Large Section of Yellowstone ‘Breathing Heavy’ from Magma Under the Surface

March 23, 2020

4 min read

The most dangerous supervolcano on the planet is pulsating, rising and falling several inches every year, but scientists assure the public there is nothing to worry about. Prophecy says otherwise.

A large section of the Yellowstone caldera called the Norris Geyser Basin, the hottest, oldest, and most dynamic of Yellowstone’s thermal areas is of great interest to tourists. It is larger than the city of Chicago and contains more than 500 hydrothermal features. But  a study published in January  in the Journal of Geophysical Research: Solid Earth discovered that this seismically sensitive area has been pulsating, inflating and deflating by several inches in erratic bursts. In 2013, the Norris basin rose 5.9 inches for two consecutive years., rising an astonishing five inches in the last 20 years. 

Using GPS and satellite imagery records going back decades, the scientists determined that these changes have been happening for several decades. Unable to look beneath the surface of the earth, they believe that a large body of magma intruded nine miles below the Norris Basin in the 1990s. As the pressure built up, the land above the magma rose. When magma intrudes the crust it cools, crystallizes, and releases gases that had been dissolved in the melt. 

Scientists determined that between 1996 and 2004, an 18-mile-long area rose 4.7 inches, sinking back 2.8 inches between 2005 to 2013. Then the region suddenly shot up again at a rate of 5.9 inches a year between late 2013 and early 2014, the highest pace of uplift ever observed within Yellowstone National Park.

The uplift at Norris Geyser came to halt between 2013 and 2014 after a magnitude 4.9 earthquake struck the area. Data shows that the rise began again in 2016 and continued for two years. The researchers believe it has paused again.

The researchers suggested that one of the symptoms of this build-up could be the Steamboat Geyser, the largest in the world with eruptions reaching up to 400 feet. After sitting dormant for several years, the geyser began erupting at a record pace three years ago.The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming erupted 47 times this year, compared to the 32 times in 2018.

But even these signs are more indicative of how much more is unknown. Echinus, a geyser adjacent to the hyperactive Steamboat, and other nearby geysers remain silent.

The scientists assured the public that the recent developments indicate geothermal activity but are not indicative of an impending volcanic eruption.

Although the probability of an eruption at Yellowstone may (or may not) be small, the results of such an event would be catastrophic in the extreme. Yellowstone park is seismically active with more than 10,000 thermal features of which more than 500 are geysers.The Yellowstone Caldera is listed as the most dangerous supervolcano in existence and as such, is the most monitored volcano in the world.  It has erupted three times over the last 2 million years, most recently about 70,000 years ago. Yellowstone has produced three cataclysmic eruptions that scientists know of: at 2.08, 1.3, and 0.631 million years ago. 

The biggest danger from an eruption is not the lava but the ash. The Yellowstone eruption two million years ago produced 2,500 times as much ash as the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. Ash is caustic when inhaled and volcanic eruptions can spew the ash high into the atmosphere. The pileup of ash on rooftops has resulted in building collapses. An estimated 87,000 people would be killed immediately and two-thirds of the United States would become uninhabitable.

A Yellowstone super-eruption would disrupt electronics and endanger human health in Montana, Idaho, Wyoming, and affect other parts of the country. Moreover, a month-long super-eruption could affect the global climate for several years. The large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight, resulting in an artificially long and intense winter worldwide, inhibiting agriculture and leading to global starvation.

This type of cataclysmic seismic activity is mentioned specifically by the prophets as an aspect of the End-of-Days process.

But Hashem God is the true God, He is the living God, and the everlasting King; at His wrath the earth trembleth, and the nations are not able to abide His indignation. Jeremiah 10:10

The prophet describes this catastrophic period as a process to purify the inhabitants of earth for the Messianic period to follow.

“And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined and will try them as gold is tried; they shall call on My name and I will answer them; I will say: ‘It is My people’ and they shall say: ‘Hashem is my God.’” Zechariah 13:9

In 2017, increased seismic activity at Yellowstone generated a great deal of concern. More than 2,300 tremors were recorded between June and September, one of the largest earthquake swarms ever recorded at the site. Though geologists assured the public that the activity was normal, another series of quakes and unusual eruptions beginning in February, increased fears that the super-volcano was waking up. An investigation revealed magma filling up in the underneath chamber of the super-volcano. In July 2018, a massive, 100 foot-wide fissure opened up in the Grand Teton National Park near Yellowstone, further increasing fears.

While claiming there was no need to worry, scientists began working on a plan to prevent an eruption. NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) announced in 2017 that it was working on plans to drill six miles down into the volcanically active region and pump water into the magma at high pressures. The project is massive, estimated to cost $3.46 billion, and admittedly risky. The project could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. It might also trigger the release of volatile gases which would otherwise not be released.

If there is a cataclysmic eruption at Yellowstone, there may not be anyone there to witness the event. Park Authorities requested an immediate closure due to the coronavirus pandemic.



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