While the odds of the Yellowstone supervolcano erupting are extremely low, experts say the side effects would be catastrophic.
The eruption could be 1,000 times more powerful than the Mount St Helen eruption back in 1980, releasing a mixture of magma, vapour, rocks and gases out of the ground.
In the aftermath, a layer of molten ash one foot deep could spread for 1,000 miles, killing around 90,000 people.
According to scientists at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, there is no evidence of sudden or strong movements or shifts in heat that would indicate an eruption is coming.
“Another caldera-forming eruption is theoretically possible, but it is very unlikely in the next thousand or eve 10,000 years.”
It’s believed that signs of a forthcoming eruption, like earthquake swarms and rapid ground deformation, would be detectable for weeks – if not months – prior.
Yellowstone’s supervolcano has had three major eruptions in history. The supervolcano last erupted back 174,000 years ago and last flowed with lava around 70,000 years ago.
The eruption back 640,000 years ago created the famous Yellowstone Caldera, a cauldron-like volcanic crater that measures 30 by 45 miles.