Yellowstone Volcanic Activity

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Yellowstone National Park is what Geologists call a caldera; a large crater shaped caused from a volcanic eruption. Unlike volcanic activity that happens due to plate boundaries, Yellowstone is located over a hotspot in North America. It is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. If you look at a map of the history of Yellowstone you’d see a series of volcanic eruptions that happen in a line from the movements of the plates. Yellowstone is also considered a supervolcano. It has a history of 3 eruptions that dwarfed Mount St. Helens 1980 eruption. Because of the constant activity, Geologists believe that there will be another eruption some time in Yellowstone’s future. The Huffingtons Post article “Yellowstone Supervolcano: Will it Erupt during Our Lives?” talks about the possibilities of a super eruption in our lifetime. The eruption would do more than just destroy the national park; it would cause a worldwide food crisis, a layer of ash over the entire continent, and cause a worldwide foreign ash clean up in the United States. An eruption of this magnitude would be devastating. In the past Yellowstone has erupted upwards of 1,000 cubic km of magma into the environment. The eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980 erupted 1 km^3 of tephra fall; ash and pyroclastics from the eruption. The previous eruptions of Yellowstone were 100 times greater amount and the highest on the explosive chart for volcanoes. Scientists have no idea when it is going to happen but think that there is a 1 in 10,000 chance of this eruption happening in our lifetime. If scientists have enough time there would be a large evacuation of the surrounding states that Yellowstone borders. The last eruption happened 64,000,000 years ago and has been decreasing in size with each eruption. Scientists believe that the hot spot could be growing cold or it could possibly have one last hiccup in its series of eruptions....
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