Scientists claim that the Yellowstone supervolcano is about to erupt since they have evidence of a huge magma plume under the national park. The magma plume reportedly stretches from the U.S. to Mexico and may be a sign that the dormant volcano is about to wake up.
The scientists who made the discovery, Peter Nelson and Stephen Grand, reported that they found a dense column of volcanic ash, which is a telltale sign of an incoming volcanic eruption. University of Texas researchers believe that the recently found plume may explain the local volcanic activity in recent years.
The findings were confirmed by Yellowstone Park researchers, who had reported an increased volcanic activity this month. On March 15, the park witnessed the largest geyser eruption to date.
Other volcano watchers believe too that recent events may herald a supervolcano eruption. What’s more since the March 15 event, there were nearly a dozen earthquakes in the area. This suggests that the subsurface magma has become restless.
Yellowstone Supervolcano Has So Far Been Dormant
The supervolcano also known as the Yellowstone Caldera is located beneath the national park. Scientists believe that its last eruption was 630,000 years ago. The two Texas researchers said they spotted a “long, thin, sloping” area within the mantle.
In that area seismic waves slowed down their pace. A research paper on the mantle appeared this week in the journal Nature Geoscience. The study estimates the magma’s temperature to be in the 600-800C-degree range.
Nelson and Grand, however, don’t want the world to panic yet. They said they needed to further study the phenomenon as there are still many questions about the volcano to be answered.
The strongest earthquake to hit the park happened in 1959. It had a 7.3 magnitude, which is the largest for the area on record.
Image Source: Wikimedia
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