THE YELLOWSTONE SUPER VOLCANO
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THE YELLOWSTONE SUPER VOLCANO

It is little known that lying underneath one of The United States largest and most picturesque National Parks - Yellowstone Park - is one of the largest "super volcanoes" in the world. Beneath Yellowstone and it's spectacular landscape of hot springs and geysers is this hot spot, an upwelling plume of melted rock from the Earth's mantle, and it is waiting to erupt. In recent years it has been discovered that Yellowstone is one of a few known examples of a supervolcano. These volcanoes erupt only rarely; but with a force at least 1000 times that of ordinary volcanoes.

Try to imagine 1000 volcanoes erupting in the same place at the same time. Now sceintists warn that the Yellowstone supervolcano may be getting ready to erupt! According to some, there is a 30% chance that Yellowstone will blow its cork soon, and cause devastation that would seem unimaginable. The Yellowstone caldera, the central region of the park, has been moving upwards since the middle of 2004. This growth is at a rate of three inches a year, which is more than three times faster than has ever been measured. "It's hundreds of times bigger than Mount St. Helens," said Robert Smith, a geophysics professor at the University of Utah. Mount St. Helens is an active volcano in Washington State.

If a fissure occurs in the rock beneath the park, everyone within 600 miles should be prepared for a sudden blast. There may be no precursor quakes prior to a blast at Yellowstone Supervolcano. If it fully blows, there will be no life within 600 miles, except for those people who have prepared a place underneath the ground. Dust masks would also be a nessessity. Even airplanes within the area could be blown out of the sky according to Larry Park, an earthquake researcher. If the Supervolcano blows, it will cause an immediate nuclear winter of dirt and ash in the air over the entire world for 2 years. He also stated that there will be no crops grown in the midwest U.S. for that same period of time.

Larry Parks warns that people within that 600 miles should make preparations to survive the possible blast. There is a bulge over 100 feet high in the bottom of Yellowstone Lake. The area under the northern end of the lake near Mary Bay has a bulge that could have been formed by carbon dioxide or steam. The bulge, which is about 2,100 feet long, has been formed only within the last few years. "We're thinking this structure could be a precursor to a hydrothermal explosive event" Parks explained.

The explosion would send ash, dust, and sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere, reflecting the sun's rays and creating a cold wave lasting several years. Crops in many areas would fail and many species of animals and plants would face extinction. The last eruption shot a column of volcanic ash and gases high into Earth's stratosphere. This volcanic cloud circled the globe many times and affected Earth's climate by reducing the intensity of solar radiation reaching the lower atmosphere and surface. Fine volcanic ash that fell downwind from the eruption site blanketed much of North America.

This ash layer is still preserved in deposits as far away as Iowa, where it is a few inches thick, and the Gulf of Mexico, where it is recognizable in drill cores from the sea floor. Lava flows have since buried and obscured most of the caldera, but the underlying processes responsible for Yellowstone's tremendous volcanic eruptions are still at work.

These supervolcanoes occur over "hot spots" in the Earth and they could erupt causing catastrophic explosions, sending hundreds to thousands of cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere, and wreaking climatic havoc on a global scale. As the plume of hot, liquid rock rises in the Earth, it melts the Earth's crust and creates large magma chambers. These magmas usually erupt in a very catastrophic way. By comparison, the eruption of Mount St. Helens sent about two cubic kilometers of ash into the atmosphere. These catastrophic types of eruptions send thousands of cubic kilometers of ash skyward.

The hot spot deep beneath Yellowstone acts like a burner. It's a constant source of heat that acts on the upper crust and forms magma chambers that contain tens of thousands of cubic kilometers of molten rock. Such an eruption would disrupt global climate by injecting millions of tons of ash into the atmosphere. Some of the ash would remain in the atmosphere for years, reflect sunlight back into space and cool the planet, significantly affecting life. In addition, a blanket of ash over a meter thick would be deposited in regions within 600 miles, and effectively smother life there.

















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