NASA is planning to protect humankind from alarming threat coming from an ancient active Yellowstone Supervolcano, that resides in one of the most beautiful places the world, Yellowstone National Park.
This supervolcano that erupts every 600,000 years holds features like 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers, including the cone geyser named Old Faithful. And the last time it completed its eruption was 600,000 years ago.
As per NASA's strategy, the aim is to cool down this supervolcano by pumping water into it at high pressure by drilling a 10 kilometer hole.
According to Brian Wilcox of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) at the California Institute of Technology, the supervolcano poses a substantially greater than the asteroid or comet.
“Through drilling in this way, it could be used to create a geothermal plant, which generates electric power”, Wilcox said.
“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”, he added.
However, drilling into a supervolcano has many potential dangers, “If you drill into the top of the magma chamber and try and cool it from there, this would be very risky”, Wilcox added.
“This could make the cap over the magma chamber more brittle and prone to fracture. And you might trigger the release of harmful volatile gases in the magma at the top of the chamber which would otherwise not be released.”