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Home / US / The world's largest active geyser in Yellowstone continues, but it's not a sign of impending disaster

The world's largest active geyser in Yellowstone continues, but it's not a sign of impending disaster



Steamboat Geyser at the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in 201
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Photo: AP

Yellowstone National Park is unlikely to explode in an explosion that destroys the immediate area and floods the state could be from Wyoming with ashes, despite some "unusual" eruptions at the world's largest active geyser over the last few weeks.

According to Reuters, there is no indication that the increased frequency of eruptions at Steamboat Geyser is indicative of the Yellowstone caldera – a massive volcanic crater that formed from the last of three super-eruptions in the region from 2.1 million to 630,000 years ago – is about to blow:

Steamboat Geyser, which can shoot water up to 300 feet in the air, broke out on March 15, April 19, and on Friday. The last time it occurred three times in a year was 2003, the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory of the US Geological Survey.

The last time before March was more than three years ago in September 2014.

"There is nothing suggesting that any kind of volcanic eruption is imminent," said Michael Poland, the observatory's research scientist ,

According to the Bozeman Daily Chronicle, the outbreak of the Steamboat Geyser was reported by a park visitor on Friday and was estimated to start at 6:30 in the morning; This person was probably the only one who experienced it first-hand, as the wooden walkways leading to the area are closed due to heavy snowfall.

Poland told Reuters that the two eruptions at Geysir in April were smaller than usual, but emit about 10 times more water than Old Faithful, the park's most famous geyser. He added that geysers erupt sporadically and that the distribution of recent events simply reflects "randomness". A real sign of serious danger would be if the underground hydrothermal systems under the park dried up, indicating that magma was approaching the surface, Reuters added.

Although it has been 70,000 years since the last major lava event in Yellowstone, the region is still very active and has the potential to break out someday, perhaps catastrophically. According to the Washington Post an event in Yellowstone in 1980 could be a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens blast; The United States Geological Survey predicts that a sufficiently severe eruption, though unlikely, would bury much of the northern Rocky Mountains in Aschebergen. Lava flows could cover a radius of up to 30 or 40 miles in diameter with "catastrophic" accumulations of 10 or more centimeters in a radius of up to 500 miles. This is a worst-case scenario, and scientists tend to emphasize that even a temperate volcanic eruption is unlikely during our lifetime.

Recent computer models have shed some light on the structure of the magmatic system under Yellowstone, though scientists are still far from predicting future eruptions. However, the monitoring facilities at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory would likely detect "sudden or strong movements or heat fluctuations that indicate increased activity," writes the National Park Service, and a "catastrophic" eruption would likely precede weeks to years of warning signs.

[Reuters]


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