Friday, January 28, 2011

Imminent eruption of Yellowstone?


Volcanologist Erik Klemetti over at the Eruptions blog (which I have permanently liked in the sidebar), has a great post on Yellowstone: The public and media obsession with the caldera where he discusses a December 2010 paper by Chang, et al. in Geophysical Research Letters titled An extraordinary episode of Yellowstone caldera uplift, 2004–2010, from GPS and InSAR observations and then provides some examples of the media morphing this into some kind of doomsday scenario.

The paper, of course, makes no such claims and it's mostly baseless hysteria by journalists who, as is typical, neglect to seek any expert advice on a subject they obviously know nothing about.  Either that or they're cynical liars.  Whichever it is, it reflects poorly on their profession (What Do Politicians, Used Car Salesmen, and Journalists All Have in Common?)


  1. Good post! I have a google alert for Yellowstone and all I see is the repeated parroting of the gross speculation that an eruption of this volcano is imminent. That may or may not be the case. If it does happen there is not a lot we can do about it. However, at least one scientist monitoring the volcano does not think the eruption will happen anytime soon.

    USGS Scientist-in-Charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Jake Lowenstern has a totally different take on the volcano that can be seen here:

  2. I am studying to become a Volcanologist and have recently been sent maps across a blogsite I use showing harmonic tremors at Yellowstone starting on January 25, 2011 and continuing today. I have taken a look at the seismic maps that have been given to me. I do see harmonic tremors. However, I was wondering if you have heard anything about that through official channels.