Largest super-volcano to wipe out two-thirds of U.S.?

Largest super-volcano to wipe out two-thirds of U.S.?

Is the world’s largest super-volcano set to erupt for the first time in 600,000 years, wiping out two-thirds of the U.S.?

25 Jan 11 – That’s the headline today in the UK’s Mail Online.

Exploding with a force a thousand times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens, the super-volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park would spew lava far into the sky and dump a layer of plant-killing ash 10-feet-deep up to 1,000 miles away.

Imagine what 10 feet of ash would do to the lakes and rivers, even to the oceans.

Say goodbye, fish. Say goodbye, cattle. Say goodbye, crops. Say hello, ice age.

“Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes,” says journalist Daniel Bates.

I don’t think it would force them to leave their homes. I think they’d die in their homes as their roofs collapsed. Volcanic ash is much heavier than snow.

“This is the nightmare that scientists are predicting could happen if the world’s largest super-volcano erupts for the first time in 600,000 years, as it could do in the near future,” Bates continues.

Yellowstone Caldera - Credit USGS

The Yellowstone caldera (circled in red) in Wyoming is the world’s largest super-volcano (See larger version)

“Yellowstone National Park’s caldera has erupted three times in the last 2.1 million years and researchers monitoring it say we could be in for another eruption.

“They said that the super-volcano underneath the Wyoming park has been rising at a record rate since 2004 – its floor has gone up three inches per year for the last three years alone, the fastest rate since records began in 1923.

“But hampered by a lack of data they have stopped short of an all-out warning and they are unable to put a date on when the next disaster might take place.

“The University of Utah’s Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone’s volcanism told National Geographic: ‘At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption

“But he added: ‘Once we saw the magma was at a depth of ten kilometres, we weren’t so concerned.

‘If it had been at depths of two or three kilometres we’d have been a lot more concerned.’

“Since the most recent (super volcanic) blast 640,000 years ago there have been around 30 smaller eruptions, the most recent of which was 70,000 years ago.”

I wonder how many of those smaller eruptions coincided with the ice-age cycle?

See entire article by Daniel Bates:
Thanks to Emma Corry for this link

I wrote about this last week (Yellowstone rises ten inches in six years) but didn’t get near as dramatic.


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