Conspiracy theorists claim US citizens could be relocated to Australia, Brazil, and ArgentinaLast eruption was 70,000 years agoVolcano could be reclassified as ‘extinct’ – despite researchers recently finding it was 2.5 times bigger than they thought
Daily Mail Reporter
22:39 BST, 8 May 2014
South African news website Praag claims the African National Congress was offered $10 billion a year for 10 years if it would build temporary housing for Americans in case of an eruption as part of contingency plans being drawn up.
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This map from the U.S. Geological Service shows the range of the volcanic ash that was deposited after the three huge eruptions over the last 2.1 million years. It is claimed contingency plans for another eruption could include relocating millions to other countries.
The first was about 2.1 million years ago, and the second occurred 1.3 million years ago.
The last major eruption was 640,000 years ago.
‘The chance of that happening in our lifetimes is exceedingly insignificant,’ said Peter Cervelli, associate director for science and technology at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Science Center in California.
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At Yellowstone and some other volcanoes, some scientists theorize that the earth’s crust fractures and cracks in a concentric or ring-fracture pattern. At some point these cracks reach the magma ¿reservoir,¿ release the pressure, and the volcano explodes. The huge amount of material released causes the volcano to collapse into a huge crater¿a caldera
In early November, a team of University of Wyoming researchers led by Sims spread tarps on the snowy ground near white terraces outside Mammoth Hot Springs, where pools are stacked like small mountains filled with crystal-clear water.
‘We should sample down there.’
Sims knelt next to a mound of delicate formations and pulled machines out of boxes and backpacks: a radon detector with lights and a ticker-tape measurement recorder, a pH detector to record acid levels.
Both would help him know how the water and gas interact.
‘It looks like it’s boiling,’ Sims said.
‘But it is actually from steam or CO2.’
Sims was studying how fast water and gas mix as they rise to the surface.
His research could ultimately help scientists understand what causes steam eruptions.
Despite fears the supervolcano may be extinct, the park remains one of the foremost research laboratories in the world, drawing internationally renowned scientists studying everything from earthquakes to the origins of life to the power of that volcano lurking beneath the ground.
‘Yellowstone is so over the top in so many ways it sometimes screams at you the answer that’s happening other places,’ said Jacob Lowenstern, scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.
Instead of a cone with a hole, the caldera is an interconnected maze of gas and water covering almost 60 miles of Wyoming’s northwest corner, along with parts of Montana and Idaho.
More than 10,000 mud pots, boiling rivers and geysers act as nature’s pressure-release valves, keeping the heated monster from exploding.
And they move.
Rising water dissolves limestone under the surface; CO2 bubbles off and leaves behind white calcium carbonate.
The terraces build until vents clog and pressure from gases force a weaker spot to open somewhere else.
‘It gets hot and rises, and the magma chamber, or reservoir, is at a relatively shallow depth.’