Yellowstone, What Would Happen If?

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Yellowstone, what would happen if?

  Every year of 20 to 30 volcanoes erupt, fortunately most are under the sea. There are three types of eruptions: magmatic, freatomagmatic and water tables. However, it is impossible to predict when one of them will occur since no signs or accurate behaviors are known. For this reason, Yellowstone’s boiler eruption is a mystery. The same was discovered by Gustavus Doane in 1870. Doane was climbing a mountain on the Yellowstone river when it realized that there was an extensive forest basin. Then, he described his finding as an ancient crater of an inactive volcano. Doane was right, it was a volcano. Just above the famous American park is one of the largest volcanoes on Earth. However, the detail that failed was the most important. The volcano was not inactive.

A Harvard student found in Yellowstone in 1950 a thick layer of heated and compacted ash and thought it could be due to a recent eruption. Shortly after, Bob Christiansen found welded pyroclastic rock different from the first. Finally, a year later he identified a third party. Geologists were able to verify that the three samples were caused by different eruptions. Upon receiving those results they decided to do a study and concluded that the ground was raising. That is, the volcano was active. In 2000, BBC produced a documentary where different historical volcanoes presented. Since then two supervolcanos and volcanoes are known. It is called supervolcán an eruption more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash. Volcanoes destroy the flora and fauna that surround them, while a supervolcán can cause the extinction of a whole species due to the effects it produces. Not having a witness of a supervolcano, geologists have been carried away by the eruption process of a volcan. 

First, a hot volcanic ash would be formed that would melt the rock under the earth’s crust and create a camera with a mixture of magma, semi -solid rock and dissolved gases. While the magma accumulates the terrain on the magmatic chamber would begin to bulge and create cracks. Through these cracks the pressure of the magmatic chamber would be released. In a colossal reaction, dissolved gases would make an explosion, releasing the content of the magmatic chamber. After this empty, the bulging terrain would sink and the result would be a huge boiler. The last three super rashes occurred in Yellowstone. 2.1 million years occurred one that left a crater on the ground that measured approximately 3,640 km^2. The most recent occurred 640,000 years ago. It is predicted that the smoke cloud caused by the explosion reached approximately 30.000 meters high. Pyroclastic flows reached large heights and left valleys and destroyed land. It is estimated that the smoke cloud reached Mexico. The effects of each explosion must have felt throughout the planet. In addition, the gases that were mixed in the atmosphere created a sulfate fog that decreased sunlight immersing the world in a volcanic winter. It is thought that volcanic winter reduced the human population so much that we were on the verge of extinction. These natural events have had effects on actual ecosystems. For example, Yellowstone pines can grow in poor nutrients. Strange behaviors such as those were caused by the changes caused by supervolcanes.

Currently, Yellowstone boiler is presumed to be stable, but it is giving activity signs. The hot spot has formed boilers around the park. Today, the hot point is under an extremely thick bark. It is impossible to predict when the supervolcan will explode. It could happen tomorrow, as could happen in 10,000 years. In conclusion, the only thing that the human being can predict is that Yellowstone’s eruption will be historical.          

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