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The Wonders Of Yellowstone Essay

1238 words - 5 pages

Ever think about ways the world could end, such as black holes or aliens? Most of the ideas thought of come from somewhere in the universe, but the most likely cause is right here with us, on the earth. Super volcanoes, as scientists describe, are “a volcanic eruption where more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of magma is expelled."(Science World) The first time I learned about supervolcanoes was in geoscience class this year. We watched an entire three period video on Yellowstone. Ever since then I have been interested in learning more about supervolcanoes. As of right now, we know of six of these, three located in North America. What's more scary is that one of those supervolcanoes is located ...view middle of the document...

Scientists think of this as the volcano inhaling and exhaling.
“One of the past Yellowstone eruptions had enough ash and debris to blanket half the United States.” Some of you might be thinking, well it's ash, what's the big deal? This is no ordinary ash you would find in your fireplace, volcanic ash is tiny particles of glass. When mixed with the moisture in your lungs, it creates a cement like substances, which suffocates many. Lisa Morgan, a U.S. Government scientist says, “You would not want to be there when an explosion occurs.” Volcanic ash also rises higher than 10 miles into the sky. This blocks airspace as it can shut an engine down completely in less than a minute. Current science states: “The Yellowstone hotspot melts thick continental crust, producing a different type of magma which can cause catastrophic eruptions.” (Current Science) There are three main types of lava: basaltic, andesitic, and rhyolitic. Rhyolitic magma is the most explosive. Volcanic ash contains sulfur, so when it rises into the sky, it produces sulfuric acid, which reflects some of the sunlight back. This causes the Earth to become colder, leading us into what happened after the last eruption: “Several years of volcanic winter.” This is when the sun has trouble reaching parts of the Earth, so all year round, it would be freezing. The winter would not stop until the air and atmosphere are clean enough to let light through.
“Yellowstone formed 640,000 years ago in an explosion of magma more than 1000 times greater than the Mount St Helens eruption of 1980.” One of the biggest reasons why we are still curious about Yellowstone is because each eruption has buried very large amounts of evidence from the past eruption. The first Yellowstone eruption occurred around 2.1 million years ago. This eruption is known as the Huckleberry Ridge eruption and it was one of the most massive volcanic events in the history of the Earth. The second eruption is known as The Mesa Falls Eruption, which occurred 1.3 million years ago. Lastly was the Lava Creek event, which happened 650,000 years ago. Between the Huckleberry Ridge and Mesa Falls, was 800,000 years. Also, between the Mesa Falls and the Lava Creek eruption, 640,000 years passed. Yellowstone is now overdue for eruption.
Even though Yellowstone can cause so much damage, Robert Chrisiansen, the scientist in charge of Yellowstone Volcano Observatory states: “The possibility of an eruption from Yellowstone during the next 100,000 years is very small. But saying that it’s very small doesn’t mean it couldn’t happen.” Yellowstone could have...

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