Yellowstone supervolcano may blow sooner than thought — could wipe out life on the planet

Matthew Diebel, USATODAY Updated: October 14, 2017 at 5:26 pm • Published: October 12, 2017 0

Scientists working in and around Yellowstone National Park say that the supervolcano sitting under the tourist attraction may blow sooner than thought, an eruption that could wipe out life on the planet.

According to National Geographic, the researchers, from Arizona State University, analyzed minerals in fossilized ash from the most recent mega-eruption and found changes in temperature and composition that had only taken a few decades. Until now, the magazine reported, geologists had thought it would take centuries for the supervolcano to make the transition.

The discovery, which was presented at a recent volcanology conference, comes on top of a 2011 study that found that ground above the magma reservoir in Yellowstone had bulged by about 10 inches in seven years.

"It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high," the University of Utah's Bob Smith, an expert in Yellowstone volcanism, told the magazine at the time.

Read the full story at USA Today.

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