A supervolcano trigger is unnecessary for a massive eruption, new studies reveal. A supervolcano can erupt at anytime due solely to its enormous size and vast amount of liquid magma beneath the surface. Newsmax reports Jan. 7 that these findings were uncovered by the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) in Grenoble, France. This comes a month after it was discovered by researchers at the University of Utah that the Yellowstone supervolcano is two-and-a-half times larger than previously thought.
Wim Malfait was the ESRF study's lead author on the supervolcano trigger study. He said it turns this volcano needs no extra help for an "asteroid impact" explosion.
"Now we know you don't need any extra factor – a supervolcano can erupt due to its enormous size alone," Malfait said. "Once you get enough melt, you can start an eruption just like that."
Carmen Sanchez-Valle, another scientist who participated in the study that was published in the Nature Geoscience Journal, said magma will eventually reach the earth's surface after penetrating into cracks below. Sanchez-Valle added that "as it rises, it will expand violently -- causing an explosion."
The supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park has a cavern spanning over 55 miles long, 22 miles in width, and a depth of 9 miles. The gigantic volcano contains somewhere between 125 billion and 185 billion cubic miles of molten rock, according to the report. If it were to erupt, it would be catastrophic to the U.S. It is believed that it would cause approximately 2,000 times the damage of Mt. St. Helens.
Even without a supervolcano trigger, the one in Yellowstone will destroy North America and have a global impact.
There is of no way of knowing when the supervolcano will explode, but the last eruption happened 640,000 years ago. It affected the world's climate for centuries, researchers learned.
It is hard to comprehend an eruption like this occurring at all, let alone a supervolcano trigger not required for the event to take place. It has a way of educating humans on how life can end in an instant by an impressive force of nature beyond their control.