Fears the huge volcano at Yellowstone National Park in the US could be building up for a huge eruption have been raised after a series of “earthquake swarms”.
Temperature in thermal springs usually suitable for bathing, in a volcanic area close to Yellowstone, in Idaho, got so high that dogs who plunged in were killed and their owner who tried to rescue them was seriously burned.
Yellowstone is one of the ten biggest volcanoes in the world, and it is widely accepted if it erupted fully there would be catastrophic events across the planet.
Referring to Dutchsinse and his videos:
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The huge volcano has erupted every 600,000 to 700,000 years over the past two million years – with the last one 640,000 years ago – so it is also feared the next major eruption is due any time.
More minor eruptions that affect just the park occur every 20,000 years, but there has not been one for 70,000 years, so it is feared another blast is overdue.
If a full-scale eruption happened it would likely see a 50-mile wide explosion with ash clouds hurled 80,000-feet into the air.
The eruption would last up to two weeks and spread ash so far it would block out the sun to much of the globe, causing another ice age.
Michael Yuri Janitch, from St Louis, Missouri, who monitors global seismic activity under the user name Dutchsinse, placed a video online after learning the dogs were killed in an area of the national park in Idaho that had seen a spike in earthquake activity and forest fires, which he believes are connected to seismic activity and underground temperatures.
He said: “I bring this to you not to be scared but to be prepared just in case.
“The man and his two dogs were walking through the Salmon-Challis National Forest, 50 miles north west of Salmon, east-central Idaho, when the animals plunged into the water.
“It is normally temperate enough for humans to bathe in.
“This is the same spot as the swarm of earthquakes I pointed out at Challis, Idaho.
“Why is that happening? Why are the earthquakes happening? And the wildfires? They are all in volcanic areas.
“Now we’ve got someone who jumped into a hot spring and got boiled and is lucky to be alive and it all comes on the heels of the earthquake activity.”
Local reports suggested a drought meant that cooler waters had not mixed with the spring to cool it down, but Mr Janitch was not convinced.
He added: “This is a sign of shallow heat coming from underneath. Is it a sign of an eruption?
“This is not just about water flow feed in and cool down, it immediately killed one dog as soon as it hit the water.”
Mr Janitch subscribes to a well-known theory that the US government still carries out experiments on weather through a secretive programme called High Frequency Active Auroral Research Program (HAARP), which was supposed to have ceased in 2007.
But the National Geographic channel has also raised more mainstream concerns of an imminent eruption, releasing just weeks ago a documentary looking at the current risk from the Yellowstone volcano.
The film’s narrator on the video said it was a matter of when not if a super eruption would happen again.
He said: “How do we know it will happen, because it has happened before.
“As the research continues scientists realise how little they know about the Yellowstone volcano.
“Its ash cloud would overwhelm humanity across globe, so predicting an eruption could be matter of life and death.
“The impact would be on the scale of an asteroid impact.”
Yellowstone also erupted 1.3million years ago and before that 2million years ago.
Scientists believe it has been having massive super eruptions for the past 16 million years.
In April this year scientists from the University of Utah revealed the amount of magma beneath Yellowstone and surrounding areas was much more prevalent than previously realised – with enough molten rock to fill the Grand Canyon 14 times.
Hsin-Hua Huang and colleagues at the university described it as “one of the planet’s biggest time bombs.”
After the last super eruption 640,000 years ago, before prehistoric man’s arrival, global temperatures plunged by 3 to 5C, wiping out several special of animals who also succumbed to months of breathing in ash dust.
Because Yellowstone is so active, with its thermal spring explosions, hundreds of earthquakes each year and the huge magma chamber, it is now one of the most studied volcanic areas in the world.
Researchers have placed 12 GPS monitors to detect ground movement as low as a quarter of an inch.
Satellite maps of the park are also developed to compare each year how much the ground has moved over time.
Scientist are looking for drastic increases in the temperature of thermal springs, an increase in earthquakes, and any increase in the ground surface which could indicate magma rising beneath.
Two areas are causing the most concern due to significant changes that have been witnessed.
An area just north of Yellowstone lake has a resurgent dome (with 300 cubic miles of magma just five miles below ground) which saw the most dramatic uplift of 6 to 8cm two years ago.
Robert Smith, a geophysicist at Utah University, said in the film: “We have seen uplift of 6 to 8 cm (in some areas) every year. Those are high levels.”
He said: “This suggests the magma chamber is expanding.”
The second area is the Norris Geyser Basin, which has dozens of fault lines
The narrator said: “There is concern when these centres overlap an area of shift terrain – what seems to be happening at the Norris Geyser Basin.”
Hank Heasler, Yellowstone Park Geologist, said: “The sense and scale of the catastrophic eruption for Yellowstone is very hard to grasp.”
But he is convinced nothing is about to happen and we would get weeks of warnings through water temperature increases and explosions, earthquakes and ground movement.
Michael Ramping, an earth scientist at New York University, said: “We don’t know how much time we have before one goes off.
“That is why scientists are studying every aspect of the volcano as what they discover may be the key to our survival.”
Mr Smith told Express.co.uk there have been periods when the ground levels in some areas rise, but sometimes later fall, and they do not know for certain why.
He said: “At the area north of the lake it is all quiet. There has not been a further rise for two years. The earthquake levels in the park at the moment are below normal.”
When asked if the detailed monitoring had allowed them to predict when a super eruption, or even the overdue smaller one, would happen, he said “no”.
But he said that authorities including the national park regularly reviewed their data and acted accordingly and emergency evacuation plans were in place.
The Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) has been created to strengthen long-term monitoring of volcanic and earthquake unrest in the Yellowstone region.
Its website says: “Yellowstone is the site of the largest and most diverse collection of natural thermal features in the world.
“YVO is one of the five USGS Volcano Observatories that monitor volcanoes within the United States for science and public safety.”
It latest monthly update published this month gave a volcano alert level as normal and “green”, meaning no eruptions are expected imminently.
It said there have been 112 earthquakes recorded in September, including swarms of 24 at the start of the month, and 22 towards the end. The highest magnitude was 2.2.
There was a magnitude 3 earthquake on May 18 this year in the park – the highest of the year.
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8/25/2015 — Yellowstone Alert — Man + Dogs burned alive in Challis Idaho hot springs — Earthquake Swarm Location
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