Su­per­vol­cano may blow sooner than thought

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

USA TO­DAY

Sci­en­tists work­ing in and around Yel­low­stone Na­tional Park say the su­per­vol­cano sit­ting un­der the tourist at­trac­tion might blow sooner than thought, an erup­tion that could wipe out life on the planet.

Ac­cord­ing to Na­tional Geo­graphic, the re­searchers from Ari­zona State Univer­sity an­a­lyzed min­er­als in fos­silized ash from the most re­cent megaerup­tion and found changes in tem­per­a­ture and com­po­si­tion that had only taken a few decades. Un­til now, the magazine re­ported, ge­ol­o­gists had thought it would take cen­turies for the su­per­vol­cano to make the tran­si­tion.

The re­searchers, The New York Times re­ported, have de­ter­mined that the su­per­vol­cano has the abil­ity to spew more than 1,000 cu­bic kilo­me­ters of rock and ash — 2,500 times more ma­te­rial than erupted from Mount St. He­lens in 1980 — an event that could blan­ket most of the United States in ash and pos­si­bly plunge the Earth into a vol­canic win­ter.

The the­ory of a much shorter time­line than ex­pected was de­vel­oped by Han­nah Sham­loo, a grad­u­ate stu­dent at Ari­zona State, and sev­eral col­leagues.

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