Volcanoes from ancient times attracted people. They considered them gods, worshiped them and offered sacrifices, including human ones. And this attitude is quite understandable, since even now the incredible power of these natural objects simply amazes the imagination of even trained researchers.
What characterizes this natural object?
Scientists have long assigned this object statusa super volcano. Known around the world for its megalithic size. During its last large-scale awakening, the entire upper part of the volcano simply collapsed, forming an impressive gap.
It is located right in the middle of the North Americanplates, and not on the border, as his "colleagues" in the world, who concentrate on the edges of the plates (the same "Fire Ring" in the Pacific Ocean). Since the 80s of the last century, the Geological Survey of America reports that the number of earthquakes, whose strength has not yet exceeded three points on the Richter scale, has steadily increased every year.
What does the state think?
All this is far from imagination. The severity of the statements of scientists confirms the fact that an emergency meeting was created in 2007, attended by the US president and the head of the CIA, the NSA, the FBI.
When do you think the caldera itself was discovered? At the beginning of the development of America by the colonists? Yes, as it were not so! Found it only in 1960, exploring aerospace photographs ...
Of course, the current Yellowstone Parkwas studied long before the advent of satellites and aircraft. The first naturalist who described these places was John Colter. He was part of the expedition of Lewis and Clark. In 1807, he described the current Wyoming. The staff struck him with incredible geysers and a lot of hot springs, but on his return the "progressive public" did not believe him, mockingly calling the scientist's work "the hell of Colter".
Finally, after the Civil War, a newThe US government still funded full-scale research of that region. In 1871 the region studied a scientific expedition under the leadership of Ferdinand Hayden. Just a year later, a huge colorful report was prepared with a lot of illustrations and observations. Only then did everyone finally believe that Colter and Bridger did not lie at all. At the same time, Yellowstone Park was created.
Development and study
The first head of the facility was appointedNathaniel Langford. The situation around the park at first was not too optimistic: the leader and a handful of enthusiasts did not even pay a salary, not to mention some scientific research of this territory. Everything changed after a few years. When the North Pacific Railway was commissioned, a stream of tourists and people came to the valley, to which this natural phenomenon was genuinely interesting.
The merit of the leadership of the park and the government of the countryin that they, contributing to the influx of curious people, still did not turn this unique area into a cluttered tourist attraction, and also invited eminent scientists from all over the world to this region.
Especially attracted to the scientific husbands smallvolcanic cones, which in this area from time to time continue to form in our days. Of course, the most famous for the national park was not the Yellowstone super volcano (then they did not even know such words), but huge, incredibly beautiful geysers. However, the beauty of nature and the richness of the animal world also did not leave people indifferent.
What is supervulcan in the modern sense?
If we talk about a typical volcano, then most oftenit is a fairly ordinary mountain in the form of a truncated cone, at its apex there is a muzzle through which the glowing gases pass and molten magma flows out. Actually, the young volcano is just a crack in the ground. When molten lava flows from it and freezes, it quickly forms a characteristic cone.
That's just supervolcanoes are such that they evendo not look like their "younger brothers". This is a kind of "boils" on the surface of the earth, under the thin "skin" of which molten magma is bubbling. In the territory of such formation, several ordinary volcanoes can often form, through the vents of which from time to time there is a release of accumulated products. However, even the visible hole there is often not: there is a volcanic caldera, which many people take as a usual dip in the earth.
How many of them exist at all?
That's why they are so dangerous. The power of such natural formations is such that they may well have enough energy to wipe out the powder of the whole continent. Pessimists believe that if a volcano in the United States still explodes, 97-99% of humanity may die. In principle, even the most optimistic forecasts are not too different from such a grim scenario.
He is waking up?
Increased activity is fixed throughoutthe last decade. Many people in America do not even realize that one to three underground things are fixed every year. So far, many of them are fixed only by special equipment. Of course, it is too early to speak about the explosion, but the number and strength of such tremors gradually grow. The facts are disappointing - the underground reservoir is probably filled with lava.
In general, for the first time scientists drew attention toNational Park in 2012, when dozens of new geysers began to appear on its territory. Just two hours after the visit of scientists, the Government prohibited access to the greater part of the national park to tourists. But seismologists, geologists, biologists and other researchers became ten times as many.
There are other dangerous volcanoes in the United States. In Oregon, there is also the caldera of the giant Crater Lake, which was also formed as a result of volcanic activity, and it can be no less dangerous to its "colleague" from Wyoming. However, literally fifteen to twenty years ago, scientists believed that super-volcanoes needed centuries to awaken, and therefore it is always possible to predict catastrophe in advance. Unfortunately, they were obviously wrong.
Research by Margaret Mangan
Margaret Mangan, one of the prominent scientistsGeological Survey of America, has long been closely monitoring the manifestations of volcanic activity around the world. Not long ago, she told the world community that seismologists had completely reconsidered their views on the timing of the awakening of the world's largest volcanoes.
Just two years ago some seismologistsin vain assured everyone that volcanic activity for the next couple of centuries does not threaten mankind. Really? After the grandiose tsunami, which literally washed away Fukushima, they stopped issuing their forecasts. Now they prefer to get rid of importunate journalists with meaningless terms of general significance. So what are they afraid of? The onset of a new Ice Age as a result of a huge eruption?
The first disturbing forecasts
It is fair to say that oGradual reduction of the time between cataclysms scientists knew before. However, given the astronomical time, humanity was concerned with little. Initially, the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano in the US was expected in about 20 thousand years. But after studying the accumulated information it turned out that this would happen in 2074. And this is a very optimistic forecast, because volcanoes are extremely unpredictable and very dangerous.
A researcher from the University of Utah, Robert Smith, inIn 2008, he said that "... while the magma is located at a depth of 10 kilometers from the vent (with its constant rise of 8 centimeters per year), there are no grounds for panic ... But if it rises at least three kilometers, we all will not be happy." That's what dangerous Yellowstone. The USA (or rather, the country's scientific community) is well aware of this.
Meanwhile, back in 2006, Ilya Bindeman and JohnValey was published in the journal Earth and Planetary Science, and in the publication they did not indulge the public with comforting forecasts. Data for the past three years, they said, indicate a sharp acceleration of the lava rise, new crevices are constantly opening, through which hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide are released to the surface.
This is a sure sign that some major trouble is likely to occur. Today even skeptics agree that this danger is quite real.
But why did it become the "trend" of last yearthis theme? After all, people already had enough hysteria with the year 2012? And all because in March there was a sharply increased seismic activity. Increasingly, even geysers, considered to have long since fallen asleep, began to wake up. From the territory of the national park, animals and birds began to migrate massively. But these are real precursors of something very bad.
After the bisons, the deer also fled, quicklyleaving the Yellowstone plateau. In a year, a third of the livestock migrated, which even Indian Aboriginal people never remembered even once. Especially strange, all these movements of animals look in the light of the fact that no one hunts on the territory of the park. However, people have known from ancient times that animals perfectly perceive signals that foreshadow major natural disasters.
Why is the volcano so dangerous?
For decades, during whichconducted at least some study of this area, scientists for a long time assumed that the Yellowstone caldera is no longer dangerous: the volcano, supposedly, had long since died out. According to the new data of geodetic and geophysical prospecting, in the reservoir under the caldera of magma is approximately twice as much as was indicated in the most pessimistic reports.
Today it is precisely known that this reservoirextends for as much as 80 kilometers in length and 20 - in width. It was learned by Robert Smith, a geophysicist from the city of Salt Lake City, collecting and analyzing a huge amount of seismological data. In late October 2013, he made a report on this in the city of Denver, at the annual scientific conference. His message was immediately replicated, almost all the leading seismic laboratories in the world were interested in the results of the research.
Assessment of opportunities
To sum up his conclusions, the scientist had tocollect statistical data on more than 4.5 million earthquakes of varying intensity. This is how he defined the boundaries of the Yellowstone caldera. Data showed that the size of the "hot" area in previous years was understated more than twice. Today it is believed that the volume of magma is within four thousand cubic meters of hot rock.
It is assumed that "only" 6-8% of thisthe amount falls on the molten magma, but it is very, very much. So Yellowstone Park is a real time bomb, on which the whole world will explode (and it will still happen alas).
The first phenomenon
In general, the first time the volcano brightly showed itself near2.1 million years ago. A quarter of the whole of North America at that time was covered with a thick layer of volcanic ash. In principle, nothing more significant since then has happened. Scientists believe that all the super volcanoes manifest themselves once in 600 thousand years. Given that the last time the Yellowstone Super Volcano exploded more than 640,000 years ago, there is every reason to prepare for trouble.
For comparison: One of the comparatively recent (by geological standards) eruptions of Etna, which occurred six thousand years ago, and which was hundreds of times weaker than the release from the caldera, caused a grand tsunami. Its traces are found by archaeologists all over the Mediterranean. It is assumed that this was the basis for the traditions of the Biblical Flood. Apparently, our ancestors really experienced then many tragic events: hundreds of settlements were simply washed away in a few moments. The residents of the settlement of Attle-Yam were more fortunate, but even their descendants continue to talk about the grandiose waves that crushed everything in their path.
If Yellowstone behaves badly, thenthe eruption will be 2.5 thousand (!) times more powerful, and the ash will emerge into the atmosphere 15 times more than it got there after the last awakening of Krakatoa, when about 40 thousand people died.
Eruption is not the main thing
Smith himself repeatedly stressed that the eruption- it's the tenth thing. He and his colleagues-seismologists say that the main danger lies in subsequent earthquakes that will be clearly more powerful than the eight points on the Richter scale. In the territory of the national park and now almost every year there are minor concussions. The harbingers of the future also exist: in 1959 an earthquake with a power of 7.3 points happened at once. Only 28 people died, as the others managed to evacuate in a timely manner.
In general, the Yellowstone Calderasurely will bring many more ills. Most likely, the lava flows immediately cover an area of at least a hundred square kilometers, and then the gas streams will suffocate all life on the territory of North America. Perhaps, a grandiose ash cloud will reach the coast of Europe for a maximum of a couple of days.
That's what Yellowstone Park is hidden in. When a catastrophe of a global scale occurs, no one knows. It remains to be hoped that this will happen very soon.
Approximate model of the disaster
If the volcano explodes, then the effect can becompared with the detonation of a dozen powerful intercontinental missiles. The Earth's crust for hundreds of kilometers will rise to tens of meters up and warm up to about a hundred degrees on a Celsius scale. Pieces of rock in the form of volcanic bombs will bombard the surface of North America for several days in a row. In the atmosphere, the content of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulphide and other dangerous compounds will increase thousands of times. What are the other consequences of the eruption of the Yellowstone volcano?
Today it is believed that the explosion will instantly burn out an area of about 1000 km2. The whole northwest of the USA and a large part of Canada will become a red-hot desert. At least 10 thousand square kilometers will immediately cover with a layer of red-hot rock that will forever change this world!
For a long time, mankind believed that todaycivilization is threatened only by mutual destruction during the atomic war. But today there is every reason to believe that we have forgotten about the power of nature. It was she who arranged on the planet several Ice Age, during which thousands of species of plants, animals and birds died out. You can not be so self-assured and consider that man is the king of this world. Our species can also be wiped off the face of this planet, which has repeatedly occurred in the past millennia.
What are other dangerous volcanoes?
Are there any active active volcanoes on the planet? You can see a list of them below:
Ljuljajljako in the Andes.
Popocatepetl in Mexico (the last eruption in 2003).
Klyuchevskaya hill in Kamchatka. Erupt in 2004.
Mauna Loa. In 1868, Hawaii was literally washed away by the giant tsunami that arose because of its activity.
Fujiyama. The famous symbol of Japan. The last time "pleased" the Land of the Rising Sun in 1923, when almost 700 thousand houses were destroyed almost instantly, and the number of missing persons (not counting the victims found) exceeded 150 thousand people.
Shiveluch, Kamchatka. Erupted simultaneously with Sopka.
Etna, of which we have already spoken. It is considered "asleep", but the calmness of the volcano is a relative thing.
Aso, Japan. For all the known history - more than 70 eruptions.
The famous Vesuvius. Like Etna, was considered "dead", but suddenly resurrected in 1944.