Yellowstone Park, USA. Visit to Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is the world of geysers and wildlife
Yellowstone is a volcano, and not just a volcano
The first, and one of the most famous national parks of the United States is located on top of one of the largest volcanoes on our planet. Earth still literally boils in Yellowstone, its caldera is distinguished by the highest volcanic activity throughout North America. There are more geysers and other thermal springs than anywhere else on Earth. Yellowstone is irrefutable proof of how destructive natural disasters can be. Large eruptions in Yellowstone occur approximately every 600,000 years, and are among the largest on Earth, significantly affecting its climate.
On the territory of the national park there are signposts urging people to keep a distance from bison, wolves, and bears. But in Yellowstone there are no signs, except for boiling mud pots and geysers, indicating that tourists roam the crater of one of the largest active volcanoes in the world. Yellowstone is much more than just hot land, gushing steam. The borders of the national park encompass rocky peaks, alpine lakes, deep canyons, full-flowing rivers, wide meadows, beautiful valleys, and vast areas of forest abound in wildlife.
Despite the absence of any noticeable geysers, two of the largest hot springs of the park are located in the Midway geyser basin. First of all, it is the smoking pit Excelsior (a Latin word meaning "ever higher"). Until the end of the 19th century, Excelsior was an active geyser that regularly erupted. And then it exploded, and this moment was recorded by the photographer - perhaps the only photograph of this kind from those times. Today, Excelsior smokes and pours about 15-17 thousand liters of 93-degree water per minute into the River of Fire.
Sulfur itself from volcanic emissions is a considerable danger. It was hydrogen sulfide, oxidized to sulfuric acid, that could become one of the reasons for the mass death of living creatures after the eruption of Siberian traps. Sulfuric acid not only poured onto the heads of all living, but also significantly changed the composition of the acidity of the planet's water shell: rivers, lakes, and the oceans did not stand aside. But at that time all the main life was concentrated in the aquatic environment. It is unlikely that a disaster of the scale of the eruptions of the Siberian traps is possible today, but such a force as the eruption of the Tambora volcano is quite possible. And the consequences of such an event for a densely populated planet will be catastrophic, because it will affect not only climate and agriculture, but also industry, communications, transport
Volcanoes form mountains; supervolcanoes erase them
Volcanoes kill animals and plants for miles around; supervolcanoes threaten the extinction of whole species through climate change throughout the world. Supervolcanoes are different from other disasters - Earthquakes, tsunamis, storms, and floods - in that their environmental impact threatens the very existence of civilization on Earth. Every time the whole planet felt the consequences of the eruption of supervolcanoes. Fortunately, not a single supervolcano erupted throughout the observable and documented human history. Houses in the towns around Yellowstone do not fall in price.
The biggest attraction for photographers in Yellowstone is the Grand Prismatic source. With 110 meters in diameter and 37 meters depth, it is the largest in the United States and the third largest in the world. Bacteria, and after them the whole Grand Prismatic, change their color according to the seasons: in summer they are orange-red, in winter they are dark green. The living one clings to the shores and shallow water, where the water cools down to 40-50 degrees Celsius. In the center of the source, where the temperature reaches 70 degrees Celsius, the water is most likely sterile, although science knows the types of archaea that can live at that temperature, and even high.
The largest herds of American bison in the wild inhabit the territory of Yellowstone National Park. According to the estimates of researchers, at the beginning of the 19th century there were between 30 and 60 million bison throughout the territory of North America. The existence of the indigenous peoples of America was so dependent on these animals that with a decrease in the number of buffaloes, their extinction began. In the second half of the 19th century, buffaloes were almost completely destroyed throughout the American West, and the last freely walking herds of animals found refuge in the wild nature of Yellowstone.
Now the national park remains one of the last habitats of large herds of these animals in the wild. Their population increased from less than 50 in 1902 to almost 5,000 in 2005. The moose population is over 30,000 animals. Since the mid-1990s, their numbers have declined substantially due to the appearance of wolves here. Grizzly bears, balancing on the verge of extinction, slowly regained their population, their number in the Yellowstone area is estimated to be about 500 animals.
The main danger of a possible catastrophic eruption of volcanoes is not even a threat to the local population, which is undoubtedly great, but in its global consequences: pollution and turbidity of the atmosphere due to the release of ash and gas. Indeed, even with the relatively small eruption of the Kamchatka Bezymyannyi volcano in 1956, which "woke up" after 3 thousand years of calm, the column of volcanic smoke within 30 months reached 30, and sometimes 80 km, which means that emissions circulated for a very long time atmosphere. Fortunately, at that time there were no planes flying so high, otherwise air traffic could be paralyzed for ten years.
Today, with the help of satellites, we can evaluate the details and consequences of eruptions of almost any scale. For example, during the last major fissure eruption of the Tolbachik volcano in the east of Kamchatka, a lot of hydrogen sulfide was ejected, during the oxidation of which native sulfur crystals also formed, because this volcanic cloud could be easily traced: it turned out that it had been "walking" for several years in Asia and The Arctic.
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