If you are still not aware there is an active volcano under Yellowstone National Park. Walking along with it, however, you might not be able to feel the same. The reason is the entire park is a volcano and the indications are the bubbling geysers.
What is a Supervolcano?
A supervolcano is a term that has been assigned to a volcano of magnitude over 8 on the scale of the Volcano Explosivity Index. Such a volcano indicates an eruption so powerful that its Magna spreads over an area of 1000 cubic kilometers. In the early 2000s, supereruption was used in the place of a Supervolcano to indicate an eruption of VEI 8. An explosion like this vomits so much magma material that a circular caldera is formed above the evacuated region.
How much Magma does a Supervolcano erupt?
There were multiple volcanic eruptions at multiple places million years ago. Out of them, the most magma eruption was at places such as Yellowstone Mesa Falls, which happened 1.3 M years ago and the area of magma spread was 280 kilometers square. Another eruption was at Long Valley Caldera around 760000 years ago, which spread up to 580 square kilometers. There was another eruption known according to the research at Yellowstone Lava Creek 640,000 years ago that spread 1000 kilometers square of magma. There were two more volcanic eruptions named Yellowstone Huckleberry Ridge and Toba around 2.1 M and 74,000 years ago, both of them spreading magma that covered around 2500 kilometers square. From these data, it is not possible to get a range of magma that eruptions can vomit.
What is Yellowstone Volcano?
Beneath the Yellowstone national park in United State, there is a massive accumulation of superhot magma around 5 miles deep. The fierce heat coming out has taken the responsibility of all the famous geysers and hot springs. The ground periodically rises and falls as the magma rises into the chambers and cools down.
There are very rare occasions in history when magma has actually erupted. The last eruption is known around 70,000 years ago that created the Pitchstone Plateau. There is a very less chance that the eruption will happen ever again. Still, the Yellowstone volcano gets so much attention for the possibility of catastrophic eruption because it comes under a place causing a super eruption. It has already scaled eruption of the magnitude of 8 on VEI. Such an eruption is enough to consume Texas 5 feet deep into the earth.
Locations of Past Yellowstone Super-Volcano
Yellowstone eruption should be no doubt a mention for supervolcanos out there. However, there are at least 47 more super-eruption found by geologists. The most recent occurrence in New Zealand’s Lake Taupo erupted around 26,000 years ago.
If we dig deep into it, there was another eruption known as the gargantuan Toba eruption 74000 years ago due to movements in the tectonic plates. It was responsible for 7-10 years of dramatic winter and it might have diminished any new human race.
What will happen when Yellowstone erupts?
If a volcano under Yellowstone erupts, it will sweep across most of the position of the US taking the texas under its influence destroying fields constructions, and powerplants into ashes.
The Three Massive Eruptions of History
Yellowstone eruption three-time massively in its history. The first eruption was 2.1 million years ago, the second 1.3 million years ago and the last one 664,000 years ago. The third of them erupted so much magma that 35-50 miles just got suppressed under its blaze.
What are the Chances that Yellowstone Supervolcano will erupt again?
There are very less chances, even lesser than less, that the Yellowstone eruption will happen again. In the present scenario, there is no sign of any pending eruption. Yellowstone park gets earthquake shakes and the ground rises and falls but still, those activities are ordinary. The behavior of Yellowstone is the same for the past 140 years as stated by researchers. An eruption-free Yellowstone has had higher chances for centuries.
Even if you see the data of the past three eruptions and visualize it, the chances of Yellowstone eruption in any year is near 0.00014 percent. This percentage is even lesser than the chance of human civilization being destroyed by an asteroid.
But even with that data, we can’t say that we are all safe since natural disasters are all certain. We can’t say that Yellowstone erupts on a regular cycle and it’s not the time for it.
In the same way, if we judge, the eruption might not happen even again in Yellowstone.
Facts Regarding Yellowstone Supervolcano
The fact worth noting about the Yellowstone is that its base is slowly migrating towards the northeast. After enough time, it will successfully migrate away from Yellowstone and the Yellowstone supervolcano will die. Another supervolcano is however possible in the northeast but that will require the hotspot to heat up and melt the crust. And that process will definitely take more than a million years.
If the magma beneath Yellowstone National park volcano ever erupts, it will spread across miles of area slurping buildings crops, and power plants. No doubt it will be a huge disaster. But it’s not the thing about freaking out. The odds are very low, thanks to nature. The Yellowstone had only three eruptions truly enormous and there is no sign of the fourth. I hope you liked reading about the Yellowstone supervolcano. Have a nice time ahead!