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What type of eruption will Yellowstone have if it erupts again?
The most likely explosive event to occur at Yellowstone is actually a hydrothermal explosion—a rock-hurling geyser eruption—or a lava flow. Hydrothermal explosions are very small;
they occur in Yellowstone National Park every few years and form a crater a few meters across. Every few thousand years, a hydrothermal explosion will form a crater as much as a few hundred meters across.
Though the worst-case scenario for a giant Yellowstone eruption is indeed bad
and could have global implications, most past eruptions at Yellowstone were not highly explosive. Of the past 50 or so eruptions, almost all were simple lava flows.
If they occurred tomorrow or next year, they would have minimal direct effect outside Yellowstone National Park.
As for the worst-case scenario, even previous Yellowstone supereruptions did not cause extinctions, and ash fallout on the other side of the continent was minimal.
Yellowstone is routinely monitored for signs of volcanic activity.
These methods include using seismographs to detect earthquakes and using GPS (Global Positioning System) to detect ground motion.
The USGS has not detected any signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.
What is a supervolcano? What is a supereruption?
What would happen if a “supervolcano” eruption occurred again at Yellowstone?
Will Yellowstone Erupt Soon and Kill Us All?
I get asked about Yellowstone at least a few times a month. It’s almost never a question about the gorgeous geysers, hot springs, mud pots, or other hydrothermal features.
People don’t even ask me where the Yellowstone hotspot was hanging out before it got to Wyoming (I’m going to tell you about it in an upcoming post, though!).
The questions I get most frequently about America’s most famous volcanic National Park are these:
1. Is Yellowstone going to erupt soon?
Those questions honestly make me sad, because there’s so much exciting stuff about it, and it all gets buried under a metric crapton of sensationalism and misinformation.
delivered near daily by various press outlets and television specials. Has Yellowstone experienced enormous eruptions in the past?
It definitely has, repeatedly. Will it erupt on those huge scales again? Quite possibly!
But we’re going to see why the volcanologists at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory aren’t placing their bets on a Big One happening any time soon .
(even on a geologic timescale), and why civilization as a whole will probably survive the blast even if it does.
If you decide not to read on and just want the quick answers, here’s the tl;dr:
1. Yes, it will! But the next eruption is likely to be pretty small, just a bit of lava extruding with maybe minor amounts of ash. And with all of the equipment we’ve got the volcano wired with, we’ll have ample notice.
2. If the next enormous eruption happens in our lifetimes, there will of course be death and destruction, but not enough to destroy the United States, or even just the American West. Civilization as we know it will survive.
2. When it does, will it destroy civilization?
What will happen when the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts again?
In honor of our students participating in Columbia Public Schools Science Department trips to Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park.
we take a look at what might happen when this giant volcano will erupt. It has happened before and it will happen again.
All of the hot springs, geysers, steaming mud pots, and steam vents in Yellowstone National Park are caused by the massive amount of heat underground.
Yellowstone’s steaming attractions bring in millions of visitors who enjoy the spectacular sights.
But at some point, Yellowstone is going to erupt. It has erupted before and it will erupt again.
Scientists have been studying the Supervolcano at Yellowstone for a long time, and piecing the studies together gives us a glimpse of what things will be like next time Yellowstone erupts.
What will happen?
When Yellowstone does erupt, it won’t be like Hawaii and it won’t even be like Mount St. Helens. The pool of magma underneath Yellowstone is huge, and it will take days or weeks to empty.
The explosion will be so powerful that huge amounts of ash will be ejected into the stratosphere.
Some of this ash will fall to create accumulations of up to 10 feet within a couple hundred miles of Yellowstone.
Geologists have been able to find a layer of ash from the last eruption in the rock layers all the way on the East Coast.
What’s the biggest danger?
Those actually in or near the park will likely not even know what happened, as a huge explosion would occur at the start of the eruption.
Those farther away won’t have to deal with the explosion, but the outlook might not be much better.
Will life survive?
Of course it will. As was mentioned earlier, the Yellowstone volcano has erupted several times in the last couple million years.
and we still have life on Earth today. The biggest difference between then and now is that the Earth did not have such a huge population of humans to feed after the last eruptions.
That will be a problem. However, life in general will survive and so will the human race. However, there will be losses.
Will there be a warning?
Yellowstone made the news recently because Steamboat Geyser, one of Yellowstone’s famous geysers, completely changed eruption patterns.
However, rumors of an imminent major eruption had no scientific backing.
Scientists are monitoring the volcano 24 hours a day, measuring everything from geyser eruptions, hot spring temperatures and ground uplift.
Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is an American national park located in the western United States, largely in the northwest corner of Wyoming and extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established by the U.S. Congress and signed into law by President Ulysses S. Grant on March 1.
The park contains the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, from which it takes its historical name. Near the end of the 18th century, French trappers named the river Roche Jaune, which is probably a translation of the Hidatsa name Mi tsi a-da-zi (“Yellow Rock River”)
- RESOURCE: WIKIPEDIA