The Truth About What’s Going On With Yellowstone’s Supervolcano

  • While we can't blame one another for feeling stressed about the supervolcano's strange activity, we should leave it up to the scientists to determine whether it's something we need to take action over. Our nervousness could all be for nothing!

    Yellowstone supervolcano is not about to catastrophically erupt. The chance of any major eruption happening this year is roughly one-in-730,000.

    That said, a new ground deformation map of the famous National Park is doing the rounds online.

    The map, by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), reveals that the terrain around the volcanic cauldron (caldera) has indeed been shifting over the past couple of years.

    So what’s going on? First off, the ground around Yellowstone caldera is always moving to some degree. This recent deformation – which was mostly calculated using radar technology – is comparable to Yellowstone’s activity just a few decades earlier.

    The uplift at Yellowstone between 2015 and 2017. The redder the color, the greater the rate of uplift. Fault lines are shown in black. Chuck Wicks/USGS

    So what’s causing the deformation? None of them are anything to be concerned about at present.

    Yellowstone caldera is a dormant volcano with a very active volcanic system operating beneath it.

    Hydrothermal fluids – superheated water-rich liquids driven by the heat of the magma – are zipping through the subterranean landscape, and occasionally make their way to the surface in the form of geysers and hot springs.

    Unless the core of Yellowstone suddenly rises up to become a veritable hill, there is really nothing to worry about. Activity at the famous volcano is still in the normal range.

    The most dangerous thing about Yellowstone is, and will be for some time, human error. People keep falling into the park’s hot springs.

    Have you heard about the activity at Yellowstone's supervolcano? Are you concerned that it could erupt?

    Article Source: IFL Science