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#302795 - 08/20/17 03:31 PM NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat
Golem Offline
enthusiast

Registered: 03/12/12
Posts: 3627
Loc: Orange County, California, USA
Avery Thompson
Popular Mechanics
August 18, 2017

Quote:
Beneath Yellowstone National Park is a giant volcano. The heat from this volcano powers all of the park's famous geysers and hot springs, so most tourists probably don't worry about having tons of hot magma under their feet. But perhaps they should: The Yellowstone supervolcano is a disaster waiting to happen.

The supervolcano erupts about every 600,000 years, and it's been about that long since the last eruption. That means the volcano could erupt any day now, and if it does it'll send enough dust and ash into the sky to blot out the sun for years, along with blowing a 25-mile-wide crater in the western U.S. That's why a group of NASA scientists and engineers are developing a plan to prevent an eruption by stealing the volcano's heat...

NASA's plan is to drill a hole into the side of the volcano and pump water through it. When the water comes back out, it'll be heated to over 600 degrees, slowly cooling the volcano. The team hopes that given enough time, this process will take enough heat from the volcano to prevent it from ever erupting...

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#302796 - 08/20/17 04:15 PM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: Golem]
logtroll Offline
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Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8596
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
If you tap the electricity from a lightning storm, do you steal its thunder?
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#302804 - 08/20/17 08:22 PM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: Golem]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
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The Long Valley caldera in Eastern California is another of these waiting to erupt. They keep measuring it's elevation by GPS and it keeps on steadily rising. Bleeding off some more heat would be a very good idea plus you get free energy. They're already getting 40 megawatts but very large areas are still rising from magma bubbling up.

I guess the problem is that a geothermal plant affects only a small area underground, and over 100 square miles is swelling. So you need to build a lot of them.

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#302806 - 08/20/17 09:11 PM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: logtroll]
Jeffery J. Haas Offline

Pooh-Bah

Registered: 08/03/04
Posts: 12667
Loc: Whittier, California
Originally Posted By: logtroll
If you tap the electricity from a lightning storm, do you steal its thunder?


Are you asking if it is possible to discharge an opposing electrostatic field to the point where it will not create a spark?
The answer is YES but you may want to get out your scientific calculator because the amounts we're talking about far exceed the net energy of a mere volcano, even a super volcano.

Lightning is nothing more than the discharge of a gigantic capacitor.
_________________________
The men the American public admire most extravagantly are the most daring liars; the men they detest most violently are those who try to tell them the truth. - H. L. Mencken

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#302808 - 08/21/17 12:00 AM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: Jeffery J. Haas]
pondering_it_all Offline
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Registered: 02/27/06
Posts: 7002
Loc: North San Diego County
That's what lightning rods do. It isn't so much that the lightning will go up from their tips, they actually bleed ground charge into the surrounding air. If there is any wind, they create a plume of ground-charged air downwind.

If a discharge does occur, the plume is all at ground charge so the bolt is more likely to come from within the plume than to have to go through the mostly insulated house.

lightening bolt = 1 x 10^^9 joules

Mt. Saint Helens (moderate eruption) = 1 x 10^^17 joules

hurricane = 5 x 10^^19 joules per day but most of that is used to lift water vapor up, horizontal winds are about 1 x 10^^17 joules

So volcanoes and hurricane winds are about 100,000,000 times more total energy than a lightning bolt. Of course, that energy is spread out over a whole day in the case of a hurricane.

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#302842 - 08/23/17 04:19 AM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: logtroll]
Spag-hetti Offline
member

Registered: 09/10/08
Posts: 1578
Loc: Middle, USA
Quote:
Loggy said:
If you tap the electricity from a lightning storm, do you steal its thunder?


ROTFMOL How do you do it? On topic and funny as heck.

Best I could come up with was, if you peel a balloon, what have you got?

Not sure how that applies in this context, except that nothing is exactly what we want from this volcano.
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Just a Missouri school teacher ... stubborn as a mule and addicted to logic.

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#302845 - 08/23/17 12:37 PM Re: NASA to Stop a Doomsday Supervolcano by Stealing its Heat [Re: Spag-hetti]
logtroll Offline
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Registered: 04/26/10
Posts: 8596
Loc: New Mexico (not old Mexico)
I have always been interested in science.
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"You can't fix a problem until you understand what the problem is." Logtroll

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