A new scientific study reveals that the Yellowstone supervolcano is much larger than previously estimated.

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This hot spring indicates the Yellowstone National Park sits over a huge magma chamber, which size is now much larger than previously thought. Photo: AFP

The new findings tell that the magma chamber is about 2.5 times bigger than previously thought, stretches over more than 90km (55 miles) and contains a volume of molten rock reaching up to 200-600 cubic km. This is astounding. Imagine a blow: It would be catastrophic!

The last major eruption, which occurred 640,000 years ago, sent ash across the whole of North America, affecting the planet’s climate. But it is unclear when the Yellowstone supervolcano will erupt again.

The findings are being presented at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting (AGU) in San Francisco. [BBC News]

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