What will happen if the volcano under Yellowstone erupts?
What will happen if the volcano under Yellowstone erupts? Geothermal activity at Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA. (Thinkstock)
What will happen if the volcano under Yellowstone erupts?
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You asked us, "What will happen if the volcano under Yellowstone erupts?"
 
Bubbling just a few miles below the surface of Yellowstone National Park is one of the world's largest active volcanic systems and over the last 2 million years or so, it has erupted 3 times in catastrophic explosions, spewing lava and hurtling ash and gases thousands of miles away. So what's the likelihood of that kind of super eruption happening again anytime soon?
 
Um, not high. Estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey put it at about 1 in 730,000.
 
What's much more likely is a smaller, less explosive event.
 
Sure, the lava would still destroy everything in its path, but it'd be relatively slow moving...nothing you couldn't outrun.
 
Oh, no - lava!
 
But if Yellowstone super erupted, well, the full impact is hard to predict, but it's pretty safe to say anything or anyone nearby would be done for, in a fiery, doomsday kind of way.
 
Don't count yourself lucky if you're farther out, though, because that ash cloud could travel huge distances, killing crops along the way, disrupting transportation systems, contaminating water supplies...you name it.
 
And if ash and sulfuric gases make it into the atmosphere, a global volcanic winter could be triggered, causing cooler temperatures and all kinds of horrible snowball effects.
 
But don't worry, because as I said, it's much more likely we'll be outrunning lava.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/teen/what-will-happen-if-volcano-under-yellowstone-erupts/

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why is it difficult to know for sure what would happen if there was a super eruption?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (65)
  • skyeh-ric
    11/16/2015 - 03:57 p.m.

    It would be difficult to know for sure if there was a super eruption. In the past 2 million years, there has been only 3 eruptions from that volcano. "and over the last 2 million years or so, it has erupted 3 times". If it does, the results would be bad everywhere. But, there should not be an eruption any time soon.

  • afrikab-ric
    11/16/2015 - 03:57 p.m.

    It is hard to say what would happen if there was a super eruption because there really isn't a large chance for it to erupt. Even if it does erupt, the lava would move slowly. They cannot predict it because if there isn't even a large chance for it to erupt, there isn't really enough information to predict something like that. So that's why it is a rough to predict what would happen if there is a super explosion.

  • connorv-ric
    11/16/2015 - 04:00 p.m.

    its probbly dificult to know what would happen if yellowstone erupted. This is because it only happens every 25,000,000 years. thats a long time even for our most modern instraments. The last time it erupted half of the states whyoming, montana, and idaho was nothing but a boiling lake of lava.

  • jaylaw-ric
    11/16/2015 - 04:20 p.m.

    There is a lot of volcanoes in that area so they don't know what it is real or fake. Also when there is a volcanic ash comes out and sometimes it comes out without the eruption. a plus it can travel a far distance so they'll never know.

  • stephaniem1-ric
    11/16/2015 - 04:27 p.m.

    It was difficult to know for sure what would happen if there was a super eruption because they weren't sure if it can make damage. People and of the nation wanted to know when it will erupt for when they can be alerted. So they would be prepared for when it happens. They also want to know if it can do damage to the world because they might not want their home to be damaged and have to repair their house.

  • aaront-ric
    11/16/2015 - 06:23 p.m.

    Wow I guess how likely it is for it to erupt like that is extremely unlikely. I also wonder if the ash would get to IL where I live. Also I once saw a video on when a scientist sent a camera down the geyser it was kinda cool.

  • owenj-1-ric
    11/17/2015 - 07:31 p.m.

    It would had to know for sure what would happen if there was a super eruption because it can erupt at anytime and all you have to be ready to do is run. Just like in the story it said that there was 1 out of 730,000% chance that it might happen, what if i was that 1% time. Also he said that you can outrun the lava but it won't just be that when you are running there will be ashes and everything like that. That is why it is had for you to know when a super eruption is going to happen.

  • emmagened-1-ric
    11/17/2015 - 10:23 p.m.

    It is difficult to know for sure what would happen if there was a super eruption because you will never now when it is actually going to happen. Even if she live far away and you think that the super eruption will not get to you it will. So you need to be careful because the super eruption could erupt at any time. During a super eruption you will need to get out of there fast because everything will get ruin.

  • jakes-lam
    11/18/2015 - 09:26 a.m.

    This article shows a lot about how much people worry compared to the chance of a natural disaster actually occurring. Although this "super volcano" has erupted before does not mean that it will happen in the next few years. Yes, there is a chance but not a very large one.

  • robertb-lam
    11/18/2015 - 09:27 a.m.

    Since when is there a volcano under Yellowstone?! This may just cause panic, so why say anything about it? Still, that is pretty neat. When was the volcano discovered?

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