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Is US government working on secret evacuation plan in case Yellowstone megavolcano erupts?

Is US government working on secret evacuation plan in case Yellowstone megavolcano erupts?

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




Millions of U.S. citizens could end up in Brazil, Australia, or Argentina if the Yellowstone supervolcano erupts, it has been claimed.

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.

Bloggers and conspiracy theorists have spent weeks debating the plans since it was claimed video showed animals fleeing the area – even though park rangers said they were in fact scared by tourists.

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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.


According to the U.S. Geological Survey, there have been three major eruptions of the Yellowstone supervolcano in the last few million years.

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.

‘It was a spring-like day and they were frisky. Contrary to online reports, it’s a natural occurrence and not the end of the world,’ park spokeswoman Amy Bartlett said.

If the world’s biggest volcano erupted, much of the US would be left covered in ash.

However, researchers say there are no signs of an imminent eruption.

‘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.

One recent study of the massive supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the US – which researchers recently found was 2.5 times bigger than they thought – could actually soon be dead.

Researchers analysed water and gas, and sat it could already be on its deathbed.

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According to Ken Sims, from the University of Wyoming, the air and water samples taken from the world’s largest volcano suggest it could be dying.

The team looked at the acidity in water samples and radon in the air as part of their study into the condition of Yellowstone.

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

Old Faithful erupting Yellowstone National Park in winter: Researchers now say the giant supervolcano under the park could be dying

They also analysed how water and gas mix as they rise from the ground in a bid to improve methods of predicting eruptions and identify the most volatile areas of the park.

At present, Yellowstone is classified as dormant, having not erupted for 70,000 years.

If it becomes an extinct volcano, it will never erupt again.

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.

Yellowstone Park is on a huge volcano – which researchers recently found was 2.5 times bigger than they thought – could actually soon be dead.

‘I have gotten radium out of that,’ said Ken Sims, a UW geology and geophysics professor and National Geographic explorer.

‘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.’

Area of outstanding natural beauty: The Yellowstone caldera (circled in red) in Wyoming is the world’s largest super-volcano

Emerald Pool in Black Sand Basin, in Yellowstone National Park – which researchers say may never erupt again

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.

If they know how fast steam and water interact in the park, they could better predict when an area will become more volatile.

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.

The unique park has a 40-mile-long slush of molten rock and crystal under the nation’s first national park.

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.

Mammoth Terraces, in the northern portion of the park, can grow vertically up to 3 feet per year and extend horizontally even farther.

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.

‘The heat from the Yellowstone volcano is what drives the hydrothermal system,’ said Henry Heasler, the park‘s geologist.

‘It gets hot and rises, and the magma chamber, or reservoir, is at a relatively shallow depth.’

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