World's largest super volcano to erupt?
Scientists say that the world's largest
super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park has increased in height
over the years and could erupt in the future.
Yellowstone National Park’s Caldera - On the verge of a catastrophe?
Yellowstone National Park's caldera has erupted three times in the
last 2.1million years and researchers monitoring it say we could be in
for another eruption.They said that the super-volcano underneath the
Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 - its floor has
gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the
fastest rate since records began in 1923.It would explode with a force a
thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan
out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.Two-thirds of the
U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it,
grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their
homes.But hampered by a lack of data they have stopped short of an
all-out warning and they are unable to put a date on when the next
disaster might take place.When the eruption finally happens it will
dwarf the effect of Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano, which erupted in
April last year, causing travel chaos around the world.
The University of Utah's Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone's
volcanism told National Geographic: "It's an extraordinary uplift,
because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high. At the
beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption."But
he added: "Once we saw the magma was at a depth of ten kilometres, we
weren't so concerned. If it had been at depths of two or three kilometre
we'd have been a lot more concerned."
Robert B. Smith, professor of geophysics at the University of Utah,
who has led a recent study into the volcano, added: "Our best evidence
is that the crustal magma chamber is filling with molten rock.But we
have no idea how long this process goes on before there is either an
eruption or the inflow of molten rock stops and the caldera deflates
The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature's most awesome creations and
sits atop North America's largest volcanic field.Its name means
"˜cooking pot"or "cauldron" and it is formed when land collapses
following a volcanic explosion.In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath
the Earth's surface is a magma 'hotspot' which rises to 30 miles
underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.Atop
this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.
Courtesy :Daily Mail