Will Yellowstone Erupt Catastrophically Soon?

Will Yellowstone Erupt Catastrophically Soon?
Yellowstone Kevin Saff / Flickr CC BY 2.0

Although it is a known fact that the supervolcano Yellowstone in Idaho has erupted massively some millions years ago, a new study confirmed that the eruptions were significantly larger than scientists previously believe.


After correlating pieces of evidence from the surrounding of the supervolcano, researchers from the University of Leicester concluded there were at least 12 massive volcanic eruptions that transpired some 8 or 10 million years ago around Yellowstone’s Snake River plain.

The researchers claimed that these massive super explosions were responsible for the current geography of the volcano, which extends thousands of square miles. Although it has already been proven that there were several massive eruptions recorded in Yellowstone’s history, especially during its ‘adolescence’ stage, scientists believe that the volcano is now losing its strength.

The study, which was published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, dated the last eruption in the Yellowstone at 70,000 years ago. The volcano’s current massive crater was formed during a super explosion that happened some 460,000 years ago, the study showed.

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In a statement, geochemist Tom Knott of the University of Leicester, said the previously available information about the volcano’s previous eruptions are just part of the larger picture of its history.

“The size and magnitude of this newly defined eruption is as large, if not larger, than better known eruptions at Yellowstone, and it is just the first in an emerging record of newly discovered super-eruptions during a period of intense magmatic activity between 8 and 12 million years ago,” Knott said in the statement published by the University of the Leicester press.

Along with Knott were some undergraduate researchers from the same university and other seasoned scientists in the field of paleontology. The team aimed to know the current status of Yellowstone and whether it poses danger to the people of Idaho.

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