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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Dude-dude's picture

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

Don Sunset's picture

I'd consult with the people of Oklahoma before trying a super-frack procedure at Yellowstone.

south40_dreams's picture

You know, Al Gore invented NASA

gregga777's picture

He got filthy rich off of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) fraud. Now it's the Climate Change fraud. Soon it will be just the Weather fraud.

Dude-dude's picture

He invented man-made global warming.

Solio's picture

There is no end to the crisis that goverment will make big money on; therefore, they will continue.

moorewasthebestbond's picture

Your daily dose of SHTFplan nonsense.


Let's leave Hollywood to the drug addicts and kiddie diddlers.

JailBanksters's picture

Makes about as much sense as shoving socks and golf balls down an oil pipe in order to block the leak.

What's the worst thing that could happen ... the earths spin could slow down.

ffed's picture

Space is fake.

Watch from 10:43 to 11:43 (1 min) 

What is NASA LIAR doing with INVISIBLE object?

Earth is Flat.


They LIE.

shutterbug's picture

Morons aplenty on this planet...

If earth was flat, my geographic position calculations would be so much easier. As they are not, .... but you can't understand science.
Some humans never left the trees...

indio007's picture

For the record NASA uses a fixed earth flat model.

Here's a simple undisputable fact. The shape of the earth has never been directly measured.

All results are inferred from indirect measurement.

Arnie Fife's picture

Why mess up a good thing?

Antifa and Black Lives only matter...would be mute.

Benjamin123's picture

This is clearly hollywood's cultural influence masquerading as science.

Why is NASA moonlighting as Bruce Willis? Further proof of the Meme theory of culture, that posits that almost nothing we think is ever original but we simply carry thoughts passed on from others. NASA has been watching too many movies.

Publicus_Reanimated's picture

What are they gonna do about the underwater volcanos?

aardvarkk's picture

Interesting question...are there any "supervolcanoes" located underwater?  If so, what would it look like if one of them blew?

Biff Malibu's picture

I can't think of a single time drilling into something under super high pressure ever went bad.  Whatever happened to the Deepwater Horizon?


Ms No's picture

Remember the mud volcano in Java Indonesia?  A bunch of moronic greedy fucks decided to drill into a volcanic area for a gas well.  While drilling they took an epic kick and the pressure went critical.  Its still spewing mud.  In their unbridled greed and complete lack of concern for surrounding area residents over profit, the company tried to blame it on an earthquake some distance away that was a common occurrence.  A scientific panel looked at it and nope...


GoinFawr's picture

Sounds like a great opportunity for one Super-Volcano-GeoThermal-Electricity-Generating-Station!

Turn ~35% of that heat into something useful! Even the greens can't find it mean.

NASA, if you can't find the engineers: you aren't looking hard enough.

Sugarcandy Mountain's picture

"...triggering a nuclear winter that would wipe out humanity."

Sounds good to me right about now. I don't see a great deal of "humanity" from those in positions of power.

GoinFawr's picture

of course we all know they'd be the last to go

Rentier88's picture

Nothing to see here just another BS doom and gloom propaganda post.  They must pay ZH shitload money to post their tripe.

Rebelrebel7's picture

My guess is that the drilling would probably trigger the eruption before water would be able to cool it.

It would be the equivalent of taking the lid off of the pressure cooker and having it burn your face.

I have no problem dying now. My conscience is clear.

Mr... Robot's picture

Well at least they didn't "draw up plans" to detonate a nuclear device there to "relieve the pressure". No but Russia has.

The counterpart to our head of the war collage, last year publicly suggested that when the USA and Russia go to war, that Putin just sends a nuclear bunker buster into the caldera. War over. No more USA.

DaveClark5's picture

I've thought about harvesting the caldara for electricity years ago.   I just wouldn't drill too deep.   If we do nothing it will blow eventually. 

Stinkytofu's picture

even algore can do maffs like this!


nuclear winter + global warming = safe spaces for all

Drop-Hammer's picture

Is this the same NASA that has muslim outreach as its first priority?  Just asking.

gregga777's picture

Vaginal outreach is NASA (National Aeronautics & Space Administration) 's first priority. Burning up 7 astronauts on re-entry is forgivable just so long as their are enough vaginas on the NASA payroll.

LeftandRightareWrong's picture

Gore and Kerry said air condtioners are the threat.

Fake Trump's picture

The moles in the White House are drilling.

the artist's picture


First a global tax ponzi scheme surrounding global warming and now A ponzi infrastructure project whos main goal is to cool the earths magma chamber by 35 degrees. 

Fuck that. If she blows then she blows. 

Silver Savior's picture

It must be the weekend again. This doom porn keeps circulating but slightly different. And seemingly on weekends. lol.

are we there yet's picture

Al gore invented super volcanos. He should get a second Nobel prize.

Philippines's picture

The catch is that they can't drill 10km down. Russia couldn't get past the 7km mark because their drill bits kept melting...

Vimes's picture

The Russians drilled to about 12 km deep at the Kola site.

" The deepest, SG-3, reached 12,262 metres (40,230 ft) in 1989 and still is the deepest artificial point on Earth..."

But they were are smarter than the goons at NASA as they did not drill into an active supervolcano.  (but the Italians did drill  into a  supervolcano, just outside Rome)

Philippines's picture

Oh, I didn't know about that one, thanks. Maybe NASA will have to consult Russia on this. Also, yes, drilling into a supervolcano is mad... and the reason seems to be making money. Go figure..

Zero-Hegemon's picture

They want us all dead, why do you think they're having this conversation?


Thom Paine's picture

NK could nuke it for you...or how about start  a war and Russia's first bomb is on the volcano, thus ending the war day one.


This volcano and the electricity grid major strategic weaknesses for the US.

Bobportlandor's picture

Wouldn't it be easier to sacrifice 1 Millennial each day?

You could use a KKK protest as bait say once a month.

Sounds like a plan

Ms No's picture

"So what would happen?"

They would probably hit a gas pocket and cause an explosion.  Not all the eruptions of super volcanos are super eruptions.  There are also steam and gas explosions that occurr periodically.  Hydrothermic explosions have occured countless times at Yellowstone.  The probably wouldn't mind causing an eruption that just screwed the US.  Mary Bay was created about 13,800 years ago for example.  If they were really stupid they would probably go for the Norris Junction area, plug a big hole in that and see what happens. 

There is also current deformation taking place in the area NE of the lake.


DCon's picture

My suggestion

Drill a hole and drop the Clinton's into it

It will likely not delay or stop an eruption. But you never know. And in the name of science it will be a good test

Thom Paine's picture

The problem is if you cool one area it increases the pressure elsewhere.

XBroker1's picture

Let me point out the obvious waywardness of your thinking here. Taking NASA seriously is never a good idea. Disney has a character named Pluto, if that helps...

Thom Paine's picture

The way to do it is crack the earth 20 miles to one side as another area for magma to leak into. So drop a small nuke. Lol

Sorry I said that , now they will want to do it as Al Gore is reading this.

tuetenueggel's picture

Al Gore is IIC ( Idiot in Chief )

bunkers's picture

I gave you a thumbs up but Al is a Billionaire and he got there by fleecing American sheep. Maybe he's not so dumb, after all.

indio007's picture

NASA can't even fake space flight well.

Bunch of CGI BS.