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NKorea Nuclear Tests Could Trigger ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption

NKorea Nuclear Tests Could Trigger ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption thumbnail

After North Korea’s latest nuclear test, scientists are worried that more underground explosions in the isolated country’s rocky north could set the stage for a deadly volcanic eruption not unlike the one that NASA fears could be brewing in the Yellowstone caldera.

Following the North’s sixth nuclear test Chinese authorities have stepped up radiation monitoring and even closed part of their border with North Korea as fallout fears have intensified.

And now, as Newsweek reports, China has limited access to a nature reserve on its border with North Korea after a mysterious series of seismic shakes at the rogue nation’s nuclear test site were detected less than 10 minutes after it conducted its latest test, which also triggered a sizable tremor. The severity of the tremors prompted Beijing to close the site over fears that underground detonations by the North Koreans at a facility near Punggye-ri could lead to rockslides, or worse, trigger an eruption of the active “super volcano” Mount Paektu, according to


According to, the magma and sulfur booms during a supervolcano eruption could kill millions of people in the surrounding area, and potentially endangering all of humanity.

The volcano, which is sacred to North Korea, is located right on its border with China. China’s closure is in effect for a 70-mile-radius around the detonation site. A blast from a super volcano could be catastrophic, with ash traveling thousands of miles, potentially causing hundreds of thousands of deaths

“For the safety and convenience of travelers, we have temporarily closed the southern tourist zone of Changbai Mountain,” read the message from Chinese authorities, translated by UPI. “Officials are thoroughly investigating the safety of the tourist area.” The area will remain closed to the public until “the potential risks disappear,” it said.

But besides radioactive risks, scientists are worried that North Korea’s nuclear tests could disturb could disturb mountains in the Changbai range, along with the still-active Mt. Paektu, triggering the first eruption since 1903.

A new article in scientific journal Nature’s Scientific Reports states that “an underground nuclear explosion test near an active volcano constitutes a direct threat.”

Scientists wrote that it could “disturb the magma chamber of a volcano, thus accelerating the volcanic activity,” scientists argue.

“This is an interesting mystery at this point,” Göran Ekström, a seismologist at Columbia University in New York City, told Nature.

The US Geological Survey estimated the second burst of seismic energy, only eight and a half minutes after the detonation, had a magnitude of 4.1; the detonation itself registered at 6.3. While satellite images do show signs of structural collapse, the movement of rock more closely resembles a landslide.

North Korea is hardly alone in facing a potentially deadly eruption. Recently, NASA scientists have spoken out about the threat of super volcanoes and the risky methods that could be used to prevent a devastating eruption.

Lying beneath the tranquil and beautiful settings of Yellowstone National Park in the US is an enormous magma chamber called a caldera. It’s responsible for the geysers and hot springs for which the area is known, but for scientists at NASA, it’s also one of the greatest natural threats to human civilization as we know it.

Following an article published by BBC about super volcanoes last month, a group of NASA researchers got in touch with the media to share a report previously unseen outside the space agency about the threat Yellowstone poses, and what they hypothesize could possibly be done about it. As one researcher described it, the threat from super volcanos is much higher than the risk from asteroids

“I was a member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense which studied ways for NASA to defend the planet from asteroids and comets,” explains Brian Wilcox of Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology.


“I came to the conclusion during that study that the supervolcano threat is substantially greater than the asteroid or comet threat.”

So, the agency has devised a plan that could ameliorate the volcano threat. The plan, which has yet to be authorized or implemented, would drill up to 10km down into the super volcano and pump down water at high pressure. The circulating water would return at a temperature of around 350C (662F). Thus, slowly day by day, extracting heat from the volcano. And while such a project would come at an estimated cost of around $3.46 billion, it comes with an enticing catch which could convince politicians (taxpayers) to make the investment.

“Yellowstone currently leaks around 6GW in heat,” Wilcox says. “Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power at extremely competitive prices of around $0.10/kWh. You would have to give the geothermal companies incentives to drill somewhat deeper and use hotter water than they usually would, but you would pay back your initial investment, and get electricity which can power the surrounding area for a period of potentially tens of thousands of years. And the long-term benefit is that you prevent a future supervolcano eruption which would devastate humanity.”

Of course, drilling into a super volcano comes with its own risks – in fact, it could inadvertently cause the eruption scientists are trying to prevent.

Talk about a volcanic irony…

Zero Hedge

16 Comments on "NKorea Nuclear Tests Could Trigger ‘Supervolcano’ Eruption"

  1. makati1 on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 8:10 pm 

    Woulda, coulda, shoulda. LOL The war mongering US tries everything to make their latest victim look bad. Other such events:

    “U.S. Wars and Hostile Actions: A List”

    “In a reality-based assessment of U.S. crimes, the serious offenses begin beyond that threshold. Here’s Blum’s list of over 50 foreign leaders whom the United States has attempted to assassinate:” (see list)

    “Here is Blum’s list of U.S. attempts to overthrow governments (* indicates success):” (58 since WW2- see list)

    “Here is Blum’s list of nations bombed by the United States:” (~40 since WW2 see list)

    Now can you see why the world hates America? Why it has to go down so peace can come to the world? I do. Soon, I hope.

  2. makati1 on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 8:12 pm 

    BTW: What country of idiots was just suggesting drilling into the Yellowstone caldera? Such blatant hypocrisy. LMAO

  3. Go Speed Racer on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:17 pm 

    Trump will blow up rocket man.

  4. makati1 on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:21 pm 

    GSR, Trump will do nothing. All bluster. No real chance of invading/bombing NK. China/Russia would destroy the US first. Would The US allow China to bomb Mexico or Canada. Wait, he just might. Insanity rules America these days. LOL

  5. makati1 on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:24 pm 

    Oops! “General Confirms “US Policy Is Not To Defend Canada” In The Event Of A Missile Attack”

    Looks like the neighbors are on their own. LOL

  6. antaris on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:40 pm 

    And why would they want to bomb Canada ?

  7. Boat on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:46 pm 

    polls for Trump popularity 2017

    mak, you loved the cheeto pre-election.

  8. MASTERMIND on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 9:55 pm 


    INSANE: Children swimming in garbage in the Philippines!!

  9. Apneaman on Sun, 17th Sep 2017 10:25 pm 

    Zero Hedge, click bait for angry paranoid white boys.

  10. rockman on Mon, 18th Sep 2017 1:10 am 

    Won’t bother with details. But drilling wells to cool down the Yellowstone magma chamber? To rediculous for even the folks who make technically ridiculous movies of the week.

    An N Koria supervolcano? Volcanos are not created from the surface down. The area created tens of miles below the surface in the mantle and work themselves upward to eventually erupt at the surface.

    Again not going to waste space with details.

  11. Anonymouse1 on Mon, 18th Sep 2017 3:15 am 

    Wow, this article is boat-level retard. I mean, amerikan.

  12. GregT on Mon, 18th Sep 2017 9:53 am 

    The really sad thing about the article above? Many would actually believe it. Just like unplugging baby incubators, WMDs, chemical attacks, and shooting down civilian airliners.

  13. Davy on Mon, 18th Sep 2017 10:58 am 

    grehg, the article is making a valid point that NUK test are being conducted near active volcanism. Maybe you might want to study up on your amateur geology just like your amateur psychology

  14. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 19th Sep 2017 2:50 am 

    The republicans want to blow up Canada
    because its full of liberals.
    also the liberals are filling it up with
    Chinese and Syrian peoples so blow it
    up even more.

  15. Cloggie on Tue, 19th Sep 2017 3:31 am 

    GSR, you are overestimating the difference between the liberal (Dems) and republican share of the establishment.

    They have minor differences about money, health insurance, but that is about it. They all agree that white America doesn’t need to be protected and as such both simply follow orders of that mysterious deep state.

    The real difference in the US (with dynamite potential) is between the Republican establishment and its electorate of mostly white “deplorables”, who detest Washington and know by now that Washington intends to abolish majority white America.

    The idea that the Republican establishment are a sort of closet white nationalists is completely false. They couldn’t care less if North-America is overrun by the rest of the world. After all, every biped is a taxable item, so what is not to like. For the establishment money is all what counts and matters like race don’t matter, are even forbidden subjects. George Soros has said that would be racist and as such is therefor a no-no. And for 100 years North-Americans are used to do everything the Soros types instructs them to do.

    Since the beginning of the 20th century the world has seen two brands of communism, Russia and the US.

    Communism, that is the attempt to ram the entire world into a single power structure, owned by the (((communists))), needs an egalitarian principle to get the unifying job done and demonize everybody (USSR “class enemy” and USA “racist”) who resists the communist takeover.

    There are three potential egalitarian principles:

    1. economy, 2. race, 3. gender


    USSR: 1 + 3
    USA: 2 + 3

    The USSR failed because economic (income) egalitarianism leads to what Radio Yerevan jokingly described as “the government pretends to pay us, we workers pretend to work”. –> paralysis and systemic collapse.

    The USA will fail because mixing different kinds of people with different intelligence, work ethic and belief systems doesn’t work and major conflict is preprogrammed.

    Some funny news from Canada:

    Genders aren’t equal, not in a long shot (women are for beauty, children and care, men are for work to pay for it all), but the (((hard core))) of the feminist movement pretends otherwise. This leads to the hilarious consequences:

    The feminists now acknowledge that they will have to accept male leadership to get gender egalitarianism to


  16. Go Speed Racer on Tue, 19th Sep 2017 3:54 am 

    Hi Clogster, thx the educational lecture,
    have read it carefully.
    Oh ya whitey in a pickup truck nobody on his side
    anymore. And that’s scary.
    Some of us are still making it, but it’s getting tougher.
    All the big acts, like Apple, Microsoft, Intel, they
    don’t hire whitey anymore, they hire East Indians.

    Ya pretend to pay us, ya pretend to work.
    That’s the American economy nowadays,
    Wouldn’t trust it far as I can throw it.

    U still pumping out the water? What about fill in the whole country with dirt.
    Then wouldn’t need pumps anymore?

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