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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

4/2/2014 (11 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Region showing signs of volcanic activity, but is this new?

Talk of a supervolcano eruption in Yellowstone National Park has hit the blogosphere after several people have posted videos of animals fleeing the sanctuary. A supervolcano eruption would destroy everything for hundreds of miles around and would plunge the planet into a long winter lasting years.

A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

A supervolcano under Yellowstone could cause mass extinctions if it erupted.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

4/2/2014 (11 months ago)

Published in Green

Keywords: Yellowstone, animals, fleeing, supervolcano


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Several bloggers have been posting videos of animals fleeing Yellowstone National Park. Last week, a 4.8 earthquake struck the region and since that quake, animals all over the park seem to be moving with purpose.

Both elk and bison are reported to be leaving the region.

Some bloggers claim there are other signs of pending seismic activity including a change in the composition of gasses in the atmosphere above the park. How this information was discerned is unclear.

Yellowstone National Park, and its beloved geysers are created by the presence of a titanic magma chamber beneath the crust. In the past, as in 2.1 million years ago, the supervolcano erupted devastating life across the continent and scattering ash as far away as the southern California coast in the west, the Gulf of Mexico in the south, and Canada to the north.

Such an event will be repeated again, it is simply a matter of time. Fortunately, geologic timescales are very long, often measured in tens of millions of years or more.

Experts can only speculate what the animals are fleeing. It could be a simple reaction to the March 30 earthquake, or they may sense some greater disturbance.

Meanwhile, the rest of the world, particularly along the Pacific coast, seems to be experiencing a flurry of seismic activity. Newsworthy earthquakes have struck all up and down the Pacific coast from Northern California to Chile where a massive 8.2 quake struck late on April 1.

It is highly unlikely that a supervolano eruption is imminent, however it could be that the magma chamber beneath Yellowstone is awakening from a somewhat dormant state. Yet, even this is debatable since seismic activity and other signs of volcanic activity have been noted previously at the park over the past several decades.

Despite the likelihood that everything is normal, the occurrence of an unusual event is plenty of fodder for speculation, and serves as a good reminder that nature, not humanity, is in control of the planet.

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