If the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts, the global temperatures would fall by several degrees, calling for an Ice Age of sorts.
A home for a beautiful landscape, geysers, forests, mud spots, and hot springs, the history of the Yellowstone National Park trails back to the year 1872. The location of this supervolcano can be found engulfing the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. Majorly, the park is housed in Wyoming. It is the first National Park ever established in the US. Yellowstone rests over a huge span of molten matter, beneath the Earth's surface, which is enough to draw an end to most parts of the US. The effects would be of such magnitude that there would be permanent changes on the face of the Earth, putting a halt to several lives in a span of a few minutes. Catastrophic, indeed! The wide range of geysers, hot springs, and earthquakes, which throng the park, are the subject matter for a wide range of scientific studies that are going on in full swing. By studying these, the scientists are able to lay down some facts about the future course of action of this underground molten death that makes Yellowstone a dangerous, yet beautiful place.
✦ A supervolcano yields in a gigantic volcanic eruption, the effects of which are devastating and can alter lives across the globe. The Yellowstone National Park is one such.
✦ Supervolcanic eruptions take place from the depressions on the crust of the Earth, where the magma rises from below up to the Earth's crust.
✦ The magma is so large in quantity that when it is emitted out, it flows like a river, and in the process, the rocks collapse, leading to the formation of caldera.
✦ The park has got numerous springs and geysers. This makes the park a 'hotspot', and thus, America is marked by several craters.
✦ Like the other volcanoes, which take the shape of a cone, supervolcanoes are hard to be noticed. The caldera, or the crater, is so big that it sometimes requires aerial viewing to find them.
✦ Yellowstone has experienced three supervolcanic eruptions, apart from numerous other smaller eruptions.
✦ The average gap between such supervolcanic eruptions was about 8,000,000 years, say noted scientists.
✦ The Yellowstone National Park is active to this day, with no indications about its eruption, but certainly, the eruption can't be ignored. There are strong references, which show that the volcano will erupt sooner or later.
✦ The annual number of visitors at the park is very high, close to over 3 million approximately.
✦ There are reports hinting that in February, 2014, there were some strange abnormalities that took place in the supervolcano, located at Yellowstone National Park. These things are usually observed before volcanic eruptions.
✦ Yellowstone is one of the 'hotspots', like Hawaii and Iceland.
✦ The hottest geyser that is present in the park is known as the Norris Geyser Basin.
✦ The Norris Geyser has got two divisions: one is known as the Black Basin, and the other is called the Porcelain Basin.
✦ The striking factor of the Porcelain Basin is that it is devoid of any vegetation, even algae and bacteria for that matter. The place is so high in acidic substance that it is difficult for life to thrive and flourish here.
✦ The place is a treat to see because of the colors that are at display. The colors are the result of the mineral oxides.
✦ There were cracks observed on the ground, and also there was emission of helium-4 gas from beneath the surface.
✦ The last time this supervolcano erupted was over 6,000,000 years back.
✦ Around two-thirds of the US would be brought to ash in just a couple of minutes in case of an eruption―such would be the severity.
✦ The helium-4 gas, which suggests the oncoming of volcanoes, was not present at Yellowstone at all. It rather appeared in a very short time span, suggesting the approach of another massive eruption.
✦ Volcanic eruptions are usually preceded by earthquakes. The US experienced one such earthquake in February 2014, and again a number of such earthquakes in March 2014, escalating the chances of a volcanic eruption. But the eruption need not be super eruption, conclude scientists.
✦ The ground level at the Yellowstone National Park has risen by 10 inches, which again testifies the gigantic eruption that lies underneath the Yellowstone. The rise in the ground level is attributed to the increase in the gases under the Earth, along with their rise upwards and the rise in the magma below. The latter can propel the destructive volcanic eruption.
✦ The average expected time for the eruption could range from immediate to 1,000,000 years.
✦ The fleeing of the animals like bison is yet another indicator of an upcoming surge that lies beneath the Yellowstone. After all, animals are well-guided by their sixth sense!
✦ The explosion of such volcanoes occur within a span of millions of years, leaving craters, volcanic ash, and gases in the atmosphere, as evidence of the eruption. The crater at Mary Bay resulted due to one such massive explosion. However, smaller eruptions also do occur in a smaller duration of time; for instance, the outbreak at Mount St. Helens, 1980. Smaller eruptions, like this, can be expected in the near future.
✦ Unlike the other hotspots, Yellowstone is located under the land, and not under the sea.
✦ The Bishop ash bed and the Huckleberry Ridge ash bed are the resultant of supervolcanic eruptions in the US.
✦ Yellowstone has about 40 waterfalls in its bosom. It is one of the richest sources of water in the US. Old Faithful, one of the geysers in Yellowstone, is known to erupt every hour.
Despite such startling facts, the Yellowstone National Park is thronged by millions, and many scientists are of the opinion that devastation of such magnitude, like that of a supervolcano, may take some more time to rise, probably not in our lifetime. The Yellowstone volcanic eruption prediction may not give the details of an imminent eruption, round the corner, but the place will have frequent occurrence of earthquakes and eruptions of a smaller stature. However, let's not forget that we are too inferior to predict nature's whereabouts.