The Yellowstone Caldera is one of the largest volcanoes in the United States. Thousands come to view the mountain every year and are never disappointed by what they see. There is much to learn about the Caldera and its many mysteries. Here are ten Yellowstone super volcano facts that you should know.
1. Yellowstone Is in a Park in Wyoming
The first of ten Yellowstone super volcano facts is that the mound is in a park. The Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has the pleasure of hosting one of the most dangerous lava holders. The highest point of the Yellowstone volcano is at 9,203 ft. (2,805 m). The parent range of Yellowstone is the Rocky Mountains.
There is no denying that the land in which the Yellowstone volcano is embedded is beautiful. Yellowstone River flows through the area known as Hayden Valley. Most of the nature that you see is the result of small eruptions in the volcano that spilled over. How’s that for Yellowstone super volcano facts?
2. The Yellowstone Caldera Is a Significant Thing
This isn’t your ordinary volcano that pushes out a few miles worth of lava. The Yellowstone Caldera has a molten rock that reaches 12 to 28 miles beneath the surface. Another one of many Yellowstone super volcano facts is the site’s volume of 46,000 cubic kilometers, which is nearly five times larger than its shallow upper crustal magma chamber.
It seems that the more one studies the depth of this volcano, the more they are faced with the reality of Yellowstone having the ability to do significant damage if it were to erupt without warning. The reservoir alone could fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over. The Grand Canyon is a 1,000-cubic-mile stretch.
3. The Caldera Is Two Million Years in the Making
There have been three super eruptions of Yellowstone’s volcano over the past two million years. The Huckleberry Ridge eruption was the oldest and first in the group and brought about the Island Park Caldera and the Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. The Mesa Falls eruption followed the path of destruction more than a one million years after Huckleberry with an eruption that created the Henry’s Fork Caldera along with Mesa Falls Tuff. The Lava Creek eruption was the final to occur in the series and brought about the Yellowstone Caldera and the Lava Creek Tuff.
4. No One Truly Knows the Hotspot of Yellowstone
Of significant interest in Yellowstone super volcano facts is the notion of no expert being capable of pinpointing a direct hotspot. Some geoscientists make the educated guess of the source of Yellowstone’s power being found in activity in the relationship between the lithosphere and the upper mantle convection. Other experts believe that the super volcano’s strength comes from a deep mantle origin called mantle plump. Both of these hypotheses could potentially be correct since Yellowstone’s hotspot suddenly appeared on the geologists’ radar.
Also of significance is the fact that the Columbia Basalt flows came to the spotlight at the same time as the hotspot appeared. This phenomenon has made some experts believe that the Columbia Basalt flow is the same as Yellowstone’s hotspot. Again, this theory could be correct as well.
5. Yellowstone Causes Earthquakes
The volcano itself has been peaceful regarding eruptions over the past several thousand years. Earthquakes caused by Yellowstone within the past few years, however, have been pretty persistent these past few years. More than 500 earthquakes happened in the region from December 2008 to January 2009, and all of the tremors were related to Yellowstone.
More than 1,500 small quakes occurred in the area between January 2010 and February 2010 with all of them having Yellowstone as their commonality. The good news is that most of the earthquakes have been 3.9-magnitude or less. There was, however, a magnitude 4.8 quake caused by Yellowstone in 2014 that was the greatest since 1980.
6. Yellowstone Is an Active Volcano
Yes! Yellowstone volcano is the real thing with eruption dates and all. The last notable disturbance occurred around 174,000 years ago and created what is today known as the west wing of Yellowstone Lake. Lava last flowed from the volcano 70,000 years ago.
7. This Is Indeed a Super Volcano
Scientists have deemed Yellowstone a super volcano because of its ability to cover more than 240 cubic miles of magma with a single eruption. Two out of three eruptions in Yellowstone’s history either met or exceeded the 240-cubic standard that scientists set for supervolcano classification.
8. Yellowstone Has Shown Consistent Signs of Stability
One of the great things about having Yellowstone super volcano facts is knowing that there is no immediate danger of distress. This supervolcano hasn’t erupted in millennials and, according to scientists, shows no signs of overflowing anytime soon. Geologists have reported relative calmness within the mountain’s quarters that has remained constant over the past 30 years. It is highly unlikely that an eruption will occur within the next 1,000 years. Even 10,000 years is a stretch regarding a natural disaster caused by Yellowstone.
9. Don’t Worry! An Eruption Will Show Signs
Experts from the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) use several monitors to detect activity in the mound and throughout the region. Sudden temperature increases around the volcano could be an indication of rising lava levels inside. Scientists predict that implications of a buildup leading to natural disaster could come weeks in advance. There is, in other words, no need to fear so long as you stay alert and aware of Yellowstone super volcano facts.
10. It Is Completely Safe to Visit Yellowstone
You need not fear being engulfed in skin melting liquid when you go anywhere near Yellowstone. Scientists have deemed the location safe to visit for more than 25 years.
A visit to the Yellowstone National Park yields significant connections to nature. Visiting the region with these fast facts in mind will help you better appreciate the experience.