Yellowstone es eThe oldest and most famous national park in the United States. And it is located on one of the largest volcanoes on earth. What if Yellowstone explodes? The prospect is frightening and full of uncertainty.
The last major eruption in Yellowstone 640,000 years ago. It was a thousand times more powerful than the 1980 eruption of Mount Saint Helens. It is estimated that the column of ash thrown by the Yellowstone explosion reached a height of 30,000 meters and covered the entire west as far as the Gulf of Mexico with dust. Entire valleys were covered with molten asphalt. ORThe eruption 2.1 million years ago was more than twice as powerful. It left a hole in the ground the size of the island of Mallorca.
Every time the entire planet must have felt the effects. The gases that reached the stratosphere must have mixed with water vapor and created a fog that overshadowed the sun. The volcanic winter created a planetary cooling that reduced the human population to possibly a few thousand individuals.
Bob Smith is a geophysicist at the University of Utah and a leading expert on the Yellowstone super volcano. Explain that river trout is abundant because hydrothermal springs heat Yellowstone’s water. In fact, half of the geysers on the planet are here.
In 1973 Smith discovered something. The Hayden Valley above the caldera north of the lake had risen about 75 centimeters in the past few decades. But The southern end of the lake hadn’t risen at all. The water was pushed to the south bank. The floor was arched. The volcano was active.
Smith published the results of his study in 1979. He described Yellowstone in several interviews as “a caldera that lives and breathes”. “It’s what we call an unstable kettle,” he explains. The bottom line after many cycles is to collect enough magma to erupt. And we don’t know what these cycles are. ” So it is very likely that there will be an outbreak at some point. The chances of a full eruption that could form a caldera, a disaster that could kill thousands of people and plunge the planet into a volcanic winter, are unknown.. It could happen in the course of our lives or in more than 100,000 years. It can never happen.
We don’t know what will happen if Yellowstone explodes, but we know it will happen sooner or later. I hope it is very, very far in time.