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Old 11-29-2015, 03:00 PM   #1
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Camped on an Active Volcanic Caldera... lately?

I was going to post this on West Boondocking... but felt the wiser not to.

Yellowstone Park. It should be called Yellowstone Park Caldera. This was a super volcano that exploded 640,000 years ago. What you see today are the remnants. This is not much different from the 2015 New Mexico Quemado adventure which is also a "Super" Caldera, but dormant for millions of years (?). How many millions can be in dispute.

Yellowstone Park Caldera is still active and it tends to spew volcanic ash on regular cycles. We are due for a big one, but who is counting? When you are visiting, you are on top of a hot magma chamber below the surface. Much like a NASA astronaut at the launch pad.

While attending the University of Wyoming in the early to mid 1970's the Game and Fish department was disturbed over north Yellowstone Lake becoming shallower and possibly influencing the ecology and fish. (My referral to an article says, unchanged, but the sources at Wyoming at the time said otherwise.)

It was discovered and odd that the South end of Yellowstone Lake was submerging trees and killing them at the same time. This was no longer a Game and Fish issue... but one for the volcanologist geologist waiting for the telephone to ring some day.

Not to spoil your fun, Google search "Tracking Changes in Yellowstone's Restless Volcanic System".

pubs.usgs.gov/fs/fs100-03/

US Geological Survey Fact Sheet 100-03, 2004

Ring. Ring. The Yellowstone Caldera was creating upward pressure and affecting the regularity of Hot Springs, Mud Pits and Old Faithful. Almost 29" in elevation, increased at one location. Daily earthquakes to disturb campers at night. Some tremors no more than a slight shaking of the Airstream in a breeze. The volcanic balloon was disturbing the surface.

This is just to scare the kids when visiting Yellowstone Park. There are charts on the internet (USGS) that predict the depths of the ash deposits from dominant wind directions, WHEN Yellowstone erupts the next time. You can move to protect yourself if you get nervous easily... or have some new material for conversation around the camp fire. Man or nature's created fire and brimstone.

It is all there to ponder. Is there anything you can do? Sure... do not fee the bears. I hear they are dangerous.
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Old 11-29-2015, 05:26 PM   #2
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Brings to mind an old Jimmy Buffett tune. Everybody sing now!!!
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Old 11-29-2015, 06:46 PM   #3
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When we were there, a Park Ranger said, "It's nice of all you folks to visit Yellowstone. One day, it will come to visit all of you!"
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Old 12-01-2015, 07:00 AM   #4
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With my luck I will let you all know when we are visiting Yellowstone again and you can avoid the area and those east of it as I am sure that will be the time it will blow.
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Old 01-10-2016, 12:06 PM   #5
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My wifes mom worked at Yellowstone for 2 summers '08 '09 and can tell you you had a better chance of getting eaten by a bear than see the volcano you are living on explode, but you never know..

just like with this stupid $1.2 billion Powerball. you probably have a better chance of being on the Yellowstone when it blows.. but again you never know.. so I did get 10 number ticket.

I dont know,, I don't know,, I don't know where iam gona go when da volcano blows.. let sing it now.......
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Old 01-10-2016, 05:57 PM   #6
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Definitely more likely to be sitting in Yellowstone Caldera when it blows and getting hit by lightning at the same time than winning the Stupor-Ball lottery.
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Old 01-10-2016, 07:19 PM   #7
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Silverhawk I haven't thought of that song in a long time. Thanks for the smile.

Ray, I adore Yellowstone, and have since I was a kid. We are going this summer with our adult kids.

I recently learned about another national park with a caldera in California. Grand Lassen. Do you have any info on that as well? I literally had never heard of it until a few days ago when I saw a post about it on the Airstream Addicts FB site.

Of course being landlocked in the midwest, a camping /driving trip to CA is not very likely for the next 15 years until retirement allows for travel all summer.

But I would love to hear more about any thermal features/calderas.

Best memory from last trip to Yellowstone in 2012 was hiking to Shoshone Lake and getting a big surprise. Its beach was sandy. But the sand was just like in Hawaii--black sand!

Please tell us all more.
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Old 01-11-2016, 12:17 AM   #8
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Grand Lassen ? How about Mount Lassen just 60 miles east of Redding,CA.
Last erupted 1914 -1917. It blew on the other side toward the N.E. It's still an active volcano. Lassen National Park.
But it's only a bump on what was Mount Tehama !
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Old 01-11-2016, 09:53 AM   #9
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Live in Yellowstone all summer every year and it does, indeed, rumble and grumble. Lots of things change daily, weekly, monthly and so on. Last year, about a third of the springs and pools in the West Thumb geyser basin simply went dry...

Fortunately, there is no sign of any upcoming major eruption, But, if you are morbidly curious, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory,

USGS: Volcano Hazards Program Yellowstone Volcano Observatory

keeps an eye on the place 24/7

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Old 02-29-2016, 04:59 PM   #10
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Calderas and Hot Springs

I had missed additional comments.

The vulcanologists look for several things.

One... being any changes in activity, like Post #9 n2916s.

Another are current earthquakes or "swarms" indicating activity in the hot spot.

Some "missing cities" in ancient times have been tied in with a caldera exploding and the area subsides.

Geologic Time and human time are different. A 1,000 year geologic cycle is of no concern to we humans. A hundred thousand years.... ho hummm. North American west coast volcanoes are explosive. Hawaiian Island volcanoes are creating real estate as I type and a "friendly volcano" that will flow over a populated area and incinerate the area.

New Mexico has a wonderful variety of Calderas. Quemado, NM is near a Yellowstone sized example.

Hoover Dam in Nevada has volcanics stacked for a thousand or more feet in the area. Not a good time when these were active. Some moderately warm Springs are also located just above the Colorado River downstream a couple miles.

The western US coast has a collection of active volcanoes. Makes for interesting reading and job opportunities for those who like measuring changes in activity. The North American continent is moving WEST and overlapping water saturated sediments which eventually feed the steam and create the future... BIG Bang of explosive power!

Those who like to seek out Hot Springs are experiencing the after affects of larger hot spots. There are publications where Hot Springs are all listed. Check with the United States Geological Survey... will take years to visit the best. Wear foot wear like flip flops to protect the bottoms of your feet from the heat standing in the hot water and exiting on hot stones. Saratoga, Wyoming has our favorite Hot Spring... year round and HOT spring water and swimming pool. Or lay in the hot spring water flowing into the North Platte and find the temperature you find comfortable.

Hot Springs, Arkansas... luke warm and not as exciting.

Enjoy. Curiosity should be required of everyone.
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Old 02-29-2016, 08:49 PM   #11
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Would you rather be on top and go quickly or further away and go slowly as when the sun ceases to shine.


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Old 02-29-2016, 09:05 PM   #12
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Reading a book now called Tambora The Eruption that Changed the World. By Gillen D'Arcy Wood.

My answer to FC7039's question is quickly.

Interesting book that ties together a volcano in Indonesia that had a mammoth eruption in 1815 leading to 2 years of extreme weather change that altered world health, arts, literature, population migration, public health initiatives, and colonial politics.
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