Sunday, October 15, 2006

Mega-volcano!

75,000 years ago a quarter of the earth was destroyed.  Famine, disease, death.  The planet endured more than 1,000 volcanoes in the same time 50 usually occurred, which was a year.  Imagine how it was!  We look to the poles for much of our genealogical information.  Polar ice is over 100,000 years worth of snowfall, and will explain the condition of the planet at a given time.  A history in ice.  We do this with rock as well which is much more difficult and expensive, but offers more explanations in differing fields. 

Back to polar ice.  Back 75,000 years ago.  The earth took a sudden leap in the amount of sulphuric acid, about 2-4 megatons, which is 24 times more than usually produced in a year on the globe.  A poisonous yellow haze blanketed the planet and left its chemical mark in the ice.  It left more:  a layer of volcanic ash.  How could this be?  Volcanic ash is very unique.  Magma explodes into ash only if a tremendous force is exerted.  Volcanic ash travels no more than 3-6 mph.  But the evidence of all this testing showed that at one time, it covered more than one quarter of the earth's continents!  Sound familiar?  The timing is accurate since rapidly cooling magma produces glass , and the decay time of U238 determines the time of an eruption.  When the samples from the cataclysmic event, and the high sulphuric-content ice were compared, they were both 75,000 years old!  What in the world happened that could reap such havoc?  And at the exact same time? 

A Mega-volcano.  Some call them Super volcanoes.  We know of four Super volcanoes on the planet:  Mt. Pinatoba, Long Valley,Tailipo and Yellowstone.  Earth's most massive event hides its evidence beneath the rock of Yellowstone.  We know it takes many tens of thousands of years for a volcano to store enough sweltering magma before the accumulation and force cause the eruption.  But what of the Super volcano?  Something that it always produces is called a paraplastic flow.

Think of 9/11 a moment, and the giant billows of smoke pouring out into the streets, people running for their lives.  A paraplastic flow looks exactly like that, only gray, and you WOULD be running for your life but you'd never make it.  Poisonous gas, choking ash, hurtling rock, all this conspires to kill anything in its path, which is does.  Volcanoes not labeled "super" or "mega" can also produce paraplastic flow.  If you're caught near it, you will die along with any other living thing.  

When testing at the poles the cataclysmic event of 75,000 years ago, a great deal of paraplastic flow evidence was found.  Because of our atmosphere, this poison ash went around the globe.  We know a quarter of the world was wiped out.  But where does this incredible amount of ash go?  It's hiding in plain sight:  Mt. Pinatoba.  

How did this massive event effect life on the planet?  We know it takes about 1,000 years of rain to form an average-sized lake, and all life requires water.  75,000 years ago there were many animals, except humans, which were sparse.  Humans had already started their long migration up the Ruso-Asian east, the Mongolians who would survive and eventually cross the Bering Land Bridge (now Sea Straits) and walk into Alaska to colonize North America - the ancestors of the Native Americans.  But as this migration was well under way, something interrupted what we might think is the "natural order of things" and a Super volcano at that time would've eliminated all life as anything which breathed would inhale ash and glass, but the worst?  Sulphuric acid.  This chemical keeps sunlight from the planet.  It spread to large areas of the globe, and since earth was already in its cooling phase, it sparked an early Ice Age, our Glacier Age, or "Volcanic Winter", long before its natural time.  It shows us in one act how very UN-natural our world is, how unpredictable and amazing.  The ash mixture and paraplastic flow made the surface of the earth lighter, causing cooler temperatures, since "white" light reflects back into space.  We've understood for years that what we think of as color is merely the effect of light on an object depending on the time of day or night.  

One-quarter of the world, plants, animals and the new animal, humans, starved.

Gradually, the planet warmed and life grabbed a delicate foothold once again.  As the glacier receded, it formed our great mountain ranges of today.  But the pressing question is, under what conditions could a Super volcano be forming even now?  Our technology tells us much, the main thing being that we can depend upon very little.

Global scientists tell us that beneath Lake Pinatoba is a ticking time bomb.  Predicting as close as possible, we estimate that Mt. Pinatoba explodes in a Super volcano on a 400,000 year cycle.  Yellowstone, every 600,000.  It will certainly doom life on much of the planet, and too many of the inter-connecting systems are already in place.  

75,000 years ago the earth suddenly entered an Ice Age when no forewarning in atmospheric climate or timing was evident, according to samples taken by scientists at the poles and elsewhere.  This planet is approximately 4.6 billion years old, yet in only a few thousand years the climate has dropped an alarming 10 degrees F.  That's far and away too fast.  We know this from examining the earth's inner surfaces and the polar ice.  A "greenhouse effect" will eventually bring on freezing temperatures.   

Although volcanology and cosmology are young sciences, everyone is in agreement that it's just a matter of time. 

And we cannot truly prepare for it.  We won't be here.  The technology of the future may stave off mass extinction, but nothing can hold off nature.          

    

 

4 comments:

valphish said...

Fascinating, Cathy!!   Hi, sis!! xox
http://journals.aol.com/valphish/ThereisaSeason

sugarsweet056 said...

Great entry!
Hugs, Sugar

treesrgreen7865 said...

On Saturday, October 21st, Mount St. Helens again errupted to a certain extent, on Sunday I was very fortunate to visit this magnificent site.  The drive to Mt. St. Helens was spectactular in itself and the scenery surrounding it even though there was still some devestation from the previous erruption was really something I can put in to words, I am indeed fortunate to have visited such a phenomenal place, it will forever be in my mind as one of my wonders of the world I also got to visit the redwoods and that too was like driving through paradise.

TreesRGreen7865 from Oregon

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