Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

SLAM: debunk creationism, pseudoscience, and superstitions. Discuss logic and morality.

Moderators: Alyrium Denryle, SCRawl, Thanas

Post Reply
User avatar
Ted C
Sith Marauder
Posts: 4486
Joined: 2002-07-07 11:00am
Location: Nashville, TN
Contact:

Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Ted C » 2014-02-26 12:01pm

At least that's the gist of an article from a doomsday prepper site that's being shared on Facebook.

http://www.preppersworldusa.com/2014/02 ... ticipated/
Some worrying developments are taking place at the Super Volcano located beneath Yellowstone National Park; the kind of developments that were seen shortly before other volcanoes erupted. Not only was there a sudden rise in the elevation of the ground, and development of new cracks, but a gas called Helium-4, a very rare type of Helium, has begun coming out of the surface.
The claim that helium-4 is "a very rare type of Helium" pegged my pseudoscience meter, as -- to my knowledge -- helium-4 is something like 99.99% of the helium in the universe.

So it's pretty obviously bullshit, but I was wondering if others wanted to dogpile it for the "the more you know, the worse it gets" effect.
"This is supposed to be a happy occasion... Let's not bicker and argue about who killed who."
-- The King of Swamp Castle, Monty Python and the Holy Grail

"Nothing of consequence happened today. " -- Diary of King George III, July 4, 1776

"This is not bad; this is a conspiracy to remove happiness from existence. It seeks to wrap its hedgehog hand around the still beating heart of the personification of good and squeeze until it is stilled."
-- Chuck Sonnenburg on Voyager's "Elogium"

User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6285
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Borgholio » 2014-02-26 12:10pm

Well he's not entirely wrong. It is imminent. It has been imminent for the last 100k years or so and could be imminent for the next 100k years. These things erupt once or twice every million years...good luck predicting it.
You will be assimilated...bunghole!

User avatar
GrandMasterTerwynn
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 6711
Joined: 2002-07-29 06:14pm
Location: Somewhere on Earth.
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by GrandMasterTerwynn » 2014-02-26 01:18pm

It's definitely imminent. Over geological timescales, anyway. The helium thing is, from a scientific viewpoint, quite interesting though. The moonbat site is somewhat correct in stating that He-4 is expected to be relatively rare ... in the context of measuring helium belched from a volcanic complex. It was expected that most of the helium coming up from Yellowstone to be the lighter He-3 variety, since the helium on Earth is produced through radioactive decay, and He-4 is produced through the decay of heavy radionuclides ... which the mantle is deficient in. Since Yellowstone sits on top of a giant hotspot, helium from deep within the mantle has a straight shot up.

However, Yellowstone has more He-4 than was expected. And that helium comes from pockets of really ancient rocks buried around Yellowstone. Rocks which didn't release their store of equally ancient helium until they were heated up by magma flowing up beneath Yellowstone. Magma flows that are really quite recent ... in geological timeframes. To the point where the extra He-4 has been coming out of the ground for ... oh about the last two million years.

Smithsonian article on the subject

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26419
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Broomstick » 2014-02-26 05:51pm

Yeah, yeah, yeah - Yellowstone has been about to blow up for how many hundreds of thousands of years? Could happen tomorrow. Could happen after the human race is either extinct or evolved into something else.

My admittedly limited understanding is that even though we just recently discovered the He-4 it's actually been leaking out of the ground for a long, long time.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Ziggy Stardust
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2916
Joined: 2006-09-10 10:16pm
Location: Research Triangle, NC

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2014-02-26 06:01pm

If a supervolcano explodes in Wyoming, and there's nobody around, does it make a sound?

User avatar
Napoleon the Clown
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2365
Joined: 2007-05-05 02:54pm
Location: Minneso'a

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Napoleon the Clown » 2014-02-26 06:17pm

Ziggy Stardust wrote:If a supervolcano explodes in Wyoming, and there's nobody around, does it make a sound?
"The largest explosion, at 10:02 A.M, was so violent that it was heard 3,110 km (1,930 mi) away in Perth, Western Australia, and the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues near Mauritius (4,800 km (3,000 mi) away), where they were thought to be cannon fire from a nearby ship." Wikipedia article on the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa.

So yes. People hundreds and possibly thousands of miles away would hear it go boom. Going across land would reduce how far the noise reaches, but it would be significantly larger than Krakatoa was, and that bastard holds the record for loudest sound in history. Krakatoa was definitely a big volcano, but it was no super volcano. Yellow Stone's eruption would make it look rather tiny.
Sig images are for people who aren't fucking lazy.

User avatar
Terralthra
Requiescat in Pace
Posts: 4741
Joined: 2007-10-05 09:55pm
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Terralthra » 2014-02-26 10:27pm

The Yellowstone supervolcano dwarfs any volcano in recorded history, by orders of magnitude. The tuff from the most recent Yellowstone eruption is the Lava Creek Tuff. It covers pretty much the westen half of the US, and is 180-200 meters deep. Supervolcano eruptions are, barring a better word, cataclysmic in scale.

User avatar
Ziggy Stardust
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2916
Joined: 2006-09-10 10:16pm
Location: Research Triangle, NC

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Ziggy Stardust » 2014-02-26 10:44pm

Oh, I know that the magnitude of a potential Yellowstone super volcano explosion, I was just making a dumb throw-away joke about how nobody gives a shit about Wyoming.

User avatar
The Vortex Empire
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 1586
Joined: 2006-12-11 09:44pm
Location: Rhode Island

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by The Vortex Empire » 2014-02-26 10:56pm

I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.

User avatar
Borgholio
Sith Acolyte
Posts: 6285
Joined: 2010-09-03 09:31pm
Location: Southern California

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Borgholio » 2014-02-26 11:20pm

The Vortex Empire wrote:I think the real question is obviously how a supervolcano eruption wiping out vast swathes of the country would affect the 2016 election.
The GOP would blame Obama and use the subsequent nuclear winter to debunk global warming.
You will be assimilated...bunghole!

User avatar
Tribble
Sith Devotee
Posts: 2694
Joined: 2008-11-18 11:28am
Location: stardestroyer.net

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Tribble » 2014-02-27 12:19am

The sad part that's exactly what the media would be focusing on.
"I reject your reality and substitute my own!" - The official Troll motto, as stated by Adam Savage

User avatar
Iroscato
Jedi Council Member
Posts: 2340
Joined: 2011-02-07 03:04pm
Location: Great Britain (It's great, honestly!)

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Iroscato » 2014-02-27 12:24am

Wait, there probably won't BE an Obama after this motherfucker decides to blow. Wouldn't that be a cause for great joy amongst the GOP?
Yeah, I've always taken the subtext of the Birther movement to be, "The rules don't count here! This is different! HE'S BLACK! BLACK, I SAY! ARE YOU ALL BLIND!?

- Raw Shark

Destiny and fate are for those too weak to forge their own futures. Where we are 'supposed' to be is irrelevent.

- SirNitram (RIP)

User avatar
InsaneTD
Jedi Knight
Posts: 645
Joined: 2010-07-13 12:10am
Location: South Australia

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by InsaneTD » 2014-02-27 03:51am

Would there be enough American left for the GOP to still exist?

User avatar
Highlord Laan
Jedi Master
Posts: 1214
Joined: 2009-11-08 02:36pm
Location: Christo-fundie Theofascist Dominion of Nebraskistan

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Highlord Laan » 2014-02-27 07:10am

Where there are mouthbreathers, you will always find GOP.
Never underestimate the ingenuity and cruelty of the Irish.

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26419
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Broomstick » 2014-02-27 07:24am

Chimaera wrote:Wait, there probably won't BE an Obama after this motherfucker decides to blow. Wouldn't that be a cause for great joy amongst the GOP?
The irony would be if Obama is on vacation in Hawaii when it blows, leaving him safe and open to charges he knew it was coming and/or caused it. Meanwhile, such conservative bastions such as Texas and Utah would be gone for all intents and purposes.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Isolder74
Official SD.Net Ace of Cakes
Posts: 6716
Joined: 2002-07-10 01:16am
Location: Weber State of Construction University
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Isolder74 » 2014-02-27 10:12am

Broomstick wrote:
Chimaera wrote:Wait, there probably won't BE an Obama after this motherfucker decides to blow. Wouldn't that be a cause for great joy amongst the GOP?
The irony would be if Obama is on vacation in Hawaii when it blows, leaving him safe and open to charges he knew it was coming and/or caused it. Meanwhile, such conservative bastions such as Texas and Utah would be gone for all intents and purposes.
Considering how much damage a Yellowstone event would cause, it would be likely that Hawaii and Alaska would be all that would be left. The midwest would be buried and the rest would be a unheard of mess. Maybe the state of California would be alright but I doubt it. It's an extinction level event regardless so I see no reason to worry about it.
Hapan Battle Dragons Rule!
When you want peace prepare for war! --Confusious
That was disapointing ..Should we show this Federation how to build a ship so we may have worthy foes? Typhonis 1
The Prince of The Writer's Guild|HAB Spacewolf Tank General| God Bless America!

User avatar
Broomstick
Emperor's Hand
Posts: 26419
Joined: 2004-01-02 07:04pm
Location: Industrial armpit of the US Midwest
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Broomstick » 2014-02-27 10:35am

I see no reason to worry about it because there isn't a goddamned thing we can do about it. Likewise, I don't worry about giant rocks falling out of the sky, or my body spontaneously com busting.

Well, OK, IF I hear Yellowstone blows (and it's conceivable I might actually hear the damn thing with my own ears once the shockwave reaches my area) I will probably pile the spouse, the birds, and a few things into the car and head east because of that silly survival instinct I seem to have and hope to reach the rest of the family before things get too horrible, maybe the east coast and hope to be a refugee somewhere else, but other than that half-assed plan there really isn't anything I could conceivably do.

Most of the "preppers" in North America, if they are foolish enough to flee to their underground bunkers, will shortly find the door buried under too much ash to dig through. They will either suffocate when the air vents are covered over, or starve underground, unable to escape their bunkers when the food runs out.
A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory. Leonard Nimoy.

Now I did a job. I got nothing but trouble since I did it, not to mention more than a few unkind words as regard to my character so let me make this abundantly clear. I do the job. And then I get paid.- Malcolm Reynolds, Captain of Serenity, which sums up my feelings regarding the lawsuit discussed here.

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich. - John F. Kennedy

Sam Vimes Theory of Economic Injustice

User avatar
Alyrium Denryle
Minister of Sin
Posts: 22170
Joined: 2002-07-11 08:34pm
Location: The Deep Desert
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2014-02-27 11:05pm

Isolder74 wrote:
Broomstick wrote:
Chimaera wrote:Wait, there probably won't BE an Obama after this motherfucker decides to blow. Wouldn't that be a cause for great joy amongst the GOP?
The irony would be if Obama is on vacation in Hawaii when it blows, leaving him safe and open to charges he knew it was coming and/or caused it. Meanwhile, such conservative bastions such as Texas and Utah would be gone for all intents and purposes.
Considering how much damage a Yellowstone event would cause, it would be likely that Hawaii and Alaska would be all that would be left. The midwest would be buried and the rest would be a unheard of mess. Maybe the state of California would be alright but I doubt it. It's an extinction level event regardless so I see no reason to worry about it.
No it is not. *slap*

Primitive tool-using hominids survived one eruption. Hell, North American fauna survived three. It wont be fun by any stretch of the imagination. We will have a few years without summers as sulfates in the upper atmosphere reflect away sunlight, but those leave atmo relatively quickly and the yellowstone volcano's magma contains relatively small amounts of sulfur. Points east of yellowstone will see ashfall that wrecks civic infrastructure by way of shorting out ALL the transformers and power generation grid, smothering crops, and making surface water non-potable.

IE. we would lose most our breadbasket regions for about ten years barring massive international cleanup efforts and any area that relies on surface water for drinking supplies... it will be bad. But the west coast, most of Canada, and the eastern US from Arkansas to Maine would not be directly affected. There would be a few years of mass starvation from global crop failure, but it would be survivable. In fact, civilization would survive.
GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Entomology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

Factio republicanum delenda est

User avatar
Guardsman Bass
Cowardly Codfish
Posts: 9280
Joined: 2002-07-07 12:01am
Location: Beneath the Deepest Sea

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Guardsman Bass » 2014-02-28 01:38am

Would it necessarily be a Massive Explosion type of supervolcano eruption? If it was more gradual, then the disruption would be much more dragged out and less lethal. You'd still end up with large parts of the western US under ash and lava, but you'd have more time to adjust.

The places that would really be screwed (beyond the western US) would be those that are dependent on outside food imports, since the first thing that would happen once you start getting crop failures due to the weather is export restrictions on agricultural products.
“It is possible to commit no mistakes and still lose. That is not a weakness. That is life.”
-Jean-Luc Picard


"Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them."
-Margaret Atwood

User avatar
Alyrium Denryle
Minister of Sin
Posts: 22170
Joined: 2002-07-11 08:34pm
Location: The Deep Desert
Contact:

Re: Supervolcano Eruption Imminent

Post by Alyrium Denryle » 2014-02-28 03:11am

Guardsman Bass wrote:Would it necessarily be a Massive Explosion type of supervolcano eruption? If it was more gradual, then the disruption would be much more dragged out and less lethal. You'd still end up with large parts of the western US under ash and lava, but you'd have more time to adjust.

The places that would really be screwed (beyond the western US) would be those that are dependent on outside food imports, since the first thing that would happen once you start getting crop failures due to the weather is export restrictions on agricultural products.

Given past history and geology, yes, as far as I know. You get different types of magma in different places. This is, AFAIK rather vicious magma with lots of dissolved gases. That means plinian eruption, and once that ball gets rolling... unless it is a small outpocket of molten rock....yeah.... Big Eruption.
GALE Force Biological Agent/
BOTM/Great Dolphin Conspiracy/
Entomology and Evolutionary Biology Subdirector:SD.net Dept. of Biological Sciences


There is Grandeur in the View of Life; it fills me with a Deep Wonder, and Intense Cynicism.

Factio republicanum delenda est

Post Reply