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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.