There have been many events on Earth over the years that have had dramatic impacts on the planet ranging from mega tsunamis, asteroid impacts that took out the dinosaurs and huge earthquakes that have destroyed cities. What if I told you though that here, In America , we are sitting on top of a Super Volcano that is due to blow? Well we are on top of one and it is time for it to go off. The Volcano is underneath Yellowstone Park , and recent activity has scientists rather worried.
It’s gonna blow
Scientists have known about the super volcano underneath Yellowstone for many years now, and ever since the discovery, scientists, and geologists have been studying the park, looking for clues about what lie beneath the beautiful park that sits on top.
The caldera beneath the surface measures a whopping 25 miles, by 37 miles, and scientists currently believe that there is a pancake shaped blob of lava, the size of Los Angeles beneath the surface that could be up to 6 miles deep.
It is the heat from the magma that makes wonderful features like Old Faithful possible. While we look on at the spectacular displays from the geyser, the magma beneath the park is pushing its way up to the surface.
What are the experts saying?
Michio Kaku, is a leading physicist says the super volcano is due to erupt. Experts have said that from evidence found, this volcano erupts roughly every 600,000 years. The last time old faithful really blew her top was 640,000 years ago. Speaking to Rebecca Hillman of CNN, Kaku said that there is no way to tell when the volcano will erupt, but it will erupt, and when it does, North America as we know it will be completely destroyed.
Michio Kaku said the super volcano “took a deep breath,” recently, and some areas of land at Yellowstone Park have risen by an incredible 10-inches over the course of a few years. He went on to say that this means there is significant activity below the parks surface, and that magma is forcing its way to the top of the chamber.
What would happen?
If the volcano were to blow, it would explode with a force, 1000 times more powerful than the Mt Saint Helens eruption. Everything within 100 miles would be completely obliterated, and then everything within a 500 mile radius would be devastated.
After the eruption, there would be so much ash in the air; it would cover almost the entire country. Air travel would come to a complete stand still, and life as we know it would change forever. A layer of ash 10ft thick would cover everything in a 1000 mile radius, and 2/3 of America would have to be abandoned due to the toxic air.
Wildlife, and plants would die off due to lack of sunlight being able to penetrate the thick ash, and there would be many, thousands of human lives lost. Scientists are really in the dark though in regards to what else might happen, because there has not been an eruption of a super volcano in our lifetime.
What do we do?
When asked what we could do, Michio Kaku responded and said “All you can do is run.” There really is not much we can do, mainly because we do not know when it will happen. It could happen today, tomorrow or 100,000 years from now, but one thing is for sure, it will happen.
Next time you go to Yellowstone Park , and look around at the magnificent beauty, the wildlife, and Old Faithful , just remember this. You are standing on top of the biggest known volcano on Earth. Appreciate the magnificence of the area because one day, it will be gone, and our lives will be changed in an instant.
Cnn.com, all you can do is run, Rebecca Hillman
News.nationalgeographic.com, Yellostone has bulged, Brian Handwerk