What if Yellowstone blows up and it isn’t a ROCK eruption but a molten CARBON eruption?
There’s 100 Trillion Tons of molten carbon under it. Quick tax the Volcano!!!
;-0 to some extent… but the carbon, it seems, is there.
This guy seems to think the solar wind has something to do with melting it, but despite that, does a nice job of the maps and graphs.
Wondering if there was any truth in it, found this (among many others):
There’s a massive lake of liquid carbon sitting under Yellowstone
Estimates of the total amount of carbon held on Earth may have to be revised upwards.
By Martha Henriques
Updated February 14, 2017 11:44 GMT
The western US is sitting on a lake of melting carbon stretching over an area of 1.8 million square kilometres, or almost 20% of the entire country.
This reservoir holds carbon at a temperatures of more than 1,000C, and is buried about 350km below the surface of the US. The area it covers is equal to the areas of Germany, France, Italy and Spain combined, and it is between 25 and 70 km deep.
The results are published in a paper in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters.
Carbon gets into the Earth’s mantle by subduction, where tectonic plates with carbon-rich rocks are forced down into the hot mantle region and melt. Less than half of that carbon typically re-emerges at the surface via volcanoes.
The study authors say there could be many more such lakes near other subduction zones. The finding suggests that the amount of carbon that the Earth holds has been underestimated, and there could be up to 100 trillion metric tonnes of carbon on the planet.
Well, don’t tell Algore or The Green Blob or they will have to put in place a Carbon Tax on Gaia…
The paper pointer leads to:
Earth and Planetary Science Letters
Volume 463, 1 April 2017, Pages 25-35
Pervasive upper mantle melting beneath the western US
We report from converted seismic waves, a pervasive seismically anomalous layer above the transition zone beneath the western US. The layer, characterized by an average shear wave speed reduction of 1.6%, spans over an area of ~1.8 x 10^6 km^2 with thicknesses varying between 25 and 70 km. The location of the layer correlates with the present location of a segment of the Farallon plate. This spatial correlation and the sharp seismic signal atop of the layer indicate that the layer is caused by compositional heterogeneity. Analysis of the seismic signature reveals that the compositional heterogeneity can be ascribed to a small volume of partial melt (0.5 ± 0.2 vol% on average). This article presents the first high resolution map of the melt present within the layer. Despite spatial variations in temperature, the calculated melt volume fraction correlates strongly with the amplitude of P–S conversion throughout the region. Comparing the values of temperature calculated from the seismic signal with available petrological constraints, we infer that melting in the layer is caused by release of volatiles from the subducted Farallon slab. This partially molten zone beneath the western US can sequester at least 1.2 x 10^7 kg of volatiles, and can act as a large regional reservoir of volatile species such as H or C.
H or C? Can you say “Oil”? Perhaps abiogenic oil? I knew you could…
Includes a link to 24 MB of supplementary data available as a tar file under the creative commons license.
Back at the first link again:
If just 1% of the carbon stored in these melted reservoirs were released into the atmosphere, it would be the equivalent of burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil, the study authors said. However, it is not expected to rise up for a very long time.
But don’t worry about all that potential horrible carbon (or oil or oil equivalents), it ought to have a long residence time…
Phys Org has it too, so it must be real… /sarc;
Scientists uncover huge reservoir of melting carbon under Western United States
February 13, 2017, Royal Holloway, University of London
New research published in Earth and Planetary Science Letters describes how scientists have used the world’s largest array of seismic sensors to map a deep-Earth area of melting carbon covering 1.8 million square kilometres. Situated under the Western US, 350km beneath the Earth’s surface, the discovered melting region challenges accepted understanding of how much carbon the Earth contains – much more than previously understood.
The study, conducted by geologist at Royal Holloway, University of London’s Department of Earth Sciences used a huge network of 583 seismic sensors that measure the Earth’s vibrations, to create a picture of the area’s deep sub surface. Known as the upper mantle, this section of the Earth’s interior is recognised by its high temperatures where solid carbonates melt, creating very particular seismic patterns.
“It would be impossible for us to drill far enough down to physically ‘see’ the Earth’s mantle, so using this massive group of sensors we have to paint a picture of it using mathematical equations to interpret what is beneath us,” said Dr Sash Hier-Majumder of Royal Holloway.
He continued, “Under the western US is a huge underground partially-molten reservoir of liquid carbonate. It is a result of one of the tectonic plates of the Pacific Ocean forced underneath the western USA, undergoing partial melting thanks to gasses like CO2 and H2O contained in the minerals dissolved in it.”
As a result of this study, scientists now understand the amount of CO2 in the Earth’s upper mantle may be up to 100 trillion metric tons. In comparison, the US Environmental Protection Agency estimates the global carbon emission in 2011 was nearly 10 billion metric tons – a tiny amount in comparison. The deep carbon reservoir discovered by Dr. Hier-Majumder will eventually make its way to the surface through volcanic eruptions, and contribute to climate change albeit very slowly.
So once again we have the conflating of CARBON with carbonATE. Damn I wish tech writers had to take a chemistry class. Just one. Please. So it’s really 100 Trillion MT of carbon dioxide as carbonATE. 1 x 10 ^ 12 MT. We ’emit’ 1 x 10^6, so six orders of magnitude less.
Now what are the odds they have no clue how much of this stuff, that nature creates, gets vented to the surface or into the oceans each year and how much it varies over 10,000 years?
But they are so sure my BBQ is going to destroy the world in a fiery catastrophe. Even though we are floating on a liquid pool of “carbon” at 1000 C and eventually to return to the surface.