Yellowstone Super Volcano not the size previously expected

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by Captain Kremmen, Dec 11, 2013.

  1. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,738
    No.
    It's over twice the size!

    The supervolcano that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in the US is far larger than was previously thought, scientists report.
    A study shows that the magma chamber is about 2.5 times bigger than earlier estimates suggested.
    A team found the cavern stretches for more than 90km (55 miles) and contains 200-600 cubic km of molten rock.
    The findings are being presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.


    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-25312674

    It hasn't blown for 650,000 years but is currently active.
    Should we be worried?
     
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  3. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    6,465
    Some reading material here:

    http://www.uusatrg.utah.edu/PAPERS/2007chang.pdf

    https://rock.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/22/9/article/i1052-5173-22-9-4.htm

    What I take from all this is that, presumably, the fact there are only modest signs of awakening puts some time limit on how soon it might erupt, on a human timescale. So maybe a degree of hope, plus a big dash of fatalism, but moderated in the short term (say a few generations?) by some mildly reassuring science. I note that the most likely from of activity is thought to be activity within the caldera rather than a cataclysmic magma outpouring and that the former is given an annual likelihood of between 2 and 6 in a hundred thousand.
     
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  5. Captain Kremmen All aboard, me Hearties! Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    12,738
    So
    If you want to worry, worry about a large asteroid collision.
    It'll do some damage when it does blow though.
     
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