Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

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Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Bryant on Fri Mar 22, 2013 11:25 am

Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region
United States Geological Survey



Map of area within Yellowstone National Park showing Yellowstone Lake (rainbow colors show lake depth in meters) and instrument locations used in sieche study.

Several years ago, using sensitive new monitoring equipment located in shallow boreholes, scientific staff from UNAVCO, a member institution of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO), detected an odd rhythmic signal near Yellowstone Lake. Further work demonstrated that this strain signal, with a 78-minute frequency, came from an intermittent seiche, or standing wave, only an inch or two tall, within Yellowstone Lake (Plots below show seiche signal). These waves can be triggered by atmospheric phenomena such as high winds or barometric changes, and usually takes a few days to die off.Fluid dynamic models show that the frequencies of the standing waves relate directly to the shape of the Lake (see "What is a Seiche?" at right). Multiple separate waves are present, representing oscillations in water flow among the multiple lake basins. Most surprising to the geophysicists was that the signal of these small waves along the lake's surface could be recognized 30 km (19 mi) away from the lake at a distant strainmeter (instrument locations in map above).


Illustration of Yellowstone Lake and seiche frequency. A seiche is a very wide water wave that resonates between lake sub-basins. Wave frequency is controlled by lake size and shape.

USGS postdoctoral fellow Karen Luttrell, together with colleagues from UNAVCO and elsewhere, recently published an article in Geophysical Research Letters revealing how the presence of magma beneath the ground at Yellowstone allows the seiche signal to travel further than it would in the earth’s crust under normal (magma-free) conditions (cartoon below illustrates amplification of seiche signal). In essence, instead of behaving like a solid (elastic behavior) like most of Earth's crust, regions beneath Yellowstone can slowly flow (viscoelastic behavior) and transfer strain across greater distance. The authors estimate that magma is present starting at 3—6 km (2—4 mi) beneath the ground surface, and that the magma is mostly crystallized but is still partly molten. The new results are consistent with and complementary to results from seismic and other studies (Smith et al., 2009) . YVO scientists continue to monitor the Yellowstone volcano area for any signs of unrest.


Data from three different instruments show the initiation of a standing wave (seiche) on Yellowstone Lake as a weather front passes.



Cartoon cross-section through Yellowstone Caldera showing how the magma beneath the surface makes the Yellowstone Lake seiche detectable very far from lake. (click for larger image)
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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Marconius on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:25 pm

So this will help better your understanding of when eruptions may occur???

Not to make this political......ok so yeah, let's make this political.

I have no problem with my tax dollars being spent on this. In fact I have a feeling that these types of studies are underfunded.

Also, is there any benefit that we can get from things like this. There has to be enormous amounts of stored energy down there. Would it or is it possible to harness that energy???

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Bryant on Fri Mar 22, 2013 3:44 pm

Marconius wrote:So this will help better your understanding of when eruptions may occur???

Not to make this political......ok so yeah, let's make this political.

I have no problem with my tax dollars being spent on this. In fact I have a feeling that these types of studies are underfunded.

Also, is there any benefit that we can get from things like this. There has to be enormous amounts of stored energy down there. Would it or is it possible to harness that energy???

This helps us understand eruption potential in that it allows us to measure the dimensions and depth of the magma chamber and to glean a little bit of an idea about how crystalline the chamber is. The thing to remember about percent melt is that it could be easily changed by the injection of basaltic magma from the mantle (which is what drives volcanism at Yellowstone). That said, I don't have access to the full peer-reviewed article (the journal it was published in, like most others, is privately owned and for profit) and have only read the blurb posted above. So far as I can tell, this is a really unique and unconventional way of assessing volcanic/magmatic process.

Is there an energy potential at Yellowstone? You bet there is! The park is famous for its hotsprings and geysers. The area has a very high geothermal gradient (ie it gets warm abnormally quickly as you go down into the Earth due to the shallow magma chamber) and ample ground water. One could make lots of electricity via geothermal generation. That said, that isn't going to happen. Yellowstone is a National Park, so there is no way drilling/large scale hydroelectric generation would ever be authorized. Also, there is little to no population near by to power (this is Wyoming, after all).

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Marconius on Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:12 pm

Yeah, I don't know if I wanna mess with Yellowstone, but what about other areas of volcanic activity??? Are we utilizing them to the fullest???

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Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Bryant on Fri Mar 22, 2013 4:31 pm

Marconius wrote:Yeah, I don't know if I wanna mess with Yellowstone, but what about other areas of volcanic activity??? Are we utilizing them to the fullest???

There is some geothermal power production in the United States, however almost all of it is within California and Nevada. There is tremendous potential for expansion in some other parts of the country.

A good starting point for information on geothermal energy: USGS
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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Fri Mar 22, 2013 6:19 pm

Oh yeah thwre are some countries using geothermal thebines near hot spots. Bryant, speaking of yellowstone, what do you think about its supervolcano being overdue for an eruption, and what do you think the chances are of it occuring with each passing generation starting with our own, then my daughters, then say her kids, and their kids? So like my great grandkids?

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Bryant on Fri Mar 22, 2013 10:41 pm

Pun wrote:Oh yeah thwre are some countries using geothermal thebines near hot spots. Bryant, speaking of yellowstone, what do you think about its supervolcano being overdue for an eruption, and what do you think the chances are of it occuring with each passing generation starting with our own, then my daughters, then say her kids, and their kids? So like my great grandkids?

I don't know enough about what exactly is going on in Yellowstone to make any kind of prediction. Spring break starts now, so I'll try to look into the literature and see what I can learn.
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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Miles1 on Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:18 am

Bryant wrote:
There is some geothermal power production in the United States, however almost all of it is within California and Nevada. There is tremendous potential for expansion in some other parts of the country.

So somewhere like Hawaii maybe could pretty much power itself though geothermal?

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:53 am

Potentially

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:55 am

But its obviously dangerous having plants near hot spots

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Marconius on Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:23 am

Miles1 wrote:
Bryant wrote:
There is some geothermal power production in the United States, however almost all of it is within California and Nevada. There is tremendous potential for expansion in some other parts of the country.

So somewhere like Hawaii maybe could pretty much power itself though geothermal?

It, like coastal Cali, is also prime for wind. Now all we have to do is make it aesthetically pleasing to those damn environmentalists. They want it, but they don't seem to want to look at it. Fickel pansies.

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"All right, they're on our left, they're on our right, they're in front of us, and they're behind us. They can't get away this time!" -Gen. L. "Chesty" Puller, CO, 1 MARDIV, in Korea surrounded by 22 enemy divisions

Had the Japanese got as far as India, Gandhi's theories of "passive resistance" would have floated down the Ganges River with his bayoneted, beheaded carcass. -- Mike Vanderboegh.
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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:40 am

For real

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Miles1 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 4:49 am

Marconius wrote:
It, like coastal Cali, is also prime for wind. Now all we have to do is make it aesthetically pleasing to those damn environmentalists. They want it, but they don't seem to want to look at it. Fickel pansies.

The enviro-nazis don't like anything that does anything to inconvenience themselves/wildlife, even if in the long run it helps the environment. Was an article here earlier in the year where some environmental group successfully blocked the construction of a multi-million-euro wind farm with 500ft high turbines off the coast because it could interfere with - get this - the local dolphin population. My first thought on reading about that was "wow, I didn't know dolphins could jump that high" :-P

Most of this is NIMBYism, everyone wants all this fantastic green energy and stuff, so long as the wind turbines etc get put up somewhere else. What they should do is make them look like the old-fashioned dutch windmills, that way they can look picturesque and shit and they can run tours out to them and stuff and get some tourist dollars in as a sideline:-P

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:19 am

Yeah water towers are fine, high voltage power lines are okay, but those damn wind turbines are just an eye sore! Maybe of they hung giant obama/biden banners from them, and actually put them to good use

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:20 am

And i bet your ass once cell transmitters wind up on the towers no one will care as long as they get their 12g internet speed.

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Mar 27, 2013 8:30 am

I just saw them talking on the news about the new audi hybrid, which can get a whopping 21 miles on electric before switching to combustion.

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Miles1 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:44 am

Pun wrote:Yeah water towers are fine, high voltage power lines are okay, but those damn wind turbines are just an eye sore! Maybe of they hung giant obama/biden banners from them, and actually put them to good use

So would you have them on the poles or the spinny bit in the middle so that their head is constantly going around and around?

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Wed Mar 27, 2013 12:02 pm

The set up, and the pitch...

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Miles1 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:01 am

Pun wrote:Yeah water towers are fine, high voltage power lines are okay,

They should set hem up like they have in Japan:


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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:01 am

That a real pic?

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Miles1 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:18 am

Pun wrote:That a real pic?

Nope, is apparently concept art, but is/was a genuine proposal by an american architects firm for a set of pylons in Iceland. Dunno will tehy be actually building them tho - they should.....

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Re: Sloshing Detected in Yellowstone Lake Helps to Locate Magma Storage Region

Post by Sir Pun on Thu Mar 28, 2013 8:20 am

Why not?

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