Specialists debate a possible catastrophic eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano. Some say it is likely to happen, while others say there is a 1 to 730000 chance that it will. In the meantime, a NASA employee thinks he found a possible way to prevent it.
A specialist believes that Yellowstone will erupt soon
The latest activity of Yellowstone Supervolcano led experts like Professor Emeritus Scott Burns from Portland State University Geology to think that it poses a threat of a super-eruption. In the past month, there has been an earthquake swarm going on in Yellowstone magmatic viscera. An earthquake swarm is a sequence of seismic events occurring in a local area within a relatively short period.
In the last 28 days, Yellowstone Volcano provoked 174 earthquakes. The most considerable magnitude was 2.4 tremors on February 10. Not a significant quake, but the “if you get swarms under a working volcano, the working hypothesis is that magma is moving up underneath there,” says Scott Burns.
Other experts disagree, like Jamie Farrell, at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. “Earthquake swarms are fairly common in Yellowstone. There is no indication that this swarm is related to magma moving through the shallow crust,” he says.
In the meantime, back at NASA, someone has come up with a solution: cold water. If cold water would be fed into the magma chambers of the volcano, 10 kilometers deep, it might lower the temperature of it. This might make the caldera less eager to burst into ashes and cover half of the US with it. This is the catastrophically scenario of the caldera eruption.
History of Yellowstone Caldera
The Yellowstone Caldera is a volcanic caldera and a super-volcano in Yellowstone National Park in the Western United States. The caldera and a broad surface or the park are located in the northwest corner of Wyoming. The significant features of the caldera measure about 34 by 45 miles.
There were three super-eruptions over the past 2.1 million years. The Huckleberry Ridge eruption took place 2.1 million years ago, the Mesa Falls eruption 1.3 million years, and the Lava Creek eruption approximately 630,000 years ago. The last one created the Yellowstone Caldera and the Lava Creek Tuff.
In 1985, more than 3,000 earthquakes were measured at Yellowstone Caldera over several months. The Matsushiro swarm, in Japan, lasted from 1965 to 1967 and generated about 1 million earthquakes. So, these could be reasons to believe the sunnier scenario. Now, we could be thousands of seconds, or thousands of years away from the fourth eruption. Magma can’t be predicted.