I was having a scout around the internet last night - something I'm sure we all do on a regular basis, when I came across an article in the Daily Fail (oops, my bad, I meant Daily Mail - a one-sided, biased, prejudiced English rag of a paper for those of you who don't know it - owned by an American I believe?) Anyway, the article was about Yellowstone National Park so of course it caught my attention. If you read it (click here for the link) you'll see just what a dire newspaper it is. Talk about scaremongering. The trouble with articles like this is that many people believe what they read and don't bother to check how accurate such a thing is. The article itself does state that this is the most activity in 5 years, before going on to state the activity is less than it was in 2002, 2004, 2008 and 2010, so as you can see it really is a non-article and is nothing more than an attention-grabbing article.
Having said all of that, it does then lead one on to more research regarding the whole seismic activity in the park. I already knew they had between 3000 - 4000 earthquakes each year and that there was one magma chamber running directly under; until last night though, I never knew there was another, bigger one, that could fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over. That's some volume of lava.
As a child I was aware that it is the most active volcano in the world - thank goodness for those geysers eh? which help to vent the area. The chances of it actually blowing are 1 in 780000 - I'm not entirely sure if those odds are good, or not? but it sounds like the chances of it every erupting in my time (or yours if you are a lot younger than me) is pretty much non-existent; never-say-never though :)
I used to love Geography and Geology (still do) so to find this out now is fascinating (I failed my geography exam so never bothered to proceed any further - a shame for I would have loved to learn more - I also believe there was a mistake with my exam paper for I was meant to have been guaranteed a grade 2 based on just my coursework; the same year I passed a science exam with flying colours without actually answering a single question - I can only assume I spelt my name correct on the front).
Of course, as you all know (if you read this a lot) I desperately want to get myself back to Yellowstone, now though, I want to go even more. Now, it's not just about the scenery and photographic opportunities the park provides (there really are many of those to be experienced) I want to go back to learn more about how it all evolved; what really lies beneath?
I can read about it all on the internet but that's never the same as actually being there, chatting to people who would know such things. As I've said before, for me to truly understand something I have to experience it. What an amazing place to learn about the 'super volcano' which would be directly beneath my feet.
It also makes me want to go back there more than I did before, because I'd like to see it, experience and photograph properly before it does disappear :)
This page is quite interesting if you want to know what could happen if it were to erupt.