Scientists just learned what makes Yellowstone’s supervolcano tick

April 18, 2018 by  
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We all know about the supervolcano boiling underneath Yellowstone – but, until now, we didn’t know what was fueling the cauldron. This week, scientists revealed that they were able to model the behavior of two magma chambers underground by using supercomputer technology. At one point, these two magma lakes almost meet, forming a slab of pressure-trapping rock. That rock could be the powder keg that fuels the volcano. University of Oregon geologist Ilya Bindeman and his team ran simulations based on research from the University of Utah , which had determined that two gigantic magma chambers lay underneath Yellowstone. Bindeman’s simulations showed how those magma chambers formed over the course of 7 million years. ? Using these models, researchers determined that a cooler magma shelf is crushed between the two magma bodies about six miles below the surface. This so-called “gabbro rock” is found in other supervolcanoes around the world. Someday, scientists will be able to use this information to help shed a little light on how and when the Yellowstone volcano might blow, as well as what feeds it. Related: NASA considers puncturing Yellowstone supervolcano to save life on Earth “This is the nursery, a geological and petrological match with eruptive products. We think that this structure is what causes the rhyolite-basalt volcanism throughout the Yellowstone hotspot, including supervolcanic eruptions,” said Bindeman. The study was published this week in Geophysical Research Letters . + Geophysical Research Letters Via Science Alert Images via Deposit Photos and GRL

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Scientists just learned what makes Yellowstone’s supervolcano tick

New evidence suggests a massive magma plume under Yellowstone Park

March 20, 2018 by  
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A new study reveals evidence of a massive plume of magma beneath Yellowstone National Park – and it could run all the way to Mexico. Scientists have debated the presence of a plume for years, and if one does exist, it would explain the heat that bubbles to the surface in the park. Researchers at the University of Texas found evidence for a plume under the park using seismic data obtained from listening stations across North America run by EarthScope’s USArray . Using this data, they found a long, thin 72 x 55-kilometer channel where seismic waves are slower. This indicates that the section of mantle is 600 to 800 degrees warmer than areas around it. Related: Scientists construct new theory of Yellowstone’s supervolcano hotspot This plume could be the cause of Yellowstone’s surface activity , although the scientists say that more research is needed. There is also more work to be done to understand the forces holding the plume in place in its current location. Via Phys.org Images via Nature and Deposit Photos

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New evidence suggests a massive magma plume under Yellowstone Park

SOM’s net-zero Paris skyscraper will be one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe

March 20, 2018 by  
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Prolific firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill (SOM) just unveiled plans for Charenton-Bercy, a net-zero Paris skyscraper that’s designed to be one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe. The 180-meter tower would include multiple green features, including rainwater harvesting, greywater recycling, green roofs, and waste-to-energy conversion systems. As part of its “garden in the sky” design, the project would also feature a  band of vegetation running the length of the tower’s facade, leading into a tree-filled plaza at the tower’s base. The architects would place the skyscraper on the banks of the Seine in southeastern Paris. The building will house a mix of residential units and a hotel, with shops and outdoor cafes in the adjoining plaza. The master plan calls for  green space to occupy more than one-third of the site. In fact, the developer working with the architects has committed to planting one tree on-site per residential unit. Related: SOM unveils impressive LEED-targeting medical campus for Egypt’s National Cancer Institute (NCI) The plans reflect the firm’s goal of creating an icon of sustainability while blending the design into the traditional cityscape of Paris. In the words of Daniel Ringelstein, director at SOM London, the architects “saw [their] role as bringing a fresh perspective from an international point of view, refined in close collaboration with [their] local team to ensure a sensitive integration within the existing community.” + SOM Architecture Via Dezeen Images via Som Architecture

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SOM’s net-zero Paris skyscraper will be one of the most sustainable buildings in Europe

Two giant volcanic eruptions formed Yellowstone’s iconic caldera

October 27, 2017 by  
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Researchers now believe the sprawling Yellowstone caldera was created by two massive eruptions from the supervolcano that occurred approximately 630,000 years ago. Geologists from the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) made this discovery when they uncovered new evidence of the two massive eruptions in the Santa Barbara Basin, which was uniquely suited to capture a long-lasting record of volcanic activity. The record suggests these two closely spaced eruptions from the Yellowstone supervolcano altered the planet’s climate in the wake of an ice age and created the 45 x 30 mile Yellowstone caldera that can be seen today. The evidence for the two massive eruptions was found in two layers of ash and shell sediments off the coast of Santa Barbara, California . 630,000 years ago, the underwater conditions of the Santa Barbara Basin were ideal for preserving records of volcanic activity because of a nutrient-rich environment which allowed single-celled organisms known as foraminifera to thrive. The microscopic shells of the foraminifera contain temperature-sensitive oxygen isotopes, which allows scientists to determine the temperature of the sea at a particular point in the past. Related: NASA considers puncturing Yellowstone supervolcano to save life on Earth Based on the record of foraminifera shells, researchers determined that the Santa Barbara Basin cooled approximately 3 degrees Celsius after each of the super-eruptions, due to ash and volcanic gases in the atmosphere blocking sunlight. Although the world at the time was warming in the wake of an ice age, the two eruptions delayed this climate shift significantly. “It was a fickle, but fortunate time,” said Jim Kennett, geologist and lead author of the study published by the Geological Society of America . “If these eruptions had happened during another climate state we may not have detected the climatic consequences because the cooling episodes would not have lasted so long.” Via New Atlas Images via Depositphotos (1)

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Two giant volcanic eruptions formed Yellowstone’s iconic caldera

Striking apartment complex is made of 48 raw shipping containers

October 27, 2017 by  
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While some designers choose to mask the rough aesthetic of shipping containers with sophisticated cladding, Danish firm Arkitema Architects are proudly putting the metal boxes at the forefront with the design of a new apartment complex in Denmark. Beat Box is a funky complex comprised of 48 containers whose simple and raw appearance was blends in nicely with the former industrial neighborhood of Musicon, just outside of Copenhagen. The Beat Box apartment complex uses 48 containers to create 30 light-filled apartments. Spanning over three blocks in a semi-circle shape, the modern complex will face two of the most central streets in the city. The ground floor will be enclosed with large glass panels to create a strong connection between the structure and its urban environment. Related: This shipping container hotel is so cool you’ll forget its a shipping container The rough exteriors of the shipping containers will be retained, while the interiors will be converted into modern living spaces of various sizes. Large glazed windows and doors will be built into the containers to bring natural light into the units, some of which will have balconies. Future tenants will also be able to enjoy amenities such as a bbq patio and ample bike parking. Thanks to the efficiency of building with shipping containers , construction of the Beat Box project will be a fairly straightforward. Additionally convenient is that the complex will be built in a way so that the structure will be flexible , meaning that the containers can be reconfigured in years to come if necessary. Retaining the rugged exterior of the containers is an integral part of the design, which is focused on creating a sustainable icon for the neighborhood’s revitalization goals, which aims to add 1,000 jobs and 1,000 homes to the Musicon area over the next 15 years. The ambitious urban plan is counting on various sustainable architectural projects accommodate the new population, which will hopefully see the previously industrial area converted into a thriving avant-garde community. + Arkitema Architects Via Archdaily Images via Arkitema Architects

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Striking apartment complex is made of 48 raw shipping containers

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