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TOPIC: Yellowstone caldera


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RE: Yellowstone caldera
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Fans of the great outdoors can now watch many of the world's most powerful geysers erupt via Yellowstone National Park's first live streaming webcam, launched on Wednesday.
The camera is often trained on Old Faithful, the country's most famous hot spring. Every 90 minutes, steam bubbles inside this geyser expand and force out a spray of super-heated water that soars more than 100 feet in the air.
On Wednesday, the camera also panned to other hot springs, including Beehive, Lion, and Giantess, all steaming through the snow and desolation of a Wyoming winter.

Bureau Report

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Tsunami-like waves created by an earthquake may have triggered the world's largest known hydrothermal explosion some 13,000 years ago, a federal scientist says.
The explosion created the Mary Bay crater that stretches more than one mile across along the north edge of Yellowstone Lake. Debris from the explosion has been found miles away.
Lisa Morgan of the U.S. Geological Survey told a gathering of scientists over the weekend at Mammoth Hot Springs that an earthquake may have displaced more than 77 million cubic feet of water in Yellowstone Lake, creating huge waves that essentially unsealed a capped geothermal system.
Though much has been made in recent years of a possible eruption of Yellowstone's "super volcano," geologists studying the park have long said that the likelihood is greater for a large hydrothermal explosion.

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If global warming, ocean acidification, and melting arctic ice werent enough to worry about, the Yellowstone supervolcano has risen at a record rate since mid-2004, likely because a Los Angeles-sized, pancake-shaped blob of molten rock was boiled up 6 miles beneath the slumbering giant, scientists funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) report in the November 9 issue of the journal Science.

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The Yellowstone supervolcano rose at a record rate since mid-2004, likely because a Los Angeles-sized, pancake-shaped blob of molten rock was injected 6 miles beneath the slumbering giant, University of Utah scientists report in the journal Science.

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Yellowstone National Park, once the site of a giant volcano, has begun swelling up, possibly because molten rock is accumulating beneath the surface.

"There is no evidence of an imminent volcanic eruption" - Robert B. Smith, a professor of geophysics at the University of Utah.

Many giant volcanic craters around the world go up and down over decades without erupting.
Smith and colleagues report in Friday's issue of the journal Science that the flow of the ancient Yellowstone crater has been moving upward almost 3 inches per year for the past three years.

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 In 2005, Yellowstone erupted into public awareness in the made-for-TV movie Supervolcano, reminding its viewers that Americas first national park is actually a sleeping volcano. Suddenly, the public and the media grew interested in what scientists already knew was a fascinating geologic feature. Beneath Yellowstone, and driving many of its beloved features such as the geyser Old Faithful, lies a churning chamber of magma that has erupted before and may erupt again. The park, an active supervolcano, is the site of some of Earths largest volcanic eruptions, and as such, presents a significant potential hazard to humankind. It is no surprise, then, that scientists are eager to uncover clues about Yellowstones past that could aid in predicting the volcanos future behaviour.

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Searing ash rained from the skies, blanketing half the United States. The sun was erased behind dense black smoke and hot lava oozed across hundreds of miles of forests and fields.
It might have occurred more than 760,000 years ago, but the eruption of one of the countrys only supervolcanoes still has researchers and the public riveted.
Using a new technique developed at Rensselaer, a team of researchers has now determined that there was a massive injection of hot magma underneath the surface of what is now the Long Valley Caldera in California some time within 100 years of this gigantic volcanos eruption. The findings suggest that this introduction of hot melt led to the immense eruption that formed one of the worlds largest volcanic craters.

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Images of Yellowstone: MSU students photograph park with fresh vision

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One of the largest supervolcanoes in the world lies beneath Yellowstone National Park and scientists say activity there is increasing.
Though the Yellowstone system, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, is active and expected to eventually blow its top, scientists don’t think it will erupt any time soon. Supervolcanoes can sleep for centuries or millennia before producing incredibly massive eruptions that can drop ash across an entire continent.
Yet significant activity continues beneath the surface. And the activity has been increasing lately, scientists have discovered. In addition, the nearby Teton Range, in a total surprise, is getting shorter.

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Title: Crustal deformation of the Yellowstone–Snake River Plain volcano-tectonic system: Campaign and continuous GPS observations, 1987–2004
Authors: C. M. Puskas,  R. B. Smith, C. M. Meertens,  W. L. Chang

The Yellowstone–Snake River Plain tectonomagmatic province resulted from Late Tertiary volcanism in western North America, producing three large, caldera-forming eruptions at the Yellowstone Plateau in the last 2 Myr. To understand the kinematics and geodynamics of this volcanic system, the University of Utah conducted seven GPS campaigns at 140 sites between 1987 and 2003 and installed a network of 15 permanent stations. GPS deployments focused on the Yellowstone caldera, the Hebgen Lake and Teton faults, and the eastern Snake River Plain. The GPS data revealed periods of uplift and subsidence of the Yellowstone caldera at rates up to 15 mm/yr. From 1987 to 1995, the caldera subsided and contracted, implying volume loss. From 1995 to 2000, deformation shifted to inflation and extension northwest of the caldera. From 2000 to 2003, uplift continued to the northwest while caldera subsidence was renewed. The GPS observations also revealed extension across the Hebgen Lake fault and fault-normal contraction across the Teton fault. Deformation rates of the Yellowstone caldera and Hebgen Lake fault were converted to equivalent total moment rates, which exceeded historic seismic moment release and late Quaternary fault slip-derived moment release by an order of magnitude. The Yellowstone caldera deformation trends were superimposed on regional southwest extension of the Yellowstone Plateau at up to 4.3 ± 0.2 mm/yr, while the eastern Snake River Plain moved southwest as a slower rate at 2.1 ± 0.2 mm/yr. This southwest extension of the Yellowstone–Snake River Plain system merged into east-west extension of the Basin-Range province.

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Steamboat geyser
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 Scientists have classified a spout of steam earlier this month at Yellowstone National Park's Steamboat geyser as a "forceful minor eruption."
Unlike Old Faithful, the Steamboat geyser erupts irregularly, with its last major eruption coming in 2005. After a quiet period that lasted from 1991 to May 2000, the geyser has had seven major eruptions in as many years.
Park visitors and staff noticed some steam on Feb. 11, and on Feb. 21 saw a plume of steam rise several hundred feet and observed a draining in nearby Cistern Spring, which often accompanies an eruption.
But major eruptions typically force thousands of gallons of water up through the geyser, which didn't happen either Feb. 11 or Feb. 21.

"I would kind of describe it as somewhat of a burp rather than a full eruption, and the data backs this up" -  Henry Heasler, Yellowstone's principal geologist.

Source AP

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