"At Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, there is a mass animal exodus underway. Miles of buffalo can be seen running frantically from the Northwest end of the park. They are even running down roads. Elk are also evacuating at an astounding rate. Smaller animals such as rabbits and squirrels are also fleeing Yellowstone. According to one expert, Thomas Lupshu, the only possible explanation is that the seismic activity in Yellowstone which has been increasing over the past month could mean that an eruption is on the way. "
I’m pretty scared right now
Hi yes this volcano is more than 4000 years overdue for it’s next eruption and I am in the primary ash zone and I’ve known about this for 5 years it used to give me nightmares bye
Volcanos are not earthquakes, they typically do not erupt with no prior warning. The key is paying attention to the warnings to be able to determine when a volcano is going to blow.
I’m going to use the 1980 Mt. St Helen eruption as my example because it’s (very roughly) the same type of eruption the Yellowstone caldera is. They both have highly viscous magma (thick and slow) which causes pressure to build up slowly over the centuries until they erupt violently. You can contrast this to the volcanoes of Hawai’i where they erupt frequently with more liquid like fast moving lava but with little explosive damage.
Anyway, going back to Mt. St Helen… Mt St Helen erupted May 18, 1980. For two months beforehand the volcano was experiencing regular strong earthquakes and venting frequently. More worrisome to geologists was the large bulge on the side of the mountain which warned them that the eruption was eminent. It got to the point where there were earthquakes occurring almost daily with new craters appearing at top of the mountain venting steam, ash, and flames. In total there were over 10,000 earthquakes recorded on the mountain over that two month period letting scientists know that the mountain really was going to blow.
Scientists had known for weeks that the volcano was about to blow and had been trying their hardest to keep people off the mountain. Multiple times they managed to get Mt St Helen closed to (stopping loggers and campers from being on it) and had homes around the area evacuated. Still, 57 people died. That said, we knew a lot less about volcanoes in 1980 then we do now.
David Johnson, a young volcanologist from who worked for the USGS was stationed 6 miles away from the volcano when it went up. His last words were “Vancouver! This is it!” before his trailer was decimated by a lateral blast. More people died in pyroclastic flows or were buried by ash. And this was for an eruption that they didn’t know how big it was going to be.
All this sounds terrifying, but you have to then look back to the Yellowstone caldera and compare. The news article given lists one 4.2 magnitude earthquake. That’s good actually. The caldera’s letting off some pressure but there’s not a rapid increase in earthquake activity to hint that the volcano is getting ready to pop. All the famous geysers and hot springs at Yellowstone? Those are also the volcano letting off pressure slowing down it’s eventual blow.
Nobody has anything to worry about. When this volcano goes we’re going to have plenty of warning if experience holds. Getting people to LISTEN to those warnings is another matter though. When you can’t tell people the exact date and time a volcano’s going to go up they get stupid and hang around for far longer than they ever should. I have multiple case studies if anyone’s interested. Including one where a bunch of geologists (WHO SHOULD HAVE FREAKING KNOWN BETTER) died on a volcano during a conference. There came some fascinating survival stories out of that though, made more interesting as the people struggling to survive knew exactly what their chances were (none) but still managed to avoid the worst of it.