Yellowstone volcano: 72 earthquakes rock US supervolcano amid fears of overdue eruption
Yellowstone Volcano: Super eruptions 'are very rare' says expert
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Yellowstone volcano experiences as many as 3,000 earthquakes each year but with every little quake and tremor fears of the volcano blowing up skyrocket. The latest data collected within the Yellowstone area in the western US indicates a total of 72 earthquakes rocked the national park. And though the seismic activity is below the part for Yellowstone’s typical output, many people still live in fear of a major eruption brewing deep beneath the US.
Social media, in particular, is rife with speculation and unfounded claims about Yellowstone’s supposed, explosive future.
Yellowstone volcano’s last eruptive period went off about 70,000 years ago when the volcano belched enough lava to form the Pitchstone Plateau in southwestern Yellowstone National Park.
The supervolcano also experienced three major eruptions some 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 640,000 years ago, which has led to claims Yellowstone erupts like clockwork.
And though the US Geological Survey (USGS) has persistently debunked these claims, rumours persist Yellowstone is going to blow one day without warning.
One Twitter user recently falsely claimed: “Humans live between volcanic eruptions of the Yellowstone super volcano roughly every 650,000 years she erupts.
“Last time she erupted roughly one million proto humans lives in Africa’s Rift Valley, Central Europe and Siam.
“Next time she erupts (and she’s overdue) she’ll kill billion.”
Another person said: “The Yellowstone mega-volcano is tens of thousands of years overdue to blow its top. Just sayin…”
And a third person said: “That’s the thing. Earth is doomed; because all planetary life (that we know of) is eventually doomed.
Yellowstone volcano: Expert debunks theory of 'overdue' eruption
“The comet which wiped out the dinosaurs was fairly recent geologically; and seems to have happened multiple times before. We know Yellowstone is overdue to blow; we can’t stop it.”
Thankfully, there is absolutely no evidence to back any of these claims and you should not lose any sleep over the supervolcano.
According to the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) branch of the USGS, Yellowstone was rocked by 72 earthquakes last month – well below the typical average.
The biggest tremor was a magnitude 2.5 microearthquake about seven miles south of West Thumb, Yellowstone National Park, on May 23.
The YVO said: “Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels.”
Every year, between 1,000 and 3,000 earthquakes are detected under the national park.
And about 50 percent of these tremors arrive in earthquake swarms.
The USGS said: “The beautiful hydrothermal features in the park (geysers, hot springs, mud pots, etc.), the uplift and subsidence, and many of the earthquakes are caused by the movements of hydrothermal and/or magmatic fluids.
“The hydrothermal fluids are produced and maintained by the partially liquid magma chamber beneath the Park.”
None of these are a sign of the Yellowstone hotspot brewing up an eruption, experts have assured.
The USGS added: “Yellowstone is monitored for signs of volcanic activity by YVO scientists who detect earthquakes using seismographs and ground motion using GPS (Global Positioning System).
“YVO has not detected signs of activity that suggest an eruption is imminent.”
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