What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

  • Whatsapp

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts – More than four million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year to view wildlife, mountain scenery and the largest concentration of geysers in the world. It’s obvious to anyone watching the Old Faithful eruption that the region is geologically active, but few know that beneath the park lies one of the largest supervolcanoes on earth.

Calderas are depressions formed by the collapse of a volcano after an eruption. The Yellowstone Caldera was formed by three previous volcanic explosions. It encompasses nearly 1,500 square miles of national parkland.

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

There have been three major explosive eruptions in Yellowstone’s history: Huckleberry Ridge (2.1 million years ago), Mesa Falls (1.3 million years ago), and Lava Creek (640,000 years ago). The largest eruption of the three, Huckleberry Ridge, was 6,000 times larger than that of Mount St. Helens in 1980.

Earthquakes, 26 Swarms. 11 Steamboat Geyser Eruptions. Here’s Yellowstone’s Year In A Glance.

The ash from two Yellowstone eruptions reached far beyond present-day Kansas City. All three Yellowstone eruptions would rank 8th or mega-colossal on the Volcanic Explosiveness Index today.

It is highly unlikely that anyone will witness an explosive eruption in Yellowstone National Park today. But if it actually happened, scientists estimate that a major Yellowstone eruption today would dump over three feet of ash over Billings, Montana, and possibly up to an inch of ash in the Kansas City area. Although structural damage to the subway would be minimal, the ash is enough to disrupt air traffic, damage crops, pollute waterways and alter the world’s climate.

The Linda Hall Library on Facebook The Linda Hall Library on Twitter The Lindy Hall Library on Tumblr The Lindy Hall Library on Vimeo The Linda Hall Library on Instagram The Linda Hall Library on YouTube An aerial flight over Yellowstone’s Midway Geyser Basin in 2004 shows the Grand Prismatic Spring and Excelsior Geyser Crater, which it drains into the nearby Firehole River. U.S. Geological survey

If the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park ever experiences another massive eruption, it could spew ash thousands of miles across the United States, damaging buildings, choking crops and crippling power plants. It would be a major catastrophe.

Here’s What Would Happen If Yellowstone’s Supervolcano Blew

But that doesn’t mean we should all go crazy. Fortunately, the chances of this happening are very low. The Yellowstone supervolcano – a thousand times more powerful than a normal volcano – has only had three truly large eruptions in its history. One occurred 2.1 million years ago, one occurred 1.3 million years ago, and one occurred 664,000 years ago.

And despite what you sometimes hear in the press, there is no sign that another “supereruption” is imminent any time soon. In fact, it’s possible that Yellowstone will never experience such a large eruption again.

Still, the Yellowstone supervolcano remains an endless source of apocalyptic fascination—and it’s not hard to see why. In September 2014, a team of scientists published a paper in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems examining what a Yellowstone supereruption might actually look like.

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

Among other things, they found that the volcano was capable of burying states like Wyoming, Montana, Idaho and Colorado under three feet of toxic volcanic ash – a mixture of crushed rock and glass – and blanketing the Midwest. That much ash could kill plants and animals, destroy roofs and short out all sorts of electrical devices:

What If The Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupted?

When I called one of the study’s co-authors, Jacob Lowenstern of the US Geological Survey, he emphasized that the paper was not some prediction of the future. “Even if Yellowstone were to erupt again, the worst-case scenario probably wouldn’t happen,” he says. “Much, much more common are small eruptions – this is a point that is often ignored in the press.” (And even these small eruptions are very rare.)

Lowenstern is a senior scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in Menlo Park, California. So I spoke to him further about what we actually know about the Yellowstone supervolcano, what its eruptions might look like, and why the likelihood of catastrophe is low.

Beneath Yellowstone National Park lies a five-mile-deep reservoir of glowing magma, fed by a gigantic plume of molten rock erupting from hundreds of miles deep. This heat is responsible for the creation of many of the park’s famous geysers and hot springs. And as the magma rises and cools into the chamber, the ground above rises and falls at regular intervals.

On rare occasions in history, this magma chamber has exploded. The vast majority of these Yellowstone eruptions were smaller lava flows – the last one occurred on the Pitchstone Plateau about 70,000 years ago.

Yellowstone Supervolcano May Blow Faster Than Thought

But the reason Yellowstone gets so much attention is the small possibility of catastrophic “supereruptions.” A supereruption is anything with a magnitude of 8 or higher on the Volcanic Explosivity Index that ejects at least 1,000 cubic kilometers (or 240 cubic miles) of material. That’s enough to bury Texas five feet deep.

These supereruptions are thousands of times more powerful than even the largest eruptions we are used to. Here is a chart from the USGS comparing the Yellowstone supereruption to the eruption of Mt. St Helens in 1980. The difference is breathtaking:

Yellowstone has had three of these truly massive eruptions in its history – 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 664,000 years ago. The last of these, at Yellowstone Lava Creek, ejected so much material from below that it left a 34 by 50 mile depression in the ground – what we see today as the Yellowstone Caldera:

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

It’s worth noting that Yellowstone is far from the only supervolcano in existence – geologists have found evidence of at least 47 supereruptions in Earth’s history. The last time this happened was about 26,000 years ago in Lake Taupo, New Zealand.

Virginia Tech Scientist: Yellowstone Super Volcano Eruptions Were Produced By Gigantic Ancient Oceanic Plate

Even more dramatic is that 74,000 years ago there was a massive Toba eruption caused by shifting tectonic plates. This triggered a dramatic six- to ten-year global winter and (according to some) nearly wiped out the newly emerging human race.

On average, Earth has experienced about one supereruption every 100,000 years, although this is not a hard and fast rule.

Again, the likelihood of a Yellowstone eruption, large or small, is very low. But if we speak hypothetically…

The most likely scenario for a Yellowstone eruption is a smaller event that triggered lava flows (similar to what is currently happening in Bárðarbunga, Iceland) and possibly a typical volcanic eruption. This would likely trigger a swarm of earthquakes in a specific area of ​​the park as the magma rises to the surface.

Discover Genealogy: Natural Disasters And Family Misfortunes 8: Volcanoes

Well, in the unlikely event of a much larger supereruption, the warning signs would be much greater. “First, we would probably see intense seismic activity throughout the park,” Lowenstern says. These earthquakes can take weeks or months to break the rock above the magma before it erupts.

And what if a supereruption occurred—an event that was 1,000 times more powerful than a normal volcanic eruption, spewing at least 240 cubic miles of material and lasting weeks or months? The lava flows themselves would be located within a relatively small radius within the park – say about 40 miles. In reality, only about a third of the material would end up in the atmosphere.

The main damage would come from volcanic ash – a combination of shattered rock and glass – thrown miles into the air and scattered across the ground. In their new work, Lowenstern and his colleagues examined both historical ash deposits and advanced modeling and concluded that the eruption would have created an umbrella cloud that even stretched in all directions. (This was actually a surprising finding.)

What Will Happen If Yellowstone Erupts

A supereruption could bury the northern Rockies in three feet of ash and devastate large swathes of Wyoming, Idaho, Colorado, Montana and Utah. Meanwhile, the Midwest will see several inches of ash, while both coasts will see even smaller amounts. The exact arrangement depends on the season and the weather:

The Yellowstone Supervolcano Won’t Erupt Without Advanced Warning

Any of these scenarios would be terrible news. This much volcanic ash can kill people, plants and animals and destroy buildings. Just a few inches of ash (which occurs in much of the country) can destroy farms, clog roads, cause severe respiratory problems, clog sewer lines and even short out transformers. Air traffic would have to come to a standstill in large parts of North America.

Such a large volcanic eruption would also have a major impact on the global climate. Volcanoes can emit sulfur aerosols that reflect sunlight back into the atmosphere, cooling the climate. Because these particles are short-lived in the atmosphere, the effect is only temporary, but can still be dramatic.

When Pinatubo erupted in 1991, it cooled the planet by about 1°C (1.8°F) for several years. The 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora cooled the planet so much that it damaged crops around the world – potentially causing famine in some areas. And these were relatively small eruptions compared to what a supervolcano is theoretically capable of.

There are currently no signs of an impending eruption. Earthquakes continue to occur in Yellowstone Park and the ground rises and falls, but this is not unusual. “Yellowstone behaves as it has for the past 140 years,” the USGS points out. “The likelihood is very high that Yellowstone will remain eruption-free for centuries to come.”

We Really Need A Good Plan For When A Supervolcano Erupts

The USGS also notes that if you simply look at the last three eruptions,

What happens if the yellowstone volcano erupts, if thyroid is high what will happen, what will happen if yellowstone volcano erupts, what will happen if yellowstone blows up, what will happen if yellowstone supervolcano erupts, what would happen if yellowstone erupts map, if yellowstone erupts what will happen, what if yellowstone volcano erupts, what will happen when the yellowstone supervolcano erupts, what will happen when yellowstone erupts, what if yellowstone erupts, what will happen if i starve myself

Related posts