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originally posted by: gortex
a reply to: intrptr
Yellowstone is far larger than Krakatoa and has a large lake sat on top of it , that's an explosive mix.
The earthquake, which was the eighth largest ever recorded in Montana and largest in 34 years, comes just weeks after a flurry of smaller earthquakes hit the region. The swarm of activity began June 12, and by the end of the month nearly 900 earthquakes had been recorded near the Yellowstone supervolcano, along the western edge of the park.
The USGS puts the odds of a volcanic eruption at 1 in 730,000. Even if an eruption were to occur, it would likely result in lava flow rather than a cataclysmic explosion. Though this would have an effect on Yellowstone, it would not bring about the end of the United States as we know it.
Some predictions say that enough magma would be released to fill the Grand Canyon more than 11 times. Enough ash would be released that several inches could accumulate even 1,000 miles from Yellowstone and lava released could reach as far north as Calgary and as far south as Los Angeles. Some even go so far as to say ash would block out the sun and cause a global cooling event. Scientists do agree that the effects would be catastrophic. Ash would likely blanket most of North America with ash cover in Wyoming and the surrounding areas being severe enough to smother many plants and animals. Breathing would become difficult due to poor air quality and many water supplies would be poisoned. Many scientists agree that a mass extinction would not occur. In the previous three eruptions there is no evidence that an extinction event took place.
When asked about another massive eruption occurring, Jacob Lowenstern, Scientist-in-charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, said, "If such an event were to occur today, it would devastate the global economy, halting most transportation within the US, paralyzing our electrical grid, killing millions of livestock, and cooling the planet for a decade or more."
The aggregate annual probability of any volcanic eruption occurring from the Yellowstone magmatic system is ~1x10-4, an average recurrence of 10,000 years.
Continued monitoring by YVO is likely to enable recognition of premonitory indications before any volcanic eruption.
What we can say now is that through the end of September, the University of Utah has located 2475 earthquakes in the swarm. This puts the 2017 swarm on par with that of 1985, which lasted three months and had over 3000 located events.
“This is the sort of work that will happen in the months to come, as we gather up all of the available data and start crunching numbers,” Poland says. “What we can say now is that through the end of September, the University of Utah has located 2,475 earthquakes in the swarm. This puts the 2017 swarm on par with that of 1985, which lasted three months and had over 3,000 located events.
This story has been corrected to reflect that the current swarm is one of the longest on record, rather than the longest. The swarm in 1985 was longer if the tail end of seismicity is taken into account.