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“Supervolcano’ isn’t erupting soon so quit freaking out

The supervolcano under Yellowstone National Park may wipe out life on Earth as we know it, but that’s no reason to panic.

Despite reports of an imminent explosion, experts said that those predictions are sensational and it’s unlikely that a “supereruption” will happen in the next few thousand years.

The hysteria stems from Arizona State University study that suggested that changes in the mangma beneath Yellowstone are happening faster than previously realized.

But according to volcanologist Jeffrey Johnson, the shorter time span means very little when considered on a geological timescale, which sees volcanic events every hundred-thousand years.

“People love to be sensationalist with Yellowstone because when it has erupted in the past, it is huge,” Johnson told the Idaho Statesman. “It’s a prehistoric supereruption. But nothing is out of the ordinary at Yellowstone right now.”

Johnson, who is a Boise State University associate professor in geologic sciences, instead pointed to Idaho’s Craters of the Moon, which sees volcanic activity every about 10,000 years. He does not predict that any living humans will see the volcano erupt, but said that it’s still more plausible than a Yellowstone explosion.

He noted other volcanoes which erupt more frequently than Yellowstone and could potentially explode in the near future.

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“Volcanos in the Cascades will erupt every 100 years. Mount St. Helens erupts on a human time scale,” Johnson said. “On average, Yellowstone erupts every half-million years. That’s 10,000 times less frequently.”

There’s also no reason to read into the earthquakes that hit Yellowstone National Park near Soda Springs this summer.

“Yellowstone has effects that are unrelated to eruptions. There’s no relationship between [the caldera’s] magma and what’s happening in Soda Springs,” Johnson said.

Source: http://nypost.com/2017/10/16/supervolcano-isnt-erupting-soon-so-quit-freaking-out/

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