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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PrivetHedge's picture

They already did that a while back.

SAIAN's picture

I say nuke the site from orbit, only way to be sure... to fuck it up.

silverer's picture

That's the funny part. All those 100's of billions spent on nuclear weapons to guarantee the end of humanity, and now it's going to happen for free.

tuetenueggel's picture

If entire USA will be hit in collateral damage no problem. They deserve it.

unsafe-space-time's picture

10km down?that would make magma leak

Belerophon's picture

You mean Yellowstone could be used to mine Bitcoin?

Fourth Horseman's picture

Last time I checked, when you pour water on superheated rocks, the water turns into steam so quick that if enclosed would cause an explosion.

NASA? So smart, they're retarded.

silverer's picture

" an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion"

OK, what will it REALLY cost? Maybe more like $29.5 billion? And it still won't work? Go for it!

BeepBeepRichie's picture

The hubris of man... hahaha

neutrino3's picture

Naaah, no worries, NASAstan is just fishing for money.

Apropo. Anyone recalls substantial current/power reply of bi-metal dipped in hot environment. Gas stove security valve driver?

Faeriedust's picture

Regardless of the specifics, using some of our dwindling (yes, dwindling) acccesible hydrocarbon reserves to build a geothermal plant that would power six states is a fairly good idea.  The Western states have vast geothermal resources, and accessing them for production of electricity would provide clean energy into the foreseeable future.  Major industrial centers like metal smelting could be located out in the desert at the source of these energy resources, leaving livable environments free for people and agriculture.  It makes more sense than piping masses of water out into the desert to grow crops there.

Of course, you need to be VERY careful, which is why private companies shouldn't be allowed within sneezing distance of the project.  We all know what happens when the urge to "trim expenses" collides with safety requirements; that's why oil pipelines always leak and nuclear power can't be trusted. Properly run under a special mandate like the Tennessee Valley Authority, such a plant could become the infrastructure backbone of the West for centuries.

Hey Assholes's picture

Fool - governments only succeeed at destroying of life on Earth.

Everything else they fail. Bungling bureaucrats to save the day! 

TabakLover's picture

no, let's put corporations in charge.  Happy to save the earth......unless there isn't enough profit in it.   Yellowstone heat dissipation technician : $10/hr.   No benefits.

Fourth Horseman's picture

You're preaching that GOV would be more careful???

Yep, you're a liberal fucktard.

Stick to being a fairy in a fag bar. That's what you're good at.

Bemused Observer's picture

OMG...people, ya'll need to calm down.


Any idea just how big this thing IS? Seriously, the idea that it's going to 'go off' because some tiny ant-being has drilled a little hole through some rocks is laughable. I mean, ROFLMAO-level funny...These 'drillers' are going to release that pent-up pressure, huh? Yeah, I'll BET they will. Like they will stand on the beach and hold back the tide...suuuure.


There is nothing, and I mean NOTHING, that we are going to 'do' about these supervolcanic spots (there are many). When they are ready to blow, they will blow. Drilling holes into it will only get a few unfortunate hole-drillers killed, as they hit gas pockets, steam pockets, etc. The scale of these things is simply not to be believed, words like 'huge' fail.


Folks, you need to understand your limitations.


d edwards's picture

What could possibly go wrong?

66Mustanggirl's picture

I honestly thought this was a story from the Onion that leaked and went viral when I first saw it. Dear lord, it's real. Let's see.....
The Eugenics movement of the 1920's and 30's was billed as mankind harnessing its scientific abilities to end human suffering.....until Hitler decided to use it as justification to annihilate 6 million Jews and Margaret Sanger used it to launch Planned Parenthood and annihilate tens of millions through abortion.
The atom bomb was billed as the bomb to end all wars.....until every country started amassing them.
Nuclear energy was billed as the clean energy the world needed to end its dependence on fossil fuel......until Three Mile Island, Chernobyl, and Fukushima.
Regime change was billed as the way remove monstrous, despotic rulers in order to stabilize the world and pave the way to world peace......until....well, you know.

And now the the *brilliant* PTB want to drill into a SUPER VOLCANO and build a geothermal power plant. I can't think of a single thing that could possibly go wrong. Can you??

PrivetHedge's picture

Just over 1m, not 6m.

There were not 6m jews around at that time.

Your Creator's picture

volcanoes should be tapped for a clean energy source.

apocalypticbrother's picture

Nasa scientists? Shouldnt there be real scientists and volcanologists looking at this? I stopped listening to nasa decades ago.

DrReaper's picture

The answer it to use a cream not lance it.

The Count's picture

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.

Now what could go wrong with this plan? I think NASA has been dropping acid recently because there is no other way to describe the utter and total bullshite they are coming up with.

PrivetHedge's picture

I didn't realise Yellowstone was in space.

Wouldn't the EPA be the ones studying the earth?

No wonder NASA hasn't sent a man into orbit yet, too busy looking in the wrong direction.

RovingGrokster's picture

If they just bent over a little less, their heads would come out of their asses.

wisebastard's picture

NASA faked the moon landing and i dont believe for one fucking second that they landed space x on a ship backwards.....i think they just replayed a take off in reverse to launder money for criminals on wall st so im guess they have no fucking business fucking with a volcano......

bill1102inf's picture

You can watch the fucking thing land on the pad out in the ocean from the beach, fucking dumbass.

el buitre's picture

Yeah, Stanley Kubrick should have won an Oscar for best set design and special effects.  Too bad they eventually had to kill him and edit out the best parts of Eyes Wide Shut, an expose on the real habits of our masters.  Tell me again how they got through the Van Allen belts without frying the astronauts.

Moe Howard's picture

We are doomed and entertained all at once.

A  n asteroid the size of a house 'will shave' past the Earth in October, inside the Moon's orbit, astronomers have revealed.

It is expected to pass the Earth at a distance of some 44,000 kilometres (27,300 miles).

The rock will just be an eighth of the distance from the Earth to the Moon - far enough to just miss our geostationary satellites orbiting at about 36,000 kilometres, according to the European Space Agency (ESA).

"It will not hit the Earth," said Detlef Koschny of ESA's.

"Near Earth Objects" research team. "That's the most important thing to say."

The asteroid, dubbed TC4, first flitted past our planet in October 2012 - then at about double the distance before disappearing. It is about 15-30 metres (49-98 feet) long.

Scientists expected the asteroid to return for a near-Earth rendezvous this year, but did not know how far.

Now, the European Southern Observatory's Very Large Telescope in Chile has managed to track down the rock and determine its distance.

"It's damn close," said Rolf Densing, who heads the European Space Operations Centre in Darmstadt, Germany.

"The farthest satellites are 36,000 kilometres out, so this is indeed a close miss," he said, adding it was nothing to lose sleep over.

"As close as it is right now, I think this prediction is pretty safe... meaning that it will miss."

The Pan-STARRS observatory in Hawaii discovered it on October 5, 2012, and, one week later, the asteroid passed Earth at a distance of only 58,905 miles (94,800 km), or about a quarter of the distance between us and the moon.

Astronomers haven’t seen the asteroid since 2012, because it’s been so distant and so faint.



So it passes every few years, and each time closer. If it follows the pattern, it will hit Earth in 2022,


Rut roh.

Dr_Snooz's picture

Can't we just chuck in a few virgins and call it good?

Muslimania's picture

NASA actually stands for Never A Straight Answer. I have worked alongside those idiots for almost 30 years and NOT ONE OF THEM COULD POUR PISS OUT OF A BOOT!

"NASA" proper hasn't actually launched anything since 1969 when the Saturn program ended.


Pumpkin's picture

NASA needs to get back to the idiotic idea of sending people to Mars. 

idontcare's picture

Maybe NASA should start with the moon.

Dre4dwolf's picture

I been saying this for decades, build hundreds of geothermal energy plants right in the heart of yellowstone, extract the heat to spin turbines and turn lights on.

If the plan fails "hey we had free energy while it lasted", if it works.... avoid mega eruption.

America has an energy problem, namely WE HAVE TOO MUCH OF IT.

The Gladiator's picture

There is a town in Iceland that gets all of it's electricity and hot water from this. If Iceland can do it,I don't see why we can't.( Oh. I forgot about the big electric company lobbyists.)

Quinvarius's picture

I'm for it.  The chance of causing an erution is being over-hyped.  It is going to blow when it blows.  This isn't going to stop it or accelerate it.  But, I like the geo-thermal aspect of turning a bad situation into a winning hand.

Able Ape's picture

Hell, we don't need Mother Nature's help to eradicate life on earth, humanity can do it on its own!...

Juliette's picture

The plan to use the hot water for power generation is genius. As long as they use only water and not some toxic coolant ...


In Ze No's picture

Seeing as the heat source for the magma is the earth's core, the idea seems like something out of a Saturday morning cartoon.  

If our government tells us they can have any impact at all over the planet's internal plumbing system, this is a tell for budgetary money diversion.

Another bend over moment in American history where we beg them to take all our money. Just please save us.  SMH.  Guess they're catching on we weren't buying the Russian story.


Stmykearchangel's picture

I actually think I saw this scenario played out on an episode of Capain Planet in the 80s.

Rabidcephalopod's picture

Because NASA knows about as much about vulcanology as they do Muslim outreach?

silverer's picture

Start the volcano and let God sort it all out.

Falconsixone's picture

Can I have a buffalo?

The MIC thinks they can blow the earth fart out with miiiiinimum collateral damage if we can get everyone on the planet to go there and look up.


or if ge could build some of their awsome nuke power plants and the let them melt down I'm pretty sure that would work the distruction even faster.


Just keep trying stupid things and cross your fingers is the main thing to do.


Good luck! Now get to your bunker and buckle up, we're on a time line here folks!

Yes We Can. But Lets Not.'s picture

NASA reminds me of doctors.  Every time my elderly father goes to the hospital, the supposed 'first do no harm' docs fuck him up good.

I personally don't see much of a future for our strange species on this fragile planet.  Or off it. But I selfishly hope for another good 40 years or so.  I'd put the over/under for when we are toast at 100 years or so.  This incredibly beautiful planet would be so much better off without us.

Kelley's picture

For the industrialized world, our doom is less than 3 years away. 

The invasion of a million 5G units across the US will seal it for us. Parts of Europe, Australia and Japan are in on it, too. Probably Mexico and Canada, too.

The ions generated by the units are scheduled to increase by 98 million PER SECOND from each of the million units. Those ions are attracted to the fluid in our eyes. Research indicates that those ions will either slow or stop the cilia hair action inside our eyeballs, from 900 beats a minute to 600 or lower including stopping them all together.

This will result in rampant glaucoma. Since every person will be exposed to it, the percentage of blindness could be close to 100%. When almost no one can see, it will mean mass starvation. 

The installation has already begun with low levels of power in selected cities - about 93 million ions a second lower. By 2020, those ions from ever increasing rates of hertz it will result in widespread depression, irritability, headaches and blindness. That list is just for starters. 

This isn't some cockemamie theory. Research has proven that positive ions slow down the motile cilia. Without that our eyes will fill up with fluid.. The increased pressure from that fluid is what produces the blindness.

Peak Finance's picture

What makes you think that

1) They don;t already know this

2) This effect is intentional  

el buitre's picture

Some problems do have a solution.  The solution to the 5G rollout is 12 gauge with #4 shot.

Dragon HAwk's picture

At least with a super volcano you get a couple days warning to get drunk and laid.

  Nuke false flag not so much.

I suggest we do absolutely nothing for a thousand years, or so  and see how that works out

RovingGrokster's picture

Strategic patience - will work better here than with the Norks. Let's pay lil' Barry to sit and watch it patiently and strategically. :)