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The Objectives for Deep Scientific Drilling in Yellowstone National Park A Report by the Yellowstone National Park Task Group to the Continental Scientific Drilling Committee Board on Earth Sciences Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council National Academy Press Washington, D.C. 1987
NOTICE: The project that U the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The members of the committee responsible for the report were chosen for their special competencies and with regard for appropriate balance. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of distinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organisation of outstanding engineers. It is autonomous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharing with the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognises the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and education. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was organised by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academy's purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. Support for this project was provided through the following agencies: the U.S. Geological Survey (Department of the Interior), Department of Energy, and Office of Naval Research. Available from Committee on Continental Scientific Drilling Board on Earth Sciences 2101 Constitution Avenue Washington, D.C. 20418 Printed in the United States of America
CONTINENTAL SCIENTIFIC DRILLING COMMITTEE William W. Hay, University of Colorado, Chairman Charles R. Bacon, U.S. Geological Survey W. Gary Ernst, University of California, Los Angeles William L. Fisher, University of Texas, Austin Kate H. Hadley, Exxon Company, USA William J. Hinze, Purdue University Marcus E. Milling, Sr., ARCO Oil and Gas Company Robert N. Schock, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Francis G. Stehli, University of Oklahoma (retired) Hatten S. Yoder, Jr., Carnegie Institution of Washington NRC Staff William E. Benson, Staff Officer Shirley Cole, Administrative Secretary YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK TASK GROUP Robert O. Fournier U.S. Geological Survey, Chairman David D. Blackwell Southern Methodist University Robert L. Christiansen, U.S. Geological Survey Gordon P. Eaton, Iowa State Univ. of Science and Technology Fraser E. Goff, Los Alamos National Laboratory John F. Hermance, Brown University Raymond Herrmann, U.S. National Park Service John H. Reynolds, University of California, Berkeley Robert B. Smith, University of Utah John D. Varley, U.S. National Park Service Harold A. Wollenberg, Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory ill
BOARD ON EARTH SCIENCES Brian J. Skinner, Yale University, Chairman Donald J. DePaolo, University of California, Los Angeles Larry W. Finger, Carnegie Institution of Washington Robert N. Ginsburg, University of Miami Alexander F. H. Goetz, University of Colorado Michel T. Halbouty, M. T. Halbouty Energy Company Allen Hatheway, University of Missouri Andrew H. Knoll, Botanical Museum of Harvard University Amos Salvador, University of Texas at Austin Joseph V. Smith, University of Chicago Sean C. Solomon, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Steven Stanley, Johns Hopkins University George A. Thompson, Stanford University Waldo R. Tobler, University of California, Santa Barbara Donald L. Turcotte, Cornell University Ex-Officio Members Paul B. Barton, Jr., U.S. Geological Survey Karl K. Turekian, Yale University Liaison Members Miriam Baltuck, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Jerry Brown, National Science Foundation Philip Cohen, U.S. Geological Survey Bruce R. Doe, U.S. Geological Survey Bruce B. Hanshaw, 28th International Geological Congress James F. Hays, National Science Foundation John G. Heacock, Office of Naval Research Donald F. Heinrichs, National Science Foundation Marvin E. Kauffman, American Geological Institute William M. Kaula, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Ben Kelly, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers George A. Kolstad, Department of Energy Ian D. MacGregor, National Science Foundation Benjamin Morgan, U.S. Geological Survey Andrew Murphy, U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission Dallas L. Peck, U.S. Geological Survey iv
John J. Schanz, Jr., Congressional Research Service Shelby G. Tilford, National Aeronautics and Space Administration Raymond G. Watts, U.S. Geological Survey Kenneth N. Weaver, Maryland Geological Survey Arthur J. Zeizel, Federal Emergency Management Agency Robert S. Long, Acting Staff Director William E. Benson, Senior Staff Officer Betty C. Guyot, Staff Assistant Shirley E. Cole, Administrative Secretary
COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES Norman Hackerman, National Research Council, Chairman George F. Carrier, Harvard University Dean E. Eastman, IBM T.J. Watson Research Center Marye Anne Fox, University of Texas Gerhart Friedlander, Brookhaven National Laboratory Lawrence W. Funkhouser, Chevron Corporation (retired) Philip A. Griffiths, Duke University J. Ross Macdonald, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Charles J. Mankin, Oklahoma Geological Survey Perry L. McCarty, Stanford University Jack E. Oliver, Cornell University Jeremiah P. Ostriker, Princeton University Observatory William D. Phillips, Mallinckrodt, Inc. Denis J. Prager, MacArthur Foundation David M. Raup, University of Chicago Richard J. Reed, University of Washington Robert E. Sievers, University of Colorado Larry L. Smarr, University of Illinois Edward C. Stone, Jr., California Institute of Technology Karl K. Turekian, Yale University George W. Wetherill, Carnegie Institution of Washington Irving Wladawsky-Berger, IBM Corporation Raphael C. Kasper, Executive Director Lawrence E. McCray, Associate Executive Director VI
Contents Page SUMMARY AND RECOMMENDATIONS 1 INTRODUCTION 5 RESULTS OF PREVIOUS SCIENTIFIC INVESTIGATIONS.^ Seismicity and the Current Stress Regime, 8 Contemporaneous Uplift Within the Yellowstone Caldera, 12 Evidence for Long-Term Coupling of the Yellowstone System to Processes of the Earth's Mantle, 15 The Yellowstone Hydrothermal-Magmatic System, 17 Previous Scientific Drilling to Investigate the Yellowstone Hydrothermal Systems, 20 OBJECTIVES FOR CONTINENTAL SCIENTIFIC DRILLING IN YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK 23 Broad Objectives for Scientific Deep Drilling Into the Active Hydrothermal System At Yellowstone, 23 Specific Objectives for Scientific Deep Drilling into the Active Hydrothermal System at Yellowstone, 25 A STRATEGY FOR SCIENTIFIC DRILLING AT YELLOWSTONE 33 Vll