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Published on Jan 6, 2014

It could happen with little or no warning, and it could wipe out the human race. Matt Sampson explains how a Supervolcano is well within the realm of possibility… It’s happened before.



Supervolcano beneath Yellowstone could wipe out human life in North America

Yellowstone National Park

Photo by Getty Images/Getty Images

The story story of the supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park is making headlines in the United Kingdom. The headline in BBC online read, “Yellowstone supervolcano ‘even more colossal

“The supervolcano that lies beneath Yellowstone National Park in the US is far larger than was previously thought, scientists report.”

A new study released last week shows that the Yellowstone volcano has a magma chamber more than twice as large as previous estimates. The so-called super-volcano stretches for more than 55 miles and contains between 200 to 600 cubic kilometers of lava.

Underground cavern of lava

A cavern containing the red-hot lava is 20 miles wide and almost two miles deep.

“We’ve been working there for a long time, and we’ve always thought it would be bigger,” said Bob Smith, University of Utah professor and geologist. “But this finding is astounding.”

The volcano study results were presented last week at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

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