Is Yellowstone Going to Blow? If So, How Will It Affect Colorado?
I try my best not to buy into all the garbage I see on Facebook and Twitter, but one of the things that has been going around a bunch lately is the rumor of a possible volcano eruption/earthquake at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. So I did a little research on if it's going to happen, and if it does, how it will affect us in Colorado.
First off, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory had this to say about the issue:
The [Yellowstone eruption coming] story appears to be based on a misinterpretation of public “webicorders”, which are graphics depicting seismic data, on the University of Utah Seismographic Station (UUSS) web site (UU operates the Yellowstone Seismic Network). A borehole seismometer called “B944″, located near the West Thumb region of the Park, has been malfunctioning in recent weeks with strong bursts of electronic noise contaminating its data. These noise bursts appear as wild excursions on the B944 webicorders that can appear alarming to the inexperienced eye.
I am no scientist, but to me that means that a bunch of people who are way smarter than me and study this exact thing for a living don't think there is any reason to worry.
That being said, there is a whole team dedicated to Yellowstone exploding eventually, so these same smart people obviously believe it will happen one day. When it does, there is no telling exactly what will happen, but should we in Colorado be scared since we are so close?
According to the map from the most popular rumor spreader, most of Colorado is out of the "kill zone," but in the "primary ash zone." That means poisonous ash would spread across the state, killing agriculture and sickening people in those zones for years to come.
Most other sources agree with this report instead calling most of what Colorado would be in, "zone 4." Zone 4 means ash fall of approximately 6 inches; combined with rain this is enough to collapse a roof. Denver along with other big cities like Cheyenne, Billings and Salt Lake City would pretty much have to be abandoned. It would most likely take weeks, if not months, to rescue the 29 million people in the US closest to the volcano trapped by fallen ash...
Now remember, there are hundreds of theories out there, and these numbers could easily be wrong depending on how bad the eruption is, weather systems, and warning. But most scientists do agree that they are not suggesting it will happen tomorrow or even this year, but eventually...