Yellowstone supervolcano could blow faster than thought, destroy all of mankind

James Marshall
October 13, 2017

Scientists working in and around Yellowstone National Park say that the supervolcano sitting under the tourist attraction may blow sooner than thought, an eruption that could wipe out life on the planet.

According to National Geographic, researchers at Arizona State University analyzed minerals in fossilized ash and concluded that the supervolcano woke up after "two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir below the caldera". The crystals also reveal a supereruption followed much quicker than scientists previously thought-perhaps within decades, or what Popular Mechanics calls "a geologic snap of the finger".

Features of the park, such as the Old Faithful geyser and the Grand Prismatic Spring that attract visitors from around the world, are signs of a huge magma reservoir rumbling below.

The new paper adds to a suite of surprises scientists have uncovered over the last few years as they have studied the supervolcano.

The disaster has a capability to erupt materials as 2500 times more than that from the Mount St. Helens, which is an active composite volcano occurred 1980 at Skamania County in Washington, which had killed 57 people.

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

The last super eruption in the Yellowstone National Park was occurred around 631000 years age.

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.

A Yellowstone eruption would be absolutely devastating, covering half the Earth in an ash cloud that could trigger a nuclear winter.

"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.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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