Yellowstone won’t erupt anytime soon, but a debate still rages about the supervolcano
Ying Zhou teaches a Geology 101 class to students at Virginia Tech, but after peering deeply into the subterranean world beneath the Yellowstone volcano, Zhou says she needs to modify her lesson plans — for Yellowstone, anyhow.
Yellowstone is one of the most heavily-researched volcanoes in the world, and it’s believed to be responsible for few mega-eruptions in the last two million years. Volcanologists understand its behavior quite well, and there’s agreement that any sort of eruption would be likely be proceeded by months or even years of warning.
But scientists still aren’t sure exactly how the volcano came to be, though many suspect its hundreds of geysers and steaming springs are fueled by a great plume of hot rock emanating from the deep Earth, which rises up to a surface “hotspot.
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