Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than previously thought

Yellowstone supervolcano could erupt much sooner than previously thought

The super volcano under Yellowstone National Park in the USA may erupt more quickly than previously thought, researchers warned this week.

If the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone erupts again, we may have far less advance warning time than we thought.

Perhaps ominously, according the ZME Science website, the previous eruption occurred in about the same timeframe before that - 1.3 million years ago - meaning that the system might be ready for another explosion. Researchers at Arizona State University said that the supervolcano has been triggered after two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir below the caldera.

The minerals revealed changes in temperature and composition built up in only decades.

The supervolcano under Yellowstone has been mostly dormant for tens of thousands of years-the last large eruption filled the caldera with ash and lava around 70,000 years ago, well before people had migrated to the continent.

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According to National Geographic, the researchers, Hannah Shamloo and Christy Till, analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent eruption.

The Yellowstone supervolcano could easily change life on our planet for centuries. Scientists also think the reservoir is drained after every monster blast, so they thought it should take a long time to refill. And a study in 2013 showed that the volume of magma moving into the supervolcano is almost three times larger than previously thought.

Shamloo and Till previously presented their research at a 2016 meeting held by the American Geophysical Union. At that time, volcano expert Bob Smith, from the University of Utah said that it was an extraordinary uplift because it covered a very large area and the rates were very high.

But nearly everyone who studies Yellowstone's slumbering supervolcano says that right now, we have no way of knowing when the next big blast will happen. The US Geological Survey has put the estimated yearly odds of another huge Yellowstone blast at 1 in 730,000 - about the same chance as Earth colliding with an asteroid.

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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