Monday, November 28, 2022
Contact    |    RSS icon Twitter icon Facebook icon  
You are viewing: Home > News > Science & Technology > News story
Welcome Guest ( Login or Register )  
Science & Technology

Vast lava reservoir found under Yellowstone

By T.K. Randall
April 25, 2015 · Comment icon 54 comments



Yellowstone sits atop a huge supervolcano. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 3.0 David Monniaux
A chamber containing 11,200 cubic miles of molten rock has been found below Yellowstone National Park.
Underneath the ideallic lakes, canyons and forests that make up one of America's most popular tourist destinations lies the beating heart of an apocalyptic behemoth - a supervolcano with the potential to wreak widespread devastation were it to ever erupt.

While there is fortunately no sign that this slumbering beast is planning to do so any time soon, scientists have been busy recording the first three-dimensional images of the volcano's interior in an effort to learn as much as possible about it.

What they've found is that a magma chamber situated around 28 miles below Yellowstone contains a staggering 11,200 cubic miles of molten rock - enough to fill the entire Grand Canyon 14 times over.

This is in addition to a second smaller chamber which contains 2,500 cubic miles of lava.
"Every additional thing we learn about the Yellowstone volcanic system is one more piece in the puzzle, and that gets us closer to really understanding how the volcanic system works," said study co-author Fan-Chi Lin, a geologist from the University of Utah.

"If we could better understand the transport properties of magmatic fluids, we could get a better understanding of the timing and, therefore, where we are in the volcanic cycle."

The last time the volcano erupted was 640,000 years ago however the chances of it happening again in any given year are fortunately quite small at around 1 in 700,000.

Soon it may even be possible to predict exactly when it will happen many years in advance.

Source: Smithsonian Magazine | Comments (54)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #45 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
If Yellowstone goes everyone won't die in the immediate blast they will starve to death later. There isn't enough food in the world to go around now just think what will happen if the bread basket is removed from the US and Canada. Not to mention a nuclear type winter. The little ice age was most likely caused by a much smaller volcano and many people starved. Just think what Yellowstone could do. The last time Yellowstone erupted it didn't affect the entire world like that, what makes you think it will this time? And I do not agree that everyone will starve. That's just alarmism.
Comment icon #46 Posted by Frank Merton 8 years ago
I saw a show on this years ago, if it blows we're all toast. I think I know the piece you speak of -- a bit of hairy stuff there but as I recall it was just a large chunk of the central US that was toast.
Comment icon #47 Posted by White Crane Feather 8 years ago
See, that in itself makes it a complete farce. I remember watching it, or something similar to it. I was interested in it at first, but that quickly faded. I don't know if tens of millions of people flee to Mexico to Avoid a mega ash cloud they just might.
Comment icon #48 Posted by Doug1029 8 years ago
Not sure what the name of the range is. It runs the border between Idaho and Wyoming As you can see, the eruptions have all been when the hot spot has been over the plains. Now it is migrating under the mountain range. The hot spot is what created those plains - by blowing away the mountains. But I wouldn't panic. The most-likely eruption at Yellowstone in the next hundred years or so is a steam explosion. In the world of volcanic activity, those are also-rans. There have been more ordinary eruptions than super-eruptions at Yellowstone. Doug
Comment icon #49 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
The hot spot is what created those plains - by blowing away the mountains. No. The only two major eruptions of not (i.e. "mega-volcano") were the last two. The Yellowstone hotspot did not blow away a mountain range spanning the length of Idaho and part of Oregon (geez...). The plain came from the Missouri River.
Comment icon #50 Posted by socrates.junior 8 years ago
No. The only two major eruptions of not (i.e. "mega-volcano") were the last two. The Yellowstone hotspot did not blow away a mountain range spanning the length of Idaho and part of Oregon (geez...). The plain came from the Missouri River. And I'm here to say...both wrong! The Yellowstone hotspot did not blow away a mountain range. The Snake River plain did not come from the Missouri river. EDIT: http://geology.isu.edu/Digital_Geology_Idaho/Module11/Beranek_etal_2006.pdf The Yellowstone hotspot controlled the east-migrating continental divide, in the wake of which formed the western-draining, a... [More]
Comment icon #51 Posted by White Crane Feather 8 years ago
The hot spot is what created those plains - by blowing away the mountains. But I wouldn't panic. The most-likely eruption at Yellowstone in the next hundred years or so is a steam explosion. In the world of volcanic activity, those are also-rans. There have been more ordinary eruptions than super-eruptions at Yellowstone. Doug That's what I have read. The most likely eruption is a steam vent exsplosion. Pobably somwhere near yellowstone lake. These exsplosions happen much more frequently and are even recorded in native American tradition. Some tribes early on would not even go near yellowstone... [More]
Comment icon #52 Posted by aquatus1 8 years ago
And I'm here to say...both wrong! The Yellowstone hotspot did not blow away a mountain range. The Snake River plain did not come from the Missouri river. EDIT: http://geology.isu.e...k_etal_2006.pdf Huh. How about that? I stand corrected. First I've heard of this way a plain is made.
Comment icon #53 Posted by She-ra 8 years ago
Still Waters just posted another article about an eruption off Oregon. Link: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=281055 This in Yellowstone mixed with Hawaii's latest issues Link: http://www.unexplained-mysteries.com/forum/index.php?showtopic=280996&hl=%2Bhawaii ...and now off Oregon... Are these all linked? Sorry for my ignorance. If anyone knows can they comment on this?
Comment icon #54 Posted by Thorvir Hrothgaard 8 years ago
I don't know if tens of millions of people flee to Mexico to Avoid a mega ash cloud they just might. But, according to other posters, it won't matter where we go. We're ALL going to die. Sigh. I'd rather take my chances with a "mega ash cloud" that may or may not exist as opposed to going to Mexico.


Please Login or Register to post a comment.


Our new book is out now!

The Unexplained Mysteries
Book of Weird News

 AVAILABLE NOW 

Take a walk on the weird side with this compilation of some of the weirdest stories ever to grace the pages of a newspaper.

Click here to learn more

We need your help!

Support us on Patreon

 BONUS CONTENT 

For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you can gain access to a wide range of exclusive perks including our popular 'Lost Ghost Stories' series.

Click here to learn more

 Total Posts: 7,364,554    Topics: 303,083    Members: 198,931

 Not a member yet ? Click here to join - registration is free and only takes a moment!
Recent news and articles