Science & Technology
Supervolcano turns out to be double the size
By T.K. Randall
December 11, 2013 · 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)