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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Larger Super-Eruptions at Yellowstone National Park 8 to 12 Million Years Ago

    A smaller number of giant super-eruptions between 8 and 12 million years ago that could be larger than the colossal eruptions known to have taken place at Yellowstone have been identified in the United States through research led by the University of Leicester.




     The international research team suggests that while the number of volcanic eruptions thought to have originated from the central Snake River Plain in Idaho, USA, is less than previously believed, the 12 recorded giant eruptions were likely 'significantly larger' than research has previously suggested.






     Dr. Tom Knott, Professor Mike Branney and Dr. Marc Reichow, from the University of Leicester's Department of Geology's Volcanology Group, conducted the research with a team of international collaborators from the U. of California, Santa Cruz, the U. of Copenhagen, Denmark and Idaho State University.

     "Using a multi-technique approach, including whole-rock and mineral chemistries, palaeomagnetic data, and radio-isotopic dates, the team has been able to 'fingerprint' individual eruption deposits and correlate these over vast regions (thousands of square kilometers)."




    In establishing widespread correlations, the team drastically reduced the number of eruptions previously thought to have originated from the central Snake River Plain by more than half.



     "The researchers have reported that one of the super-eruptions from the Yellowstone hotspot-track, defined as the Castleford Crossing eruption, occurred about 8.1 million years ago and estimate the eruption volume to have exceeded 1,900 cubic kilometers. 

     "The single volcanic sheet covers an area over 14,000 square kilometers in southern Idaho, and is more than 1.3 kilometers thick in the caldera of the super-volcano."




     "This is just one of 12 giant eruptions reported from the area by the Leicester researchers who show that intense hotspot magmatism caused major crustal subsidence, forming the 100 kilometer-wide Snake River Basin. The team also demonstrates that these eruptions were in fact significantly larger than previously thought and may rival those better known at Yellowstone."

     Dr. Knott said "While it is well-known that Yellowstone has erupted catastrophically in recent times perhaps less widely appreciated is that these were just the latest in a protracted history of numerous catastrophic super-eruptions that have burned a track along the Snake River eastwards from Oregon to Yellowstone from 16 million years ago to present.




    "The size and magnitude of this newly defined eruption is as large, if not larger, than better known eruptions at Yellowstone, and it is just the first in an emerging record of newly discovered super-eruptions during a period of intense magmatic activity between 8 and 12 million years ago."

Ever been to the Snake River Plain or Yellowstone? Ash me no questions. . .
Steph

42 comments:

  1. Leicester? Don't they have a soccer team? Something about a recent super-eruption?

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    1. Ha! Didn't make that connection until now. . .

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  2. I visited Yellowstone a couple of years ago. It's an incredibly magnificent place. And, fortunately, no one caught me cozying up to Imperial Geyser.

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    1. Did you sample? For health or otherwise?

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    2. I put my hand in the stream flowing out from the geyser, just to test the temperature. Warm enough, but not terribly hot. I did not imbibe.

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    3. Not sure I'd want to imbibe the sulphur and bacteria there though I have at other hot springs.

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  3. I would like to visit the Snake River Valley or Yellowstone some day. But alas, the closest I have so far come to either is this.

    LegoWhoIsDumberThanTheAverageBearAndIsMoreOfABooBooThanAYogi

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    1. Lego, I hope you will go soon! And stay on the boardwalks.

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    2. Aw, gee! Can't I go under 'em?

      LegoWhoClaimsToBeTheLongLost"Fourth(Snow)Drifter"

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    3. No comment.


      By the way, is there obsidian in the Snake River Valley, and, if so, could that be the origin of the expression "snake in the glass"?

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    4. Leave that music home when you visit Jellystone, please Lego!

      Paul, there is lots of obsidian in the SRP. Who knows about a connection?

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    5. I hear Augie-den, Utah is a pleasant place to visit.

      LegoWho(AlongWithPaul)IsTryingHisDarnedestToKeepTheIntellectualDiscourseOfThisBlogAtTheHighestLevelPossible!

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    6. We need a little comic relief around here!

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  4. I also shared this clip-link over on Puzzleria!, but I hope Steph does not mind if I also link to it here.

    LegoLovesALittleRichLittle

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    1. He especially did a great job with Hillary and Bernie. Thanks for sharing, Lego.

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  5. Replies
    1. For a person fluent in Hebrew, Farsi, Arabic or Urdu, the "bird fun" would be reminiscent of reading a page from a book.

      !thgiRoTtfeLmorFrOtfeLoTthgiRmorFdaeRnaCeHsnaeMhcihW"suoretxetibmA"sIohWadbmaLogeL

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    2. ?ogeL,tahToDoTekaTtIdiDgnoLwoH

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    3. Watching a lazy bird (enough anger already!) take the moving walkway reminded me of the time a pair of aging buzzards decided to take a commercial flight south for the winter, rather than flying the whole way themselves. They'd heard about how bad airline food was, so they packed a few dead rats in their luggage to eat enroute. As they walk aboard with their reeking bags, the cabin attendant politely asked if they'd like her to stow them. "No," they said. "They're carrion."

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  6. Replies
    1. "Consumed by collisions".

      Brought to you by the Department of Natural Shocks.

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    2. Hmmmm, still contemplating, Paul. . .

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    3. Posting contemplation of whether to be or not to be might someday trigger a suicide watch bot.

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    4. That being said, how do they know that the 85% came from THE SAME asteroid, and not two or more really similar asteroids?
      Maybe a stupid question.

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    5. Indeed. That word always makes me think of my dentist and sabre-toothed cats (no relation).

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  7. Replies
    1. LEGO used to work in a candy factory where every 15 minutes or so he bagged another binful of StarBurst LifeSavers (hole-in-the-middle) of fruity colors: lemon yellow, lime green, cherry red and orange orange.

      LegoOnSecondThoughtWondersIfPerhapsHeWorkedInsteadInABeech-NutFruitStripeGumFactory...

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    2. Every word I write in my comments is false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false false...

      Napolego

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  8. Not sure why this study is getting so much attention on Facebook, but I guess it belongs here. (The link to the original article doesn't work, but you can find it here.)

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    1. Yes, I am curious why the data from Sept 2015 is being noted so widely as it is published this week. Paul's "faultless is faultless." doesn't apply here, though.

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  9. A new post on " Kalgoorlieite: A New Mineral Discovered in Western Australia " is now up.

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