express.co.uk: YELLOWSTONE volcano is responsible for three of the most devastating super eruptions to wreak havoc across Earth, and scientists are now in a rush to figure out if we are long overdue total annihilation.
Three large Yellowstone volcano mega eruptions have rocked the planet in the past, with the first Earth-shattering blast occurring 2.1 million years the ago.
The second super volcano eruption took place 1.3 million years ago in what is today’s Island Park in Eastern Idaho.
The third and most recent cataclysmic eruption split the US about 640,000 years and formed the Yellowstone caldera as we know it today.
Uplift of the gound at Yellowstone, 2017
Yellowstone eruptions seem to occur roughly every 600,000 to 700,000 years and many are now concerned Yellowstone is overdue another crushing eruption.
The fear of eruption is in fact so prevalent, many US citizens have flooded social media to warn their fellow countrymen.
Twitter user @RonJac12 posted: “An eruption at Yellowstone is about 15,000 years overdue.
“The last eruption sent the earth into the last ice age. The next one is looming and could end mankind.
“I’ve always thought Mother Earth would do us in before we could do it to ourselves.”
Another person, @cornsyrupisgood, tweeted: “We’re overdue. Mount St. Helens was just a warning and Yellowstone is a ticking time bomb.
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“Also, the tectonic plates NW of Washington state in the ocean are also long overdue.”
Michael J Rico, also said online: “We live on knife’s edge at all times. The Yellowstone super volcano goes off like clockwork every 630 thousand years give or take a few thousand.
“It’s about 20 thousand overdue now. Will it happen? Yes, and soon enough. It will cause our extinction.”
Scientists now estimate Yellowstone is one of the most unpredictable and dangerous threats faced by humanity.
In October 2017, a team of researchers studying minerals from Yellowstone’s last eruption, suggested the volcano could blow a lot faster than expected.
Hannah Shamloo and Christy Till at the University of Arizona tackled the commonly held assumption Yellowstone would prepare to blow over several centuries. Instead they suggested we have decades.
Ms Shamloo said: “It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption.”
Thankfully now there are no direct indicators Yellowstone is preparing to erupt anytime soon, even if the worst estimates assume the volcano is thousands of years overdue.
How deep is the magma under Yellowstone? 2km = 1.24274 miles
Michael Poland, geophysicist at the Cascades Volcano Observatory, said: “We see interesting things all the time… but we haven’t seen anything that would lead us to believe that the sort of magmatic event described by the researchers is happening.”
When Yellowstone erupted 630,000 years ago, the super volcano spewed 240 cubic miles worth of terrifying ash and rock.
A much smaller eruption, and the last one on record, took place around 70,000 years.
Some scientists believe if Yellowstone were to erupt today, to would mostly resemble the minor eruption.
Dr Till said: “It would most likely be one of the smaller ones. If we were looking for warning signs, that’s what would we be looking for.”