Roadwolf's portal for his random thoughts and ponderings

Yellowstone Supervolcano

I just read a recent issue of National Geographic about the Yellowstone Supervolcano.  I am actually very surprised about how large an erruption would be.  This map shows the extent of the pyroclastic cloud which occured 640,000 years ago.  As you can see, an event of this magnatude would likely wipe out most of the western US. The cauldra is only 5 to 7 miles below the surface, and is being fed by a giant lava plume which extends as deep as 400 miles into the earth.  As the plume vents gasses, the gasses rise and create more pressure in the cauldra.  This causes the land to rise, small earthquakes and eventually a large erruption. It should be noted, that a large erruption from Yellowstone would cause doomsday like effects.  We would likely be quickly forced into a nuclear winter and several plant and animal species would likely become extinct (to the horror of those animal lovers, I imagine, but hey, can't save em all).  The loss of the western portion of the USA would not be as significant when you tally in the loss of life after the erruption. Now in this day and age, I am sure we would be able to brave such a situation out.  We have technology and knowlege.  Heck, we have people living in space, and in the antartic year round now - I am sure we could survive the cooler weather.  The only problem might be a high concentration of acidic gasses in the air. Anyhow, I thought of an idea about this, which I figured I would share. So basically there are gasses which are trying to escape...   And there is heat which has to be disipated.  Well how about tap into that heat to generate power?  And at the same time we can tap into the Cauldra with vents, and control how much venting the cauldra does.  I am sure we have the technology to preform this task.  Obviously there are risks...  what if puncturing the cauldra with vents causes an erruption?   And how to prevent laval from coming up the vent pipes?  And how to prevent the vent pipes from melting? I doubt any such attempts to releave the gas pressure will actually happen however, likewise I doubt any attempts to harness the steam and use it to generate power, will likely ever go through.  Mainly because it is a national park - and that would likely piss the environmentalists off. But think of it this way.   If we pump water down there and then collect the steam from said water, we could help cool the cauldra (wishful thinking, I know) while we generate power. Honestly, I am sure some 'experts' have already thought of this idea, but I felt the need to share my own thoughts and ideas, even if they seem very impractical.  Hell, drive a remote controlled tunnel boring machine down into it...  Evacuate the area, and wait.  It may produce a small erruption, but hopfully not as large as the one 640,000 years ago.  And since we manually released the pressure, it would likely be safe for another few hundred thousand years.

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