The supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park has “erupted three times in the last two million years, the last time being 640,000 years ago, and all three eruptions produced enough ash to fill the Grand Canyon.” It’s long been understood by scientists that if (or when) the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted again, the devastation would be of epic proportions.
Now a new study from scientists at the University of Utah have discovered “a reservoir of hot, partly molten rock 12 to 28 miles beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano.” Holy magma! The newly discovered reservoir is “4.4 times larger than the shallower, long-known magma chamber.” You can rest easy though, or at least as easy as you could before. The scientists assure that “Yellowstone’s plumbing system is no larger – nor closer to erupting – than before.” So there’s still just the earlier model of supereruption to worry about. The one where “240 miles of ash would be spewed into the atmosphere to form a giant ‘umbrella cloud’ of debris that would shut down communication and air travel.”