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Yellowstone Supervolcano: Magma much larger than previously thought

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Yellowstone National Park has hot molten rock beneath it which is now believed to be two-and-a-half times larger than estimated previously, according to a Fox News report on Tuesday. What that means is that the Yellowstone Supervolcano could produce an eruption that is approximately 2,000 times as large as Mount St. Helens in Washington state.

Jamie Farrell, the lead author of a University of Utah study, asserts that by measuring earthquakes’ seismic waves scientist could map the magma underneath Yellowstone’s caldera as 55 miles long. It is also 18 miles wide and has a depth from 3-to-9 miles below the earth’s surface.

Farrell also said that with this newly-discovered data, it is now known that there is an amount of volcanic material there – below the surface of the earth – to match the largest of the supervolcano’s three eruptions – which occurred over the last 2.1 million years.

Ferrell said that a Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption would be “a global event” that would involve “a lot of destruction and a lot of impacts around the globe.”

While some say Yellowstone is overdue for an eruption – as the last one occurred 640,000 years ago – Farrell asserts that there is not sufficient data to predict when the next eruption will occur. He agreed that there will be another eruption, but he says it is just is not known when it will occur.



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