Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Yellowstone Supervolcano could start erupting sooner than expected

GETTYMagma beneath yellowstoe could build in a matter of decades GETTYMagma beneath yellowstoe could build in a matter of decades
Velma Reese | 13 October, 2017, 16:22

As USA Today reported, new research indicates that the supervolcano resting beneath Yellowstone National Park "may blow sooner than thought, an eruption that could wipe out life on the planet".

If the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone erupts again, we may have far less advance warning time than we thought. 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. "Until now, the magazine reported, geologists had thought it would take centuries for the supervolcano to make the transition". A 2011 study related to Yellowstone supervolcano, revealed that the ground above the magma reservoir had bulged by about 10 inches in seven years.

This undated photo provided by Robert B. Smith shows the Grand Prismatic hot spring in Yellowstone National Park's that is among the park's myriad hydrothermal features created by the fact that Yellowstone is a supervolcano, the largest type of volcano on Earth.

According to National Geographic, the researchers, Hannah Shamloo and Christy Till, analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent eruption. This could mean that the last eruption occurred just decades "after an injection of fresh magma beneath the volcano".

"We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption", said Till said in an interview with the New York Times.

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Shamloo and Till previously presented their research at a 2016 meeting held by the American Geophysical Union. The second blast struck 1.3 million years ago and the last eruption happened 640,000 years ago.

An expert at the Yellowstone volcanism, Bob Smith from the University of Utah told that, "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high".

But nearly everyone who studies Yellowstone's slumbering supervolcano says that right now, we have no way of knowing when the next big blast will happen.

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.

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