In class we have always mentioned Yellowstone when we talked about volcanoes. As a result, we all understand that Yellowstone National Park sits on a volcano. Many people do not comprehend that when they are staring amazed at the geysers and hot springs that are found throughout the park. But for those who are interested or have researched these things have found that they are merely indications of the hot magma that flows beneath the adored park. I know that before I took this class, I never thought about why these geysers and hot springs were there. Nor would I have guessed that Yellowstone National Park was even associated with a volcano.
Yellowstone has produced some of the largest eruptions the world has ever witnessed. It’s eruptions are so intense that they have named it a “supervolcano.” A supervolcano has been defined as a volcano that experiences an eruption that rates a magnitude of 8 on the V.E.I. The V.E.I stands for the Volcanic Explosivity Index that is used to “grade” a volcano. This scales uses the erecta volume, plume height, and duration of a volcanic eruption to determine its numbers.One of the explosions was so extreme that it cause a caldera. A caldera is formed when a volcano has such a great explosion that it collapses into itself. Therefore, the volcano does not look like the traditional volcano but is sunken in, causing a depression.
With the volcano being so dangerous, why do people go there? Well besides the fact that some people do not know, authorities give the okay. Scientist do not see Yellowstone becoming a threat in the near future. According to them, we have nothing to fear. (And if we did, I am sure they would let us know to stay clear of that area!) These are reasons why we should not be scared to visit Yellowstone National Park:
1. The most recent super eruption of Yellowstone occurred about 640,000 years ago!!!
2. Scientist are monitoring the volcano and report that there is no usual activity
3. Dramatic warning signals are expected to take place before an explosion
So unless scientist come out and say that there are unusual things happening at Yellowstone National Park, we have nothing to worry about if you ever chose to visit. Because the scientist are on constant watch. They monitor the earthquake activity, ground deformation, stream flow and stream temperatures around the Yellowstone are. Theses are the usual indications of a soon-to-be erupting volcano.
Yellowstone National Park is a great tourist spot and also one of earth’s most dangerous places to be, but only if the volcano decides to “let loose” (erupt). In that case, because of its supervolcano attributes, people need to steer far, far away from the volcano.