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Yellowstone National Park sits atop of an active volcanic hotspot responsible for at least three cataclysmic eruptions in the past. Yellowstone volcano’s three big eruptions went off about 640,000, 1.3 million and 2.1 million years ago, leading some to fear the supervolcano goes off like clockwork and is overdue a fourth eruption. And although geologists have found no evidence to back these claims, many still fear Yellowstone is a ticking timebomb waiting to go off.
One person on Twitter said: “Anybody else live in constant fear that the Yellowstone supervolcano is going to erupt and send us into a modern ice age?”
Another person said: “Is it just me or is anyone else frequently wondering when the Yellowstone supervolcano and/or the supposedly overdue big earthquake in the bay will kill us all?”
And a third person claimed: “Yellowstone is about to erupt. No one is covering it but it is absolutely heating up.
“The human race created such dark karma; the ancient text warns heaven and earth by the Mandate of Heaven may end our reign for our crimes against each other and her.”
The unwarranted fears come amid reports the Yellowstone volcano area was rocked by a total of 100 earthquakes in November this year.
The US Geological Survey (USGS), which monitors seismic activity at Yellowstone, has published on December 1 its monthly report for the Yellowstone area.
According to the report, the Yellowstone Seismic Network recorded a total of 100 earthquakes in November 2020, including a swarm of 12 tremors.
The strongest of the earthquakes was a magnitude 3.1 event just nine miles north-northeast of West Yellowstone, Montana.
The earthquake struck on the morning of November 25, with the earthquake swarm occurring on the same day and area.
However, the USGS has stressed “Yellowstone earthquake activity remains at background levels”.
Yellowstone National Park sees as many as 3,000 earthquakes each year, none of which indicate any increase in volcanic activity.
And about 50 percent of all seismicity in Yellowstone comes in the form of earthquake swarms.
Many of these quakes are triggered by hot water and steam moving underground and not molten rock.
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As far as the USGS is concerned, Yellowstone is not overdue another eruption and there is no evidence to suggest it will pop again any time soon.
The USGS said: “If it does erupt, it need not be a large eruption.
“Moreover, there’s no necessity that there will be another supereruption.
“Most volcanic systems do not have multiple such events. When they do, the supereruptions are not evenly spaced in time.
“Finally, it is not valid to calculate a recurrence period solely on two values (the two intervals between supereruptions).
“Therefore, the calculations you may hear stating that Yellowstone is some number of years overdue for a supereruption is mathematically inaccurate.”
If Yellowstone does blow again, it will most likely be a hydrothermal eruption and not a volcanic one.
These are small but explosive events triggered in shallow reservoirs of water or steam.
The USGS said: “These reservoirs are the sources of Yellowstone’s famous geysers, hot springs, and fumaroles.”
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