Yellowstone's Supervolcano Could Spew Ash Across the Entire US

The pools steam and bubble reminding you that this volcano is well overdue an eruption taken in May 2016 in Yellowstone National Park Wyoming United States

The Yellowstone super volcano could erupt much earlier compared to previous estimates, as per a new research team from Arizona State University working in the region in and around the Yellowstone National Park.

Researchers tested minerals in the fossilized ash and discovered that the last time the volcano woke up, fresh influxes of magma flowed into the reservoir decades prior to its eruption, National Geographic reported.

Analysing these trace crystals, the scientists were able to figure out what the temperature and pressure was like beneath the earth's crust thousands of years ago. Instead, the changes have taken decades. As Snopes points out, many outlets seemed to have zeroed in on lines like this from the Times story: "Scientists are just now starting to realize that the conditions that lead to supereruptions might emerge within a human lifetime".

Geologists previously believed it would take centuries for a buildup like that to lead to an eruption.

"We expected that there might be processes happening over thousands of years preceding the eruption", study co-author Christy Till said in an interview with the Times.

Assuming that the eruption would have an average magnitude of eight on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI), the Yellowstone volcano could spew more than 240 cubic miles (1,000 cubic kilometres) of hot rock and ash. That tremendous explosion would reportedly produce 250,000 times more deadly material than the Mount St. Helens eruption did in 1980.

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"It's shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption", she told the Times.

While there will be devastating consequences if the supervolcano were to erupt, researchers claim there is no reason to worry yet.

Supervolcanoes usually have a few common characteristics, including a massive cauldron-like crater, also known as a caldera, and a vast magma source, according to the U.S. Geological Survey.

In June, the Yellowstone supervolcano was hit with more than 400 earthquakes in one week, though researchers cautioned it was nothing nothing to be alarmed about.

If you're anxious a supervolcano lying beneath Yellowstone National Park could erupt and plunge the planet into a volcanic winter, you shouldn't be.

With so much talk lately about asteroids and biblical doomsday predictions, scientists are saying that people anxious about the end of the world shouldn't be looking to the sky: they should be looking down at the ground, CBS New York reports. You can still see evidence of the volcano's active state, with natural wonders like the Old Faithful geyser.

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