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Supervolcano turns out to be double the size

Posted on Wednesday, 11 December, 2013 | Comment icon 73 comments

A hidden threat lies just below the surface. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux
The supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park is believed to be 2.5 times larger than earlier estimates.
The natural beauty and hot springs of Yellowstone National Park attract thousands of tourists from all over the world on a yearly basis, but not far below the surface is an increasingly large chamber of molten hot magma that could erupt at any time.

The volcano is no ordinary one either, containing as much as 200-600 cubic km of molten rock the vast subterranean cavern represents one of the largest known supervolcanoes. When it does erupt it will cause untold devastation for hundreds of square miles and impact the climate on a global level.

Now researchers investigating the site have made an astounding discovery - that the supervolcano is actually two-and-a-half times larger than previously believed.

"We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be bigger... but this finding is astounding," said Prof Bob Smith.

It's not all bad news however - there is no sign that the supervolcano is likely to erupt any time soon and it is quite possible that nothing will happen at all in fact for many thousands of years.

Source: BBC News | Comments (73)

Tags: Supervolcano, Yellowstone

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #64 Posted by seeder on 29 December, 2013, 12:52
And not only that, there has been a huge increase in doomsday shelters being built, and many are just for the wealthy but even survivalists have similar plans "Inside America's luxury bomb shelters" The underground homes which have enough space for pools, basketball courts... and even private jets Sales of luxe doomsday bunkers up 1,000% Plus many many similar stories
Comment icon #65 Posted by Frank Merton on 29 December, 2013, 12:54
That's been going on for a long time by people with money to throw away. I think I would rather not survive such a thing.
Comment icon #66 Posted by Bavarian Raven on 29 December, 2013, 16:49
100,000? Knock off a zero or two and you be closer. I've read it went down to as little as 10,000 or maybe half that.
Comment icon #67 Posted by Swede on 29 December, 2013, 18:50
More recent research suggests that the Toba eruption may not have had the effect on the human population previously postulated: .
Comment icon #68 Posted by Myles on 29 December, 2013, 22:24
I'd certainly like to survive. It would not be pretty, but it certainly would be interesting.
Comment icon #69 Posted by seeder on 29 December, 2013, 22:48
Comment icon #70 Posted by coolguy on 6 January, 2014, 4:28
20/20 did a story on this tonite.its scary I live in New York. All of America can be destroyed.
Comment icon #71 Posted by Hankenhunter on 6 January, 2014, 7:02
I agree. The height of the lava dome is the key to predicting when it is time to move west in a hurry. It is fairly low at the moment and poses no threat in the near future. However, when it does blow, mankind will have to develope a taste for fungus as that is all that will grow for quite awhile. This could be done by using mines and underground facilities. I imagine a sizable population could survive this way. It would be tough but doable.
Comment icon #72 Posted by jesspy on 6 January, 2014, 9:04
Cool article. Thanks for the link.
Comment icon #73 Posted by jesspy on 6 January, 2014, 9:07

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