Yellowstone Volcano: Super eruptions 'are very rare' says expert
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Geologists behind the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) have compiled their monthly activity update for the Yellowstone volcano in the Western United States. A total of 43 earthquakes rocked the volcano last month and the tremors were accompanied by three eruptions of the world-famous Steamboat geyser. Although the activity is below the par for Yellowstone’s monthly output, many people fear Yellowstone is due to pop without notice.
The volcano’s biggest eruptions went off some 640,000, 1.3 million and 2.1 million years ago, leading people to wrongly believe Yellowstone erupts like clockwork.
Scientists and volcanologists do their best to quash this claim but social media is still rife with unfounded conspiracies and doomsday claims.
One person tweeted: “The supervolcano in Yellowstone will erupt before we get a comeback.”
Another person said: “Man I remember watching a movie in seventh grade science class about Yellowstone and how it’s bound to erupt any year now and just decimate the planet… I’m waiting ma’am.”
And a third person said: “More earthquakes happening at Yellowstone which again may be precursors to an eruption.
“But for some reason the monitors there aren’t working (?) which seems unlikely given it’s a supervolcano and one of only five volcanoes globally monitored for magma flow.”
Thankfully, the volcano is not expected to erupt any time soon and the recent spate of activity should in no way be seen as a warning sign from Mother Nature.
According to the YVO branch of the US Geological Survey (USGS), Yellowstone was rocked by 43 earthquakes throughout the entire month of April.
Yellowstone volcano: Expert debunks theory of 'overdue' eruption
The strongest of the tremors was a minor magnitude 2.5 quake on April 27.
The earthquake was detected some 15 miles northeast of West Yellowstone in the state of Montana.
The USGS said: “No swarm activity was observed in April. Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels. “
For comparison, a total of 105 earthquakes including a swarm of 12 were detected in March.
This is the norm for Yellowstone where up to 3,000 earthquakes are detected each month.
And none of them so far have been interpreted as a sign of a brewing eruption.
The USGS said: “Yellowstone is monitored for signs of volcanic activity by YVO scientists who detect earthquakes using seismographs and ground motion using GPS (Global Positioning System).
“YVO has not detected signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.”
The USGS also recorded three eruptions of Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest active geyser.
The geyser in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin went off on April 4, 16 and 23.
The USGS said: “This brings the total number of eruptions for the year to 10.”
If the volcano does ever blow again, the USGS’s scientists speculate it could be a hydrothermal eruption and not a volcanic one.
During a hydrothermal eruption, shallow reservoirs of steam and hot water can blast out craters up to a kilometre wide.
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