Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Yellowstone Supervolcano is Active, but Not Likely to Erupt in Near Future

Scientists have revealed that supervolcano in the Yellowstone National Park in the United States is active even though it is not going to erupt anytime soon. The volcano is known as the Yellowstone Caldera and it has not erupted in the last 70,000 years.

Scientists believe that the volcano erupts about every 700,000 years, thus it does not pose any threat of eruption in near future.

But scientists have been continuously monitoring the volcano so as to better understand its behavior just in case something was to happen.

The volcano is so big that if it ever explodes, the ash coming out of it will cover most of the United States. The volcano has not erupted yet, but it is active. Yellowstone's famous geysers, boiling rivers, and mud pits are created by it. There is immense heat below that ground and due to its rise, constant changes are caused throughout the entire park.

Geologist Henry Heasler said hydro-thermal system could be explained by the warmth from the volcano. The heat rises to the surface where the magma chamber is located at a reasonably shallow depth.

Many people have become worried unnecessarily because of the changes caused by the superficial depth. Yellowstone has witnessed its ground rising and falling in places. A large area of the park has gone up almost 1.5 inches and shifted half an inch of the ground to the south in the past few decades.

A Yellowstone volcano - operated by the United States Geological Survey - has said that there is no need to worry as it is totally normal.

"Yellowstone is the most recent system along the hot spot. There are older volcanic systems that march their way up the plains, and as they got older and older, all of those systems eventually cooled", said Lowenstern, the lead scientist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. He added that Yellowstone will be a good place to grow potatoes one day.

Submitted by Martha Pule on Wed, 03/26/2014 - 11:59

Originally published on News Tonight Africa