Fear is mounting about a supervolcano explosion as more than 1,500 earthquakes have rocked the western edge of Yellowstone National Park in an ongoing “swarm” currently in its 7th week.
“The swarm began on June 12, 2017 and, as of 13:00 MDT on August 2nd, 2017, is composed of 1,562 events,” a statement from the University of Utah’s seismograph stations said.
During the swarm’s second week, a spokesperson for the United States Geological Survey (USGS) told Newsweek that the activity appeared to be “slowly winding down,” but that clearly does not appear to be the case now.
Seismic activity around the Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, US, is not uncommon, but the heaviest swarm in half a decade has people very concerned.
The Yellowstone Caldera supervolcano last erupted 70,000 years ago but a spike in seismic activity around the national park has an increasing number of people concerned.
If the Wyoming volcano were to erupt it would kill an estimated 87,000 people immediately and make two-thirds of the USA immediately uninhabitable. Then as the large spew of ash into the atmosphere would block out sunlight and directly affect life beneath it creating a “nuclear winter” and threatening ALL life on earth, reported Sunday Express.
The massive volcano is 50 miles long 12 miles wide and the 1500°F chamber of molten rock beneath the surface is 7 miles deep.
A climate shift would ensue as the volcano would spew massive amounts of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, which can form a sulphur aerosol that reflects and absorbs sunlight.
Following Montana’s biggest earthquake in 34 years, a 5.4 tremor in early June, which is on the same fault line as Yellowstone, and coupled with the swarm of quakes in the National Park, many are convinced that the supervolcano is now ready to blow, but Jamie Farrell, a research professor at the University of Utah is not worried just yet.
“When a volcano starts ‘acting up’ prior to an eruption, one of the typical signs is increased seismicity,” Farrell said.
“However, it is usually just one of the signs of an impending eruption. Other signs include large changes in surface deformation, changes to the hydrothermal system and changes in gas output. We monitor for all these things at Yellowstone.
“Typically if we see just one of these things, it doesn’t necessarily mean there is an eruption coming. If we start to see changes in all these things, then a red flag may be raised,” Farrell added.