The caldera inside Yellowstone National Park is described as a supervolcanoe due to its ability to inflict uncontrolled global catastrophe in the event of superopentation. It was formed during the last three major events in the last 2.1 million years, with the most recent Lava Creek eruption occurring around 630,000 years ago. Located below the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the region is continuously monitored by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) for signs that history may repeat itself.
Science writer Brian Walsh explored that possibility in chilling detail in an excerpt promoting his recently published book, ‘End Times: A Brief Guide to the End of the World’.
He wrote: “A Yellowstone explosion would be something humanity has never experienced.
“There will be a rapid earthquake at first, a sign that magma beneath Yellowstone was rushing towards the surface.
“The magma would then burst through the ground in a Titanic explosion to discharge the Earth’s toxic ravages into the air.
“This will continue within 40 days to the days of burying Yellowstone in the lava.”
Mr. Walsh said that “the devastation around Yellowstone would be just the beginning,” adding that the SuperRepression would have buried up to three feet of toxic volcanic ash in Colorado, Wyoming and Utah.
He said: “Depending on weather patterns, most parts of the Midwest grow a few inches, causing the area to sink into darkness.
“Even the coasts – where most Americans live – most likely blow dust with ashes spreading.
“The crops will be destroyed, the pasture will be contaminated.
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“Power lines and electrical transformers will be ruined, potentially knocked out of the grid.”
According to Mr Walsh, the effects “can be felt globally if there is an explosion during summer” because a toxic cloud can block sunlight and “reduce global temperatures”.
He said: “There will be a rapid drop in rain. This may be enough to prevent tropical rainforests from dying out.
“Farming can fall, starting in the Midwest.
Citing a group of researchers from a 2015 European Science Foundation report, Mr Walsh agreed in Yellowstone an exaggeration “would be the greatest catastrophe since the dawn of civilization”.
But the USGS says there is no need to fear.
Government agency experts estimate the probability of an explosion at one in 730,000 in any given year.
And a recent study also suggested that the hotspot may be currently in a state of decline.
The discovery was based on the analysis of volcanic deposits scattered over a region of thousands of kilometers.
‘End Times: A Brief Guide to the World of the End’ published by Hatchet Books and available to purchase here.