Asked by rafa to Anna, Daniel, Denise, Jesse on 25 Jun 2014.
Keywords: eruption, volcano, yellowstone
it is honestly the first time I hear about the Yellowstone supervolcano in my life, I never had class so much into this subject!
What an amazing science teacher you have!
Well, now I am really curious to hear the answers from the experts 🙂
so, will the Yellowstone supervolcano erupt in our lifetime, guys?
It is difficult to predict when volcanoes will erupt. Scientists are still working out the dynamics between magma at depth and eruptions at the surface. We can make better forecasts using satellites to monitor changes in the ground, earthquake patterns to see if there is an increase in seismic activity that can suggest that there will be an eruption, or go to a volcano and measure concentrations of gases that are emitted from vents. Some eruptions can be forecasted by changes in gas concentrations. There are other techniques, but none predict for sure when a volcanic eruption will occur.
The Yellowstone super volcano has erupted at least three times in the last 2 million years. I would not be surprised if it erupts again because it is formed by a continuous flow of hot rocks at depth (mantle plume) that seems to be active. Now, as you ask, when will it erupt is the question that all of us want to know.
As Daniel has mentioned, from a scientist’s point of view, we do not know when it will erupt. Unfortunately, although we try our best to forecast certain issues, it is impossible to be able to forecast everything, since they all depend on a number of different parameters, which interact together.
Hope it helps! 🙂
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