Thursday, 19 October, 2017

Yellowstone's supervolcano may erupt sooner than expected

Yellowstone supervolcano GETTY STUDY The team spent two weeks examining the Yellowstone supervolcano
Stacy Diaz | 13 October, 2017, 11:57

The super volcano under Yellowstone National Park in the USA may erupt more quickly than previously thought, researchers warned this week. Researchers at Arizona State University analyzed evidence form that eruption, and believe that the super volcano was awoken after two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir beneath that caldera.

In fact, in 2011 scientists found that the ground above the magma chamber had swelled by 10 inches. Also, another report informed that another eruption occurred about 1.3 million years ago which indicates that both the mega-volcanoes had nearly the same time frame of the eruption. According to National Geographic, a powerful eruption which occurred roughly 630,000 years ago shook the region completely creating the Yellowstone caldera which is about 40 miles wide.

Tiny crystals left over from underground magma at Yellowstone show the first sign of the last supereruption was a spike in temperature that coincided with the movement of new magma into the reservoir beneath the supervolcano.

Still, Yellowstone is one of the best monitored volcanoes in the world, notes Michael Poland, the current Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Researchers, according to The New York Times, believe the resting supervolcano has the ability to spew more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash, which is 2,500 times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in 1980. While volcanoes can certainly have far-reaching implications for millions of people, supervolcanoes are capable of impacting the entire planet.

The theory that an eruption could be coming sooner rather than later was developed by Hannah Shamloo, an Arizona State University graduate student, and several of her colleagues who spent weeks studying at Yellowstone. Those scientists were able to determine the accelerated rate of temperature change by analyzing minerals in fossilized ash.

Till said in an interview that they expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption.