American time bomb.

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by R1D2, May 30, 2012.

  1. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Any other ideas? To deal with this future threat.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
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  3. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    I did see that.... But if you drill as deep as we can go. An place explosives. We may be able to drop a slab, the whole top. I heard years ago that the most damage you could do to a place is drop a powerful bomb directly at a volcano.
     
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  5. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Thought you wanted to prevent it from going off not deliberately set it off...
     
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  7. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    All good, I understand how that goes

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    .
     
  8. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

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    The only thing we have now that we didn't have 50 years ago is more hubris. What technological advances have there been that would help us with a super volcano eruption? Will setting up a webcam nearby be of assistance?
    I suppose you are talking about viruses?? Viruses are said to be the deadliest weapon but also the sloppiest. Sure they kill swiftly and in great numbers, but they also mutate rapidly and oftentimes peter out - and it's a darned good thing they do or life on Earth would be nothing but viruses (feeding off each other??) for millions of years Anyway, viruses are neither here nor there in a super volcano thread.

    I think many of you just don't appreciate the size of the world on which we live. I am not criticizing you, it's a natural and common misconception.Our planet may be a cosmic dust speck, but it's plenty vast for we germs who inhabit its outer surface. There is no possibility of dropping bombs to level out stress or pressure or setting down slabs to prevent eruptions. Where are you going to get a slab the size of Wyoming? Do you really appreciate the size of Wyoming? Think of it this way. If you were to drop me off somewhere in Wyoming, since that is my example, and just leave me there. It is quite possible I would not survive to find a road or any means of assistance. And if you didn't tell anyone where you dropped me off, I doubt that even search planes would ever find me unless I built a fire, and you didn't leave me any matches (bastard) and in any case I am way too stupid too survive long on my own...

    You see my point? Colonizing another star (by which I mean a planet around a star - jeez! don't be so literal) is far-fetched enough and hardly within the reach of our present technical abilities, but taming super-volcanoes, earthquakes, tsunamis or even little piddling volcanoes is even more unlikely - and probably will be even after we can travel to the stars.
     
  9. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    That U shaped blob immediately below the Caldera was found in 2009 (I think) to be 20% larger than was originally thought.

    The U shaped blob is the magma chamber of the volcanoe. You'll notice that it's been feed by a mafic intrusion in its base that itself originates from a deeper mantle plume.

    Note the scale on that image.

    Here:

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    Is (IIRC) a 3d representation of the plume, all the way down to the matle transition region, based on seismic tomography.

    And here:

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    Is a representation prepared with resistivity data.

    Note the scale of the diagrams.

    The first question that needs to be asked is - which body do you want to try and reach with the boreholes? The upper resevoir, or the lower plume?

    Certainly given that the Kola Superdeep Borehole reached a depth of abour 12km, the technical capacity potentialy exists, but temperature becomes an issue.

    Kola Superdeep was stopped because they encountered higher than expected temperatures at around 12000m, and it was predicted that the target depth of 15000m, the temperature would be in excess of 300°C, which would prevent the drill bit from working.

    Here's a good source of further, real info: http://www.uusatrg.utah.edu/
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  10. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    We are just going to have to play it as it comes. Ready or not. But I don't mind talking about it. Who knows, someday we might be able to drop enough asteroids on it to help hold it in.

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  11. KilljoyKlown Whatever Valued Senior Member

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    Trippy

    I see all I have to do is ask. At the present we wouldn't stand a chance of stopping an eruption. But what if there was a way to cool the borehole and then find a way to cool the magma chamber and solidify the magma?
     
  12. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Hey Trippy,
    Some good info there..

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  13. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/volcanoes/yellowstone/yellowstone_sub_page_50.html
     
  14. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    That goes back to the comment I made earlier in the thread about extracting geothermal energy from the region.

    If you can extract more geothermal energy than is put into the region by the magma chamber, it should have a net cooling effect.

    The first problem with that is that it would kill the naturally occuring hydrothermal systems in the park, and the attached eco-systems.

    The second problem is whether or not you could extract enough energy over a short enough period of time to be useful towards the goal of cooling the magma chamber.

    The third problem is that doing so does nothing to address the mantle plume underneath it all that is constantly feeding fresh material and energy into the magma chamber.
     
  15. Neverfly Banned Banned

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    Trippy: The image you posted is more accurate - let's look at a less accurate one:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yellowstone_hotspot

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    Hmm... that's odd.
    This Wikipedia image shows the plume reaching through the crust- mantle beneath. Well, we know wikipedia is a good place to start... but not the best for higher level research...
    Trippy's image is a bit more accurate. But the problem with an image is that the Image is generated as a model.

    Let's look at another model: Words.

    http://earthds.info/pdfs/EDS_22.PDF


    http://www.rcn.montana.edu/pubs/pubview.aspx?nav=8&pubID=258
    In conjunction with the PDF I posted earlier in this thread...

    These plumes are stationary, as the tectonic plates move over the top of them. What this means is that the plumes are not moving along with the plate, to continue boring through the crust. As the plate moves, it moves material over the plume.
    These processes are very slow.

    Now, let's examine the history oops! Decimals:
    2.1 million years ago (about) Massive Eruption.
    1.32 million years ago- massive eruption.
    60,000 years ago- massive eruption.
    Is this statistically viable?
    No, the issue is made more complex by the nature of the plate moving over the top of the plume. The frequency of eruptions has little to do with statistics and a great deal to do with what's sitting atop of it. SInce a thicker section of the N.Amer. plate is moving southwest over the top of the plume, it decreases the odds of an explosive eruption- even within the next 90,000 years.

    These plumes are pretty consistent and involve convection deep within the Earth.
    There will probably be a hot spot there for many millions of years more. But while it was thinly covered millions of years ago, it's not so thinly covered now. And will be less so- given time.
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2012
  16. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

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    This is from NeverFly's link above:
    Ninety thousand years! Will our present civilization be around then? Will our post-apocalyptic offspring? Hence why I think it is alarmist to be presenting shows with lots of explosions and scarey maps on TV.

    Of course, it's fine for eggheads like all of us here at SciForum to discuss what is to be done and express concern but the bottom line is that we're helpless before such cataclysmic events.

    I did a quick search of deep boring. So 12.26 km is the deepest so far - barely scratching the surface, and all they did is get a drill bit down there, no sending of pre-programmed nanobots to tell the magma to settle itself down or else...

    And yes, Trippy, thank you for some excellent graphics and info.
     
  17. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Do we even have those type of smart nanobots?
     
  18. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    An can they resist the heat?
     
  19. Epictetus here & now Registered Senior Member

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    :shh: I was kidding R1D2
     
  20. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    :yawn:
     
  21. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    Oh
    :roflmao:
     
  22. R1D2 many leagues under the sea. Valued Senior Member

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    :zzz:It is 12:33am here good night...need :sleep:
     
  23. Trippy ALEA IACTA EST Staff Member

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    The differences between the two images are that one implies a more direct connection between the magma chamber and the plume. The one on wikipedia is, in essence a more stylized version of the one I posted, simplified for more general consumption.

    Yes. Let's look at words.

    Did you look at the link I provided at the end of the post?

    If you had, you would have seen that the image had this paper associated with it: http://www.uusatrg.utah.edu/PAPERS/denosaquo_jvgr2009.pdf
    Which, I will confess I have not yet read due to it's size and the fact that I am at work (but I will do so when I get home).

    Here's an image (which has a paper associated with it) that deals exclusively with the magma chamber, and the changes it underwent between 1992 and 2005:

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