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Yellowstone Journal: Are Yellowstone's "Safety Valves" Becoming Overloaded?
Seismic and volcanic activities continue to escalate within our Earth as our sun continues to pound us with numerous solar flares, coronal mass ejections (CME), and charged particles of coronal holes. Given the current record-breaking solar activity, are Yellowstone's "safety valves" resilient enough to withstand this solar pounding while continuing to function properly? The reason for this new concern is that Yellowstone's geysers ("safety valves") appear to be working overtime to vent excess pressure, as evidenced by the recent behavior of the Steamboat Geyser. Steamboat is the largest geyser in the world! Unlike the anticipated eruptions of the 1980s, the most recent eruption was a surprise to geologists. To paraphrase the parlance of test pilots, is recent solar activity now "pushing the edge of the Yellowstone envelope?"
Sun's Activity Continues
Since the Sun's increased activity should have reached its apex in 2000, there should be no question that the Sun has not been itself lately.
Despite growing public concern, the official line at Yellowstone these days could be phrased as "no worries; come and spend money" based on reduced temperatures and seismicity in parts of the park. However, these dismissive findings may portend ominous signs, especially if we look at what is happening in Italy this month. An incredibly huge magma chamber was recently discovered underneath Mount Vesuvius, and now hundreds of families living on the slopes of that smoking giant are opting to accept their government's resettlement offer of $35,000 to leave while they still can! As we continue to cast a worried eye towards Yellowstone, and now to Mount Vesuvius as well, we begin to wonder if an impending XKBO (Planet-X Class Kuiper Belt Object) flyby, such as the anticipated return of Nibiru, could cause the present worldwide increase in volcanism.
With all this increased solar activity its no wonder that the magma below our thin crust is heating up and causing increased seismic and volcanic activity throughout the Earth.
Now, on October 29, the Sun has just intensified its activity and unleashed an X10 and an X17 level solar flare with coronal mass ejections (CME) following right behind them.
The Sun let off another large solar flare Wednesday, following on the coattails of an even larger flare released a day earlier.
The latest storm erupted from the Sun about 4 p.m. EST, although researchers had not yet recorded a coronal mass ejection (CME) headed toward Earth. They expected to see one in upcoming hours.
"Most probably there will be some kind of coronal mass ejection (CME), though it might not be as severe as the one that hit today," said Paal Brekke, deputy project scientist for the SOHO spacecraft. CMEs are huge bubbles of charged particles or gas that sometimes appear following a solar flare.
The second of two monster space storms began racking Earth's magnetic field around 10 a.m. EST Thursday. Forecasters said the onslaught would continue for at least 24 hours, with the potential to damage more satellites and hamper communication systems on the ground.
"Here we go again," said Joe Kunches, lead forecaster at NOAA's Space Environment Center (SEC).
Meanwhile, the most powerful solar storm in decades, which first struck Wednesday, continued to buffet Earth Thursday morning and forecasters had said its effects might linger into the afternoon. The back-to-back pairing of two historically huge flares is unprecedented, one physicist says.
CME become even more harmful to our power grids, satellites, airline passengers, and increase the temperature at the Earth's core when the polarity of the CME is opposite that of Earth.
Concern over the Sun's elevated activity has reached such a pitch that airlines, satellite companies and power companies have approached Washington D.C. to voice their concerns over their operations.
Scripps Howard News Service, 30-October-2003
WASHINGTON - Even as the latest series of solar storms continued to pummel the Earth's outer atmosphere Thursday, representatives of airlines, power companies and satellite interests told Congress their operations are more vulnerable to the sun's eruptions than ever.
A surge in solar radiation, coupled with powerful geomagnetic storms, has accompanied each of two gigantic coronal ejections the sun sent toward Earth Tuesday morning and again Wednesday afternoon.
Are The "Safety Valves" Working?
Throughout all this increased activity the "safety valves," or geysers, in Yellowstone continue to vent off steam allowing pressure to decrease preventing an eruption at Yellowstone. What if one of these geyser's eruption cycle becomes abnormal or begins to decrease? This could indicate that its pressure venting capability has been compromised thus allowing pressure to build. The activity of this one geyser could also be an indicator that the other geysers in the park will be following suit as well. Can anyone of Yellowstone's geysers be an indicator that pressure is not venting but is increasing ultimately culminating into an eruption? One such geyser could be the world's largest known; Steamboat Geyser.
Steamboat's Unusual Activity
Steamboat geyser usually has eruption cycles that range from four days to 50 years. However, since the 21st century began, Steamboat Geyser has had more eruptions in the 21st century than at any time since the early 1980s. Throughout the summer, Steamboat had frequent minor eruptions. Yet, on its latest unscheduled eruption, geologists had no indication that Steamboat would experience a major eruption.
Gazette Wyoming Bureau, 25-October-2003
The roar of the water and steam was unmistakable.
A law-enforcement ranger living near Norris Geyser Basin heard it Wednesday evening and quickly called the communications office at Yellowstone National Park headquarters.
News spread quickly that, for the third time this year, the largest geyser in the world was erupting.
Steamboat Geyser, one of the most celebrated and wildly unpredictable geysers in the park, put on a show for the few people who were there to see it.
Even after Steamboat's third unscheduled eruption this year, geologists still don't have a clue what's causing the increased and unscheduled eruptions, but they continue to monitor and try to answer not just the public's concerns, but theirs as well.
Is Steamboat Yellowstone's Harbinger?
With the Sun's continuing, relentless pounding on the Earth and evidence of increased seismic and volcanic activity, we continue to cast a worried eye towards Yellowstone and watch its intricate geyser system vent off excess pressure, thus preventing a catastrophic eruption. Nevertheless, one geyser from all the geysers in the park could be the indicator that warns us that an eruption is inevitable. If this geyser's eruption cycle changed dramatically, if its eruption cycle decreases suddenly or stops permanently, it could signal an eruption of the supervolcano. So far, the only geyser showing these signs is the world's largest well-known geyser, Steamboat Geyser. So continue to watch Yellowstone and stay informedů be prepared.