By Tigerlily Johnson
The entirety of Yellowstone national park in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho is one huge super volcano, and is overdue for a volcanic eruption. While visiting the park, it may seem like a regular national park but underground is a volcano that has been dangerously close to eruption for years now. The last time Yellowstone had an eruption was 640,000 years ago, and scientists began observing it again many years ago. They are trying to prevent this major disruption, as it will destroy the surrounding cities and seriously harm the national park. Analyzing the temperature and changes in day-to-day life is helping them predict the volcanoes’ next moves. Since the potential eruption has been a mystery for so long, some of these people have been studying this volcano their whole life.
The term “supervolcano” means a volcano is at or above a magnitude 8 volcano. This is extremely dangerous, because “8” is the highest a volcanic magnitude can go. At an 8, it can wipe out entire states, and is likely to destroy surrounding states as well. The Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI) gets 10 times stronger each time the number rises. The U.S. Geological Survey states that “Together, the three catastrophic eruptions expelled enough ash and lava to fill the Grand Canyon.” However, the likelihood of this volcano exploding anytime soon is very unlikely; we still have thousands to millions of years!
Many people go to visit Yellowstone every year, and have marveled at its beauty. While the thought of walking on a rumbling volcano that could erupt any second is frightening, nearly four million visitors come every year, with the most popular month being July. With the eruption not being predicted in the near future, people will likely continue to be able to enjoy the beauty of the park for many years to come.