Published: Fri, October 13, 2017
Sci-tech | By Carrie Guzman

Yellowstone Supervolcano May Erupt Sooner Than Estimated, Says Researchers

Yellowstone Supervolcano May Erupt Sooner Than Estimated, Says Researchers

"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. And a study in 2013 showed that the volume of magma moving into the supervolcano is almost three times larger than previously thought.

The current theory has its origins in a 2013 study that concluded the reservoir is 2.5 times larger than previous estimates, and since it drains after every massive explosion, geologists thought it would take a long time to refill. There is a whole suite of sensors and satellites that track any and all detectable changes.

Today, Yellowstone National Park owes much of its rich geologic beauty to its violent past. It was the site of a supervolcanic eruption 630,000 years ago, when a fresh influx of magma surged into the space beneath what's now Yellowstone.

According to The Times, Shamloo later analyzed crystals from the team's dig that recorded changes in temperature, pressure and water content beneath the volcano - much like a set of tree rings. The pair also presented an earlier version of their study at a 2016 meeting of the American Geophysical Union. The second blast struck 1.3 million years ago and the last eruption happened 640,000 years ago.

In fact, in 2011 scientists found that the ground above the magma chamber had swelled by 10 inches. The lead scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory tells National Geographic there's no sign of any "magmatic event" at this time.

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He also conceded that a decision to withdraw charges that was based exclusively on the timing of the indictment was irrational. He said it was hard to understand why the present regime at the NPA believed the decision could be defended.

The swelling magma reservoir responsible for the uplift was too deep to create fears of imminent doom, Smith said, and instead the caldera's gentle "breathing" offered valuable insights into the supervolcano's behaviour.

In 2012, other scientists reported that at least one of the past super-eruptions may have really been two events - suggesting that such large-scale events may be more common than thought.

In June, nearly 400 earthquakes hit the Yellowstone supervolcano, but researchers said that it was not a case of worry. 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.

"We are all just living at the mercy of the super volcano under Yellowstone".

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