Home » Geology, News » Death Valley’s Ubehebe crater only 800 years old, not 6000?

Death Valley’s Ubehebe crater only 800 years old, not 6000?

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And it could happen again

Up to now, geologists were vague on the age of the 600-foot deep crater, which formed when a rising plume of magma hit a pocket of underground water, creating an explosion. The most common estimate was about 6,000 years, based partly on Native American artifacts found under debris. Now, a team based at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory has used isotopes in rocks blown out of the crater to show that it formed just 800 years ago, around the year 1200. That geologic youth means it probably still has some vigor; moreover, the scientists think there is still enough groundwater and magma around for another eventual reaction. The study appears in the current issue of the journal Geophysical Research Letters. (“Waiting for Death Valley’s Big Bang: Volcanic Explosion Crater May Have Future Potential” ScienceDaily, Jan. 23, 2012))

They’re holding off on any orange alert because, in looking st Yellowstone data,

The U.S. Geological Survey expects an explosion big enough to create a 300-foot-wide crater in Yellowstone about every 200 years; there have already been at least 20 smaller blowouts in the past 130 years. Visitors sometimes are boiled alive in springs, but no one has yet been blown up.

Good to know. Would be bad for the film.

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One Response to Death Valley’s Ubehebe crater only 800 years old, not 6000?

  1. It wasn’t 6000 years ago as only the flood was 4500 years ago. No indians were around.
    Its another dumb idea that estimates of impacts or any earth upheaval can be calculated and predicted as to occurance.
    There is no hope of estimating anything and less hope because they calculate on false presumptions.
    All impacts above the k-t line hit us in the last 4500 years.

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