Snake River Plain volcano is a much bigger threat than Yellowstone

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Forget Yellowstone… Snake River Plain volcano is a MUCH BIGGER threat to America!

Yellowstone super-volcano could create one of the biggest natural disaster in US history, but another volcano could even be more destructive…

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Snake River Plain across southern Idaho stretches over 400 miles (640 km).

New findings, published in the Geological Society of America Bulletin, show that massive volcanic super-eruptions bigger than those seen at Yellowstone took place between eight and 12 million years ago around Idaho’s Snake River Plain.

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Three major volcanic buttes dot the plain east of Arco, the largest being Big Southern Butte.

The study shows there were a staggering 12 massive eruptions over the course of four million years, beginning 12 million years ago at the Yellowstone hotspot – a region which spans from Nevada, through Oregon and Idaho and then to Wyoming where Yellowstone Volcano is located.

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Location of Yellowstone Hotspot in Millions of Years Ago

These massive eruptions are believed to have burned an explosive path from Oregon towards Yellowstone over 16 million years and helped forming the 100 kilometre-wide Snake River Basin.

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As the Yellowstone hotspot burned its way across southern Idaho, it left a 70-mile (110 km) wide channel through the Rocky Mountains. This channel is in line with the gap between the Cascade Range and the Sierra Nevada. The result is a moisture channel extending from the Pacific Ocean to Yellowstone.

One of the super-eruptions, which took place 8.1 million years ago, is believed to have been bigger those produced at the Yellowstone caldera, with a volume exceeding 1,900 km3 and creating a 1.3km thick caldera.

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Natural vegetation on the Snake River Plain

The size and magnitude of this newly defined eruption is as large, if not larger, than better known eruptions at Yellowstone, and it is just the first in an emerging record of newly discovered super-eruptions during a period of intense magmatic activity between eight and 12 million years ago.

The 12 ancient eruptions were also extremely hot – between 900-1,000C. In comparison, the eruption at Mount St Helens was about 350C.

The volcano at Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and Montana sits atop a huge reserve of magma and last erupted 630,000 years ago.

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1 COMMENT

  1. You are confusing things. What you call “Snake River Plain Volcano” is nothing but the same as Yellowstone. The same source of magma from the deep mantle has remained stationary while north america traveled west, leaving a trace of supervolcano calderas latest of all is the Giant Yellowstone Caldera 2 million years ago, the Island Park caldera 1.3 million years ago and the current yellowstone caldera 600 thousand years ago.
    I am surprised you did not connect the dots, see how the dates in the calderas of your third image are consecutive.
    So the Snake River Plain volcano is not worse or more dangerous than the Yellowstone volcano, because they are the same!

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