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.
 
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 and sure, the lava would still destroy everything in its path, but it'd be relatively slow moving. And nothing you couldn't outrun.
 
Oh, no - lava!
 
But what 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. 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 like I said, it's much more likely we'll be outrunning lava.

Source URL: https://www.tweentribune.com/article/tween78/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 (206)
  • arturo-ver
    11/13/2015 - 02:05 p.m.

    That would be so bad if the volcano beneath Yellowstone erupts.

  • lukem-orv
    11/13/2015 - 03:11 p.m.

    Because it only erupted three times in like the past 500,000 years so in the next 100,000 years it might erupt two more times. That is what I think of when the the super eruption will happen ( oh and it will probloy happen in 400,000 years).

  • batiar-3-bar
    11/13/2015 - 08:58 p.m.

    It would be difficult to know for sure if there was a super eruption because there is no official way to know for when it will erupt, but after it does erupt there would be gas, ash, and running lava. The volcano has erupted three times and has had gases spread for thousands of miles. I think this article is very educational and shows a great deal of how special they national yellowstone park is.

  • tashag-1-mci
    11/16/2015 - 11:28 a.m.

    It is difficult to know for sure what will happen if there is a super eruption because you can't predict when they will happen.

  • jacksonv-nar
    11/16/2015 - 11:51 a.m.

    That's cool but really scary. Knowing that there is a giant active volcano right below you.

  • taylork-nar
    11/16/2015 - 12:03 p.m.

    I thought Yellowstone was around a lot of water...... apparently not :D . I also didn't even know there was a volcano there either. AND it's the largest on earth?!?! Where have a been all this time....

  • prestonj-nar
    11/16/2015 - 01:43 p.m.

    It would be very difficult to know if a super eruption would happened because there have only been three super eruptions in the world. the three super eruptions were 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago. If anyone saw them they're dead. No one now has seen a super eruptions anytime soon so they will not know what the damage would look like if the Yellowstone super erupted and people survived they would know what the damage to the area.

  • khyonc-ric
    11/16/2015 - 04:07 p.m.

    It would be difficult to know what would happen for sure if there was a super eruption because through history there hasn't been that many SUPER eruptions and in the article it even says there is a 1 of 730,000 chance of a super eruption and it says that we would most likely to outrun a small eruption.

  • gavrillw-jac
    11/16/2015 - 05:16 p.m.

    It is difficult to know for sure because we have never seen one and we don't know what to expect. Lets say a super eruption happened and killed everyone in that region.(Probably us too. #R.I.P.) Then we could predict when the next one will happen and prepare for it. Do I want one to happen? No. But if it did, we can learn from it.

    P.S. I´m just trying to be positive. :P

  • mariaha-nar
    11/16/2015 - 05:27 p.m.

    If you were there and found out late you would be freaked out. And would be difficult to figure out what was going on because eruptions are not caused alot. Only three major eruptions have been caused.

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