Yellowstone volcano eruption: Third shock blast this year | Science | News


Geologists at the Yellowstone National Park have announced that a third eruption was recorded at a geyser site which rests on top of the masssive active volcano.

The US National Park Service revealed that a park visitor first spotted the rare eruption of Steamboat Geyser on Friday morning. 

The “unusual” amount of eruptions at the site, the third over a six-week period, set off fears of a volcanic blast in the Yellowstone National Park.

However, geologists at the park have been quick to clarify that the seismic activity and eruptions are not yet indicative of a more destructive volcanic eruption brewing beneath Wyoming.

Steamboat Geyser previously erupted on March 15 and April 19, after lying dormant for three years.

The geyser in Wyoming can shoot water as high as 300 feet (91 meters) into the air, making it the second most powerful geyser in recorded history. 

Scientists have insisted there is no reason to suspect that the increased frequency of eruptions at Steamboat is an indication the Yellowstone caldera—a massive volcanic crater beneath the gesyer – is about to erupt.

Michael Poland, the scientist in charge for the observatory, said: “There is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent.”

The last time the Steamboat Geyser erupted three times in a year was in 2003, according to the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

Dr Poland claimed the frequency of the latest eruptions simply reflected “randomness”. 

He explained that a real indicator of imminent danger would be if the underground hydrothermal systems beneath the geyser dried up, which would indicate magma was getting closer to the surface.

Yellowstone National Park also tweeted: “Like most geysers, eruptions of Steamboat can’t be predicted, they may be days or decades apart.”

Jake Lowenstern, a USGS research geologist said: “Yellowstone hasn’t had a volcanic eruption for 70,000 years. Geysers erupt all the time.”

The Yellowstone caldera was formed by the last of three super-eruptions in the region from 2.1 million to 630,000 years ago. 

While it has been dormant for more than 70,000 years, the Yellowstone volcano has remained active and still holds the potential to erupt at some point in the future

Such an eruption would see lava flows cover a radius up to 30 or 40 miles in diameter, with “disastrous” accumulations of 10 or more centimeters in a radius of up to 500 miles.



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