This paper takes part in the series essay competition of “great science” of Recordunkown.
The earth is a rocky planet. Since it is a rocky planet, there will be very active geological activities. The structure of the earth is roughly divided into three layers, namely the crust, mantle and core. The earth’s crust is a solid layer connecting the earth’s surface. Most organisms live on the surface of the earth’s crust.
Under the crust layer is the mantle layer. From this layer, due to the effect of high temperature and high pressure, it is basically in the state of molten liquid flow. We often hear that the magma is in the mantle layer. Because of the existence of mantle rocks, all rocky planets have volcanoes, and the earth is also a planet with more volcanoes.
Volcanic eruption is a kind of terrible natural disaster. The underground rocks erupt through volcanic products and produce a lot of volcanic ash. If it is a general volcanic eruption, the impact on the earth’s ecosystem is limited. But if it is a super volcano eruption, the impact will be great, which may lead to the collapse of the ecosystem and cause mass extinction.
I believe many people know that there have been five mass extinctions in the long life span of billions of years. Although the causes of the five mass extinctions are different, they can not be separated from the super volcanic eruption. Once the global volcanic eruption, mass extinctions are inevitable.
For example, 65 million years ago, an asteroid hit the earth and caused the fifth mass extinction. Under normal circumstances, an asteroid hit the ground and could not lead to a global mass extinction. But why did it happen in the end? The reason is that the asteroid hit the ground, the huge shock wave to the mantle layer, which triggered a violent geological movement, leading to a super volcanic eruption, extinction of dinosaurs, extinction of more than 80% of the earth’s life. If the asteroid hit the ocean, it would not cause a serious volcanic eruption, and there would be no mass extinction.
It can be seen that the eruption of super volcanoes is very terrible, which will bring great crisis to the survival of the earth’s ecology and biology. Therefore, scientists have always attached great importance to those super volcanoes on the earth. Although there are many super volcanoes on the earth, they are basically in a dormant state, that is, the so-called dead volcanoes. As long as there is no violent global geological movement, these dead volcanoes are basically impossible to revive and erupt.
The super volcano that really worries scientists is Yellowstone volcano. It is located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. the geological activity here is quite intense. After an earthquake, according to a large number of explorations by scientists, Yellowstone volcano is an active volcano. As long as the time comes, it will probably erupt again. At that time, it will not only be a disaster in the United States and North America, but also affect the whole world It is a disaster of the earth’s ecological environment and life system.
In the past two million years, Huangshi volcano has erupted three times. In the eruption 2.1 million years ago, 2500 cubic kilometers of volcanic material were ejected, 280 cubic kilometers of material were ejected in the eruption more than 1.2 million years ago, and 1000 cubic kilometers were ejected in the eruption 640000 years ago. All these are extremely large-scale volcanic eruptions, larger than all the volcanic eruptions since the human history records. Scientists estimate that in the future, there is still the possibility of a super volcanic eruption in Yellowstone Park.
According to the exploration and study of Huangshi volcano by scientists in recent years, the mantle rock of Huangshi volcano is continuously extending outward and upward. At present, it has extended westward to northern California and Oregon, and the northwest extends 804km laterally from Wyoming, melting part of the crust upward.
The outward extension of Huangshi volcano’s mantle rock is not what scientists are most worried about. It is difficult for this extension to really promote the eruption of volcanoes. What scientists are really worried about is the upward extension of mantle magma. We should know that the crust layer is the last barrier. Once the mantle rock extends upward to a certain extent of the crust layer, it may trigger the eruption of Huangshi volcano. At that time, the earth will be destroyed The crisis of the future is coming.
In the past 10 years, geologists have been paying close attention to the underground situation of Huangshi crater. Earthquakes occur frequently. Last year, the radiation of underground hot spots caused a large number of plants wither. The crust of Huangshi National Park is also uplifting. It was uplifted by 17 cm from 2004 to 2007, which shows that the magma under Huangshi volcano is in an unstable state of activity.
Some people may say, why don’t we restrict the geological activities of Huangshi volcano by means of science and technology? In fact, although human science and technology have been powerful enough to go out of the earth and preliminarily explore the universe, our knowledge of the earth is still relatively small, especially the situation inside the earth. We have no more effective means except to detect the earth through seismic waves.
What’s more, we don’t know what the mantle layer is? What is the mechanism of movement here? And to really understand what’s going on inside the earth, we need to be able to really go deep into the mantle.
However, with the current technology of human beings, it is impossible to go deep into the mantle layer. At present, the deepest underground hole in the world was completed by scientists of the former Soviet Union in the 1970s, with a depth of 12263 meters. This depth is quite a long way from drilling through the crust, let alone deep into the crust. It’s high temperature that really restricts scientists to explore the earth. If we don’t have a super drill that can resist the high temperature of several thousand degrees, we can’t penetrate into the mantle.
Only when we can really let the detector go deep into the mantle layer for exploration can we really understand the structure and operation of the mantle layer, and then we can really understand the geological movement mechanism of the earth’s interior. Only when we fully understand the geological movement, can we have a corresponding way to deal with the eruption of super volcano.
Many people may worry that once the super volcano erupts in Yellowstone Park, mankind may usher in a major crisis, and there may be the risk of an end. But in fact, this kind of worry is totally unnecessary. Even if Huangshi volcano will erupt in the future, it is not a short-term event. It may be thousands of years or tens of thousands of years later.
The speed of human science and technology development is very fast, give us thousands of years, tens of thousands of years, human beings have the ability and technology to deal with the eruption of Huangshi volcano. Perhaps at that time, through powerful technology, human beings could directly affect the operation of the underground mantle layer in Yellowstone Park, turning active volcanoes into extinct volcanoes.
Moreover, volcanic eruption will be a disaster for human beings now, but it may be a welfare for human beings in the future. You know, the rock award of volcanic eruption is a kind of good and powerful energy. We can’t use these volcanic energy now, but in the future, with the development of science and technology, volcanic eruption may be a kind of powerful natural energy.
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