The veteran reader of this blog — can there be more than one? — may recall the kerfuffle a couple of years ago when there was a “swarm” of earthquakes in the Yellowstone. Alas for those prone to panic attacks, the swarm ran through the Hanukkah/Ramadan/Christmas/KWANZAA/New Year’s holidays, when other news is slack.
You might understand, then, why I say Greg Laden turns his considerable story-telling prowess to the issue late. Still, his prowess towers over the rest of us, and he tells a great story.
Is the Yellowstone safe? he asks, rhetorically.
The answer is complex:
1) Wear a seat belt when driving around in the region;
2) Don’t feed the bears and make sure you understand bear safety; and
3) Somebody is going to get blasted by some kind of volcano in the area some day, but even if you live there the chances are it won’t be you.
The joy is in the journey — go read Laden’s explanation of the rising lava. Heck, even those of us who think we know that stuff understand it better when he explains it.
Earlier in the Bathtub:
- “News from the Yellowstone caldera: Earthquakes”, December 29, 2008
- “Yellowstone ready to blow? Not likely,” December 31, 2008
- “Yellowstone earthquake swarm finished?” January 5, 2009
- “All quiet on the Yellowstone front,” January 6, 2009
- “Eye on Yellowstone: Earthquake swarm’s second round,” January 10, 2009
- “You felt it coming: Hoaxers jump on Yellowstone quake news,” January 11, 2009
- “Bobby Jindal: Dumb about rocks,” February 27, 2009″
- “Yellowstone earthquake swarm, 2010,” January 25, 2010
- “Yellowstone earthquake swarm of 2010 fizzling out?” January 27, 2010
- “Oklahoma earthquakes: No swarm,” March 6, 2010
Regret I missed your earlier posts, Greg — I’ll go look for them.
Well aware of the nature of the caldera, I admit to some trepidation during my last two tours of Yellowstone, enough that I actually checked the USGS to see about recent seismic activity.
But on the whole, I think it’s a tragedy that fewer than 4 million Americans a year see Yellowstone. It’s a trip every person should make in a lifetime at least. While I don’t want the park any more crowded, I pray for the enlightenment to things that most people get when they visit.
Thanks for dropping by, Greg.
Thanks for the link.
I’m actually not late, though. (I had covered the issue back during the swarm in an exceptionally timely manner.) This latest post is VERY current (more or less) because of the December publication of the study of that swarm (academics moves so much more slowly than the blogosphere) plus 48 hours ago there were a couple of tremors felt in the area that people took notice of (though I don’t mention them, it kinda reminded me of the December paper).
I think this is a wonderful issue because it combines all the interesting elements of Earth Science, History, Danger, Nature and Conspiracy Theory (in which the Conspiracy theorists have point!)
I don’t say it outright in the post, but it does seem that the post-swarm research actually makes the caldera look more likely to be a bit of a problem than less likely over the coming centuries or thousands of years. What a dumb place to put a park!