Yellowstone Park Supervulcano may be much bigger than previously thought
Scientists have revealed how the super-volcano hidden beneath Yellowstone National Park may be even bigger than previously thought.
The famous landscape of Yellowstone hides an enormous cavern of magma underneath, which is responsible for the characteristic hot springs and geysers in the area.
But now scientists have discovered the enormous volcano to be more than two and a half times the size of earlier estimates.
The shocking findings come from a recent study from the University of Utah and were presented to the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.
According to the new analysis the super-volcano beneath Yellowstone actually stretches for more than 90km, or 55 miles. Scientists found that the underground cavern contains 200-600 cubic km of molten rock.
Dr James Farrell from the University of Utah told on 'Today' that if an eruption were to take place, "it would affect the world" in a catastrophic way: “All the material that is shot up into the atmosphere would eventually circle the Earth and affect the climate throughout the world."
Indeed, last time an eruption took place it was so powerful that the whole of North America was covered in ash and there was a shift in climate on a global level.
Luckily though Mr Farrell added that he was certain no imminent eruptions would take place in the near future.
The team of scientists sought to assure the public that the mere fact that if the super-volcano is bigger than previously thought, it doesn’t necessarily mean it is more likely to erupt.
Prof Bob Smith, from the University of Utah, told the BBC that more data was needed before a possible pattern of eruption could be considered. Referring to the latest research, Prof Smith said: “Yes, it is a much larger system… but I don’t think it makes the Yellowstone hazard greater.”