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Super Volcanos

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Reading the UK press there is a disturbing article on super volcanos.These make Vesuvious look like a damp squib.There are five potential sites for the supervolcanos, Taupo New Zealand, Toba Indonesia, Naples Italy and long valley California and Yellowstone.The most worrying and potentially biggest of the Lot is Yellowstone which is due to erupt anytime. An Eruption from Yellowstone would throw Magma 30 miles high in an eruption 1000 times stronger than normal volcanos.All life within 600 miles would be detroyed. Ash in the atmosphere would drop the earths temperature by 15 degrees.The last time yellowstone erupted was 2.1 million years ago the blast leaving a crater 50 miles long and 30 miles wide. A magma chamber has built up since then with a giant pool of red hot magna lying beneith the surface.Scientists have noted that yellowstone lake water level has risen by thirty inches since 1923 which shows the Magna chamber is alive and could explode at any time.Oh well. Nothing we can do about it and its due to blow between tomorrow and 10,000 years so lets hope it nearer the 10,000 year part.Peter

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Peter, I too have been very interested in this, especially since I am originally from Colorado which is fairly near Yellowstone. This is something that they did not teach me in school. It truly is amazing to think that such a destructive power exists within out Earth and is set to go at any time. A disaster such as this would make almost every previous disaster pale in comparison. In your article did they happen to give any hints on the possible eruption times on the other super volcanoes? All the data that I have seen on all but Yellowstone seems to be a bit vauge. All I can say is that before any of these let go I hope there is a period of Earthquakes or something so that the scientists can warn and possibly evacuate some of the people that may be in danger. Philip Olsonhttp://www.precisionmanuals.com/images/forum/supporter.jpg

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PhilipYellowstone is supposed to be the biggest and the one which is due to go in the shortest timescale.In the article they mentioned that it could blow tomorrow or in 10,000 years time or any time inbetween.Its explosion would be 1000 times a normal volcano and its effects would have worldwide consequencies.10,000 years is nothing in the worlds timescale yet a lot to us where we live but a mere 80 odd years and so I expect the chances of us or our children being alive when it happens must be very small.Nevertheless I dont think I will buy a holiday villa in yellowstone :-) At the end of the day there is nothing we can do or will be able to do any way.Peter

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When you realize how easily the universe destroys life, it really puts everything into perspective. Think about all the money we've spent keeping places like Yellowstone beautiful (and we haven't done that great of a job). Still, it's all basically wasted effort. Whether we preserve nature or pollute it, the universe destroys it all eventually.

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so you saying we should pollute our waters, dump our garbage and not care, simply because the universe will destroy it anyways?Glad you weren't in power in the Cold War days.

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And the moment we're born we begin to die... still life goes on and the trip is the whole point of it. So we do the best we can and enjoy the flight.DJ

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Yeah, I saw a Discovery Science channel show on these bad boys.

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2.5 million years is but a few ticks of the second hand in terms of geologic time. Most folks don't realize it, or don't spend anytime thinking about it, but man has been on the face of the earth for less than 1 minute in terms of the geologic clock. If you consider that there are TRILLIONS of stars, with the statistical probability of planets around them, and therefore other life forms, then you might also realize that humans are but grains of sand on a very large and almost endless beach, where you are so minute and inconsequential as to be nearly meaningless. When viewed from that perspective, the super volcano and its potential impact on mankind is meaningless. That might sound pretty heartless, but in terms of the geologic clock and the life forms that have come and gone before us, we are just another organism that, in its miniscule way, got in the way of "mother nature".I really need to stop drinking red wine. This philosophy stuff can be depressing. :)Peter, send me an email so I have your latest address. I need to talk to you about the week of the 21st. :)

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Oh darn it... where did I put my Prozac? ;-) :-lol

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That Yellowstone one is particularly dangerous. Just how much of the USA would be seriously affected if this baby went supernova ? Blast damage is one thing, but what about all of the ash and dust ?Chris Low.

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Depending on when you went to school they may well not have known.The theory was only developed relatively shortly, and only in the last few years was enough evidence gathered to go public.It is now told by park rangers in Yellowstone.

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Most of the US would be directly affected by the blast and resulting earthquakes, and that would be the least of it.The climate changes would be like nothing you've ever dreamed of, think ice age.

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The Yellowstone event,like an asteroid impact, are very low probability events within a particular lifetime, but almost inevitable over geologic timescales. If either happens just take the same advice we had in the 60's with regard to a nuke exchange between the US and USSR: bend over, head between knees and KYA goodby. Mike

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I know. Used to live right in between 3 army bases, 2 airbases, and the military combat control center for the northern German plains.Of course the geologic timescale says that there will be a Yellowstone event within the next 200.000 years plus or minus 200.000 :)

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