Tsunamis, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes what natural disaster will Mother Nature unleash next? Will it be a super volcano? I certainly hope not! When discussing super volcanos one cannot leave Yellowstone National Park out of the conversation. Did you know that Yellowstone is home to one of the world’s largest volcanos? In fact a super volcano Yellowstone eruption might be over due? The last eruption was over 640,000 years ago and was a thousand times bigger than the 1980 Mount St. Helen eruption. Some scientists argue that the eruption may have triggered an ice age.
THE YELLOWSTONE CALDERA – You might be wondering what a caldera is. In simple terms it is a hole in the ground. When a chamber of magna erupts from the earth a large crater is left behind. This is what scientists refer to as a “caldera”. The massive chamber of hot magna is the distinguishing characteristic of a super-volcano and it is far superior in potential devastation than a standard cone-shaped volcano. Some geologists think that an intense plume of molten rock is located eighty miles below the surface of the earth. There is speculation by some that a chamber of magna is only three to five miles below the surface. The caldera is massive in size, roughly a thousand square miles. This is about the size of Rhode Island.
THE YELLOWSTONE HOTSPOT – Some scientist have labeled this impressive system of heat, plume and magna chamber the “Yellowstone Hotspot” There are more geothermal features found here than anywhere else in the entire world. I know you are probably wondering what a geothermal feature is. It is a term use to describe geysers, hot pots, hot springs, mud pots and steam vents found in the park
Two-thirds of all of the geysers in the world are found here. There are 300 plus geysers located in the boundaries of America’s first national park. Here there are over 10,000 thermal features. So when I tell you that there is not another place on earth like Yellowstone I am telling you the truth. Some names that have been used to describe the park are Geyserland, Fairyland, and Wonderland.
WILL THERE BE ANOTHER ERUPTION? – Now it is time to answer the question that all of you are asking yourself, will a super volcano Yellowstone eruption happen again? It is important to note that this has been and continues to be a very hotly debated topic. Science has discovered that large caldera eruptions occur on average about 600,000-800,000 years. The last eruption was 640,000 million years ago. Some would argue that we are overdue while others don’t seem to be terribly concerned. So the answer is no one really knows.
I wish that I could have provided you with a more definitive answer. Unfortunately, there is really no way of predicting when or if we are all doomed by another super eruption.
If you would like more information about current seismic activity in the park I have provided the following link. If you would like to learn more about Yellowstone take a look around the site. The site is dedicated to helping you plan a Yellowstone vacation. We provided a list of fun things to do on your trip. We have also included information about the best Yellowstone attractions.
Here is the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory website: http://www.volcanoes.usgs.gov/yvo.
1.Yellowstone Expedition Guide by TravelBrains (http://www.travelbrains.com)