Anonymous asked in Science & MathematicsEarth Sciences & Geology · 1 decade ago

supervolcano eruptions?

The other day in Italian class, my teacher was telling us about the Supervolcano in Yellowstone. She heard that the chances of it happening have increased, and if it did it could destroy at least 25 states. I looked up facts and others are saying it could destroy the world. I live on the east coast, so yeah. whats going on?

2 Answers

  • Bella
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    It wouldn't destroy the world, but it might wipe out life in North America, and possibly a larger area. The USGS doesn't expect it to have a super-eruption anytime soon.


    44.43°N 110.67°W, Summit Elevation 9203 ft (2805 m)

    Volcano Alert Level: NORMAL

    Aviation Color Code: GREEN

    Is it true that the next caldera-forming eruption of Yellowstone is overdue?

    No. First of all, one cannot present recurrence intervals based on only two values. It would be statistically meaningless. But for those who insist... let's do the arithmetic. The three eruptions occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 0.64 million years ago. The two intervals are thus 0.8 and 0.66 million years, averaging to a 0.73 million-year interval. Again, the last eruption was 0.64 million years ago, implying that we are still about 90,000 years away from the time when we might consider calling Yellowstone overdue for another caldera-forming eruption. Nevertheless, we cannot discount the possibility of another such eruption occurring some time in the future, given Yellowstone's volcanic history and the continued presence of magma beneath the Yellowstone caldera.

    The most likely type of eruption would not be volcanic but, rather, hydrothermal. This type of small, but still explosive eruption can occur from shallow reservoirs of steam or hot water rather than molten rock. These reservoirs are the sources of Yellowstone's famous geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles. Such explosions could blast out shallow craters more than a kilometer wide; as has occurred in the northern Yellowstone Lake Basin, including Mary Bay and nearby Turbid Lake and Indian Pond, and in western Yellowstone National Park north of Old Faithful. Each of these craters was produced by steam blasts within the past few thousand years.

    The most likely type of volcanic eruption at Yellowstone would produce lava flows of either rhyolite or basalt; rhyolitic lava eruptions could also include explosive phases that might produce significant volumes of volcanic ash and pumice. Such eruptions could range in size from smaller than the 1980 eruption of Mt. St. Helens through much larger than the 1991 Mount Pinatubo eruption.

    The least likely but worst-case volcanic eruption at Yellowstone would be another explosive caldera-forming eruption such as those that occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago. However, the probability of such an eruption in any given century or millennium is exceedingly low- much lower than the smaller eruptions mentioned above.

  • 1 decade ago

    Supervolcanoes are the new 2012.

    A supervolcano erupts somewhere on earth once every 10^5 years or so on average. If it was going to wipe out life on the whole continent, all life would have been wiped out long ago. As long as you aren't standing right next to it you'll be fine.

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