Yellowstone, one of the worlds Super-Volcanoes, is displaying some fascinating behavior and reminding us that it is very alive and remains apparently overdue for its next world-changing eruption.

The recent activity may not mean anything significant, but you really never know, which is why I mention the following…

Take a look at the image below which is a map of Yellowstone National Park and caldera region. It is overlayed with seismograms / helicorders from earthquake monitoring stations around the volcano. The activity is from June 17, and it continues today.

Yellowstone Seismograms

As you can see there appear to be lots of small earthquakes, and LOTS of vibration.

The following image shows the earthquakes that have occurred at Yellowstone during the past 12 months (June-2011 to June-2012). The shaded areas are regions with ‘stronger’ earthquakes than the rest.


The next image shows a 3D view of the Yellowstone earthquakes during that same time period.


An erupting super volcano, although extremely rare, would be devastating to say the least. Whenever Yellowstone rumbles, it reminds me of the probable catastrophic effects that would occur here in the US and around the world. Countless people would lose their lives. THE THING that would be in greatest demand following this eruption would be FOOD (and water). Much of the US would be covered deep in ash. Crops would fail over the entire continental United States. Crops worldwide would be greatly diminished due to partial blocking of the sun and worldwide temperature cooling.

It’s pointless to ‘worry’ about such an event, however it is motivation to prop up your food storage inventory. This is an event that would kill the food supply almost immediately. In the US, livestock and many of the wild  birds and animals would die from lack of food, particularly in the western US (ash covering everything and water supplies poisoned). It will be very difficult to grow food for quite some time because of the ash covering much of the ground, and the diminished sun through the hazy atmosphere, especially during the first year.

To survive this super volcano eruption, you would first have to be living far enough away from it so as not to be within the immediate kill zone (hundreds of miles). In addition, to stand a chance of surviving by growing food, you would likely need to be 1,500 miles away or more, where ash coverage will be measured in inches (not feet). Seemingly east of the Mississippi river, would be more survivable.

The deposition and depth of the ash will somewhat depend upon the prevailing winds during the time of eruption. Knowing that winds across the US ‘generally’ blow west to east, not only will the west be covered, but much of the accumulating ash will blanket the ground as winds push it east.

Three Yellowstone super eruptions occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago. Scientist believe (and history proves) the eruption cycle is between 600,000 and 800,000 years. The last eruption ejected approximately 240 cubic miles of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky. Is that even imaginable?

Yellowstone webcam above Biscuit Basin, at the north end of Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park


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