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Yellowstone’s steamboat geyser re-awakens does not mean a big volcano



The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park lurked for more than three years before awakening in 2018. Since then, it has erupted 129 times, raising concerns that it may cause a volcanic “big eruption”.

A team at the University of California, Berkeley, undertook the task of uncovering the truth under the world’s highest active geyser, and found no signs of magma movement, which is the key to the eruption.

Researchers collected data from geysers all over the world and found that due to the size of the steamboat, the geysers stored a large amount of water to provide energy for the explosion. It has a reservoir about 82 feet underground and a column that is 377 feet high.

The study also determined that rainfall and snowmelt may be part of the activation because groundwater pressure pushes more water into the reservoir, thereby providing more hot water and making eruptions more frequent.

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Researchers found almost no signs of magma movement, which is the key to the eruption, lurking under the Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone Park

The researchers found almost no signs of magma movement, which is the key to the eruption, lurking under the steamboat geyser in Yellowstone

After three and a half years of slumber, the steamboat geyser was rejuvenated in March 2018, releasing steam, mud and rocks into the air.

In 2018, it erupted 32 times, then recorded a record 49 eruptions in 2019, and another 48 eruptions in 2020. Its previous record was 29 eruptions in 1964.

The increase in activity has caused fear among some scientists, who believe it is a harbinger of a possible volcanic eruption in the surrounding geyser basin.

The super volcano in Yellowstone did not erupt 70,000 years ago, but this has not stopped experts from paying close attention to any signs that the “big volcano” is about to emerge.

After three and a half years of sleep, the steamboat geyser was put into use in March 2018, releasing steam, mud and rocks into the air. In 2018, it erupted 32 times, then recorded a record 49 eruptions in 2019, and another 48 eruptions in 2020. Its previous record was 29 eruptions in 1964.

After three and a half years of deep sleep, the steamboat geyser was put into use in March 2018, releasing steam, mud and rocks into the air. In 2018, it erupted 32 times, then recorded a record 49 eruptions in 2019, and another 48 eruptions in 2020. Its previous record was 29 eruptions in 1964.

The research team considered that there was an increase in ground seismic activity around the geyser before the geyser was reactivated. The area is releasing more heat to the atmosphere, but the temperature of the groundwater that drives the steamboat eruption has not risen.

The research team considered that there was an increase in ground seismic activity around the geyser before the geyser was reactivated. The area is releasing more heat to the atmosphere, but the temperature of the groundwater that drives the steamboat eruption has not risen.

Michael Manga, Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at the University of California, Berkeley, and the senior author of the study said: “Hydrothermal explosions-hot water explosions due to contact with hot rocks are one of the greatest hazards of Yellowstone. “

The reason for their problems is difficult to predict. It is not clear if there are any precursors that will allow you to provide a warning. “

The comic and his team considered that before the geyser was reactivated, the ground around the geyser rose and the seismic activity increased.

The region is releasing more heat to the atmosphere, but this has not triggered a reawakening of other dormant geysers in the basin.

The research team also noticed that the temperature of the groundwater that drove the steamboat eruption did not increase.

“We did not find any evidence that a large volcano erupted. I think this is an important gain,” Manga said.

Manga and his team set out to answer three questions about steamboat: “Why wake up again? Why does the cycle change so much, ranging from 3 days to 17 days? Why does it spray so high? They were able to find two answers.

The team collected height measurements from 11 different geysers in the United States, Russia, Iceland, and Chile, and estimated the depth of the reservoir where they erupted.

They found that the deeper the reservoir, the higher the eruption.

They found that the deeper the reservoir, the higher the eruption. The underground reservoir of Steamboat Geyser is approximately 82 feet, and its tallest column is 377 feet.This can fill the reservoir with more water to promote more eruptions

They found that the deeper the reservoir, the higher the eruption. The underground reservoir of Steamboat Geyser is about 82 feet, and its tallest column is 377 feet.This can fill the reservoir with more water to promote more eruptions

The underground reservoir of Steamboat Geyser is about 82 feet, and the tallest column is 377 feet long.

Manga said: “Actually, you are filling a container, reaching a critical point, emptying it, and then using up the liquid that may be sprayed until it is full again.”

‘The deeper you go, the greater the pressure. The higher the pressure, the higher the boiling temperature.

“The hotter the water, the more energy it has, and the higher the geyser.”

In order to explore the reasons for the changes in Steamboat Geyser, the research team collected records related to 109 volcanic eruptions, which can be traced back to 2018 when they were reactivated.

The melting of snow and rain increased the water pressure in the ground and provided more hot water for the eruption.

The melting of snow and rain increased the water pressure in the ground and provided more hot water for the eruption.The picture shows the steamboat that broke out on August 22, 2020

The melting of snow and rain increased the water pressure in the ground and provided more hot water for the eruption.The picture shows the steamboat that broke out on August 22, 2020

The data includes weather and stream statics, seismograph and ground deformation readings, and public observations.

They also looked at the previous active and dormant periods of Steamboat and nine other Yellowstone geysers, as well as surface heat emission data from the Norris Geyser Basin.

After screening the records, the research team concluded that rainfall and melting snow were the reasons for the changing period.

The melting of snow and rain increased the water pressure in the ground and provided more hot water for the eruption.

The comics and his team were unable to determine why Steamboat Geyser reactivated on March 15, 2018 after three years and 193 days of inactivity, although the geyser is far more variable than Old Faithful, usually every 90 minutes Disappeared once a minute.

Can the Yellowstone Super Volcano eruption be prevented?

Previous research found a relatively small magma chamber below the surface, called the upper crust magma reservoir

Recent studies have found a small magma chamber below the surface, called the upper crust magma reservoir

NASA believes that it is drilling 6 miles (10 kilometers) deep in the supervolcano below Yellowstone National Park to pump water under high pressure, which can cool it down.

Despite the fact that the mission will cost 3.46 billion U.S. dollars (2.63 billion pounds), NASA considers this to be the “most feasible solution.”

The use of thermal energy as a resource also opens up opportunities for payment schemes-it can be used to build geothermal power plants to generate electricity at a very competitive price (US$0.10 (£0.08) per kilowatt hour).

However, this method of subduing the super volcano may backfire and trigger a super volcano eruption that Nasa is trying to stop.

“Drilling into the top of the magma chamber will be very dangerous;” However, it can be drilled carefully from below.

This image from USGS shows how the

This picture from USGS shows how the “super eruption” of molten lava under Yellowstone National Park spreads ashes throughout the United States

Even if there is a potentially destructive risk, the plan to cool Yellowstone through drilling is not simple.

Doing so will be an extremely slow process, a process that occurs at a rate of one meter per year, which means that it will take tens of thousands of years to completely cool it down.

Moreover, there is still no guarantee that it will be successful for hundreds or thousands of years at least.


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