Scientists are learning more about a giant pit of magma sitting beneath Yellowstone National Park that will erupt at some point.
Yellowstone National Park is a beautiful place to behold, but it holds a terrible secret underneath. The scenic hot pools and spectacular geysers are just a small indication of the absolutely massive 44 mile wide supervolcano that is set to erupt at some point in the not so distant future, and when it does, it could cause massive destruction across the United States and even the world. And scientists have just produced an important study that could help us understand it better.
Such an eruption is not likely to happen in our lifetimes, but it is about due for one and it could happen within thousands of years. When it does, it will be a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens eruption of 1980, and it will spread devastation across the country and beyond.
Researchers in Oregon has published a paper that could help us understand the magma lying underneath the park better, and therefore learn more about how this supervolcano works and when it might erupt. The reality is we do not know a whole lot about it, but when it blows, it is going to be epic.
“Yellowstone, a supervolcano famous for explosive eruptions, large calderas and extensive lava flows, has for years attracted the attention of scientists trying to understand the location and size of magma chambers below it,” a university statement reads. “The last caldera forming eruption occurred 630,000 years ago; the last large volume of lava surfaced 70,000 years ago.
“Crust below the park is heated and softened by continuous infusions of magma that rise from an anomaly called a mantle plume, similar to the source of the magma at Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano. Huge amounts of water that fuel the dramatic geysers and hot springs at Yellowstone cool the crust and prevent it from becoming too hot.”