I've been watching Yellowstone National Park (or rather, the supervolcano under it) for some time now. It's scary. It's overdue for an eruption, and when (not "if") it erupts, it will wipe out half of North America and bury the rest of it under ash. So this is probably an academic venture of mine, but I have to stay busy. Somehow. While I wait for the end. So here is where I'm gathering info about the place. Seismic data, in particular. The way the ground moves is going to be our only clue as to when the end is nigh, so why not watch for that clue? And speaking of clues...

Every time there's a swarm of quakes, half the world starts worrying and the other half tells them to shut up about it already. Every time so far, the worrying has led nowhere, because nothing bad ended up happening. However, when it finally does blow (and it will), the symptoms leading up to it will look exactly like these swarm incidents that worry everyone so much, but perhaps a bit larger and stronger, and we'll warn everyone that time too, but they still won't listen. What does it matter if the skeptics are right 999,999 times out of a million? That one time that they're wrong will be the worst day of everyone's life. We're right to worry. We're right to keep a close eye on it, and on the Long Valley caldera, which too many people simply ignore because Yellowstone's got more star recognition. It's very likely, since they're connected way down deep somewhere, that when one of them goes, they both will. Imagine two supervolcanoes erupting at once so close together. Even one such eruption would change everything on earth. Damn right we worry, and maybe us doing it will save a few skeptics' lives someday because of the warning we'll provide. So stop trying to keep us from saving you, because the experts won't. Their role, it seems, will be to prevent panic, and no warnings will be forthcoming from them even when it actually happens. (It's not their fault, of course; they can only do as they're told by the Interior Department.) Your best hope is to watch this space and spaces like it for the only warning you're likely to get, and try to enjoy life in the meantime. There won't be much enjoyment afterwards.

If you'd like to write to me, the author, you can do so here. And always remember... if it's blue, it's (usually) clickable.

Daily map of seismograph images
Dynamic maps of quake locations (1970-present)
Dynamic maps of seismometer locations and such
Recorder separation distances
Archived seismometer traces (Back to 9/3/2003; 98,188 images total)
Most-active seismometer traces
The Hot Spot Watch
Latest official Yellowstone area quake list
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