Tag Archives | Yellowstone

Melting Roads in Yellowstone

A Yellowstone National Park road shows damage caused by the park's ever-changing thermal features. Hot, damaged pavement has prompted park officials to close Firehole Lake Drive and access to some geysers and thermal features at the height of summer tourist season. (Yellowstone National Park)

A Yellowstone National Park road shows damage caused by the park’s ever-changing thermal features. Hot, damaged pavement has prompted park officials to close Firehole Lake Drive and access to some geysers and thermal features at the height of summer tourist season. (Yellowstone National Park)

Severe melting roads in Yellowstone National Park causes road closures. The park sits on a volcano caldera (a depression in the ground created by the collapse of land after a volcanic eruption), so hot ground temperatures are normal. However, the current conditions are somewhat abnormal

via LA Times:

The more than 3-mile-long Firehole Lake Drive, an offshoot of the park’s Grand Loop Road located between the Old Faithful geyser and Madison Junction, is closed because melting asphalt has turned it into a “soupy mess,” said park spokesman Dan Hottle.

Firehole Lake Drive provides access to two of the park’s many geysers and a spring–the Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.

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U.S. Scientists Worried About Massive Volcanic Eruptions

File:Yellowstone_Natl_Park_poster_1938Uh-oh, yet another one of those seemingly unlikely Apocalypse 2012 scenarios is gaining credibility now that the much heralded year is upon us. From USA Today:

Scientists have known for decades that hidden under those impressive vistas at sites such as Death Valley and Yellowstone National Park are magma pools that under the right conditions can trigger explosive eruptions.

Now, new research is changing scientists’ understanding of the timing of those eruptions, and prompting them to call for greater monitoring of sites to help save lives when the next big volcano explodes.

Two recent papers highlight the shift. One looked at a Death Valley volcano thought to be 10,000 years old and found it last erupted just 800 years ago, and is still an eruption danger. The other found that large caldera volcanoes, such as the one under Crater Lake in Oregon, can recharge in a matter of decades, rather than the thousands of years previously thought.

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Yellowstone Hit By Swarm Of Earthquakes

Historical poster of Yellowstone from 1938By Howard Pankratz for the Denver Post:

Yellowstone National Park has been rattled by more than 250 earthquakes in the past two days following a period of 11 months of quiet seismic activity in the park.

The quakes have been gaining strength, with a 3.1 tremor recorded at 11:03 a.m. today. A 2.9 quake was recorded at 12:38 p.m.

Prof. Robert B. Smith, a geophysicist at the University of Utah and one of the leading experts on earthquake and volcanic activity at Yellowstone, said that the activity is a “notable swarm.”

“The swarm is located about 10 miles northwest of Old Faithful, Wyo., and nine miles southeast of West Yellowstone, Montana,” said Smith.

Jamie Farrell, a doctoral student in geophysics who works with Smith at the University of Utah, said that as of 3 p.m. today, 270 quakes have been recorded in the past two days.

Farrell said the quakes are occurring in an area about 5 miles from where the largest swarm of quakes was ever recorded in October 1985.

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