icon Yellowstone


In January 12, 2000 ZetaTalk stated on the Sightings radio show that a fault line up into the Sierras could cause Yellowstone caldera to erupt. On February 3, 2000 the BBC reported on this potential.

Supervolcanoes (Yellowstone)
Excerpt : BBC2 Horizon Television Programme, February 3, 2000

NARRATOR (SINÉAD CUSACK): Yellowstone was on a 600,000 year cycle and the last eruption was just 600,000 years ago. Yet there was no evidence of volcanic activity now. The volcano seemed extinct. That reassuring thought was about to change. There was another geologist who was fascinated by Yellowstone's volcanic history. Like Bob Christiansen, Professor Bob Smith has been studying the Park for much of his career. In 1973 he was doing field work, camping at one end of Yellowstone Lake.

ROBERT SMITH: I was working at the south end of this lake at a place called Peal Island. I was standing on the island one day and I noticed a couple of unusual things. The, the boat dock that we normally would use at this place seemed to be underwater. That evening as I was looking over the expanse of the south end of the lake I could see trees that were being inundated by water. I took a look at these trees and they were be, being inundated with water a few inches, maybe a foot deep and it was very unusual for me to see
that because nowhere else in the lake would the lake level have really changed. What did it mean? We did not know.

NARRATOR: Smith commissioned a survey to try to find out what was happening at Yellowstone. The Park had last been surveyed in the 1920s when the elevation, the height above sea-level, was measured at various points across Yellowstone. 50 years later, Smith surveyed the same points.

SMITH: The idea was to survey their elevations and to compare the elevations in the mid-70s to what they were in 1923 and the type of thing that we did is to make recordings at a precision level of, of a few millimetres.

NARRATOR: The two sets of figures should have been similar, but as the survey team moved across the Park, they noticed something unexpected: the ground seemed to be heaving upwards.

SMITH: The surveyor said to me there's something wrong and he said it's not me, it's got to be something else, so we went through all the measurements again trying to be very careful and the conclusion kind of hit me in the face and said this caldera has uplifted at that time 740 millimetres in the middle of the caldera.

NARRATOR: As the measuring continued, an explanation for the submerged trees began to emerge. The ground beneath the north of Yellowstone was bulging up, tilting the rest of the Park downwards. This was tipping out the sound end of the lake inundating the shoreside trees with water. The vulcanologist realised only one thing could make the Earth heave in this way: a vast living magma chamber. The Yellowstone supervolcano was alive and if the calculations of the cycle were correct, the next eruption was already
overdue.

ROBERT CHRISTIANSEN: Well this gave us a real shiver of nervousness if you will about the fact that we have been through this 600,000 year cycle and that the last eruption was about 600,000 years ago.

SMITH: I felt like telling people, that is we basically have on our hands a giant.

icon