Science and technology

Yellowstone’s Caldera could erupt sooner than expected: here’s what you should know

Delaney Brown – Fourth Estate Special to Fourth Estate

Mammoth Hot Springs, WY, United States (4E) – Scientists have found that the super volcano, Yellowstone Caldera, located in Yellowstone National Park, is slowly waking up. Though it’s always just a matter of time before an eruption happens, scientists have reason to believe that the Yellowstone Caldera may erupt sooner rather than later.

Changes in temperature and composition within the volcano suggest that the volcano may erupt in a matter of decades rather than millennium. Here’s what you should know about the Yellowstone supervolcano.

It Has Erupted Only Three Times

Scientists know of only three eruptions in the history of the volcano: one 2.1 million years ago, one 1.3 million years ago and a final eruption 640,000 years ago.

The Landmarks It Created

The eruptions have created some beautiful landmarks in the national park. According to scientists, the first eruption resulted in the creation of the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff and the Island Park Caldera. The second eruption created Mesa Falls and Henry’s Ford Caldera while the last eruption created the Lava Creek Turf and Yellowstone.

Powerful Ash

Scientists estimated that in the last eruption the supervolcano ejected 240 cubic miles of volcanic ash, dust, and rock into the sky.

The Swarm

Earthquakes are common around volcanoes. Back in 1985, around 3,000 earthquakes occured in several months. around Yellowstone Caldera, The cluster of earthquakes came to be known as “the swarm.”

Earthquakes Per Year

Normally the Yellowstone supervolcano is said to experience 1,000-2,000 earthquakes a year, and the most of them less than a magnitude 3.

1,0000 Times Stronger

Scientists have estimated that if the Yellowstone Caldera, were to erupt it would be 1,000 times stronger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens back in 1980. Mount St. Helens had a volcanic explosivity index of 5 and was at the time one of the most explosive volcanos ever.

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