Authors like myself who write Faction – Thrillers out of the headlines – look for the next big thing. My research says the Yellowstone Volcano just might be it. Yes, silly Hollywood movies depict this event as farcical. And silly they are.
What would happen if the unthinkable did occur? No, not the end of the world. But maybe the end of America as we know it. I’m researching a novel on this possibility, and I thought I might intrigue you with some facts.
If the Yellowstone volcano were to erupt, as it has every 600,000 years or so, are we prepared? Facts: Some roads in Yellowstone are melting. Buffalo are leaving the park. Not the Big One scientists say, but . . .
At best nothing will occur in our lifetime. At worst, ten foot deep ash could cover an area 1,000 kilometers from the park, with millions dead and would bring on a mini Ice Age lasting a few years.
Why be concerned? For many reasons, the first of which is America’s infrastructure. Infrastructure is critical to supporting modern societies, particularly in urban areas, where high population densities create high demand for networks and services, roads, clean water, lifeline services upon which we depend for our health, education, transportation and social networking.
Volcanic ash fall events disrupt and damage the infrastructure upon which society depends. The recent eruptions in Iceland and Mount St. Helens have illustrated the vulnerability of urban areas that received only a few millimeters or centimeters of volcanic ash. Disruption of transportation, electricity, water, sewage and storm water systems. The costs in life and business disruption, replacement of damaged parts and insurance losses were staggering. Ash fall impacts on critical infrastructure can also cause multiple knock-on effects, which may disrupt many sectors and services.
Note: The Big One would be a thousand Mount St. Helens
Volcanic ash fall is physically, socially, and economically disruptive. Volcanic ash can affect areas many hundreds of kilometers from the source, and cause disruptions and losses in a wide variety of different infrastructure sectors, depending on ash fall thickness, duration, grain size, and chemistry.
People in Iceland live with their volcanoes as a fact of life. Do we? Is America’s infrastructure prepared to withstand an eruption of the Yellowstone Volcano. I maintain it is not prepared for even minor problems like a Category 4 Hurricane.
More information to follow. Here is where my devilish minds thinks Scare them. Scare them out of their wits. I’ll try to do that next time.
Remember my seminar – So You Want To Be A Published Author – October 11th. 9 to 1. Grace Church Chapel Rooms 96th and Garnett. If you have an interest in attending email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.