Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Yellowstone Super Volcano Threat Level Just Increased To 'High' By USGS

I have posted on this in the past, but it is worth repeating.  The Yellowstone super-plume is capable of spewing many cubic miles of basalt as it certainly did this ONCE.  What it does not do is build mountains and i really do not think is is a prolific ash producer either as that will also stack up a mountain.  Yet it does appear to produce events around its perimeter that compares to many small volcanoes.   I would love to review a really good geological reference on all this to refine the detail.
What we do not have is a huge volcanic mountain which is certainly a mercy.  Mt St Helens showed us once and for all what any and all strata cone volcanoes are capable of and they are all maxed at 10,000 feet.  The really important variable is the size of the magma chamber and if the structure is also involved with the ocean which can provide a huge multiplier.
So Mt Rainer and Mt Baker and Mt Shasta as well is no joke at all.  Problem is that activity does cycle and an actual blowout is usually decades away.  Even then it may well be a mountain building exercise only.  The Mt St Helens blast took the Mountain apart and it will take centuries to refill that crater. I suspect Mt Baker was taken apart at least three times, but i could be wrong there.
As with Earthquakes, predictions are generally useless except to observe that a recent event means the next one is a long way off.... ..
Yellowstone Super Volcano Threat Level Just Increased To 'High' By USGS 
Oct 29 2018

A new report has revealed that the U.S. Geological Survey is classifying eighteen volcanoes located in the United States as having a very high threat. This report includes the classification of the Yellowstone volcano in Wyoming as high in terms of threat. Volcano threat assessments have not been updated since 2006.

The reports revealed that eleven of the eighteen volcanoes have a location in Washington, Oregon, or California. This is significant because these three states consist of explosive and often snow and ice-covered edifices that can project hazards far in terms of distance to highly populated and highly developed lands.

At the top of the threat list is Kilauea in Hawaii. Mount St. Helens in addition to Mount Rainier in Washington, Alaska’s Redoubt Volcano, and California’s Mount Shasta are placed in the top five on the list. Alaska’s Mount Okmok, Akutan Island, and Mount Spurr have seen higher threat scores than the last report in 2006.

The list consists of threat levels that start at very low and end at very high. In between the levels are labeled in order starting with the least severe as low, moderate, and high.
Supervolcano near a "High Alert"

A spokesperson said:

"Five of the 18 very high threat volcanoes are in Alaska near important population centers, economic infrastructure, or below busy air traffic corridors. The remaining two very high threat volcanoes are on the Island of Hawaii, where densely populated and highly developed areas now exist on the flanks of highly active volcanoes"

The high and moderate threat volcanoes according to the report mostly consist of volcanoes located in Alaska. These volcanoes have the potential to significantly damage national and international aviation, as well as a potential to cause regional and national-scale disasters.

Lastly, there are 161 active volcanoes in the United States according to the report. Such information should put into action safety measures by authorities and individuals at the local, state, and national levels.

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