Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than previously thought

Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than previously thought

It is capable of releasing over 1,000 cubic kilometers of ash and rock at once, which is about 2,500 times more compared to the material expelled by the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980.

It's true that researchers have determined they'll have less warning than previously thought the next time the supervolcano erupts.

A supervolcano now lies dormant underneath the Yellowstone National Park, but once it prepares for its next eruption, we will not have much time to prepare for the disastrous event.

Scientists previously thought that if the Yellowstone supervolcano starts to rumble and its magma chambers start filling up for an explosion, it would take centuries before the eruption takes place.

The new study also appears to overturn previous estimates of the time it took for the supervolcano's magma reservoir to refill.

Based on the latest study, it appears the magma can rapidly refresh - making the volcano potentially explosive in the geological blink of an eye.


It was the site of a supervolcanic eruption 630,000 years ago, when a fresh influx of magma surged into the space beneath what's now Yellowstone.

That eruption left behind the Lava Creek Tuff, the ash deposit that Shamloo and her ASU colleague Christy Till used for their work, which they presented in August at a volcanology meeting in Oregon.

Given that eruptions of supervolcanoes buried on our planet-and there are several-are thought to occur every 100,000 years or so, however, the likelihood of such an event during your lifetime is small, reports the New York Times. The lead scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory tells National Geographic there's no sign of any "magmatic event" at this time.

The swelling reservoir responsible for the uplift was too deep to create fears of imminent doom, Smith said.

A study co-author and student from the Arizona State University, Hannah Shamloo stated that, "It's shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption".

Yellowstone is one of the world's most monitored volcano sites, under constant surveillance from satellites and ground-based monitoring stations.

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