How likely is it that Yellowstone will erupt again?

How likely is it that Yellowstone will erupt again?

Yellowstone last erupted about 640,000 years ago, and the U.S. Geological Survey says the probability that it will blow its top again is about 0.00014 percent each year [source: USGS].

How big can a Yellowstone Volcano eruption get?

Every few thousand years, a hydrothermal explosion will form a crater as much as a few hundred meters across. Though the worst-case scenario for a giant Yellowstone eruption is indeed bad and could have global implications, most past eruptions at Yellowstone were not highly explosive.

Does Yellowstone have any active volcanoes?

Yellowstone, one of the world’s largest active volcanic systems, has produced several giant volcanic eruptions in the past few million years, as well as many smaller eruptions and steam explosions. Although no eruptions of lava or volcanic ash have occurred for many thousands of years, future eruptions are likely. In the next few hundred years,…

What is the most explosive event at Yellowstone?

The most likely explosive event to occur at Yellowstone is actually a hydrothermal explosion—a rock-hurling geyser eruption—or a lava flow. Hydrothermal explosions are very small; they occur in Yellowstone National Park every few years and form a crater a few meters across.

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Although another catastrophic eruption at Yellowstone is possible, scientists are not convinced that one will ever happen. The rhyolite magma chamber beneath Yellowstone is only 5-15\% molten (the rest is solidified but still hot), so it is unclear if there is even enough magma beneath the caldera to feed an eruption.

Is the Yellowstone hotspot moving?

Actually, the source of the hotspot is more or less stationary at depth within the Earth, and the North America plate moves southwest across it. The average rate of movement of the plate in the Yellowstone area for the last 16.5 million years has been about 4.6 centimeters (1.8 inches) per year.

Will Yellowstone erupt again?

Yellowstone is not overdue for an eruption. Volcanoes do not work in predictable ways and their eruptions do not follow predictable schedules. In terms of large explosions, Yellowstone has experienced three at 2.08, 1.3, and 0.631 million years ago. This comes out to an average of about 725,000 years between eruptions.

Is Yellowstone getting more active?

Is ‘the big one’ nearing? The answer is: Probably not. The Earth is rumbling beneath Yellowstone National Park again, with swarms of more than 1,000 earthquakes recorded in the region in July 2021, according to a new U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) report.

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Why does the Yellowstone hotspot move?

Yellowstone sits above a melting anomaly within the Earth, called a “hotspot.” This hotspot is powered by a plume of hot (but not molten) material that may extend as deep as the boundary between the planet’s mantle and core. The hotspot is stationary relative to the moving tectonic plates that make up Earth’s surface.

What happens at the Yellowstone hotspot?

The Yellowstone hotspot is a volcanic hotspot in the United States responsible for large scale volcanism in Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Wyoming, formed as the North American tectonic plate moved over it. It formed the eastern Snake River Plain through a succession of caldera-forming eruptions.

Is Yellowstone gonna erupt 2021?

“There’s no indication that the Yellowstone magmatic system is really going to be waking up anytime soon,” he said. That’s good news as Yellowstone National Park is expecting a record year for visitation in 2021 and an eruption would likely put a dent in it.

What is the most recent eruption of the Yellowstone Volcano?

The hotspot’s most recent caldera-forming supereruption, known as the Lava Creek eruption, took place 640,000 years ago and created the Lava Creek Tuff, and the most recent Yellowstone Caldera. The Yellowstone hotspot is one of a few volcanic hotspots underlying the North American tectonic plate; another example is the Anahim hotspot .

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What is the source of the Yellowstone hotspot?

Actually, the source of the hotspot is more or less stationary at depth within the Earth, and the North America plate moves southwest across it. The average rate of movement of the plate in the Yellowstone area for the last 16.5 million years has been about 4.6 centimeters annually.

How old is the Yellowstone hotspot caldera?

This supereruption occurred 2.1 million years BP and produced 2500 km 3 of ash. The Island Park Caldera is sometimes referred to as the First Phase Yellowstone Caldera or the Huckleberry Ridge Caldera. The youngest of the hotspot calderas, the Yellowstone Caldera, formed 640,000 years ago and is about 34 miles (55 km) by 45 miles (72 km) wide.

How much has the tectonic plate moved in the Yellowstone area?

The average rate of movement of the plate in the Yellowstone area for the last 16.5 million years has been about 4.6 centimeters annually. However, if shorter time intervals are analyzed, the plate can be inferred to have moved about 6.1 centimeters per year from 16.5 million years ago…