2016-01-04. Pinpointing the Trigger Behind Yellowstone’s Last Supereruption.

posted Jan 6, 2017, 4:21 PM by Alan Gould
By Aylin Woodward, EoS - Earth & Space Science News, AGU. For GSS Energy Flow chapter 2. Excerpt: Yellowstone National Park is renowned for more than just its hot springs and Old Faithful. The area is famous in the volcanology community for being the site of three explosive supereruptions, the last of which was 631,000 years ago. Map of known ashfall boundaries for major eruptions from Yellowstone, with Long Valley and Mount St. Helens for comparison. During that eruption, approximately 1000 cubic kilometers of rock, dust, and volcanic ash blasted into the sky. Debris rained across the continental United States, spanning a rough triangle that stretches from today’s Canadian border down to California and over to Louisiana. In places, ash reached more than a meter thick. “If something like this happened today, it would be catastrophic,” said Hannah Shamloo, a geologist at Arizona State University’s School of Earth and Space Exploration in Tempe. “We want to understand what triggers these eruptions, so we can set up warning systems. That’s the big-picture goal.” Now, Shamloo and her coauthor think they’ve found a clue. By examining trace elements in crystals that they found in the volcanic leftovers of Yellowstone’s last supereruption, they might be able to pinpoint what triggered it....  https://eos.org/articles/pinpointing-the-trigger-behind-yellowstones-last-supereruption

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