NASA Unveils Plan To Stop Yellowstone "Supervolcano" Eruption, There's Just One Catch

Tyler Durden's picture

A NASA plan to stop the Yellowstone supervolcano from erupting, could actually cause it to blow... triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity.

As we have detailed recently, government officials have been closely monitoring the activity in the Yellowstone caldera.

However, as's Mac Slavo details, scientists at NASA have now come up with an incredibly risky plan to save the United States from the super volcano.

A NASA scientist has spoken out about the true threat of super volcanoes and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption. Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of Yellowstone National Park in the US lies an enormous magma chamber, called a caldera. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs that define the area, but for scientists at NASA, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilization as we know it.

Brian Wilcox, a former member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense, shared a report on the natural hazard that hadn’t been seen outside of the agency until now. Following an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it.

“I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.  


“I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

Yellowstone currently leaks about 60 to 70 percent of its heat into the atmosphere through stream water which seeps into the magma chamber through cracks, while the rest of the heat builds up as magma and dissolves into volatile gasses. The heat and pressure will reach the threshold, meaning an explosion is inevitable. When NASA scientists considered the fact that a super volcano’s eruption would plunge the earth into a volcanic winter, destroying most sources of food, starvation would then become a real possibility.  Food reserves would only last about 74 days, according to the UN, after an eruption of a super volcano, like that under Yellowstone.  And they have devised a risky plan that could end up blowing up in their faces.  Literally.

Wilcox hypothesized that if enough heat was removed, and the temperature of the super volcano dropped, it would never erupt. But he wants to see a 35% decrease in temperature, and how to achieve that, is incredibly risky. One possibility is to simply increase the amount of water in the supervolcano. As it turns to steam. the water would release the heat into the atmosphere, making global warming alarmists tremble.

“Building a big aqueduct uphill into a mountainous region would be both costly and difficult, and people don’t want their water spent that way,” Wilcox says. “People are desperate for water all over the world and so a major infrastructure project, where the only way the water is used is to cool down a supervolcano, would be very controversial.”

So, NASA came up with an alternative plan. They believe the most viable solution could be to drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F), thus slowly day by day extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

Of course, drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks, like the eruption that scientists are desperate to prevent. Triggering an eruption by drilling would be disastrous.

“The most important thing with this is to do no harm,” Wilcox says.


“If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky. This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”

The cooling of Yellowstone in this manner would also take tens of thousands of years, but it is a plan that scientists at NASA are considering for every super volcano on earth.

“When people first considered the idea of defending the Earth from an asteroid impact, they reacted in a similar way to the supervolcano threat,” Wilcox says.


“People thought, ‘As puny as we are, how can humans possibly prevent an asteroid from hitting the Earth.’ Well, it turns out if you engineer something which pushes very slightly for a very long time, you can make the asteroid miss the Earth. So the problem turns out to be easier than people think. In both cases it requires the scientific community to invest brain power and you have to start early. But Yellowstone explodes roughly every 600,000 years, and it is about 600,000 years since it last exploded, which should cause us to sit up and take notice.

So what would happen?

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Chupacabra-322's picture

"cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment."

Disaster Capitalalism at its fines.

Follow the money.

"Never let a crises go to waste."

buttmint's picture

Dormaus---WRONG. The ALSOS special US Govvie troops sent in post WWII to discern the German Atomic Bomb progress quickly realized that the German Nuke program was intentionally derailed by the very German scientists entrusted with its success: they appeared to be working studiously towards a nuke device, but intemntioanlly lead others astray.

Good Gawd man, do your homework. You are sucking up to yet another US Govvie Fake Lead to make everyone FEEL GOOD about barbequing a few hundred thousand Japs. The nukes dropped on Japan were really meant to impress Russia. German was no where near what you claim, so stfu.

boattrash's picture

"The single biggest threat to the world is government stupidity. It's everywhere."


The solution is to drill a big, deep hole in DC, fill it with 535 motherfuckers who have destroyed this country, top it off with boiling water, cover it with cement and call it a wrap for the day.

JRobby's picture

GOVT is the pronlem. Every time.

Destructive group think, parrot echo chamber MSM pumps out their propaganda 24/7

Refuse-Resist's picture

Dont forget the 4 billion Africans due by 2100.

that is some serious destructive power there, perhaps 6 million times as much as every nuke combined.

Just sayin...

Herd Redirection Committee's picture

In the last 60 years, the world's population has tripled.  But Africa's population has increased 5x!  How long can that go on for?

Withdrawn Sanction's picture

The funding bill for this should require that all the those voting Aye, have to be and remain on site indefinitely....put your ass where your big fat mouth is.

...'cept I heard, volcanoes only react favorably to having virgins thrown in. Has something to do w/purity.

Killdo's picture

our scientists are too busy designing 90-day studies on rats to prove GMO is 100% safe for humans to eat

A Nanny Moose's picture

"Put gummint in charge of the desert and in 5 years there would be a shortage of sand." - Milton Friedman

Wouldn't this event be good for the economy? Just think of all those broken windows. /sarc.

knukles's picture

What the fuck
They're (THE GENIUSES) going to frack a super volcano

Only a Government Could Think Like This

nmewn's picture

All their other fuckup's were just practice for the BIG ONE!

doctor10's picture

Since when is NASA the geologists? Haven't we already a Dept of the Interior, US Geological Survey etc ad nauseum?

Dormouse's picture

Wasn't Matt Damon a NASA geologist on Mars? He grew potatoes in his own shit.

BlindMonkey's picture

The biggest and steamiest of which he affectionately called the Caldera.  

A Nanny Moose's picture

Obviously, some doom-porn hacks found a way to keep some government funding. Same M.O. as always...

Scare the fuck out of people.

Manthong's picture



We are all doomed… Keynes long enough time line and all that..

Well,  I read a while back that the damn thing only blows every 660,000 years or so…..

OK, it last blew about 659,000 ago or so.

We are due … so the question to the Mann hockey stick climate change muslim outreach NASA genius elite ….

Are we all gonna die in an apocalyptic volcano cloud winter…. or the inundation of the coastal plains due to the melting of Greenland…..or a freaking asteroid that you guys won’t know about until it is about to hit?


MANvsMACHINE's picture

Here's how you stop it from exploding:

1. Drill hundreds of narrow holes into the magma chamber.
2. Pump, under very high pressure, enough liquid nitrogen to reduce the temperature of the magma. Best to reduce it by 267° F or more.
3. Call girlfriend to tell her you just saved her ass from a near certain death.
4. Girlfriend returns favor in bed all weekend long.

Sounds like a win-win-win-win.......

consider me gone's picture

I think I shall skip the first two steps and proceed to steps 3 and 4. Now where did I leave my phone?

NoDecaf's picture

Central Bankers, antifa and all congress critters are 98% water right?

Why don't we just throw them in the geyser hole to cool it off?

We have a good enough supply to last us for awhile and no drilling is required.

francis scott falseflag's picture

You probably mean win-n-out, win-n-out, win-n-out, win-n-out, etc. 

until the explosive eruption of your super hot smegma.


Been there. Done that.

Eyes Opened's picture

Girls ain't THAT easily impressed anymore....

Wear a Pussyhat & cry publicly "Free abortionz for all !! .. " & yer in....

JRobby's picture

And the trailer starts off: " In a world...."

Just a quick review of the recent news cycle shows we have reached peak insanity. Nothing good can come now. Amazed the Geo people in CA have not chimed in with: "BTW, the Big One (earthquake) which is long overdue will be triggered by this event."

And the MSM laps it up like pancake syrup.....

fattail's picture

Philosophy and Vain deceit....  what have they ever done?

Besides going to the moon.  Sending a man to the moon.  Sending a satelite out of our solar system.  Sending a rover to Mars.  Driverless cars.  Global trade.  GPS.   Unfettered access to the world's wealth of knowledge at an average person's fingertips, all for the low price of $40 per month, unless you can hack your neighbor's wi-fi.  

All brought to you by science, logic, and reason.  Oh yeah, and this motley crew of hairless apes is just getting started.  AI will transform the world in the next 10 years.

Your philosophy of christ is still sitting there in the church, faithfully waiting for you to come back on sunday.

Cardinal Fang's picture

Lol at unfettered access to the 'worlds wealth of knowledge', as long as Google approves of that knowledge...

I was in the PNW about 100 miles from St Helens when it blew.

Did you see that danger zone on the video attached to this article?

Made by scientists I am sure, and computer specialists.

Well, they had one for St Helens too, back in the day.

Did you ever see the map of the actual eruption compared to the danger zones published by the gov scientists?

Ha ha ha you fucking fool.

shining one's picture

You can say the cleverest thing ever and as soon as you bring "christ" into it, everyone knows you're a fucking idiot.

Things that go bump's picture

What, you think He'd trouble Himself to lift a pinky finger to prevent it if we groveled enough? I'm given to understand he doesn't work that way. 

freedogger's picture

This is the shit they should be doing. Cool that fucker down! Drilling it from underneath is brilliant.

JuliaS's picture

Tax the volcano!

- Al Gore


Could we all head south of the equator to avoid the ash clouds?


Now I understand why Trump wants to invade Venezuela!

brown_hornet's picture

Venezuela is still in the NH.

GreatCaesar'sGhost's picture

God created Yellowstone. One day he's going to want to see his creation work. You can throw all the virgins you want into it, ain't gonna change a thing.

LittleGreenMan's picture

In response to "Got God?", downvoters are probably under age 50 - still green.

PersonalResponsibility's picture

Mish "Mike Shedlock" nailed it and deserves the claim.

From Mish:

"Rule of Nothing

In any given political situation, the best outcome one can reasonably expect generally happens when politicians do nothing. 

Implied corollary#1: When politicians attempt to fix any problem, they are highly likely to make matters worse.

Corollary #2: Politicians almost never do nothing. It’s why we have a messed up healthcare system, education system, public pension system, etc..

A quick check amazingly shows no one has postulated a “Rule of Nothing”, so I get to claim it."


BlindMonkey's picture

Interesting.  I came up with my own campaign slogan if I ever ran for office.  This was, of course, independent of Shed but right in line with it.   Here it goes:


Blindmonkey for Congress:

He has the courage to do nothing

MANvsMACHINE's picture

You have my vote because I know that if you do nothing, it will be a lot more than what our current political class does.

buttmint's picture

...send in Bruce Willis and Liv Tyler as sacrificial snatch, that'll work! Recall Bruce out on some asteroid digging a hole to nuke it into another orbit? A real pos representation of shitty Hollywood movies.

Many ZHers live in Western USA? The biggest FUCKING FOREST FIRES have ALL been caused by the pyros that make up the US Farce (Forest) Service, a bunch of

govvie scumbags. Their idea of managing a forest is to burn it all down, post "No Trespassing" signs and stay glued to their desks and pensions. I really hope the US Gov't collapses, because that means that stupid shit projects like igniting a subterranean morass of magma is on par with doing a "CONTROLLED BURN"---an oxymoron in and of itself.

Oxymoron time, add your own:

*British Cuisine

*American Fiduciary Responsibility

*Tai Wife

*Controlled Burn

*Medical Tourism

*"...we hadda destroy the town in order to SAVE IT" (Hue, Vietnam 1960s)

*Korean friendliness

*Global Warming

The Deacon's picture

Cool. A Gulf of Mexico-BP blow up right in our backyard!  Right in flyover country!  That`s one way to shift demographics.


What could go wrong....

Stan522's picture

Like darkness comes with night....

tmosley's picture

Drilling won't trigger anything more than a tiny eruption, unless they manage to move something that the massive pressure of the magma chamber couldn't.

Troy Ounce's picture


Everything a government touches turns to crap - Ringo Star

loves the truth's picture

The only thing NASA knows how to do is make fake moon landing movies

NoPension's picture

Resident expert, eh?

Set up a drill plan, and send it to NASA. They are waiting.

They've assembled a crack drill team. Bruce Willis. Steve Buscemi. And that pretty son of a gun, trying to bang Willis' daughter. Ben Affleck...that's him.

tmosley's picture

Nobody is an expert on drilling into magma chambers, but it is pretty easy to understand that eruptions are held back by big heavy bits of rock, and drilling one super tiny hole hole isn't going to hurt anything.

The analogy is taking a rubber hot water bottle and puting it under pressure by squeezing on it, then taking an ultra-fine pin and poking into it. Maybe some water comes out, but it isn't going to cause a catastrophic failure, and most likely the rubber will just seal itself back up.

BlindMonkey's picture

Good thing magma chambers are made up of the same stuff they make hot water bottles out of.  


Imagine our luck here.  Phewww.

PeeramidIdeologies's picture

He's actually not far off. If you consider the scale, density of the rock, residual heat, it's not a bad idea to turn the thing into a furnace.

Or a winter water park! Let's do this!!

Of course once you start, better not turn it off...