Category Archives: Geology

Pluto, Charon, and the Giant Japanese Hornet

Mountains, Glaciers, possible Volcanoes on Pluto

The Giant Japanese Hornet

The Japanese Giant Hornet is one of the most vicious insects on Earth. It has a voracious appetite, is homicidal,  and is huge. It can be up to thirty to forty times larger than a bee. If it happens upon a European bee colony transplanted to Japan it will kill off the entire colony in a matter of hours.

But this is not what happens if the Hornet should discover a native Japanese bee hive. Apparently the Japanese bees have a solution to the giant hornet’s predatory violence. When the bees see a Hornet, they will retreat into their hive and slyly allow the Hornet to enter. Once the Hornet enters the Hive, the Japanese bees will attack the Hornet by enveloping the intruder. Hundreds of bees will surround the Giant Hornet and begin to vibrate their wings and bodies. As they do so, they cause the core temperature of the Hornet to rise dramatically, and eventually the Hornet dies.

They then erase any pheromone markers left by the Hornet, the hornet never returns to its nest,  and thus the bee hive is saved.

As we will see there is some similarity to the Plutonian satellite system, and is possibly one reason why there is geological activity on a world so far removed from the sun and so far removed from a giant planet.

New Horizons

The exploratory craft, New Horizons, after traveling for nine years through the vast empty void of space has recently revealed that Pluto and its largest moon Charon are not the frozen dead worlds imagined for so long, but instead are apparently geologically alive with large mountain ranges and a highly varied landscape. This has left most astronomers confused since they had for all this time expected to see a globe made of ice with little variation on the surface.

This expectation was supported by the idea that the only way small bodies like Pluto and Charon could have geological activity was if a giant planet squeezed them and thus deformed their surface. Being that  Pluto and Charon had no giant master near them, it would have been logical to assume that there could be no such surface deformation.

But there is. There are huge mountains on Pluto, and Charon too shows some kind of recent geological activity.  So what might be the cause?

Earth Moon System’s Core Heat

As we have mentioned many times before on HotCoreEarth, there is between a planet and a satellite a particular interaction which may be most responsible for geological activity and we have previously named this process a Layered Differential Rotation(LDR). We can also call it a Radial Differential Rotation since it is dependent on the distance between two masses, being planet and satellite.

The Earth Moon system will experience a particular type of Tidal interaction that does not stop at the surface of the Earth, but goes down to the core, and even throughout the entire diameter of the planet. We are used to thinking that tidal forces are evident only on bodies of water, like the ocean, but in reality tidal forces go far deeper into the Earth, and affect all kinds of material, including the crust made of minerals and rock. These tides will also affect the subsurface of the Earth as well. But what is crucial to understand here is that these tides are not everywhere on Earth the same. At the surface they will be stronger than at a deeper point heading towards the Earth’s core. The further away from the moon, the less the tidal interaction. So there is a difference in Lunar tidal energy experienced by the Earth.  Over many repetitions as the Moon orbits the Earth every twenty eight days, and over many revolutions of the Earth, as the Earth revolves around its polar axis every day, there will be a tensor stress built up. Meaning that the fabric of the Earth is going to be stretched at different points from along the diameter facing the Moon at any given time. This stretching will lead to both stress and friction. And is probably a leading, if not the sole cause of Earthquakes.

The Moon will tug on the crust and therefore slow it down relative to the subsurface, thus causing a differential rotation between the crust and mantle. This tidal differential will extend throughout the entire planet and will result in both deformation and in the heating of the core.

Speed of Rotation and Atmosphere

We should note that the faster the axial rotation of any given mass, the greater will be the effects of Layered Differential Rotation and the frictional stresses it causes.  It should also be noted that a thick atmosphere, or ocean-even frozen as ice- will probably tend to trap much of this heat released in core dynamics and tend to have more significant effects on the surface.

Volcanism and Seismic Activity on Pluto and Charon

This same exact process is probably active in the Pluto-Charon system. Only in Pluto and Charon the effects of this differential rotation will be far more acute and somewhat inverted since Charon is actually much closer to Pluto than is the Moon to the Earth, and is actually much larger relative to Pluto than is the Moon to the Earth.

Charon is only 12000 miles away from Pluto, and that makes its gravitational tug on Pluto far more severe than is the Moon’s tug upon the Earth. The force exerted on Pluto will be approximately eight times the force exerted on the Earth by the Moon.  Also, Pluto being a far smaller body than is the Earth, will be far more subject to tidal deformations than would be the Earth.

We should also note that while both Pluto and Charon orbit a center of mass external to either, their orbital period is only six days.  The angular velocity, and therefore the directional acceleration of the two bodies is far greater than the Earth Moon system. Though the Sun’s tug is minimal on the Plutonian system, unlike on Earth, still the large angular velocity of the Plutonian satellite system is bound to cause enormous centrifugal forces adding to the LDR.

Yet we should keep in mind here that the Earth  revolves around its own axis and has a much higher rotation than would Pluto and Charon which are tidally locked and revolving over a center of mass beyond the body of Pluto. Therefore the actual dynamics may  differ. But the differential speed effect will be present in both systems.

What we mean is that these two bodies, Pluto and Charon are circling each other so closely and so quickly that they are causing enormous tidal disturbances within their cores and this is the reason for the geological formations we see at the surface. The fact that they are circling a center of mass external to either body will also add additional dynamics-they are in effect pivoting over that center of mass and not merely rotating which will amplify the effect of any radial differential dynamics.

The nature of the differential rotation of the Plutonian system will also be in a different direction than that of the Earth-Moon system,  being that Pluto and Charon are tidally locked (they face each other constantly) and thus there is no independent  axial rotation of Pluto as there is on Earth-which is to say that Pluto does not rotate independently relative to Charon. The Earth’s daily rotation is much faster than is the orbital period of the Moon, and thus the tidal tug of the Moon tends to slow the crust down relative to the mantle. However, on Pluto the effect is the reverse as the surface of Pluto probably rotates faster than does the subsurface. There will be a tendency for material within Pluto and Charon to lag behind the crust, or surface layers. Much like taking a plastic ball filled with water and swinging it on a string will cause the liquid inside to rotate in a direction opposite to the orbital direction.  But the geological effects will be the same as with the Earth Moon system, although possibly more pronounced on Pluto’s surface since the main brunt of the differential force is coming from the surface of Pluto as it rams into the slower rotating lower layers-this would be especially true if they are hotter, and therefore more pliable than the frozen surface.

There will be arguments made that Pluto may be solid all the way down, unlike Earth which is made of molten rock and metals. But this would not really matter. The stress created by a layered differential rotation would be enough to cause sufficient friction over time so as to result in  both frictional heating, and also distortions on the surface and throughout the entire body of both Charon and Pluto. Eventually Tidal distortions caused by Charon, even on solid material, are going to cause a buildup of stress and friction. At some point in time these stresses will be released and friction will occur. This will result in heating throughout the globe of Pluto, and of Charon.

It’s very likely that both Pluto and Charon are subject to numerous earthquakes and quite possibly  to  extreme seismic violence. There is little doubt that the gigantic chasms found on Charon are due to that sort of tidal stress that builds up over time as the two bodies circle each other so closely in a relatively short period of six days.

Japanese Hornet Effect

Yet differential rotation is probably not the only effect of the Plutonian satellite system or for that matter on the Earth Moon system. Pluto has four other satellites besides Charon. And though Charon is the largest relative to Pluto it is probably not the only satellite creating frictional stresses on the Plutonian system.

The smaller satellites, Nix and Styx, Hydra and Kerberos are relatively insignificant to the mass of the Plutonian system as a whole, but they are still large bodies. Being twenty to thirty miles in length on average and another twenty miles in width makes them significant contributors to tidal forces since they are relatively near to the planet in comparison to the Moon which a quarter million miles away from Earth.

So even if these smaller satellites do not have the large tidal impact that Charon has on Pluto, they will have some impact. More importantly, the Tidal Wave interference between all these satellites will probably have a significant effect on the core temperature of Pluto and Charon.

Like the Japanese Hornet and the method used by Japanese bees to “cook” the hornet, the moons of Pluto will cause tidal vibrations. As the various tides meet and interact, both destructively and constructively on occasion, they will cause some heating due to friction and interference when they collide with each other and with various structures in the makeup of Pluto and Charon.  When they collide, or interfere the heat will go off in all directions.

The Differential Rotation will also result in friction and heat throughout the body as we have already stated. When this occurs heat will be released in all directions as well.

However, the heat that is in the direction of the surface of either Charon or Pluto will probably escape to a large degree into the frigid vacuum of space. Neither Charon nor Pluto have an atmosphere capable of significantly containing infrared radiation-although some  of the heat generated by LDR and tidal interference would be trapped by the tenuous atmosphere, but still it would not likely be significant and would have little effect on the geology of the “planets”(or Kuiper Belt Objects if you prefer that terminology.)

However, any heat that is directed towards the core would tend to be trapped in the higher density, and would probably buildup there over time. Just as the Japanese bees direct their vibrations to the center of the mass, where the hornet lies, so too do the tidal vibrations of Pluto’s moons, as does the LDR. Eventually enough heat might well build at the core to explain the geological formations seen on the surface. There does seem to volcanic activity on Pluto, and this could really not easily be explained by any other known process.

This same process used by the Japanese bees must to some degree be active on Earth as well. In the case of Earth, the Moon, Sun and near planets would cause Tidal wave interference and eventually that heat would find a common intersection at the core.  The LDR caused by the Moon’s tidal effects would also accumulate at the core. Of course once this heat began to accumulate significantly other thermo dynamic processes would come into play and the system would become more complex.

Indeed, no matter the process of heating, whether it is due to Layered Differential Rotation, or due to some other cause, the likely buildup of heat would be at the core where any infrared radiation is likely to meet and intersect in the deeper denser layers. This is the simple geometry of the sphere which would concentrate and amplify any radiation emanating from peripheral co-temporal events towards the core.

Heating from any source will accrue towards the center

Therefore heat from any source, even the supposed radioactive decay often proposed as a cause for Earth’s “extra” heat would eventually be concentrated at the core. Though the process of radioactive decay is very unlikely to be the primary cause of core heat in either the Plutonian system, or the Earth Moon system. This decay lasts for too short a time relative to geological time, much less Astronomical time, and is simply not abundant enough to significantly contribute to the geological phenomena we see present in planetary systems. Yet even if radioactive decay were a significant phenomenon, then it would result in the heating of the core as all radiation would intersect there.

Differential Rotation is Probably the Main Cause of Core Heat

Yet the most likely explanation is that the heating we see from all satellite systems seems most likely to be caused by tidal action. For example on Uranus, twin of Neptune -we see little heating. Neptune having a satellite, Uranus lacking one.  Jupiter’s moon Enceladus is a frozen world, yet we see it bursting with core heat.  One might have reason to argue that Venus is quite geologically active with no satellite, yet we can see that Venus has a retrograde revolution which would result in extreme core heating due to the effects of the Sun’s gravitation, should LDR be correct.

The only seeming exception to LDR would be Mercury. Where though we see volcanic activity in the past, we cannot know if it is still geologically active at present. However, Mercury may be exceptional.

It has no atmosphere, and this may help to dissipate heat from the planet’s core.

Also, Mercury by all accounts should have been tidally locked with the Sun, yet it’s not.  Its rotation on its own axis is somewhat faster than its orbital period around the Sun

Was that extra rotation caused by LDR? Were there internal forces within Mercury that prevented it from being tidally locked with the Sun, as would seem most probable?  It’s possible that the high density of Mercury caused a distribution of any excess subsurface rotation to the entire body. The Sun should by all accounts cause some sort of differential rotation within Mercury and this should have resulted in violent geological activity.  Mercury takes approximately 89 days to orbit the Sun, and so and directional acceleration is still quite slow compared to what we might see in the Earth Moon system, or that of Pluto and its satellites.  Still we would expect some differential rotation coming from the Sun and this should result in contemporary seismic activity as well as volcanism.

It is also possible that Mercury is actually quite liquid at the core(as has been recently proposed), but that any volatile gasses have long escaped and thus we cannot see present intense geological activity. But we would still expect violent seismic activity. We’ll go out on the limb and say that there probably is both volcanism on Mercury and substantial seismic activity present even now. However without an atmosphere any such explosions would probably be released into space with little evidence left behind.

Venus, and Earth have an atmosphere and this will react to any volcanism below. Pluto and Charon have ice, and this too will react to any volcanism below-unlike Mercury and the Moon which lack an atmosphere.


In any case, there is not much else that we can see to cause the apparent geological activity in the Plutonian system other that tidal stresses. In the end Ockam’s razor would have to applied and the simplest explanation for the apparent geological activity in the Plutonian system would most probably be a Layered Differential Rotation, as well as the accumulation of heat at the core in a fashion quite similar to the defensive mechanism of a Japanese Bee Hive when faced with a killer predator.  As this heat and stress is released, the surface ice would react accordingly and would explain the landscape.

Hot Spots

Yellowtone Hot Spot
Yellowstone Hot Spot

Hot Spots and Differential Rotation

Hot spots like that of the Hawaiian Islands, Iceland and Yellowstone have posed considerable confusion to geologists. There is really little insight as to how or where these phenomena derive from, other than the simple convection theory. However, there is a very strong possibility that these centers of specific volcanic activity, far from plate boundaries may well be due to Tidal Effects and Differential Rotation.

The Earth’s surface is subject to a number of strong gravitational potentials. The two largest and most prominent are the Moon’s gravitational tug, and the Sun’s. Since the Earth rotates, these are never at one place but constantly moving. Both of these forces are experienced daily(or approximately so.)

Their effects on the Tides of Ocean basins are well known. Yet these effects are quite a bit more complex than Newton originally postulated.

With the contributions of Laplace and his tidal equations we have seen that these rises in sea level are rather complex and varied. They are varied simply because the Moon, and Earth and Sun are never quite at the same position. Due to apogee, and perigee, or far and near orbital positions the gravitational attraction is variable, and therefore the tides produced are variable-and either accelerate or decelerate. Moreover, the two tidal forces tend to either augment one another or degrade one another depending on whether they occur in agreement(same time and spatial orientation), or discordance.  These factors alone add complexity to sea tides.

However, there are even greater complications to be found.

These include the geometry of sea basis, various bottom terrain, wind directions, currents, vorticity, atmospheric and sea storms, specific gravity at various depths, and thermodynamic effects, or sea temperatures,  all of which can complicate things further.

But most complicating in determining the true nature of sea tides is actually the fact that tides do not occur as simple rises in sea level, but in periodic waves. This requires complex Fourier analysis of the resulting wave impulses and periods generated by the revolution of the Earth, orbit of the Moon, and orbit of Earth around the Sun. In the end predicting Sea tides becomes a complicated and difficult task.

We should add that Venus, Mercury, Mars, and Jupiter-possibly even Saturn- will contribute to anomalies in Tidal dynamics when they are in alignment, which though not often, will still generate a disturbance in the wave dynamics of Sea Tides that will to a certain extent be persistent and anomalous.

But in all this one thing is fairly certain, and this is that as these various gravitational forces combine, or dissipate rhythmically, they will create a change of sea level at any point on the sea surface.

Most of these changes will be met with resistance from both the land masses which meet the sea basins, but also adhere to the responsive nature of water. Liquids, depending on their elasticity, will usually revert back to normal after they expend their energy. Therefore, there is tendency at least for the Sea Levels to revert to some kind of normality given both their internal elasticity, and the land barriers which they encounter and are contained by.

However there are really no such bounds for anything below the surface of the Earth. Nor are there any such barriers for the tectonic plates. Any energy imparted to these structures will simply resonate within them. As we can see with Jupiter’s moon Io, this energy will eventually be dissipated as heat.


Volcan Calbuco, Chile, Earth Day 2015
Volcan Calbuco, Chile, Earth Day 2015

Moon’s Orbit Increasing Distance

It has long been maintained that the Moon’s orbit is being altered by the revolution of the Earth. Put simply the Moon’s orbit is being accelerated to a further distance while the Earth’s revolution is being slowed. But it has been assumed that these gigantic forces would act uniformly on the Earth’s crust and interior. But this is not a valid assumption.

Even if the Earth’s interior were solid, eventually the resonance of these titanic forces would culminate in particular stresses and fault lines. In other words, the solid would eventually crack to the tug, and due to various resonances that would develop and at times be amplified.

Yet the Earth’s core is not solid after all. It is pliable. It is plastic and we really cannot know just how far down this pliability actually exists. Still, as we see with the theories of George Darwin concerning sea tides, there will be harmonics to account for. Therefore, any pliable material, no matter the degree of plasticity, will be subject to some kind of harmonic resonance if a gravitational force is repeated and oscillations in locale and order occur.

More to the point, such resonance will not be uniform throughout the body. That is the surface will experience a stronger effect than the subsurface. And if the materials are different, therefore if one is semi solid, like the crust, and the other liquid, or semi liquid as is the magma below, there will be differences in the way these materials react to the pull of the Moon and Sun.

The energy released in the deceleration of the Earth’s angular velocity would not be distributed equally throughout the body.

 Differential Rotation

It should be understood that the tug of the Moon and Sun will affect the crust in different ways than the way they affect the sub surface, or magma “pool”. The Earth’s crust being higher  closer to the Moon, and essentially lighter, or less dense will tend to absorb the Moon’s tug more imminently than the sub surface.  Therefore the pull will be stronger. If as we theorize the Earth’s surface “floats” on hot Magma, and this being the cause of Plate Tectonics, then we must add that the Moon’s immediate tug on these floating plates will,  after billions of years and billions of revolutions,  cause some kind of differential rotation. That is the magma will move faster towards the East-the direction of Earth’s rotation, than will the plates since they will lag due to the Moon’s more imminent pull. Therefore, we can speculate that at least some forcing component of plate tectonics is due to Moon’s tug on these plates, as well as most likely some force from below – due to the rotational dynamics of the core.

This differential rotation, as stated before, will of necessity affect all layers of the Earth right down to the core. The further away an atom is from the Moon, the less it will be affected, putting aside Newton’s ideal summations on the geometry of gravitational forces. Therefore tides are formed at each “sheet” of Earth’s depth. True there may tensile forces that keep the sheets together, but these forces do not in any way dissipate the tug of either the Moon or the Sun as the Earth revolves around its axis. These lunar and solar gravitational forces will at some point cause friction in the different layers, and this will cause heat to be released.

Any liquid, no matter how thick, will eventually rotate as excited particles will seek the most convenient path of least pressure and least resistance. The supposed structure of the Earth’s interior would no doubt be subject to differential rotation since in one way or other the materials involved are ductile, or simply put, liquefied as plastic.

Since heat is generated, and dissipated, we must theorize that there is an “organization” to this that the simple convection theory cannot account for.

It should also be understood that these phenomena, although perhaps similar to rotational atmospheric phenomena, are probably on a time frame of millions, or even hundreds of millions of years. Therefore if gusts similar to those that occur in a tornado, or thunderstorm were to occur in the Earth’s interior rotation, their life cycle would be on the order of a hundred million years rather than minutes. Therefore a “plume” would not arise directly from the core, but from the rotation, and would be tangential to the rotation rather than be at right angles to the core and last for many millions of years. This tangential forcing would strain the crust, and eventually break it open to the surface of the Earth resulting in the Hot Spots that we see. This is especially true since the magma would rotate to the East at a higher speed than the crust.

But this differential rotation would account for the so called Hot Spots, at least in part. Since any rotation of magma that adheres to the crust would eventually force an opening or crack in the crust and would probably move east relative to the fixed crust as we see with most Hot Spots since relative to the magma subsurface the crust is moving West, and the Hot Spots East(relatively.) However, due to turbulence, lasting for millions of years, we may not say that this would necessarily be a  “rule” but only subject to probability, as no wind gusts could ever be correlated to a particular direction so it would be that no magma “gusts” would be subject to a particular direction always. There will most likely be occasional anomalies.

Both core rotational turbulence, and deformity of the crust itself could well supply the inlet for magma intrusions. That is to say if there were a deformity in the crust that captured a particular gust or impulse of magma, then there would be an intrusion and an eventual opening to the surface and would result in what we see at Yellowstone, Hawaii or Iceland.

We should add that strains on the crust from either the Moon’s, and Sun’s gravitational tug(over billions of years), as well as core differential rotation and implied thermal dynamics would tend to stress and break the surface crust open. Therefore we should not be so certain that the Missouri Earthquakes of 1811-12 were simply an anomaly, they could well be indicative of a new rift valley in creation-similar to that in East Africa. So where there are cracks or stresses in the crust, you will almost certainly see volcanic activity. Large cracks will result in known volcanic hot beds, these being the Mid Atlantic Ridge, East Africa and others. But small magma protrusions would result in so called Hot Spots. The Icelandic Hot Spot would simply be a “convenient” arrangement where an existing large crack in the sea basin encountered a “gust” or plume from the core rotation and therefore remained and grew large.

We are often told that subduction in plate tectonics results in volcanic fields, but we are not quite as often reminded that one possible cause is that when there is a differential rotational speed(Westward) between plates(most likely due to altitude and the gravitational tug of the Moon and Sun) there will of necessity be stress cracks, and vacuous formations in the crust which will allow the Earth’s magma to protrude. There would also be increased turbulence from below due to the differential rotation and difference in tangential velocity. As well as melting of the sinking crust.

In general we can surmise that some kind of differential rotation is occurring. Though it should not be confused with the kind of differential rotation we see in the Sun, where the equatorial regions are moving faster than the polar regions. Rather we can be fairly certain that the surface of the Earth is moving towards the West relative to the sub-surface due to the gravitational pull of the Moon and Sun. The internal dynamics however, will remain mysterious since we cannot know for certain what the source of the thermodynamic impulse is.

To be sure that layered differential rotation provides at least some frictional heat to the core, but whether that is all the heat being produced we cannot be certain. There may in fact be a nuclear component to the heat source, but it may not be what is now imagined. What exists at the Earth’s core may well be enough for even more exotic processes of heat generation. The Electromagnetic fields at the core must be exceedingly powerful. There is no telling what processes might have emerged there after billions of years. We should be certain that there is much more dynamism at the Earth’s core than we have yet to surmise.




Yellowstone Earthquake!

Yellowstone Geyser reminds us what's underneath the beauty Pic Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and author 14:30, 4 June 2006

Yellowstone Geyser reminds us what’s underneath the beauty
Pic Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons and author 14:30, 4 June 2006
Earthquake at Yellowstone is News!

Yesterday, Yellowstone National Park experienced the strongest earthquake in some fifty years. It registered 4.8 on the Richter scale and was strong enough to shake a few buildings and a few people around. Fortunately this time of the year there are few visitors at the park being that Yellowstone is  still quite cold and so there were few people around to experience the thrill. It was not a very powerful earthquake in absolute terms, but it is something to think about.

Yellowstone park is in reality a gigantic Volcanic Caldera, of a type of volcano often denoted as a Super-Volcano because of both its size, usually tens of miles in diameter and because of the large amounts of ash that is released when such a volcano erupts. However, most of the time these volcanoes will actually have much smaller eruptions on the way to the gigantic ones.

Yellowstone last erupted in the super category some 640,000 years ago. At that time it spewed out a thousand cubic miles of ash. That’s more than enough to bury most of the Midwest. So, even a small earthquake here is something to think about. But since that time it has had a number of smaller eruptions. Though smaller, these too can be noticeable. As on one occasion it apparently emptied all of Yellowstone lake and no doubt the tsunami of boiling water was no fun for the poor animals in its way. So even a “small” eruption at Yellowstone could be a serious problem for those in the area.

Earthquakes are known to precede large eruptions in other kinds of volcanoes. For example the eruptions of prominent volcanoes over the last few decades was almost always preceded by some seismic activity a few months to a few weeks before erupting. Indonesia’s last few volcanic eruptions of significant magnitude did have some earthquake activity. We do not as yet know if this earthquake at Yellowstone will mean that anything significant will happen, but being that it is a slumbering giant, we should be interested.

It turns out that there has been some activity in the west recently. Large swarms of earthquakes have plagued Oklahoma and have been somewhat mysterious. Some have attributed the Oklahoma quakes to fracking, which is the process by which old oil wells are mined for natural gas. This process involves loosening the ground beneath and causing stress imbalances and ground instability. So there is a chance that the large amount of Fracking activity is the source of these earthquakes, but there is also a good chance that the earthquakes are quite natural, and that leaves us to speculate that maybe just maybe the activity in the Oklahoma region might have something to do with the earthquake in Yellowstone. Though Oklahoma is quite a distance from Yellowstone, we are not convinced that earthquakes are solitary occurrences. There may be long distance relations. Much scientific speculation has gone that way recently.

There is some reason to believe that earthquakes caused naturally could quite possibly be related even if they are far apart. So if an earthquake occurs in Illinois for example, it might well be related to one that might occur further south. There is some reason to believe this since we have often observed such relationships in the past. This same phenomenon has shown itself in Japan’s faults where the fault system is perturbed by movements hundreds of miles to the North or South when a shift causes an earthquake. In the end what is true is that we only know what we can see at the surface, but time and again we have been reminded that what we see at the surface in terms of faults can often be the tip of a fiery iceberg in that below the surface titanic forces may be at work that are virtually invisible to us at the surface. So it a good idea to keep all earthquake activity in mind, especially when it comes to Yellowstone, or Long Valley   in California which can portend a worldwide calamity.

So perhaps there is something going on in the deep earth out in the Western United States for there to be all this activity in Yellowstone and Oklahoma and California. It could also be due to the turning of the season. The pull of the sun is not minimal as many geologists are prone to think. The Sun and Moon can combine to cause significant tidal changes in the Earth’s crust and inner constitution. Over millions of rotations it is quite possible that these stresses induced on the earth may cause a higher potential for earthquakes; especially during those periods when the earth is facing the two celestial bodies in unison. That is when the moon and sun are lined up in the same direction, and the earth’s poles are tilted towards the Sun. The combined tidal force could increase the chances of seismic or volcanic activity.

In the end, geological relations are not simple cause and effect relations. They are stochastic in nature, subject to chance that is. After many times the right pre-requisites may be present to cause a seismic motion, or a volcanic discharge. But there is never a one to one relationship as is often expected in macro physics where for example the law of gravity is expected to act the same way every time it is applied. Yet even in physics we have learned that our illusions of macro reliability and inviolability is shattered when we look at the quantum level. The laws of quantum physics are subject to chance. So Geologists may be forced to recast their demands on the science from one that requires direct consistent relationships, to a science based on chance relationships that only on certain opportune times can be predictable..

Too often we hear of earthquakes and volcanic eruptions happening during the summer months, and at full moon. This may not be an unrelated occurrence.

What does that mean for the recent earthquake at Yellowstone? We don’t know. But even a relatively small eruption at the national park can be quite catastrophic and we would do well to keep an eye out on the slumbering giant at Yellowstone. When he shall awaken, the whole world will be shaken.

see Yellowstone


Long Valley Caldera  is also a Super Volcano that last erupted six hundred thousand years ago. It is located in the mid state region of California not far from Reno Nevada, and just to the east of Yosemite national park. see Long Valley


There  is one more Super Volcano in the United States and that’s in New Mexico. The Valles Caldera is smaller than Long Valley and Yellowstone and seems to have erupted much further back in time some 1.15 million years ago. However, it had a smaller eruption 60,000 years ago.  see Valles Caldera

A beautiful volcanic landscape can also be seen in Flagstaff Arizona, not too far from Las Vegas. There the San Francisco Peak towers to some 12,000 feet, and below are large deposits of lava spewed out some 1,000 years ago. This  too is active, and will probably erupt sometime in the future. see San Francisco Peaks