Anthony Watts seems to be a little worried about the “Yellowstone Super Volcano” that has 4x more magma than once thought.
Of course this discovery falls into the quagmire of geophysical modelling, in this case seismic modelling, and it’s plausible but like the gravity anomaly discussed here, how the heck do you perform an in-situ test? You can’t, so it’s down to belief and more importantly, experience.
The cause of this ‘super-volcano’ is interpreted to be a mantle plume or hotspot rising from a depth of at least 440 miles in the Earth’s mantle, with some estimates putting it at 1,800 miles.
Let’s rejig the numbers to something comprehensible like the metric system. So the hotspot is some 700 km down, and another guess is 2,880 km down.
What internal process causes mantle plumes? Heat, since that is all we have in our armory of geological processes. Since mantle plumes are essentially coincident with hot spots, one wonders what internal process operating in the mantle could generate a “hot-spot”. More on this below but first some observations.
If Yellowstone is a volcano, then it’s a little bit lost because the nearest subduction zone is way to the west. Whoops, what about Mt. St Helens? Isn’t that close by? No, it’s some 800km to the west.
Subduction zones? Yes, the Cascadia Subduction Zone, and interpreted to plunge deeply to the east.
So what do we make of the Yellowstone Super Volcano?
Is it caused by a mantle plume that is driven, err forced, by a hotspot? And given the homogeneity of the Earth’s core, just how can it develop discrete hotspots? And for that matter what is the energy source for these hot spots? Radioactivity? But given the standard model accretion model, modified with the Mercury Gobble Event, all radiometric decay will peter out over time, let alone concentrate itself in a small location and then reverse the laws of physics and accelerate to produce a near point source of heat.
I don’t think so. Rather I would interpret hotspots as a sort of thermal fossil-print of an earlier impact between the Earth and another cosmic body via massive electrical plasma short circuits. In this sense the Yellowstone Hot Spot is thus a recent battle wound between the Earth which I tentatively suggest was Venus during the 1st Century CE. However this provisional dating flies in the face of Velikovsky’s historical reconstruction where he interpreted their tales as occurring much earlier. It is a matter of historical fact that the Aztecs and Pawnee indians made sacrifices to ward off the morning star, even to the start of the 19th century by the Pawnees. Given that oral history cannot really stand the test of prolonged time, we necessarily should place any such myths or stories to the recent and not so much the distant past.
The problem is that Charles Lyell stretched the geological time scale for political purposes, not scientific. Much as the present day use of climate science by government to achieve particular political goals.
Actually one could also suggest that it’s the gross denial of this 1st Century CE catastrophe by our present day catastrophists in the world’s major religions and climate fearers that seems to be driving their irrational behaviour.