Professor Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak responded to an article by Russian geopolitical analyst Konstantin Sivkov which explored the idea of nuking Yellowstone national park to trigger a super volcano by describing the scenario as complete science fiction.
As we reported last month, in commenting on ways Russia would wage war on NATO countries, Sivkov suggested dropping a nuclear weapon on Yellowstone in order to trigger an apocalyptic super volcano that would cover the country with hot ash.
“The consequences will be catastrophic for the United States – a country just disappears,” wrote Sivkov.
Idaho State university geosciences professor Shannon Kobs-Nawotniak told KPVI 6 that the idea would make an interesting sci-fi movie but that it “has no basis in science”.
“A lot of energy is blasting upwards and we get a lot energy blasting on the surface of the ground,” said Kobs-Nawotniak. “It’s not necessarily sending huge amounts of energy down deep into the ground.”
The professor added that the only way Sivkov’s scenario would be plausible was if a huge hole was dug and nukes were buried in the ground to trigger fault movements.
Kobs-Nawotniak said that although an eruption of Yellowstone would be catastrophic, it isn’t expected to occur anytime soon.
In 2013 it was revealed that the magma below Yellowstone was two and a half times larger than previously thought, giving the park’s super volcano the potential to cause an eruption 2,000 times more powerful than Mount St. Helens. Some experts say the caldera is overdue to erupt.
Sivkov’s other suggestion – detonating a nuclear weapon on the San Andreas fault to trigger a series of tsunamis – was also dismissed by Kobs-Nawotniak.
“This is completely sci-fi movie,” she laughed.