Yellowstone Supervolcano Gaining Interest

Blake Donaldson, Staff Writer

Recently, a gigantic Super volcano has been attracting a lot of attention, and exploding in google searches. The Yellowstone volcano has been much more active lately, and could possibly erupt much sooner than expected, and cause a devastating disaster.

The last time Yellowstone had a super eruption was approximately 630,000 years ago, causing a powerful eruption and shaking the region, spewing forth 240 cubic miles worth of rock and ash which created the Yellowstone caldera, a volcanic depression 40 miles wide that now cradles most of the national park. With previous research, the volcano was projected to go off in another 70,000 years, but according to current research, the disastrous volcano could erupt very soon, and will affect a number of states within the U.S. and could possibly cause a nation wide evacuation.

This volcano might just be the next big thing according to researchers. Yellowstone’s Supervolcano is projected to destroy over 500 miles of land, and spew ash for thousands of miles, and that’s only the secondary ash region range. It has been thought to give at least 1-2 centimeters of ash; covering the entire United States with differing amounts of ash. The primary ash region is from Montana to Colorado, and from Idaho to Nebraska.

With the recent Earthquakes happening all over yellowstone, the super volcano’s lava chamber has grown an outstanding ten inches. This has been caused by the volcanic flows from Sheepeater Cliff, Obsidian Cliff, Virginia Cascades, Gibbon Falls, Tuff Cliff, West Entrance Road, Mt. Haynes, Mt. Jackson, Lava Creek Tuff  7, Firehole, Lewis Falls, Lake Butte, Washburn Hot Springs Overlook, and between Tower Fall and Tower Junction. Because of this enormous size increase, the volcano has been projected to erupt much sooner than originally expected; possibly within the next 15,000 years.

 The Yellowstone supervolcano has erupted at least 23 times since its last super eruption, all of which have been small lava flows. All of these eruptions have been keeping geologists on their toes, looking for new signs of the next possible super eruption. Scientists say they would be able to notify the public about any destructive eruption within months before it occurs – possibly up to a year!

Christy Till, an Arizona State University geologist, graduate student Hannah Shamloo, and other researchers from Arizona State analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent super eruption. Christy Till said, “It was an amazing opportunity to study the most recent super volcano eruption. We were able to find many possible clues to the cause of the super eruption. And it could’ve possibly been due to the unstable environment around yellowstone at that time.” Nobody has found the exact reason yet to why the super eruption was caused, but others might be zoning in on an answer.

A member of the NASA Advisory Council on Planetary Defense say that, “I came to the conclusion during a study that the super volcano threat is substantially greater than an asteroid or comet threat to us.”

While nature’s natural happenings can be cataclysmic to humans, advanced technology and scientifically award researchers are doing their best to understand the power of nature, and to protect us from any negative consequences.