Researchers at Arizona State University analyzed evidence form that eruption, and believe that the super volcano was awoken after two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir beneath that caldera.
The super volcano under Yellowstone National Park in the U.S. may erupt more quickly than previously thought, researchers warned this week.
The supervolcano under Yellowstone is a beast that hasn't erupted in more than 630,000 years, so this development is interesting to note. Depending on the size of the eruption, the volcano could cover major portions of the United States in unsafe ash, and the Earth's atmosphere would likely be filled with that same ash.
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Much like reading a set of tree rings, Shamloo and her team were able to record temperature and composition changes by analyzing crystals found beneath the earth's surface.
If the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone erupts again, we may have far less advance warning time than we thought.
The previous eruption occurred in about the same time frame before that - 1.3 million years ago - meaning that the volcano may be primed for another explosion, reports the New York Post. Previously, researchers believed it would take centuries for these changes to take place.
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An expert at the Yellowstone volcanism, Bob Smith from the University of Utah told that, "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high". However, as per the new study, the magma can rapidly refill making the volcano explosive within a short span of time. For its part, the U.S. Geological Survey puts the rough yearly odds of another massive Yellowstone blast at 1 in 730,000-about the same chance as a catastrophic asteroid collision.
Yellowstone is one of the world's most monitored volcano sites, under constant surveillance from satellites and ground-based monitoring stations.
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"It's shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption", Shamloo told The Times, cautioning that more research is necessary before definite conclusions can be drawn.