Yellowstone National Park

Jag tänkte att jag skulle lägga upp mitt projekt jag gjort i skolan om Yellowstone National Park. Jag har ett stort mål i livet att ta mig dit och vandra (Vilket kanske förhoppningsvis blir ganska snart!).
Yellowstone är en fantastisk plats för natur-älskare, filosofer, geologer och vulkanologer etc. parken är faktiskt en super vulkan som är enormt fascinerande att lära sig mer om. Så här nedan följer en sammansatt information om platsen som jag skrivit ihop till skolans GIS projekt.

Super Volcano
The park is located at a height of 2286m, this is a result of the underlying volcano that is building up pressure beneath the surface and pushes the area upwards. Below the surface the volcanic activity constantly creates deformations that affects the uplifting, and sinking of the surface (Ellis & Darren, 2013). Yellowstone is classified as a super-volcano. This requires the volcano to be at a high level on the volcano explosivity index (VEI). Yellowstone is an 8 on that index, which means in practice that it has erupted at some point in history with the result being 1000 cubic kilometres of magma.

Scientists have discovered a history of three highly explosive eruptive events during the Earth’s history, a persistent pattern of eruptions like these happen once every six to eight hundred thousand year. The last big eruption was 640 000 years ago (meaning it should be time for a new one soon). Since that time the park has had 80 smaller non-explosive eruptions (U.S. Department of the interior, 2015). Even if it’s theoretical possible for the volcano to get an eruption, it’s highly unlikely. It’s actually unlikely that it will occur over the next 1000 or 10 000 years. Before an eruption, scientists imagine that it will be shown by strong swarms of earthquakes and rapid ground deformations. These signs are probably going to be seen days, weeks, and even years before the actual eruption.

The most famous explosive eruptions are three separate events, the oldest one is Huckleberry Ride Tuff (2,1 million years ago), followed by the Mesa Falls Tuff (1,2 million years ago), and the latest eruption was the Lava Creek Tuff (640 000 years ago) (Ellis & Darren, 2013). When the latest eruption had finished the area collapsed upon it and created a giant sunken caldera, which the whole of Yellowstone national park is situated in.

Bedrock
A fascinating and a bit curious fact is that the bedrock under Yellowstone consists of either basalts or rhyolites, with almost no intermediary rocks occurring. This is a sign that shifts from mafic to felsic magma have happened at very short intervals, why it it isn’t any intermediary rock occurring the scientist investigating on (Ellis & Darren, 2013).
The Grand Canyon of Yellowstone is not only a “must see” for Earth scientist, it’s actually a must see for all people that come to Yellowstone! With water present, a lot of chemical reactions are happening, and it creates a lot of different colours and formations. This formation is about 32km long, up to 1,2km wide and 360m deep. The park has 3 famous waterfalls along the Grand Canyon, the Lower, Upper and Crystal falls. Where the Lower falls are the longest one with the length 94m.

Ecosystem
This high volcanic activity gives unique conditions for an ecosystem to flourish, the underlying bedrock, climate changes etc. give the vegetation perfect levels of nutrients, sunlight and precipitation. The area contains over a thousand different plant taxa! The forests of Yellowstone cover 80% of the total park area Species you can find here are Engelmann spruce (mostly common on high elevations), and on rhyolithic soils which is naturally low on nutrients, the dominant tree is the lodge pole pine.

The high variation in vegetation give conditions for a lot of different types of animals. There are 67 species of mammals (including 7 species of native ungulates and 2 species of bears). If you like birds you can find 300 different species. There are also 16 different species of fish, 5 species of amphibians and 5 species of reptiles (National Park Trips, 2015).

Yellowstone Wolfs
A lot predators were killed during the 19th century, and the wolf in particular was completely exterminated from the area, this was mainly done in purpose to protect the native deer and elk populations. But the result wasn’t very positive, and after realizing that predators have an important role in the ecosystem, the wolf was restored to the park in 1995 with a huge success for the environment and for the living animals there (U.S. Department of the interior, 2015).

Did you know facts?

  • That the University of Utah has a seismographic station at Yellowstone, during 2010 the station detected 3200 earthquakes, the largest amount since 1985.
  • The caldera of Yellowstone was measured with GPS and InSAR in 2004, this showed that it was rising with up to 7cm each year.
  • Yellowstone national park is actually a super volcano, and it’s a “hotspot volcano”
  • A Hotspot is a permanent place on the earth where hot magma is always flowing up to the surface.

Our printed information folder looked like this when it was finished:

 

Info framsida
Outside
info mitten
Inside the folder

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