Yellowstone: the super-volcano that could blow up America

December 11, 2013 –  WYOMING - A super-volcano under Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is an even bigger threat to the U.S. than previously thought, scientists have found. Researchers from the University of Utah said the volcano’s magma chamber – a lake of molten rock beneath the National Park – is approximately 2.5 times bigger than earlier estimates suggested. If the volcano were to erupt today, scientists predict that the resulting ash cloud would affect areas 1,000 miles away, leaving two thirds of the entire U.S. uninhabitable. The team discovered that the underground cavern is more than 90km long, containing up to 600 cubic km of molten rock. Prof Bob Smith, of the University of Utah, said: “We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be bigger but this finding is astounding.” To gauge the size of the underground magma chamber, the research team used a series of seismometers placed around the park. Dr Jamie Farrell, part of the research team, said: “We record earthquakes in and around Yellowstone, and we measure the seismic waves as they travel through the ground. The waves travel slower through hot and partially molten material. With this, we can measure what’s beneath.” Yellowstone is the largest supervolcano on the continent and has erupted several times in the last two million years. The National Park is famous for its underground lava lake, which fuels its iconic hot springs. Most of the molten rock lies a few kilometers below Earth’s surface. Smith added that researchers could not tell when the supervolcano would blow again but some are of the belief that an eruption is on its way, despite the volcano erupting every 700,000 years. –IB Times
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This entry was posted in Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earth's core dynamics, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Magma Plume activity, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Tectonic plate movement, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcano unrest, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Yellowstone: the super-volcano that could blow up America

  1. Suzan says:

    Hi Alvin, When did this super volcano erupt last?

    I can’t help but wonder when ever I hear that the magma chamber under Yellowstone is larger than previously thought if that’s just a less dramatic way of stating that the chamber has grown. Either way, since the geologists are admitting they were off in previous measurements of the chamber’s size how can we tell if its growing or not?

    thanks for keeping us informed.

    • IMG

      The last major eruption is said to have occurred 640,000 years ago, and Yellowstone is said to erupt about every 600,000 years on average. So the volcano is overdue for a major eruption. When it will happen is anybody’s guess. It could be next month, or it could be in a 1000 years- no one knows. The chamber size wouldn’t be increasing, it’s more like no one knows just how big Yellowstone’s magma chamber is or just how far it goes down. This is a permanent hotspot that snakes down deep into the crust, where magma flows freely from the upper mantle. Once a supervolcano erupts, it’s almost impossible to plug a hole this big by any natural geological processes, and the volcano can’t empty its magma chamber in an eruptive event like normal cone volcanoes…so the volcano just swallows the surrounding ground around it for 30 or so square miles. This collapsed region is called the Caldera. Yellowstone could erupt for a very long time. It may be one of the most pronounced mantle plumes on the planet.

      Thanks for tuning in, and you’re welcome…
      Alvin

  2. Kara Shaver says:

    The activity of the planet reminds me of a virus. Seems maybe modern civilization has given it the flus with any bug there’s a process one must go thru to heal.. just maybe the Earth is going thru that process.

  3. Nature > All says:

    Recent information as of 1/6/14 tells that Yellowstone doesn’t even need a trigger. It will erupt simply due to its enormous size. And the earthquake activity and land raising continues to this day. Yeah, I’m leaning yes that it will erupt in my lifetime. It’s impossible to predict these things and they were wrong about Mt. Saint Helen’s before in the 1980s.

    We humans control nothing. We can only play pretend.

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