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10 Interesting Facts About the Yellowstone Super Volcano

Welcome Everyone, we’re taking a look at 10 Interesting Facts About The Yellowstone Super Volcano that has the power to destroy the United States with a massive super-eruption!


The current caldera at Yellowstone national park sits at an elevation of 9,203 ft

10. Size

The current caldera at Yellowstone national park sits at an elevation of 9,203 ft with the size of the active caldera measures 34 miles east to west and 45 miles north to south.

The size of the park surrounding the volcano is actually much much larger.

The magma chamber that sits underneath the park is what controls the hydrothermal vents and other goings-on within the park.

9. Magma Chamber

The magma chamber that sits underneath the park is what controls the hydrothermal vents and other goings-on within the park.

Geysers like old faithful and the hot springs at the Norris Geyser Basin are controlled by this feature.

The size of the magma chamber was recently discovered to be 2 and a half times larger in 2013 and is estimated to be 50 miles long and 12 miles wide.

It also has 960 cubic miles underground mass, of which 6–8% is filled with molten rock making it bigger than the city of London.

The last full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone Super Volcano, the Lava Creek eruption which happened nearly 640,000 years ago

8. Previous Eruptions

The last full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone Super Volcano, the Lava Creek eruption which happened nearly 640,000 years ago, ejected approximately 240 cubic miles of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky.

Other eruptions occurred 2.1 million years ago and 1.3 million years ago, forming the Island Park Caldera and the Henry’s Fork Caldera.

These include increased earthquake activity with several major quakes possible above 7 on the Richter scale

7. Eruption Signs

Several eruption signs will be present before the volcano blows.

These include increased earthquake activity with several major quakes possible above 7 on the Richter scale, uplifting of the caldera floor and harmonic tremors where magma finds its way through the caldera roof towards the surface during smaller earthquakes.

Once the pressure in the chamber reaches a critical level eruption will be inevitable. Increased sulphur and other toxic gasses could also be an impending sign of activity.

Several immediate effects of a full-blown eruption will include the total destruction of everything within a 100-mile radius of the park.

6. Eruption Effects

Several immediate effects of a full-blown eruption will include the total destruction of everything within a 100-mile radius of the park.

Ash-fall will cover much of the United States destroying food and water sources. House roofs are liable for collapse as ash piles up on top of them.

Suffocation due to inhaling toxic ash will kill millions of people.

Most wildlife will be killed if it does not escape the ash. Major cities like Buffalo, Big Sky and Jackson will be rendered uninhabitable with most major cities in the US suffering some form of shut down due to ash-fall.

While the US will be the worst affected country from a Yellowstone Super volcanic Eruption there will be no country on earth that completely escapes.

5. Global Eruption Effects

While the US will be the worst affected country from a Yellowstone Super volcanic Eruption there will be no country on earth that completely escapes.

Global temperatures will be expected to dip as ash and gasses reduce sunlight reaching the planet’s surface.

Volcanic winter would destroy much of the worlds food production and render much of the northern hemisphere uninhabitable during the winter months.

Other effects would include millions of dead, severe lack of fresh water and food world-wide and dissent within populations leading to civil unrest.

While current activity is very low the park does suffer daily minor earthquakes with the occasional quake dipping above 3 on the Richter scale.

4. Current Activity

The current activity with regards to Volcanism at the park is registered at background levels according to the United States Geological Survey who monitor all aspects of the volcanic system at the park.

While current activity is very low the park does suffer daily minor earthquakes with the occasional quake dipping above 3 on the Richter scale.

There have been no severe hydrothermal explosions in the last few years.

Occasionally the Volcano suffers from what is called earthquake swarms in which a large number of earthquakes

3. Earthquake Swarms

Occasionally the Volcano suffers from what is called earthquake swarms in which a large number of earthquakes, roughly 1000 plus and all measuring under 2 on the Richter scale, hit within a few days of each other.

These are usually caused by a shift in the rock on the caldera floor of a minor collapse within the volcanic system.

They are not seen as a major eruption sign unless larger earthquakes follow.

Back in 2003 a survey of Yellowstone lake floor revealed an elevated plane that was over 2000 feet long and rose over 100 feet

2. Yellowstone Lake Bulge

Back in 2003, a survey of Yellowstone lake floor revealed an elevated plane that was over 2000 feet long and rose over 100 feet above the lake floor.

This was picked up by the media who dubbed it the Yellowstone lake bulge and several news agencies decided that it was a pre-courser to an eruption.

This was dismissed by the USGS and to this day the “elevated plane” which is home to many hot springs within the lake, has never caused any problems.

That being said this part of the lake is under constant monitoring, just in case.

The volcano may erupt tomorrow or it may erupt in 50,000 years however there is currently no way to tell when this will happen

1. Overdue

It is not well known that the Yellowstone Supervolcano is well overdue to erupt. Typical major eruptions happen once every 600,000 years and the last major eruption to cause life-changing effects on earth was over 640,000 years ago.

This makes the volcano 40,000 years overdue to erupt making the possibility of a larger eruption more likely with every passing year that follows.

The volcano may erupt tomorrow or it may erupt in 50,000 years however there is currently no way to tell when this will happen.

The USGS continues to monitor the park 24/7 and evacuation plans are in place should the worst happen.



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