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万物简史(MP3+中英字幕) 第322期:美丽而危险(5)

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We have absolutely nothing to compare it to. The biggest blast in recent times was that of Krakatau in Indonesia in August 1883, which made a bang that reverberated around the world for nine days, and made water slosh as far away as the English Channel. But if you imagine the volume of ejected material from Krakatau as being about the size of a golf ball, then the biggest of the Yellowstone blasts would be the size of a sphere you could just about hide behind. On this scale, Mount St. Helens's would be no more than a pea.
我们绝对没有任何东西可以用来与它比较。近代最大的一次是1883年8月印度尼西亚的喀拉喀托火山爆发。它发出的轰隆声在全世界回响了9天,使远在英吉利海峡的海水晃了半天。要是你把喀拉喀托火山喷出的物质比做高尔夫球,那么黄石火山最大的一次爆发喷出的物质太小像个大球,你完全可以躲在后面作为藏身之地。按照这个比例,圣海伦斯火山喷出的物质不过是一粒豆子。
Yellowstone national parkThe Yellowstone eruption of two million years ago put out enough ash to bury New York State to a depth of sixty-seven feet or California to a depth of twenty. This was the ash that made Mike Voorhies's fossil beds in eastern Nebraska. That blast occurred in what is now Idaho, but over millions of years, at a rate of about one inch a year, the Earth's crust has traveled over it, so that today it is directly under northwest Wyoming. (The hot spot itself stays in one place, like an acetylene torch aimed at a ceiling.) In its wake it leaves the sort of rich volcanic plains that are ideal for growing potatoes, as Idaho's farmers long ago discovered. In another two million years, geologists like to joke, Yellowstone will be producing French fries for McDonald's, and the people of Billings, Montana, will be stepping around geysers.
200万年前黄石火山喷出的火山灰足以把纽约州埋在20米的深处,或者把加利福尼亚州埋在6米的深处。迈克·沃里斯在内布拉斯加东部发现的化石床就是这种火山灰形成的。那次喷发发生在如今的爱达荷州,但在过去的几百万年里地壳大约以每年2.5厘米的速度加以覆盖,因此今天就在怀俄明州西北部的下面。(那个热点本身留在原地,就像对准天花板的一个乙炔炬。)它在后面留下了肥沃的火山平原,成为种植马铃薯的理想之地。地质学家们爱开玩笑说,再过200万年,黄石公园将会为麦当劳快餐店生产法式炸土豆条,而蒙大拿州比灵斯的人们将会围着间歇泉翩翩起舞。
重点单词   查看全部解释    
absolutely ['æbsəlu:tli]
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adv. 绝对地,完全地;独立地
 
volcanic [vɔl'kænik]
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adj. 火山的,猛烈的
 
channel ['tʃænl]
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n. 通道,频道,(消息)渠道,海峡,方法
v
联想记忆
eruption [i'rʌpʃən]
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n. 爆发,喷发,出疹,长牙
联想记忆
ceiling ['si:liŋ]
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n. 天花板,上限
联想记忆
scale [skeil]
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n. 鳞,刻度,衡量,数值范围
v. 依比例决
 
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