Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb Beneath Yellowstone National Park by Greg BreiningDespite growing evidence of geothermic activity under Americas first and foremost national park, it took geologists a long time to realize that there was actually a volcano beneath Yellowstone. And then, why couldnt they find the caldera or crater? Because, as an aerial photograph finally revealed, the caldera is 45 miles wide, encompassing all of Yellowstone. What will happen, in human terms, when it erupts?
Greg Breining explores the shocking answer to this question and others in a scientific yet accessible look at the enormous natural disaster brewing beneath the surface of the United States. Yellowstone is one of the worlds five super volcanoes. When it erupts, much of the nation will be hit hard.
Though historically Yellowstone has erupted about every 600,000 years, it has not done so for 630,000, meaning it is 30,000 years overdue. Starting with a scenario of what will happen when Yellowstone blows, this fascinating study describes how volcanoes function and includes a timeline of famous volcanic eruptions throughout history.
The Volcano Under Yellowstone
Does "supervolcano" under Yellowstone have planet-killing potential?
Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a supervolcano, a behemoth far more powerful than your average volcano. It has the ability to expel more than 1, cubic kilometers of rock and ash at once — 2, times more material than erupted from Mount St. Helens in , which killed 57 people. That could blanket most of the United States in a thick layer of ash and even plunge the Earth into a volcanic winter. Scientists suspect that a supereruption scars the planet every , years, causing many to ask when we can next expect such an explosive planet-changing event. And the results have been surprising.
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This lists the logos of programs or partners of NG Education which have provided or contributed the content on this page. Leveled by. Monday, September 17, A sleeping giant is nestled in the western part of the United States. Though it stirs occasionally, it has not risen from slumber in nearly 70, years. But when it finally awakes it may roar and heave with unprecedented force. The volcano itself is actually located in northwestern Wyoming, which is where the bulk of Yellowstone is contained.
The caldera and most of the park are located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The caldera formed during the last of three supereruptions over the past 2. Volcanism at Yellowstone is relatively recent, with calderas that were created during large eruptions that took place 2. The calderas lie over a hotspot under the Yellowstone Plateau where light and hot magma molten rock from the mantle rises toward the surface. The hotspot appears to move across terrain in the east-northeast direction, but in fact the hotspot is much deeper than terrain and remains stationary while the North American Plate moves west-southwest over it. Over the past 18 million years or so, this hotspot has generated a succession of violent eruptions and less violent floods of basaltic lava. Together these eruptions have helped create the eastern part of the Snake River Plain to the west of Yellowstone from a once-mountainous region.
The Yellowstone Volcano could erupt with 10, times the force of the explosion at Mount. Helens in About 4 miles beneath Yellowstone National Park's beautiful scenery is a forty-mile-wide chamber full of molten rock under incredibly high pressure. This magma is what powers Yellowstone's fantastic geysers and hot springs, but is it about to erupt in a cataclysmic explosion that will decimate the western United States and push mankind to the brink of extinction? Yellowstone is the crown jewel of the United States national park system. Its mountain vistas, wildlife and geographic features are visited and admired by people from around the world. More than any of those, however, it's the park's thermo-geological features that make it unlike any other part of the globe.