Breaking Volcanic News: Wyoming, USA
March 15, 2007
Photo: Steam rises from hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in a 2002 file photo.
YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK- significant activity continues beneath the surface. And the activity has been increasing lately, scientists have discovered. In addition, the nearby Teton Range of mountains, in a total surprise, is getting shorter. The findings suggest that a slow and gradual movement of a volcano over time can shape a landscape more than a violent eruption. The 45-by-30-mile Yellowstone caldera bulged and deflated significantly during the past 17 years, resulting in a series of small earthquakes that produced 10 times more energy than would occur if the ground were to move suddenly in a large eruption. "We think it's a combination of magma being intruded under the caldera and hot water released from the magma being pressurized because it's trapped. I don't believe this is evidence for an impending volcanic eruption, but it would be prudent to keep monitoring the volcano." From 2004 to 2006 the central caldera floor rose faster than ever, springing up nearly 7 inches during the three-year span. "The rate is UNPRECEDENTED, at least in terms of what scientists have been able to observe in Yellowstone."
One of the largest supervolcanoes in the world lies beneath Yellowstone National Park, which spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. Supervolcanoes can sleep for centuries or millennia before producing incredibly massive eruptions that can drop ash across an entire continent.
Map of the ashfall of the last two Yellowstone eruptions, which occurred 1.3 million and 630,000 years ago.
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