Iceland's volcano

ironsides

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Feb 13, 2009
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[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Yellowstone's Catastrophic Eruption

This last happened at the Yellowstone volcano approximately 650,000 years ago. The caldera that it left is 53 miles long and 28 miles wide. In the area surrounding Yellowstone, 3000 square miles were subjected to a flow of pyroclastic material composed of 240 cubic miles of hot ash and pumice. Ash was also thrown into the atmosphere and blanketed much of North America. It can still be identified in core samples from as far away as the Gulf of Mexico.
Since this occurred more than a half million years ago this is all ancient history, right? Not quite. Yellowstone continues to be geologically active even today. Smaller explosions caused by hydrothermal activity (water or steam heated in an underground chamber until the top blows off) have been much more common and recent in Yellowstone's history than the massive caldera-forming eruptions. One of these happened as recently as 13,000 years ago, creating a three-mile wide crater that is now a portion of Yellowstone Lake called Mary Bay. Also, smaller volcanic eruptions with flows of lava, ash and pumice have occurred. Flows like these have filled in much of the old caldera since its creation.
Another catastrophic eruption is also possible. The effects of such a disaster are hard to even comprehend. Bill McGuire, professor of geohazards at the Benfield Greig Hazard Research Centre at the University College of London told the UK Daily Express, "Magma would be flung 50 kilometers into the atmosphere. Within a thousand kilometers virtually all life would be killed by falling ash, lava flows and the sheer explosive force of the eruption. One thousand cubic kilometers of lava would pour out of the volcano, enough to coat the whole USA with a layer 5 inches thick." He adds that it would once again bring "the bitter cold of Volcanic Winter to Planet Earth. Mankind may become extinct."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Reasons to Worry?[/FONT]
Scientists have known about Yellowstone's explosive history for quite some time, but events in the fall of 2003 suddenly had people concerned about the possibility of another massive explosion.
In August of 2003 a new high-resolution sonar map of the bottom of Yellowstone Lake showed a bulge, or "inflated plain" there that was 2000 feet long and 100 feet high. Was it being pushed up by hydrothermal or even volcanic forces?
At about the same time there were some unusual changes at Norris Geyser basin some 20 miles north of the lake. Areas formally dry suddenly had hot springs. Other hot springs dried up. A long dormant geyser became active and forced the closing of some of the trails through the basin.
Rumors also spread that the land near the center of the Yellowstone caldera has been rising, perhaps a sign that the humongous magma chamber below was about to blow.
Some amateur geologists connected these events with the history of the Yellowstone volcano and came to some troubling conclusions: The catastrophic caldera making eruptions have occurred. at 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 650,000 years ago. Was another one about to happen? Was the next explosion overdue?
Interest in these developments quickly mounted. Several Internet sites sprang up predicting another explosion very soon and suggesting that the only way to avoid such a disaster was to drill holes into the magma chamber to release the pressure.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]Conditions Normal[/FONT]
As fascinating as the history of Yellowstone volcano is, however, most professional geologists who study the site are not concerned that the park is on the brink of a catastrophic eruption. The bulge on the bottom of the lake may have been there for thousands of years, but not noticed until the recent survey. Changes in the geyser activity is not unusual. New geysers have appeared throughout the history of the park, while others go dormant. Rangers often shut down parts of trails or alter them as needed.
The land near the center of the caldera did rise more than three feet between 1923 and 1985. However, between 1985 and 1992 it actually subsided six inches. Studies of the shorelines of Yellowstone Lake have led scientists to believe this is a regular phenomenon. The caldera floor has risen and fallen at least three times in the last 10,000 years, moving as far as 65 feet.
The idea that Yellowstone may be "overdue" is also faulty. With only three catastrophic eruptions and two intervals between to go on there is not enough data to say that another one should be occurring in the near future.
Even if there was, there is little mankind could do about it. Drilling into the magma chamber to release pressure, as some have suggested, would be impractical and ineffective. The material in the chamber has the consistency of a sponge and any "hole" opened up to the surface would quickly seal as the molten rock crept up and cooled.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]The Sleeping Dragon[/FONT]
That doesn't mean that there isn't (as one scientist put it) a proverbial giant dragon sleeping under Yellowstone. It may well one day awake and lay waste to much of the western United States. The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, however, watches the park carefully and analyzes the continuous geological changes occurring in the region. It is likely that the imminent threat of another catastrophic explosion would not go unnoticed by their modern instruments. So far, however, activity is business-as-usual at the park.
Still, the super volcano at Yellowstone, and its kin around the world are a credible threat to man. Even the United States Geological Survey, usually conservative about such matters, admits that should a major eruption occur the results would have "global consequences that are beyond human experience and impossible to anticipate fully."
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]A Partial Bibliography[/FONT]
Yellowstone: Restless Volcanic Giant, by Daniel Dzurisin, Robert L. Christiansen, and Kenneth L. Pierce, USGS Report, http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Yellowstone/OFR95-59/OFR95-59.html, 1995.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory Future Volcanic Activity FAQ, http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/yvo/faqs4.html, 1995.
A Monster Awakens?, by Ian Gurney, Online Journal,​
[/FONT]
 

darkbeaver

the universe is electric
Jan 26, 2006
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Lightning

SpaceWeather.com -- News and information about meteor showers, solar flares, auroras, and near-Earth asteroids


What's up in Space
April 19, 2010​
NEW AND IMPROVED: Turn your iPhone or iPod Touch into a field-tested global satellite tracker. The Satellite Flybys app now works in all countries.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]RE-ENTRY UPDATE: [/FONT] NASA has just released new ground tracks for Tuesday morning's scheduled landing of space shuttle Discovery. Once again, US sky watchers are favored. Discovery is expected to pass near or directly above many towns and cities such as Minneapolis, Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Jacksonville en route to a 7:34 am EDT landing at the Kennedy Space Center. Using NASA's Skywatch app, you can find re-entry viewing times for your location.
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]SPACESHIP SIGHTINGS: [/FONT] This morning, space shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station flew over Hombressen, Germany. Astrophotographer Dirk Ewers managed to photograph them booth--"bit it wasn't easy," he said. "With a time difference of only two minutes, I had to swivel my telescope rapidly to catch them both."
But catch them he did, and the result was two clear pictures of the fast-moving spacecraft.
Thanks to bad weather in Florida, Discovery is stuck in orbit for an extra day, so more double sightings are poossible tonight. Check the Simple Satellite Tracker for viewing opportunites or, if you have an iPhone, download the app.
more images: from Ralf Vandebergh of the Netherlands
[FONT=Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif]VOLCANIC LIGHTNING: [/FONT]Iceland's active Eyjafjallajokull volcano is famous for its paralyzing ash, which has grounded thousands of planes in Europe and disrupted travel worldwide. Even more amazing, however, is its white-hot lightning:
 

ironsides

Executive Branch Member
Feb 13, 2009
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Threat of new, larger Icelandic eruption looms

REYKJAVIK, Iceland – For all the worldwide chaos that Iceland's volcano has already created, it may just be the opening act.
Scientists fear tremors at the Eyjafjallajokull (ay-yah-FYAH-lah-yer-kuhl) volcano could trigger an even more dangerous eruption at the nearby Katla volcano — creating a worst-case scenario for the airline industry and travelers around the globe.
Threat of new, larger Icelandic eruption looms - Yahoo! News
 

Curiosity

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Jul 30, 2005
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Hehehe

A+ to Beaver's reference which was the first "and only one I believe" written up article actually naming the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the broadcasters and even print folk tapdancing around, below and above trying to pronounce or spell yet another Icelandic mouthful - beautiful language but oh so difficult to master....

Not making fun of the implications of one of Mother Nature's temper tantrums - but the name is impossible and the writers here were wise to avoid it ...
 

SirJosephPorter

Time Out
Nov 7, 2008
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Hehehe

A+ to Beaver's reference which was the first "and only one I believe" written up article actually naming the Eyjafjallajokull volcano in Iceland.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the broadcasters and even print folk tapdancing around, below and above trying to pronounce or spell yet another Icelandic mouthful - beautiful language but oh so difficult to master....

Not making fun of the implications of one of Mother Nature's temper tantrums - but the name is impossible and the writers here were wise to avoid it ...

It is not at all difficult, Curiosity. Americans show their ignorance, in typical American fashion.

In many of the European languages (including Icelandic), the letter 'j' is pronounced the same as the letter 'y'. So in the name of the volcano, substitute 'y' for 'j' and then pronounce it exactly as it is written.

Simple.
 

SirJosephPorter

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I have had a fair bit if interest in Iceland since way back in 1971. I am an avid chess fan, and the Fisher Spassky World Championship was held in Reykjavik in 1971 (here again, it is pronounced as Reykyavik). I learned a bit about Iceland at that time and always had a desire to visit Iceland. At that time I read a bit about the country, about the people, the language, the weather etc.

Well, finally it is going to happen after 39 years. We are visiting Iceland in July.
 
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Curiosity

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SirJoseph

Of course - you were correct at always. Still your explanation to me of "j" and its pronunciation was a bit over the top - a tendency not unnoticed. My reference was strictly limited to the news outlets I am privy to - all in the U.S. with an occasional international one on television.

How a simple fun post can be turned against a group of people astonishes me but the forum has a bit of a mean streak which perhaps gives it more interest and
oom pa pa which the majority of people prefer.

The stumbling phoentics practiced were not all American people but those from the European nations as well affected by the dust cloud. I didn't mention them out of courtesy -

Enjoy your visit - Iceland sounds like a unique and individual place.
 
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SirJosephPorter

Time Out
Nov 7, 2008
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SirJoseph

Of course - you were correct at always. Still your explanation to me of "j" and its pronunciation was a bit over the top - a tendency not unnoticed. My reference was strictly limited to the news outlets I am privy to - all in the U.S. with an occasional international one on television.

How a simple fun post can be turned against a group of people astonishes me but the forum has a bit of a mean streak which perhaps gives it more interest and
oom pa pa which the majority of people prefer.

The stumbling phoentics practiced were not all American people but those from the European nations as well affected by the dust cloud. I didn't mention them out of courtesy -

Enjoy your visit - Iceland sounds like a unique and individual place.

If Europeans stumbled, then they were talking to wrong Europeans. If they talked to people from Serbia, Bosnia, Romania, Hungary and other East European countries, I don’t think they would have any problem pronouncing it.

Thus I remember a Hungarian grand master ‘Lajos Portish’, his first name was pronounced as ‘Layos’. Or there was a grand master from Yugoslavia, Ljubojevic. His name was pronounced as Lyuboyevic.

As a matter of fact, I even rememebr an Icelandic grand master, Karaklajic, pronounced as Karaklayic.
 

JLM

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 27, 2008
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Right wingers are typically prejudiced
Right wingers are typically Bible thumpers
Republican presidents are typically losers

Well we now have another axiom to add to the list
"Americans are typically ignorant".
 

JLM

Hall of Fame Member
Nov 27, 2008
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"SirJoseph

Of course - you were correct at always."

Oh, you noticed it too............................LOL LOL LOL
 

Curiosity

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Jul 30, 2005
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JLM

Ah that was sarcastic of me - a trait I try to overcome - but I am just as much a pontificator as Sir Joseph so it was a low remark....ick what a bad day here
has something changed on this forum - or is my cranky detector broken?

Sprung fever - that's it....
 

Curiosity

Senate Member
Jul 30, 2005
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SirJoseph

When I was a kid I loved studying maps - when we got to Iceland and I found the capitol was Reykjavik I thought it would be great to be able to tell people it was
my "home" city....such a glamorous name...anyway I guess I've known about "y" and "j" pronunciation for a long long time as I am quite old...but thanks for the explanation.