Basically: rumors of Yellowstone's impending catastrophic mega-eruption have been exponentially exaggerated. So what would happen if Yellowstone erupted again?eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],'realclearscience_com-under_first_paragraph','ezslot_0',125,'0','0'])); Science writer Bryan Walsh explored the subject in frightening detail in his recently-published book End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World. If the wind is blowing south, you’re screwed. What would happen if Yellowstone volcano erupted? The devastation would not be restricted to the local environment. 0:45. If that doesn't put you at ease, rest assured that the USGS has calculated the yearly risk of an eruption and it's pretty low, coming in at 1 in 730,000 — or that aforementioned 0.00014 percent chance.. "In every past catastrophe – hurricanes, earthquakes, floods – most of the United States remained untouched, which meant safe parts could divert aid to and take in refugees from affected regions. Yellowstone Volcano's next supereruption is likely to spew vast quantities of gases such as sulfur dioxide, which forms a sulfur aerosol that absorbs sunlight and reflects some of it back to space. Yellowstone is not overdue for an eruption. There have been some discussions at NASA about boring into Yellowstone's magma chambers and pumping in cold water to cool the system and quell the risk of an eruption, but this plan is wishful thinking at best. "The most likely thing to happen when it does erupt is a moderate eruption with a minimal effect outside of Yellowstone." Cars wouldn’t run. Why Does the Winchester Mystery House Have Stairs Leading Nowhere? Plan your visit to … All; News; Business; Politics; Science; World; Lifestyle; Tech; What would happen if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted? Even so, the math doesn’t work out for the volcano to be “overdue” for an eruption. What would happen if Yellowstone volcano erupted? Ash would be … It would continue for days, burying Yellowstone in lava within a forty-mile radius of the eruption.". While a Yellowstone eruption would definitely be a cause for concern, it would be unlikely to cause human extinction. yellowstone lava flows. What would happen if Yellowstone erupted? If the Yellowstone supervolcano were to erupt, it would happen like this: Heat rising from deep within the planet's core would begin to melt the molten rock just below the ground's surface. The resulting climate cooling could last up to a decade. This has led some people to wonder whether we should be worried about another Yellowstone eruption in the near future. "The most likely thing to happen when it does erupt is a moderate eruption with a minimal effect outside of Yellowstone." 0:55. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. So what are the chances that this could actually happen? In terms of large explosions, Yellowstone has experienced three at 2.08, 1.3, and 0.631 million years ago. "The most likely thing to happen when it does erupt is a moderate eruption with a minimal effect outside of Yellowstone." A Yellowstone eruption could devastate large swathes of the US, and form an ash cloud in the Earth’s atmosphere which could plunge the planet into chaos. The devastation would not be restricted to the local environment. According to some, the super-volcano at Yellowstone National Park in USA is long overdue an eruption... and when it does blow, it could trigger a global disaster on an apocalyptic scale! But it also has an unparalleled potential to destroy. August 2009. Located in the United States, one of the world's largest volcanoes is gearing up to explode. "Volcanoes." And by “near future,” we mean probably in another couple of hundred thousand years. http://www.wunderground.com/climate/volcanoes.asp?MR=1. But no corner of the continental U.S. would be exempt from the effects of a supervolcano.". An eruption like this at Yellowstone would be known as a supervolcanic eruption. Yellowstone's plume of ash, lava, and volcanic gases would reach a height of fifteen miles or more, and from this lofty position, be blown across North America. And once again, it wouldn't necessarily be the lava flows and ash that kill you; it might be the terrible fallout from the lava flows and ash that destroy the Midwest, or the global cooling that would happen as a result. A Yellowstone eruption would eject more than 2,000 million tonnes of sulphuric acid, causing a veil to form around the earth that blocks sunlight. Each year, millions of visitors trek over a massive magma chamber that, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), stretches from 5 km to 17 km beneath the surface and is about 90 km long and about 40 km wide. It is one of the world's largest active volcanic systems. Scientists at the United States Geological Survey created a detailed map showing how much ash would land, and where, if the Yellowstone supervolcano blows with its full potential. Weird & Wacky, Copyright © 2020 HowStuffWorks, a division of InfoSpace Holdings, LLC, a System1 Company. Located in the United States, one of the world's largest volcanoes is gearing up to explode. As he described, Yellowstone National Park would literally be erased from the face of the continent. The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, is evidence of the simmering volcanic activity that geologists say one day could erupt as a devastating "supervolcano." What Would Happen If Yellowstone Erupted. This is what if and here's what would happen if the Yellowstone volcano erupted tomorrow located in Wyoming in the United States, Yellowstone has erupted three times in the past two million years. "When Yellowstone Explodes." (May 16, 2015) http://www.ryot.org/supervolcano-yellowstone-volcano-will-it-erupt/765673, U.S. Geological Survey. United States Geological Survey. The most likely eruption scenario in Yellowstone is a smaller event that produced lava flows similar to what happened at Iceland’s Bárðarbunga and possible a typical volcanic explosion. In fact, Yellowstone hasn't erupted at all for 70,000 years, and the probability of a supereruption in any given year is somewhere between one in 100,000 and one in a million, according to Lowenstern. Not a supereruption: Grand Prismatic Spring, with its colored bacteria and microbial mats, in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. It bubbles just a few miles below the surface of Yellowstone National Park. While the Yellowstone national park in Wyoming is stunningly beautiful, with brightly coloured sulphuric hot springs and erupting geysers, it packs a mighty punch. In fact, Yellowstone hasn't erupted at all for 70,000 years, and the probability of a supereruption in any given year is somewhere between one in 100,000 and one in a million, according to Lowenstern. Modern humans have not yet experienced a super volcano eruption and it very well could cause extinction. While a Yellowstone eruption would definitely be a cause for concern, it would be unlikely to cause human extinction. The New York Times. It has erupted 3 times in tragic explosions over the … Achenbach, Joel. If that doesn't put you at ease, rest assured that the USGS has calculated the yearly risk of an eruption and it's pretty low, coming in at 1 … Old Faithful, the famed geyser in Yellowstone National Park, erupts with such captivating regularity, they named the whole gushing spring after it. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. United States Geological Survey. "eval(ez_write_tag([[468,60],'realclearscience_com-under_second_paragraph','ezslot_6',123,'0','0'])); The heavy ash would collapse roofs, contaminate water supplies, down power lines, prevent air travel, and perhaps even take out electrical transformers, bringing the nation's power grid to its knees. Yellowstone’s supervolcano is essentially a giant, lid-topped cauldron, and it’s so vast that it can only truly be seen from low-Earth orbit. USGS explains . a caldera on the scale of 10's of km is possible but nothing much bigger. Don't fall for the hype. More good news: the USGS monitors Yellowstone closely for any signs of an impending eruption. A more likely explosion at Yellowstone would be a hydrothermal eruption. Air would be filled with volcanic ash, a dirt/glass partial mixture that is deadly when breathed in. The pressure would build until, like champagne in a bottle given a vigorous shake, the magma would burst through the ground in a titanic eruption that would discharge the toxic innards of the Earth to the air. The Yellowstone volcano is considered to be a ticking bomb and this fact should not be ignored. The site is currently home to diverse wildlife – including the US’ largest bison population – and unique geological processes such as hot springs. As pressure is released, gases … "If This Supervolcano Erupts, Two-Thirds of America Will Be Screwed." "Volcano Hazards Program." But instead of waiting so long, what would happen if the eruption happened … "Hospitals would be choked with victims coughing up blood as the silicate in the ash slashed at their lungs. The Yellowstone supervolcano is different from a regular volcano. The most recent was 640,000 years ago, which formed Yellowstone as we know it and spewed 240 cubic miles of ash, rock and pyroclastic materials over roughly half of what is now the United States. July 2014. We are thousands of years overdue for Yellowstone to erupt. December 4, 2020. Those parts of the surrounding states of Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming that are closest to Yellowstone would be affected by pyroclastic flows, while other places in the United States would be impacted by falling ash (the amount of ash would … The most recent supervolcano eruption was 2,500 times larger than the May 18, 1980 eruption of Washington’s Mt. Such a giant eruption would have regional effects such as falling ash and short-term (years to decades) changes to global climate. Yellowstone volcano, otherwise known as the Yellowstone Caldera, is located in Wyoming at the Yellowstone National Park. This comes out to an average of about 725,000 It last erupted 640,000 years ago. Could a single volcanic eruption destroy all life on Earth? You asked us a question. Woman Launches Clothing Brand Designed for People With Disabilities– First of Its Kind in Egypt. It could release 1 … What would happen if the volcano in Yellowstone erupted? According to the United States Geological Survey (USGS), the surrounding States of Yellowstone – Montana, Idaho, and Wyoming – would be hit by pyroclastic flows. What would happen if Yellowstone volcano erupted? Luckily, you can take a deep breath of ashless oxygen, knowing that something like this will probably never happen, at least not in our lifetime. It last erupted 640,000 years ago. Yellowstone eruption: What happens if Yellowstone erupts? Their precaution could alert us to such an event years in advance, which would at least grant us time to prepare. While the famous supervolcano is a geological marvel, scientists have yet to raise the alarm of an imminent eruption, but this hasn’t stopped speculation. The eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano would be disastrous, so it's good to know that it probably won't blow again any time soon. The staff at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory are paying strict attention, and will be able to give you plenty of advance notice when the magma chamber fills to super eruption capacity. However, chances are you’re screwed anyway, due to the simply massive amount of material released. What If Yellowstone's Supervolcano Erupted? Months of earthquakes would culminate in a huge quake, creating fissures to the magma chamber 7km below. Citizens might be mildly amused at first at the "black snow," but they'd soon realize the danger it presents. Ask Smithsonian: What Would Happen if the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted? The USGS estimates the probability at 1 in 730,000 in any given year. If you want to put a dollar cost on it, "a FEMA estimate pegged the total damage to the United States from a Yellowstone supervolcano at $3 trillion, some 16 percent of the country's GDP," Walsh added. Ask Smithsonian: What Would Happen if the Yellowstone Volcano Erupted? Have you ever wondered why Yellowstone is full of hot springs, bubbling mudpots and geysers like Old Faithful? Take a deep breath: in, out. RYOT. yellowstone map (National Park Service)It's worth noting that Yellowstone is hardly the only supervolcano out there — geologists have found evidence of at least 47 super-eruptions in Earth's history. June 9, 2020. The most recent occurred in New Zealand's Lake Taupo some 26,000 years ago.. More dramatically, there was the gargantuan Toba eruption 74,000 years ago, caused by shifting tectonic plates. St. Helens. A tsunami would not result as yellowstone is inland, also tsunami are caused by under water earthquakes, not volcanism. Located in Wyoming, United States, Yellowstone has erupted three times in the past 2 million years. The supervolcano beneath Yellowstone is not … Yellowstone volcano eruptions could one day leave the world under a blanket of ash, according to numerous natural disaster films and fictional accounts. Lurking beneath Yellowstone National Park is a massive underground reservoir of magma, capped by the park's famous caldera. (May 15, 2015) https://www.nytimes.com/books/00/02/27/reviews/000227.27brownet.html, Lemas, Matt. "[A Yellowstone supervolcano] would be the first truly continental-scale disaster..." Walsh wrote. This would likely be precipitated by a swarm of earthquakes in a specific region of the park as the magma made its way to the surface. Buzz60 . 1:02. Soon, It Might Happen Again . Worse still, ashfall would likely wipe out the Midwest's crop of corn and soybeans, should the eruption occur during the grow season. According to Dr Robert B. Smith, an expert on supervolcanoes, if Yellowstone was to blow today, “devastation would be complete and incomprehensible”. This article was adapted from Bryan Walsh's entertaining and enlightening new book, End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World. In fact, Yellowstone hasn't erupted at all for 70,000 years, and the probability of a supereruption in any given year is somewhere between one in 100,000 and one in a million, according to Lowenstern. Volcanoes do not work in predictable ways and their eruptions do not follow predictable schedules. The site is currently home to diverse wildlife – including the US’ largest bison population – and unique geological processes such as hot springs. December 4, 2020. Have you ever wondered why Yellowstone is full of hot springs, bubbling mudpots and geysers like Old Faithful? 0:35. Although most people associated lava with a huge volcanic eruption this would not be the biggest fear. Hyperbolic headlines of a supereruption, which scientists have dismissed as sensationalized, have stoked something of a panic this week.Contrary to their sense of alarm, the odds of a supereruption beneath Yellowstone park in the next few thousand years are “exceedingly low.” The eruption of the massive Yellowstone volcano could kill up to 90,000 people in an instant and create a dense. While there are gaps in our volcano monitoring program, we are better … National Geographic. Post-caldera lava flows at Yellowstone Volcano. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Phenomenal bursts of hot water and steam – fed by the geothermal activity of the Yellowstone supervolcano underneath – spurt up with such punctuality they can even be predicted, giving the geyser the nickname of Eternity's Timepiece. "What will happen if the volcano under Yellowstone erupts?" Yellowstone volcano, otherwise known as the Yellowstone Caldera, is located in Wyoming at the Yellowstone National Park. The most likely explosive event to occur at Yellowstone is actually a hydrothermal explosion—a rock-hurling geyser eruption—or a lava flow. Post-caldera lava flows at Yellowstone Volcano. (May 16, 2015) http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/print/2009/08/yellowstone/achenbach-text, Browne, Malcom. 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