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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gregga777's picture

I rented a Chevrolet once, with the doors that wrapped around up onto the roof, that was covered by ice, during an ice storm, in Missouri where my parents were living. It took hours of work to thaw enough ice so that I could open the driver side door. That was another reason to never buy another GM product. And those GM engineers lived way up North where it snowed regularly. What a bunch of maroons.

shovelhead's picture


Stock markets would crash. WTF?

Your running for your life under a blanket of ash thats a extintion event and worrying about your portfolio?

Who made that stupid video anyway?

silverer's picture

It will be if that volcano blows.

Horse Pizzle's picture

Now hiring rough necks.

tangent's picture

I'm for this if they will take at least 100 years to plan it out. That way if it doesn't work out I'll probably be dead any way (barring miracle medicine of the singularity).

silverer's picture

Nope. They just can't leave shit alone.

all-priced-in's picture

72 days of food - LOL


If EBT is down for 72 hours 1/2 the USA would be starving.






shankster's picture

3/4 of Miami area would starve if EBT went down.

sinbad2's picture

Yeah food supplies are pretty variable, I know Australia usually has about 6 months of food on hand, but places like New York and London would be out of food within days.

And what sort of farmer is going to send his produce to the cities, if this sort of thing happened, he would be shooting the hungry as they crossed his fence.

Boomberg's picture

Putin has drilled into Yellowstone from the other side of the planet and is placing nukes down the shaft to make it look like a natural volcanic eruption. This has Putin's signature all over it. We need to invade Iraq again to teach him a lesson.

gregga777's picture

Putin and Russia are the Roadrunner. The United States is Wile E. Coyote armed by the Acme Weapons CONporate CONglomerate.

just the tip's picture

these NASA fuckers, must have a contract with SHTF boys.  doom porn!!!!!

climate change


magnetic field

According to NASA, the magnetic north pole has crept northward by more than 600 miles since the early 19th century and is currently migrating northward about 40 miles per year.

it's a world gone mad!!!!!!!

ItsAllBollocks's picture

If it worked, the scientist who came up with the idea would be praised as a saviour of mankind for the duration of life on this planet. A very tempting prospect for a member of society who's life's quest is eternal fame. If it didn't, well... Could a man's ego make it worth a shot?

I Write Code's picture

Yeah, this is Elon Musk territory. He'll sell every homeowner a steam turbine/generator, then dig a giant tunnel to Yellowstone and suck out all the hot magma, deliver it to 10,000,000 homeowners to power their generators.  Easy-peasy.

And magma-powered cars and rockets, too.

gregga777's picture

Oh boy! Another Ponzi-Musk Scheme opportunity for America's premier Crony Ponzi Capitalist! He's gonna get right on this new scheme with his CON Street and Goldman Sachs Feral Reserve System pals

shankster's picture

Currently reading 'American Volcano' by Charles Kidwell

gregga777's picture


"The caldera formed during the last of three supereruptions over the past 2.1 million years: the Huckleberry Ridge eruption 2.1 million years ago (which created the Island Park Caldera and the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff); the Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years ago (which created the Henry's Fork Caldera and the Mesa Falls Tuff); and the Lava Creek eruption approximately 630,000 years ago (which created the Yellowstone Caldera and the Lava Creek Tuff)."

Okay. Supereruptions ocurred 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 630,000 years ago. The dating uncertainty is not specified. That gives eruption intervals of 630,000 years, 670,000 years and 800,000 years. Again, dating uncertainty is unspecified. The average interval is 700,000 years. The minimum interval is 630,000 years and maximum interval is 800,000. I don't remember much statistics but I'm pretty that there aren't enough data points for Yellowstone Super Eruptions to say much of anything with certainty. Where did these people get their mathematical and/or engineering degrees? At the Wile E. Coyote School of Roadrunner Chasers?

This idea of cooling Yellowstone ranks right up there with pumping billions of gallons of ocean water annually onto the Antarctic ice sheet for over a century to combat the non-existent threat from the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fraud / Climate Change fraud. Yes, that's a real plan dreamed up by the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fraudsters! But, at least Yellowstone would provide a net gain in electricity. The Antarctica idea would require hundreds of thousands or millions of Antarctica-located wind turbines to power the sea water pumping stations. Can you imagine the installation and maintenance challenges at temperatures of -55 degrees F or even lower? During the annual 6 months of darkness?

By the way, many, if not most, large asteroids are 'rubble piles' loosely clumped together by their mutual gravity. Pushing on one, even weakly, would probably just make it break apart into its individual components. That would merely ensure that the Earth would be hit by many large pieces.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Does the Earth know math or follow it's rules?

Bryan's picture

Leftists will extinguish humanity as we know it long before any super volcano erupts.

alpha-protagonist's picture

They want to use the volcano to do it.

.gov gets a fucking Darwin award. The combination of ignorance and arrogance by them is staggering.

sinbad2's picture

The leftists ate your brain.

Griffin's picture

Iceland has been using geo thermal energy for 100 years to heat houses and produce electricity.

When Churchill visited Iceland during the war, he was taken on a field trip to see one of the wells that supplied Reykjavik with hot water at a place called Reykjar.

When Churchill saw the water bubbling up from the ground, he decided to see if it was hot by sticking his finger into it, and had bandages on his finger for the rest of the visit.

This is Reykjar in 1940 in Mosfellsveit

The pipes shown on the picture carry hot water to Reykjavik.


The latest experiments in geo thermal exploitation in Iceland are what we call deep drilling.  This means drilling down to the magma chamber of a active volcano and then fracking the hole to get superheated steam.

Some of the stuff that comes up is extremely toxic and needs to be pumped down again. Both the fracking and down pumping cause large clusters of earthquakes to happen.  

This was done at Hellisheiði volcano, and at first the clusters coincided with the down pumping,and this was said to be "controlled release of tension", but then the quakes started to come when there was no activity, and then they started moving to other regions, like the volcanoes close by, and finally there was a major earthquake cluster that hit a small town called Hveragerði.

This made the mayor of the town furious and she shut down all fracking experiments in that area.

Hellisheiði and all the surrounding volcanoes are tiny compared to Yellowstone.


Some of the toxic stuff that comes out of the holes is extremely corrosive acid that eats pipes, joints valves etc.


gregga777's picture

Have y'all noticed how the AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fraudsters have changed the name to Climate Change? Ain't that the same thing as weather?

sinbad2's picture

"Climate Change? Ain't that the same thing as weather?"

No, weather is it's raining today, or it's sunny, climate is I like I live in the sub tropics, you live in the arctic.

Fox-Scully's picture

What happens if an asteroid hits the super volcano dome?

gregga777's picture

The Siberian Traps, an unimaginably massive lava flow formed over hundreds of thousands to millions of years, was probably caused by an asteroid or comet impacting the exact opposite side of the Earth millions of years ago.

Yen Cross's picture

 And yet, 'Al Gore' flourished?

Things that go bump's picture

Don't the Siberian Traps take the blame for the Permian Mass extinction?

sinbad2's picture

You know that almost round hole called the Gulf of Mexico? asteroid.

Benjamin123's picture

Pushes the volcano down into the mantle, the asteroid will bounce to space. 

It can only work at a 47.3 degree impact angle from south east tho. Nothing that a few timed nuclear detonations on the asteroid cant do. Elon Musk can supply the rockets and nukes, Bruce Willis will bury the nukes and Rita Katz stream the live footage.

Sambo's picture

The asteroid would be shot back into space, hitting the moon in the process, causing it to change orbit in such a way that we will never ever see a solar eclipse again. 

J Jason Djfmam's picture

It'll drive that nasty magma back to where it come from and plug th' hole!

Father ¢hristmas's picture

"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."


Fuck it, let's get it on.

Thom Paine's picture

That's a contract I want to win. Set the family up for 10,000 years.

J Jason Djfmam's picture

Ironically the taxes we will pay will be equivalent to the proposed global warming tax. Doh!

oobilly's picture

Frack a super volcano?  is that right?

sinbad2's picture

A survival tip, you can keep enough chicken food, to keep you in eggs and chooks for quite some time.

But if you get chooks, also get a shotgun, because lots of other people would also like to eat your eggs.

It would get really gnarly, for most a pistol in the mouth would be the easy way out.

Kprime's picture

gather up 10 terrorists, equip them all with mini vans and have them ram the caldera, that will kill the volcano.

frac a super volcano, that has to be peak stupidity.

south40_dreams's picture

Can't we just throw in Meryl Streep?

HRH Feant2's picture

Stuff in Rosie O'Donnel, Michael Moore, and that other fattie, Whoopie. That'll keep it from blowing!

Zero-Hegemon's picture

Actually, the volcano might just blow from vomiting them out

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Yet it's an article given space on the 'hedge.


My how far the 'hedge has fallen.

Dude-dude's picture

Think of all the jobs this would create! /s

Pinche Caballero's picture

Great plan, shit heads at NASA! It must work in Yellowstone, because that has been exactly the result in Iceland!

After all, in Iceland that is a primary source of electric generation, and they haven't had a volcano erupt there in at least, oh, I dunno, ...

Fucking retards.

aloha_snakbar's picture

Great... a bunch of morons who cant even figure out which bathroom to use playing God....what could possibly go wrong...

HRH Feant2's picture

Everything. I agree though this plan is harebrained as all get out!

Dude-dude's picture

Just a pin-prick into a balloon - sounds like a prelude to fracking in Yellowstone (for the greater good).