黄石公园的火山近期会喷发并毁灭我们吗?
Will Yellowstone Erupt Soon and Kill Us All?
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2019-11-27 23:52
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火星译客

I get asked about Yellowstone at least a few times a month. It's almost never a question about the gorgeous geysers, hot springs, mud pots, or other hydrothermal features. People don't even ask me where the Yellowstone hotspot was hanging out before it got to Wyoming (I'm going to tell you about it in an upcoming post, though!). The questions I get most frequently about America's most famous volcanic National Park are these:

我每个月至少会被问到几次黄石公园的问题。这些问题几乎无关美丽的间歇泉、温泉、泥盆或其他热液景观。人们甚至不会在到达怀俄明州之前问我黄石热门景点在哪里(不过,我会在下一篇文章中告诉你)。关于美国这个最著名的火山国家公园,我最常被问的问题是:

1. Is Yellowstone going to erupt soon?

1、黄石公园的火山即将会喷发吗?

2. When it does, will it destroy civilization?

2、爆发什么时候发生,会摧毁文明吗?

Those questions honestly make me sad, because there's so much exciting stuff about it, and it all gets buried under a metric crapton of sensationalism and misinformation, delivered near daily by various press outlets and television specials. Has Yellowstone experienced enormous eruptions in the past? It definitely has, repeatedly. Will it erupt on those huge scales again? Quite possibly! But we're going to see why the volcanologists at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory aren't placing their bets on a Big One happening any time soon (even on a geologic timescale), and why civilization as a whole will probably survive the blast even if it does.

这些问题真的令我很难过,因为公园内还有许多令人兴奋的景物,但都被那些耸人听闻的错误信息所掩盖,而那些误导信息几乎每天都被不同的媒体和电视报道。黄石公园在过去经历过巨大的爆发吗?确实如此,而且是重复的。它还会再次大规模爆发吗?很有可能!让我们来看看为什么黄石火山观测站的火山学家们不把赌注放在这个随时会发生的大事件上(即使以地质时刻来计算),哪怕发生爆发,整个文明为什么也能幸存下来呢?

If you decide not to read on and just want the quick answers, here's the tl;dr:

如果你决定不读下去,只想得到快速答案,这里是tl;dr

1. Yes, it will! But the next eruption is likely to be pretty small, just a bit of lava extruding with maybe minor amounts of ash. And with all of the equipment we've got the volcano wired with, we'll have ample notice.

是的,会!但下一次火山爆发量可能很小,只有少量火山灰喷出的一点熔岩,通过在火山上安装连线的所有设备,我们会有足够充裕的通知时间。

2. If the next enormous eruption happens in our lifetimes, there will of course be death and destruction, but not enough to destroy the United States, or even just the American West. Civilization as we know it will survive.

如果下一次大爆发出现在我们有生之年,当然会有死亡和毁灭,但不足以摧毁美国,哪怕只是美国西部。我们所知的文明将继续存在。

Sorry to disappoint.

很抱歉让你失望。

The true story of Yellowstone isn't anywhere near as terrifying and dramatic as the breathless articles and dire documentaries would have you believe. But in the science world, reality rules. And it's not like an enormous caldera blown in the northwest corner of Wyoming, sitting atop a large and active magma chamber, filled with hydrothermal activity, can in any way be boring! Let's adjust our expectations and set some rumors to rest.

黄石公园的真实故事并不像那些令人窒息的文章和可怕的纪录片让你恐惧。但在科学界,现实是有规律的。它并不是一个在怀俄明州西北角爆发的巨大火山口,坐落一个充满热液活动的巨大而活跃的岩浆室上,无论如何都可能是令人厌烦的。让我们调整一下预期,平息一些谣言吧。

Isn't Yellowstone overdue for an eruption?

黄石公园火山不是早该爆发了吗?

Most definitely not:

绝对不是:

“早该”可适用于图书馆的书籍、账单和换油,但不适用于黄石公园!

In terms of large explosions, Yellowstone has experienced three -- at 2.08, 1.3, and 0.631 million years ago. This comes out to an average of about 725,000 years between eruptions. That being the case, we still have about 100,000 years to go, but this number is based on very little data and so is basically meaningless (would you base any conclusion on the average of just two numbers?). The point, however, is that if someone, or some article or documentary, says that Yellowstone erupts every 600,000 years, you know right off the bat that they are full of baloney....

就大爆发而言,黄石公园经历了三次——分别为2.08,1.3和0.631百万年前。结果表明,爆发之间的平均年份约为725000年。既然如此,我们大约还有10万年的时间,但是这个数字是基于非常少的数据,所以基本上没有意义(你能把任何结论建立在两个数字的平均值上吗?)。关键是,如果有人,或者某篇文章或纪录片说黄石公园火山每60万年爆发一次,你马上就知道他们在胡说了。

With rare exceptions, volcanoes do not accumulate magma at a constant rate (in the few cases where that does happen, eruptions can be somewhat regular). Instead, volcanoes erupt when there is a sufficient supply of liquid magma in the subsurface and sufficient pressure to cause that magma to ascend to the surface. This does not generally happen on a schedule.

除了极少数的例外,火山不会以恒定的速度积聚岩浆(在少数情况下,火山爆发有可能是有规律的)。相反,当地下有足够的液态岩浆供应和足够的压力使岩浆上升到地表时,火山就会爆发,这通常不是按计划发生的。

Okay, but, when it does go, it'll wipe out humanity, or at least most of North America, right?

好吧,但是,当它真的发生时,会毁灭人类或至少是北美的大部分地区,对吗?

I know, I know, you're really hoping for something epic disaster-movie worthy, but I'm afraid the science says...

我知道,我知道,你真的希望一部史诗般的灾难片,但我担心科学会说...

YVO gets a lot of questions about the potential for Yellowstone, or some other caldera system, to end all life on Earth. So, we'll answer that question right off the bat—no, a large explosive eruption at Yellowstone will not lead to the end of the human race (most Yellowstone eruptions do not fit this worst-case scenario anyhow, but rather are lava flows). The aftermath of such an explosion wouldn't be pleasant, certainly, but we won't go extinct. How do we know? Because this "super eruption" experiment has already been run. Twice!

我们被多次提问关于黄石公园或其他火山口系统是否有可能结束地球上的所有生命的问题。来,我们马上回答这个问题——不,黄石公园火山的大爆发不会导致人类的灭亡(大多数情况下,黄石公园火山的爆发无论如何都不符合这种最坏的情况,而是熔岩流)。这种爆发的后果肯定不愉快,但我们不会灭绝。我们怎么知道?因为这个“超级爆发”实验已经运行过两次了!

But it has to be dangerous! People wouldn't make such a big deal out of it if it wasn't!

但是一旦发生确实会很危险!否则人们就不会有这么大的猜想!

Correct! Yellowstone may not be a human-species ender, but that doesn't mean it's not hazardous! Hazards abound, and the good people at YVO are keeping a close eye on them. Number 2 on this list will definitely surprise you!

对的!黄石公园可能不是人类的终结者,但这并不意味着它是无威胁!危险比比皆是,YVO的观测人员也正密切关注着它们。名单上的第二位一定会让你大吃一惊

黄石公园真正的危险

News articles, websites, and videos often exaggerate the rarest events, while ignoring hazards that may actually happen during a person's life. So right here, right now, we're going to flip this around and discuss Yellowstone's geologic hazard scenarios in order from most to least likely

新闻文章、网站和视频往往夸大了最罕见的事件,而忽视了在人的一生中可能遇到其他的危险。所以今晚,我们将围绕和讨论黄石的地质灾害场景,从最有可能到最不可能的

Okay, but, surely, Yellowstone's at the top of the list when it comes to the most dangerous volcanoes in the United States, right?

好吧,但是,当谈到美国最危险的火山时,黄石公园无疑是第一位的,对吧?

Alas, no. It's not.

哎,不。不是的。

Top 5?

前五?

Sorry, nope.

对不起,不是。

...Top 10?

...前十?

You know it kills me to disappoint you, right?

你知道让你失望使我很难过,对吧?

美国地质勘探局火山危险评估-它是如何确定的。对黄石来说意味着什么

The overall threat score is determined by multiplying the sum of the hazard factors by the sum of the exposure factors. The top three volcanoes, in order, are Kilauea (Hawaii), Mount St. Helens (Washington), and Mount Rainier (Washington). A general categorization was also introduced – "very high threat," "high threat," "moderate threat," "low threat," and "very low threat."In 2005, Yellowstone was ranked #21 in the threat assessment. Now for the big reveal…in 2018…Yellowstone was ranked…#21! This qualifies Yellowstone as a "high threat" volcanic system. This is not a change or any sort of upgrade in the threat posed by Yellowstone, and carries no implications for future eruptive activity. It is merely a way to provide a sense of Yellowstone's threat level compared to other volcanoes in the USA.

总体威胁得分由危险因素和乘以暴露因素之和来确定。排名前三的火山依次是基拉韦火山(夏威夷)、圣海伦斯火山(华盛顿)和雷尼火山(华盛顿)。还介绍了“极高威胁”“高度威胁”“中度威胁”“低度威胁”和“极低威胁”。在2005年,黄石公园在危险评估中排名21。现在是2018年的...大揭幕,黄石公园排名第...21。排名说明黄石公园是一个“高度威胁”的火山系统。这并不是黄石公园威胁的改变或任何升级,对未来的喷发活动没有影响。这仅仅是一种让人认识到黄石公园与美国其他火山威胁程度相比较的方式。

Relative to the other US calderas, Yellowstone lies in the middle. Long Valley caldera is #18 ("very high threat") and Valles caldera is #68 ("moderate threat").

与其他美国火山相比,黄石公园排名位于中间。长谷火山口为18(非常高的威胁),而瓦莱斯火山口为68(中等威胁)。

Please say it's a supervolcano. Please.

请说这是一座超级火山。拜托

I'm so sorry.

我很抱歉。

But if it's any consolation, you can call any eruption VEI 8 or greater a super eruption!

不过,如果有什么安慰的话,你可以把任何8级或以上的爆发称为超级爆发!

个人评论:为什么我不喜欢“超级火山”这个词(我们应该怎么说呢?)

I have a confession to make. I really don't like the term "supervolcano." And I'd like to use this week's edition of Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles to rant about the topic. I'd also like to propose that we use a different term.

我得坦白我真的不喜欢用“超级火山”这个词。我想用这周的黄石火山口编年史来讨论这个话题。我也建议我们用另一个术语。

Dang it.

当心。

I know. Reality doesn't always live up to the hype - especially when some individuals and publications like to... how to put this delicately... lie like bad carpets in order to get attention. Check out some of the nonsense YVO has to put up with!

我知道。现实并不总是符合炒作--特别是当一些个人和出版物喜欢…如何巧妙地做到这点,像破地毯那样引起注意,来看看YVO不得不忍受的一些胡说八道吧!

用漏掉的信息打电话

核爆能触发黄石火山爆发吗?不会,那地震呢?也不会。

Wait - 

等等,难道地震不会在火源爆发的环上发生吗?!

I'm just going to stand aside and let this headline say the needful:

我只是要在一边,让这个标题说想说的话:

南加州的地震会导致黄石火山爆发?扰乱警报:否。

Basically: rumors of Yellowstone's impending catastrophic mega-eruption have been exponentially exaggerated. Don't fall for the hype. Plan your visit to the national park without a single fear that the entire place will suddenly erupt in a volcanic cataclysm worthy of the most overblown tabloid imagining. Live in the area without worrying about being enveloped in an unexpected pyroclastic flow. The staff at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory are paying strict attention, and will be able to give you plenty of advance notice when the magma chamber fills to super eruption capacity.

基本上,黄石公园即将发生灾难性大爆发的传言被指数级夸大。别被炒作搞砸啦。好好策划你的国家公园之旅,不要担心整个地方会突然爆发出一场值得小报大肆宣传的火山灾难。居住在这个地区,不用担心会被意外的火山碎屑流包围,黄石火山观测站的工作人员正在严密的关注,当岩浆室充满到爆发能力时,他们会提前给你们通知。

Meanwhile, enjoy some of the best active hydrothermal features on the planet!

同时,享受一下地球上最活跃的热液景观!

The views expressed are those of the author(s) and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

此文仅代表作者的观点,并非(自认为)科学的美国人的观点。

ABOUT THE AUTHOR(S)

关于作者

Dana Hunter

丹娜-亨特

A confirmed adorer of the good science of rock-breaking, Dana Hunter explores geology with an emphasis on volcanic processes, geology news, and the intersection of science and society. Her home away from SciAm is Dana Hunter's Unconformity

丹娜-亨特是破岩科学的崇拜者,她探索地质学,重点是火山的形成过程、地质学新闻以及与科学与社会学的交集。她的研究成果与(自认为)科学的美国人不一致。

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