Supervolcano eruptions are a terrifying destructive force – which can blanket huge areas in ash and change the climate for decades.
Now researchers have detected a huge 215-mile ‘plume’ of hot magma stretching from the Yellowstone supervolcano to the California-Mexico border.
But volcano experts say there’s no reason to worry – the Yellowstone supervolcano has not erupted for 72,000 years, and is no more likely to now.
Researchers from the University of Texas found evidence of a deep mantle plume using EarthScope’s USArray, which detects how seismic waves bounce off Earth’s core, IFLScience reports.
The researchers found evicence of a ‘long, thin, sloping zone’ which runs 215 miles from Yellowstone to Mexico.
Michael Poland of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory said, ‘There are many suspected plumes, or hot spots, around the Earth.
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‘Yellowstone is one of them, but it’s a bit more complex. The plume has always been there, it’s just that we haven’t been able to see it very well.
‘This kind of structure works on the order of millions and millions of years and has no impact on our understanding of how Yellowstone works in terms of eruptive cycles, just their driving forces. It doesn’t change our perception of volcanic activity at all.’