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By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

7/10/2014 (2 years ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Very slight chance of eruption says Dr. Robert Smith

The lead authority in the world on Yellowstone's Super Volcano says that it's twice as large as scientists previously thought.

The Super Volcano that rests under Yellowstone National Park is twice as big as scientists previously believed.

The Super Volcano that rests under Yellowstone National Park is twice as big as scientists previously believed.

Highlights

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

7/10/2014 (2 years ago)

Published in U.S.

Keywords: US, News


LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Dr. Robert Smith of the University of Utah said: "Anytime you come to Yellowstone you have to drive uphill. And the reason is this giant plume of magma is very hot, therefore it's bullient, low density and it just lifts the surface up."

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Dr. Smith has been studying Yellowstone's earthquakes and Super Volcanoes for almost sixty years, and pointed out that "these giant eruptions, super volcanoes if you wish, probably last many, many months, maybe even years."

Smith and his students used seismographs to map the magma pool underneath Yellowstone's volcano, and satellites to determine how much the land swells or bulges. Using this technology they've found that the magma is 2.5 times greater than initially estimated.

Magma movements are also signaled by earthquakes, and Smith mentioned the 4.8 magnitude earthquake in the Norris area last spring.

"It's the biggest earthquake in 30 years," he explained. "If we were to have another big eruption, it would affect a large area, on the order of several states. But, as I said, that probability is very, very, very, very small. In my calculations it's point zero, zero, zero, one percent."

Millions of tourists visit Yellowstone every year to see the countless geysers, fumeroles, hot springs and mud spots. It's the largest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park sits on top of the world's largest active volcano. The Super Volcano's most recent eruption was more than 600,000 years ago, and all that remains is the caldera, the top portion.

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