTS ABOUT THIS SITUATION:

    • Yellowstone National Park, located in the U.S. states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, is actually the world’s first National Park, established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1, 1872.  Canada was only 4 years old.
    • The supervolcano underneath Yellowstone Park is, according to Forbes magazine, the size of Mexico in area.
    • According to USGS, the minimum annual average number of earthquakes in this region – 1,000, or  2.74/day.  The maximum annual average number of earthquakes in this region – 3,000, or  8.22/day.  The current number of earthquakes in the last 115 days – 21.6/day – that’s NEARLY 3 TIMES the MAXIMUM average
    • 2278647_f520Explosions of this magnitude “happen about every 600,000 years at Yellowstone,” says Chuck Wicks of the U.S. Geological Survey, who has studied the possibilities in separate work. “And it’s been about 620,000 years since the last super explosive eruption there.
    • Half the United States will be covered in ash up to 3 feet (1 meter) deep, according to a study published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
    • Deformation of the land around the volcano region is actually one of the very signs of a possible eruption.  USGS reported that this deformation did CONTINUE in the month of September, but at a rate within “historic norms” of a “few millimeters per month”.

    On that note, CNN reported on July 15, 2014 that the only access road into Yellowstone was not driveable for a period, due to the asphalt all melting.  Ever since I visited the Park with my family as a child, you have to walk on wooden sidewalks around the Park, because stepping on the soil in some places could mean instant death – as you would fall directly into boiling sulfur water deposits just under the thin layer of soil.

    So a few millimeters per month of soil deformation for the last 3 years since then, especially after 2,500 earthquakes, should be scaring the hell out of everyone.

    What’s A Super-Volcano?

    “Supervolcanoes”, as we colloquially know them, normally have a few common characteristics, including a massive cauldron-like crater (a “caldera”) and a vast magma source.  In the case of Yellowstone, an eruption could be magnitude 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, indicating an eruption of more than 1,000 cubic kilometers (250 cubic miles) of magma.  By comparison, according to USGS:

    • Mt. St. Helens had an eruption of about 5 VEI.
    • Mt. Vesuvius, which buried the city of Pompeii, Italy in A.D. 79, also was a 5 VEI.
    • The most powerful volcanic eruption in the last 200 years took place at Tambora, Indonesia in 1815.  The massive 7 VEI eruption killed 92,000 people. 

    The current Yellowstone Caldera is so large – 72 kilometers (45 miles) across – that you can’t really see the whole thing even from an airplane.  It can only be completely viewed from space.

    KillZone1

    Yellowstone has had at least three such eruptions, according to scientists: 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago – and were about 6,000, 700 and 2,500 times larger than the May 18, 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens in Washington State.  And don’t let that discount in your mind the power of the eruption of Mt. St. Helens – ash from the volcano ended up in my little town of Shaunavon, Saskatchewan – a 966-mile drive away.  It is estimated that if Yellowstone erupted, the ash on a great portion of the U.S. could be a meter deep.

    According to National Geographic, scientists have always known that there was a supervolcano “shallow subsurface magma chamber” dominating the iconic Park, the cartoon home of Yogi Bear which stretches in reality across parts of Wyoming and Montana.  However, it wasn’t until April 2015 that National Public Radio reported that:

    “A second, much larger reservoir of partially molten rock had been discovered by researchers at the University of Utah. There’s enough magma inside, they say, to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times.”

    Seismologists at the University of Utah, published in the journal Science, say the magma reservoir sits below the other, shallower (and smaller) one already known.  The article announced:

    “[Scientists] had imaged a shallow magma chamber about 10 kilometers below the surface, containing about 10,000 cubic kilometers of molten material. But now they have found a deeper one, 4.5 times larger, that sits between 20 and 50 kilometers below the surface.”

    55,000 cubic kilometers of magma, or 13,195 cubic miles,  would actually fill the 999-cubic mile Grand Canyon about 13 TIMES, to be more exact.  But once it erupts and dumps the first 1 to 3 Grand Canyons worth of lava, it would take out all of Wyoming and the majority of Idaho and Montana, bordering on the West and North respectively.  The resulting ash cloud could block out the sun for over a year, killing most of the vegetation, animals, and people in a very large swath of the United States, as you can see from this map:

    The Horrors of Krakatoa

    An 1888 lithograph of the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa. (Credit: Lithograph: Parker & Coward, Britain)

    On of the most destructive volcanos in recorded history hit the island of Krakatoa, Indonesia at a VEI of 6 – a series of four eruptions starting August 25, 1883 – killing 36,000 people.  Krakatoa’s explosion was so powerful, 70% of the 9 km by 7 km island literally was blown to pieces in the final of the 4 eruptions.

    • The first explosion sent a tsunami 98 feet high to nearby Telok, Betong, renamed as Bandar Lampung 100 years after the disaster (in 1983).  They would also be hit by a second tsunami even taller a few hours later, while simultaneously being thrown into pitch black darkness by the amount of ash in the air.  They didn’t even see the second tsunami coming.  The city was completely destroyed and the majority of the death toll was from there.  Today it is a vibrant city of 1 million on the south tip of Sumatra Island, Indonesia. In its main park sits a piece of the lighthouse of the city – the only thing that remained after the enormous waves washed everything into the ocean.
    • The second explosion was so powerful, it was actually heard in Perth, Australia – about 3,000 miles away.
    • The third explosion was as the loudest sound heard in recorded history. At over 160 kms away, the sound was still 180 decibels. According to industrialnoisecontrol.com, a military jet taking off with its after burners on is about 130 decibels.  A 747 taking off 25 metres away would register only at 150 decibels, and would rupture eardrums.  Therefore, at the point of eruption, every living thing in the area would have been made instantly and permanently deafened.
    • The final explosion was the strongest volcanic explosion ever recorded by man in modern history – equivalent to 13,000 atomic bombs that hit Hiroshima.  It was so loud, it could be heard in Alice Springs, Australia – over 3,000 miles away.  Ships as far away as South Africa – 7,500 kms away – rocked as tsunamis hit them.
    • This final explosion triggered a tsunami that was recorded at 151 feet high when it hit the town of Merak, on the island of Java – the third tsunami of the night to do so. 100 ton blocks of coral were thrown on shore by the massive wave.  The tsunami reportedly travelled at 438 miles per hour, hitting Bombay, India – and was even recorded in the English Channel – 18,000 kms away.
    • Aftershocks were recorded as much as 8 months ater.
    • The acid rain that followed lasted for 6 years.

    THAT’S what a super-volcano can do.  Keep praying, folks.  And be prepared (see the bottom of this article).


     EVERY HOME NEEDS A SURVIVAL KIT / EMERGENCY SUPPLIES.

    You cannot be “too prepared” for a monumental natural disaster like this super-volcano, but today, one doesn’t have to be impacted by something that large.  Thunderstorms, tornadoes, flooding, hurricanes,

    power failures, blizzards, hail storms and other events you cannot control …can still control you!

    Be prepared – have an emergency kit available in your home at all times!  Check out our Survivalist Store, where we have many of the items your home should not be without in the event of a major issue.

    Don’t expect the government to take care of you – you will be on your own for as long as 72 hours or more in the event of a major issue.


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    By Shawn J., Founding Editor
    Calling Out Community
    Posted October 6, 2017

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