About 9 million years old two super eruptions broke out in today’s Yellowstone National Park. One of these is located in the fifth largest volcanic eruption of all time. But there is good news: activity around the volcanic cavity of the Yellowstone Caldera is declining.
Using a combination of chemical, magnetic and radio-isotopic analyzes to connect volcanic deposits across tens of thousands of square kilometers, the researchers combined information that was thought to be unrelated. In a nutshell, what had been seen as “small eruptions” they were actually two gigantic events.
The two events in question have been called the McMullen Creek eruption, which occurred about 9 million years ago, and the eruption of Grey’s Landing, which occurred about 8.72 million years ago. “The younger of the two, the Grey’s Landing super-eruption, is now the largest recorded event in the entire volcanic Snake-River-Yellowstone province. It is one of the top five eruptions of all time“says volcanologist Thomas Knott of the University of Leicester in the United Kingdom.
According to reports, the eruption of Grey’s Landing would have covered an area the size of Lombardy with very hot volcanic glass, vaporizing anything in its path and releasing a cloud of ash all over the world. Comparing the two super eruptions believed to have occurred in the same region in the past three million years, it appears that activity is becoming more sporadic, with an average of one event occurring every 1.5 million years or so.
Although activity in the Yellowstone region is on the decline, scientists will continue to measure any changes carefully. Speaking of volcanoes, the Anak Krakatau has recently awakened, showing us its power even from space.