New Research Sheds Light on Yellowstone Caldera Mechanics

New Research Sheds Light on Yellowstone Caldera Mechanics

According to National Geographic, researchers Hannah Shamloo and Christy Till from Arizona State University spent several weeks studying samples from the Lava Creek Tuff (seen above), which was formed by the last eruption.

A powerful eruption occurred roughly 630,000 years ago, according to National Geographic, shaking the region and creating the Yellowstone caldera - a bowl about 40 miles wide the encompasses much of the park.

This research is just one among many studies being conducted on the Yellowstone supervolcano, which has also made appearances in various films, novels, and other media. What they discovered surprised them - the changes in temperature and composition only took a few decades, much faster than the centuries previously thought.

New research from Arizona State University shows that the last time the volcano erupted was after two large influxes of magma filled the reservoir under the caldera-and that process may take less time than previously thought.

Researchers studying at Yellowstone National Park believe a supervolcano resting beneath the popular Wyoming destination could erupt sooner rather than later - and the results could be devastating.

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That eruption was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event the U.S. has experienced. This means that the Yellowstone supervolcano can go from its current level activity to its next eruption as soon as about 2030.

"We see interesting things all the time. but we haven't seen anything that would lead us to believe that the sort of magmatic event described by the researchers is happening", says Poland via email, adding that the research overall is "somewhat preliminary, but quite tantalizing".

In 2011, scientists revealed that the ground above the magma chamber bulged by up to 10 inches in a span of about seven years.

It's important to note there's a big difference between volcanoes and supervolcanoes, as ZME Science reported.

But nearly everyone who studies Yellowstone's slumbering supervolcano says that right now, we have no way of knowing when the next big blast will happen.

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