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Flipslips17 karma

I have noticed an influx of YouTube channels, journalists and others who are misinformed about Yellowstone and fear-monger an impending or “over due” eruption. Michael Poland does an amazing job with his monthly video updates, however it seems like there is still quite a bit of misinformation out there. What can we do to prevent this and really get the message across that Yellowstone is not overdue or going to blow tomorrow?

Also people seem convinced the recent earthquakes in Salt Lake City and challis, Idaho are connected to Yellowstone in some way. What evidence can we show them to prove they are not?

Flipslips12 karma

Could you talk a little bit about becoming a volcanologist or geologist working with volcanoes? It seems like an incredible career path. I’m a geology major in college and would love to get some good advice on how to proceed from here! Thank you all for the AMA!

Flipslips3 karma

Not the scientists in the AMA but I know a little bit about this. Hotspots themselves do not move, the continent or plate drifts over the hotspot. So at one point, the Yellowstone hotspot was in the pacific, then northern Cali, and cut through southern Idaho, in the snake river valley to get where it is today in northwest Wyoming. We have evidence of eruptions at several different spots along this line. So the continent moves an inch or two per year, for reference. And yes! Hotspots do die out. They can eventually cool off or conversely regenerate.

You can see another example of this in Hawaii, which is a volcanic hotspot (although not a super volcanic). Look at this map of the pacific, and see if you can find the chains of extinct volcanic hotspots that ends in Hawaii! Notice how we can see the continental direction changing. link to map on reddit

Flipslips3 karma

You should do a Yellowstone Mythbuster series! 1 per month, showcasing one topic in a short 5 minute video. For example, you can talk about how Yellowstone doesn’t erupt on a schedule, and show and explain the science that tells you this. There are many different topics you could talk about and it certainly would be great resource for us to share with others regarding misinformation!

Flipslips2 karma

I definitely prefer the research aspect of it!