It is possible that the Yellowstone supervolcano in the north-western United States will begin to erupt in the next few decades, which would be disastrous for the entire Northern Hemisphere, said volcanologist Arthur Saltykov, chief researcher at the Institute of Earth Physics named Schmidt
"The forecast nobody dares to give. Neither the Americans, who are constantly monitored, nor any other country. Forecast volcanic eruptions give very difficult. But it is possible that it can be activated, and 10, and 20, and at 30 years old. Volcanic eruption in this case depends on how the hearth, where the molten magma is saturated with gases — is carbon dioxide, ammonia, fluoride, "- said Saltykov during an online conference hosted by the" Moskovsky Komsomolets ".
Yellowstone supervolcano, or the Yellowstone caldera is located in the eponymous national park in Wyoming. This geological formation — the caldera, the "funnel" of an exploding volcano in antiquity — has dimensions of 55 kilometers by 72. According to the Saltykov, in the middle of the 20th century, researchers discovered that at a depth of about 8 kilometers beneath the caldera is a chamber filled with magma, and it is an ancient volcano.
It erupted about 2 million years ago, then 1.2 million years ago and 600,000 years ago. As a result, the last eruption was emitted to the atmosphere of about one thousand cubic kilometers of ash and debris, though most historical catastrophic eruption threw only 50 cubic kilometers (Tambora, 1815) and 10 cubic kilometers (Krakatau, 1883).
Currently hidden volcanic activity support the lives of many geysers and hot springs in the national park.
If the Yellowstone volcano will erupt, the consequences could be disastrous. In addition to the direct damage from the eruption, such as ash fall in the vast territory of the eruption of large volumes of ash fall into the stratosphere, and the world can come true "volcanic winter" — even the much weaker eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991 (4.8 cubic kilometers ash) caused a marked cooling.
"If there is a volcanic eruption, half of America will be covered with ash and lava filled a great distance … Fortunately, these volcanoes on land that is not so much. In this case it will be a disaster.
The temperature may fall in the northern hemisphere, "- said Saltykov.