Could it be possible that a full-blown eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano is not too far away? All over the world seismic activity has been increasing in recent years, and this process seems to have accelerated during the early days of 2019. In particular, quite a few once dormant volcanoes are springing to life again, and this has many concerned about what could potentially happen at Yellowstone. Of course Yellowstone has never been “dormant”, but there have been new signs of life over the past six months. Entirely new geysers have sprung out of the ground, Steamboat Geyser has been the most active that it has been in decades, and some geysers have even been shooting “debris and rocks” into the sky. And now we are being told that “a 465-mile-long piece of molten rock” is “rising” directly under Yellowstone…
SCIENTISTS are closely monitoring a 465-mile-long piece of molten rock rising below the Yellowstone caldera, a bombshell documentary has revealed.
The supervolcano, located in Yellowstone National Park, has erupted three times in history – 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago. Volcanoes typically blow when molten rock, known as magma, rises to the surface following the Earth’s mantle melting due to tectonic plates shifting. However, geologists have revealed how Yellowstone’s magma chamber, which sits on top of the magma plume, is slowly rising each year.
A YELLOWSTONE volcano eruption could kill scores of people, rock economies, disrupt air travel and even threaten peace as the world is unprepared for the next major volcanic blast, scientists have warned.
A team of volcanologists said the next major eruption could very well happen in our lifetimes, and urged governments to start making emergency plans.
In a paper published in Geosphere, authors wrote: “A VEI-7 eruption could destabilise financial centres, air travel, national economies and even peace between nations.”
A city could be decimated if a VEI-7 hit, as hot gases, lava and ash can travel 60 miles from the volcano, researchers said.
The study said: “Any town or city in the path would be destroyed, and death tolls could reach millions unless mass evacuations had been made.”
Coastal communities could even be wiped out if the lava enters the sea triggering tsunamis.An eruption could also cause massive economic issues across the world.
Researchers wrote: “Given the incredibly complex logistics of food, water, health care and other supplies in an urban area, imagine the logistical nightmare if transport within any large city were stopped even for a week or two.
The most recent major eruption was in 1980 when Mount St Helen in Washington state blew killing hundreds of people and even causing global cooling.
A new swarm of earthquakes has cropped up at the Yellowstone super volcano, with more than 200 small temblors detected in the last 10 days alone.
According to experts with the US Geological Survey, the latest swarm began on February 8 in a region roughly eight miles northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana – and, it’s increased dramatically in the days since.
The earthquakes, too, serve as a reminder of an under-appreciated hazard at Yellowstone—that of strong earthquakes, which are the most likely event to cause damage in the region on the timescales of human lives. As recently as 1975 there was a M6.5 event in the area of Norris Geyser Basin.
While the earthquakes are likely caused by a combination of processes beneath the surface, the current activity is said to be ‘relatively weak,’ and the alert level at the super volcano remains at ‘normal.’
According to the USGS, the new swarm is occurring in about the same location as the Maple Creek swarm last summer, which brought roughly 2,400 earthquakes in a four-month span.
The University of Utah Seismograph Stations picked up the first quakes just over a week ago, counting more than 200 as of early days of 2019.
But, the experts say there are likely many more that have gone undetected.
It comes after fears for a Yellowstone supervolcano eruption have been sparked after a swarm of 10 earthquakes struck the seismically volatile US national park yesterday following another quake the day before.Yellowstone was hit by 10 small earthquakes last month, setting alarm bells ringing with the park’s fearsome supervolcano already “under strain” according to one expert.
Seismologists from UNAVCO, a nonprofit university-governed consortium, said the site was “under strain”.
They said “the strain signal is larger than would be expected if the crust under Yellowstone were completely solid”.
However these findings are “no cause for alarm”, they said, and reflect the expected measurements of a volcano which has been building up for close to a million years.
Unfortunately, when it comes to predicting the timing of an eruption, geologists are left with a large gap in prediction. There are telltale signs of an eruption that is about to occur, say in the next few months to years. This includes increased earthquake activity, bulging of the ground surface, increased emission of volcanic gasses, etc.
On the other hand, geologists can use the average span of time between recent eruptions as a very crude gauge of eruption timing. Hence, geologists can likely detect an imminent eruption, but beyond that, for Yellowstone, the next best guess is every 600,000 to 800,000 years. Uncomfortably so, we lie within that range right now, however, it is just as likely that the next eruption occurs in 100,000 years.
Given that the next eruption could be 100,000 years from now or 50 years from now, or next week, the ability of humans to react and mitigate the next eruption varies greatly. If the eruption were to occur 50 years from now, we can do little but wait and prepare ourselves. Perhaps widespread evacuation orders from western and central United States to the East coast. However, logistically that would prove to be incredibly difficult and does not help property damage.
I am endeavoring to reach experts at the US Geological Survey to make official comment about this. When I do, I will update this story with their remarks.
COULD AN ERUPTION AT THE YELLOWSTONE SUPERVOLCANO BE PREVENTED?
Even besides the potential devastating risks, the plan to cool Yellowstone with drilling is not simple.
Doing so would be an excruciatingly slow process that one happens at the rate of one meter a year, meaning it would take tens of thousands of years to cool it completely.
And still, there wouldn’t be a guarantee it would be successful for at least hundreds or possibly thousands of years.
And in the past, they have not been linked to volcanic activity.
‘While it may seem worrisome, the current seismicity is relatively weak and represents an opportunity to learn more about Yellowstone,’ USGS explains.
‘It is during periods of change when scientists can develop, test, and refine their models of how the Yellowstone volcanic system works.’
But, the experts also note: ‘The earthquakes, too, serve as a reminder of an underappreciated hazard at Yellowstone – that of strong earthquakes, which are the most likely event to cause damage in the region on the timescales of human lives.’
Hopefully nothing major will happen at Yellowstone for a very long time.
But experts assure us that another full-blown eruption will take place one day, and when it does, it could potentially create a global “volcanic winter” which would make growing crops almost impossible and ultimately cause horrific global famines.
If Yellowstone volcano were to erupt today, none of our lives would ever be the same again from that moment on.