What would happen if a "supervolcano" eruption occurred again at Yellowstone?
Oct 10, · Yellowstone's plume of ash, lava, and volcanic gases would reach a height of fifteen miles or more, and from this lofty position, be blown across North America. Ash would darken the skies and blanket the ground from coast to coast, with up to three feet of ashfall in the Northern Rockies and a few inches over much of the Midwest. Jan 15, · The overwhelming majority of those eruptions in Yellowstone have been smaller lava flows — with the last occurring at Pitchstone Plateau some 70, years ago. The reason why Yellowstone receives Author: Tom Fish.
By: Chris Opfer Updated: Apr 8, Yellowstone isn't just an American treasure; it's the world's oldest national park. Established inYellowstone stretches across haplens, square miles 8, square kilometers in three states. The park welcomes nearly 3 million visitors a year, who flock to the area to take in a stunning natural landscape that includes the Old Faithful geyser and a eurpts of hiking trails, mountain peaks and hot springs.
That's not to mention the variety of wildlife that call the park home, including grizzly bearsmoose, elk, beavers and bighorn sheep. Below the surface of this outdoors person's paradise lurks another natural wonder, however — one that has the potential to wipe the park off the map.
The Yellowstone supervolcano is a massive source of granitic magma that rests miles under the park's surface. Although it's not likely to erupt anytime soon, a full explosion would be bad news for nature enthusiasts and happdns slew of happenw anywhere near the park [sources: USGSLemas ]. If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt, it would happen like this: Heat rising from deep within the planet's core would begin to melt the molten rock just below the ground's surface. That would create a mixture of magma, rocks, vapor, carbon dioxide and other gases.
As the mix amassed and rose over thousands of years, the pressure eventually would push the ground up into a dome shape and create cracks along the edges. As that pressure was released through the cracks, the dissolved gases would explode, emptying the magma in quick fashion across the park [source: Achenbach ].
The eruption ha;pens be expected to kill as many as 90, people immediately and spread a foot 3-meter layer of molten ash as far as 1, miles 1, kilometers from the park. Rescuers probably would have a tough time getting in there. The ash would block off all points of entry from the ground, and the spread of ash and gases into the atmosphere would stop most air travel, just as it how to dispose old quran when a much smaller volcano erupted in Iceland in [source: Lemas ].
Equally as frightening is the "nuclear winter" that some experts say could blanket the U. Sulfuric gases released from the volcano would spring into the atmosphere and mix with the planet's water vapor.
The haze of gas that could drape the country wouldn't just dim the sunlight — it also would cool temperatures. Falling temperatures would do a number on our food supply, decimating crops and throwing the food chain out of whack by leaving those at the bottom with little to eat. In fact, that's what many climate scientists believe happened in C. The good news is that an eruption of this scale how to join the s.w.a.t.
team likely in any of our yellowstonr. Yellowstone last erupted aboutyears ago, and the U. Geological Survey says the probability that it will blow its top again is about 0.
Science Vs. What If. What If the Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupted? The eruption how to make strawberry lemonade from red robin the Yellowstone supervolcano would be disastrous, so it's good to know that it probably won't blow again any time soon.
If the Yellowstone super volcano ever erupted, it would bring about a calamity for most of the United States. The supervolcano would spew deadly ash for thousands of miles across the entire country. Can we survive a Yellowstone eruption? A massive eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would spread deadly ash for thousands of miles, killing plant life and affecting humans in its path. Humans that what happens if yellowstone volcano erupts in its path will surely die, but it will not mean the extinction of the entire human race.
How overdue is a Yellowstone eruption? Volcano eruptions are not predictable and they do not follow a set schedule. The last major eruption at Yellowstone occurred 0.
Is the Yellowstone volcano a threat? Although an eruption of the Yellowstone volcano could pose a serious threat, the what happens if yellowstone volcano erupts are often how to get lean abs. How many would die if Yellowstone erupted? A total of 5 million people could end up losing their lives in the aftermath of the volcano's eruption. Could a single volcanic eruption destroy all life yelloswtone Earth? Sources Achenbach, Joel.
August July Geological Survey. Cite This! More Awesome Stuff. Myth What If.
Yellowstone is one of a few dozen volcanoes on earth capable of "supereruptions" that expel more than 1, cubic km of ash and debris. The plumes from such eruptions can rise 30 to 50 km into the atmosphere, three to five times as high as most jets fly. Yellowstone has produced three supereruptions in the past million years. The most recent was. Jul 20, · If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt, it would happen like this: Heat rising from deep within the planet's core would begin to melt the molten rock just below the ground's surface. That would create a mixture of magma, rocks, vapor, carbon dioxide and other alldatingloveen.comted Reading Time: 3 mins. Mar 15, · Yellowstone is one of the most feared volcanoes on the planet and has the potential to unleash a huge explosion. But scientists analysing the potentially deadly super volcano say an .
Scientists at the U. Geological Survey's USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory always pooh-pooh these worrisome memes, but that doesn't mean researchers are ignoring the possible consequences of a supereruption. Along with forecasting the damage, scientists constantly monitor the region for signs of molten rock tunneling underground. Scientists scrutinize past supereruptions , as well as smaller volcanic blasts , to predict what would happen if the Yellowstone Volcano did blow.
Most of Yellowstone National Park sits inside three overlapping calderas. The shallow, bowl-shaped depressions formed when an underground magma chamber erupted at Yellowstone.
Each time, so much material spewed out that the ground collapsed downward, creating a caldera. The massive blasts struck 2. These past eruptions serve as clues to understanding what would happen if there was another Yellowstone megaexplosion. If a future supereruption resembles its predecessors, then flowing lava won't be much of a threat. The older Yellowstone lava flows never traveled much farther than the park boundaries, according to the USGS. For volcanologists, the biggest worry is wind-flung ash.
Imagine a circle about miles kilometers across surrounding Yellowstone; studies suggest the region inside this circle might see more than 4 inches 10 centimeters of ash on the ground, scientists reported Aug. The ash would be pretty devastating for the United States, scientists predict.
The fallout would include short-term destruction of Midwest agriculture, and rivers and streams would be clogged by gray muck. Big eruptions often spawn giant umbrella clouds that push ash upwind across half the continent, Mastin said. These clouds get their name because the broad, flat cloud hovering over the volcano resembles an umbrella. But California and Florida, which grow most of the country's fruits and vegetables, would see only a dusting of ash.
Yellowstone Volcano's next supereruption is likely to spew vast quantities of gases such as sulfur dioxide , which forms a sulfur aerosol that absorbs sunlight and reflects some of it back to space. The resulting climate cooling could last up to a decade. The temporary climate shift could alter rainfall patterns, and, along with severe frosts, cause widespread crop losses and famine.
But a Yellowstone megablast would not wipe out life on Earth. There were no extinctions after its last three enormous eruptions, nor have other supereruptions triggered extinctions in the last few million years.
Almost certainly the answer is no," said Jamie Farrell, a Yellowstone expert and assistant research professor at the University of Utah. However, scientists agree there is still much to learn about the global effects of supereruptions. The problem is that these massive outbursts are rare, striking somewhere on Earth only once or twice every million years, one study found. A far more likely damage scenario comes from the less predictable hazards — large earthquakes and hydrothermal blasts in the areas where tourists roam.
Human civilization will surely survive a supereruption, so let's bust another myth. There is no pool of molten rock churning beneath Yellowstone's iconic geysers and mud pots. The Earth's crust and mantle beneath Yellowstone are indeed hot, but they are mostly solid, with small pockets of molten rock scattered throughout, like water inside a sponge. About 9 percent of the hot blob is molten , and the rest is solid, scientists reported on May 15, , in the journal Science.
This magma chamber rests between 3 to 6 miles 5 to 10 km beneath the park. Estimates vary, but a magma chamber may need to reach about 50 percent melt before molten rock collects and forces its way out. Maybe, Study Finds ]. How do researchers measure the magma?
Seismic waves travel more slowly through hot or partially molten rock than they do through normal rock, so scientists can see where the magma is stored, and how much is there, by mapping out where seismic waves travel more slowly, Farrell said. The magma storage region is not growing in size, either, at least for as long as scientists have monitored the park's underground. As with magma mapping, the science of forecasting volcanic eruptions is always improving. Most scientists think that magma buildup would be detectable for weeks, maybe years, preceding a major Yellowstone eruption.
Warning signs would include distinctive earthquake swarms, gas emissions and rapid ground deformation. Someone who knows about these warning signals might look at the park today and think, "Whoa, something weird is going on! The volcano even breathes — the ground surface swells and sinks as gases and fluids move around the volcanic "plumbing" system beneath the park. But the day-to-day shaking in the park does not portend doom. What are scientists looking for?
For one, the distinctive earthquakes triggered by moving molten rock. Magma tunneling underground sets off seismic signals that are different from those generated by slipping fault lines. To learn about the earthquake patterns to look for, revisit the eruption of Bardarbunga Volcano in Iceland.
Both amateurs and experts "watched" Bardarbunga's magma rise underground by tracking earthquakes. The eventual surface breakthrough was almost immediately announced on Twitter and other social media.
As with Iceland, all of Yellowstone's seismic data is publicly available through the U. Original article on Live Science. Live Science. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer.
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