Why are volcanoes in Yellowstone different?
The most famous volcanoes of Yellowstone National Park, Yellowstone National park in Wyoming, and the Mount St. Helens volcano in Washington state, are among the most active volcanoes on the planet.
But scientists have been wondering if the world’s most famous volcano is also the most powerful.
As the Earth warms, the geysers of Mount St, and Yellowstone’s three other active volcanos, could erupt.
That would be one of the most important questions posed by Mount St., and it could be a huge clue to understanding the geology and climate at Yellowstone.
Yellowstone’s volcano activity is on par with that of Mount McKinley, the second-biggest eruption in recorded history.
In fact, scientists say that Mount St could erupt in as little as three decades.
“It’s the equivalent of Mount Pinatubo exploding,” says Eric Rignot, a geophysicist at the University of Colorado Boulder.
“If that happens, you could see this giant ash plume reaching the surface.”
Rignot and his colleagues found out this week that Mount McKinleys eruption is the biggest ever, but it’s not the only one.
Scientists also found that Mount Pahoehoe is more active than the other volcanoes.
The scientists used data from NASA’s Landsat satellites to look at the volcanoes from a global perspective.
This allowed them to study the volcanic activity at Mount St and Mount McKinys in more detail.
“Mount St. is the largest volcano in the US, so that’s a very powerful indicator,” Rignots team wrote in their study.
“We could use this to see how much the volcanism is changing.”
They did this by using satellite data to look for changes in the brightness of the erupting magma, or magma underneath the lava.
They then used this data to calculate how much magma is beneath the volcano’s surface.
That’s important because this is where the volcano could erupt, Rignott explains.
If it erupts, it would release a lot of hot ash into the atmosphere.
And that could trigger an eruption of the nearby Mount Pohoehoe.
The researchers then compared this data with the number of active volcanues in the world.
They found that the Yellowstone volcano had been erupting for at least two centuries, and that it’s been active for about half that time.
“The magnitude of this eruption is really remarkable,” says Rignotta.
“In fact, it’s so large that it dwarfs the magnitude of Mount Puhoehoe in terms of the magnitude and duration of the eruption.”
Rampant volcanoes are more active in a warmer climate and more prone to eruption, so it makes sense that Yellowstone is more prolific, says Ragoza.
But he says there’s more to the story.
“There’s a lot more going on that makes it a very important volcano to study,” he says.
This is one of a number of studies that Rignota is involved in that are looking at how volcanoes work.
Rignotti and his team have been studying Yellowstone’s volcanoes since the 1960s, and their findings have made them famous.
They’ve measured the magma under Yellowstone’s surface for decades.
But now, Ragozza and his group are using this data set to study Mount St as well.
“There are some very interesting things that we’re seeing in Yellowstone that are happening because of climate change,” says Tod Fischbach, an atmospheric scientist at the US Geological Survey.
One of the things they’re looking at is the amount of ash produced.
Mount St produces about 1.5 million tons of ash per year.
This is the equivalent to the ash produced by Mount McKinney.
And as a result, it is producing about 1 million tons more ash every year.
“That’s what you’d expect, as the atmosphere warms up, the amount that gets released into the air,” Fischba says.
“So the amount produced by Yellowstone is just about the same.”
The team found that volcanic eruptions are less frequent in the Pacific Northwest, but that there is a lot less ash produced there than elsewhere.
“They’re all happening more often in the Northwest,” says Fischb, referring to Mount St’s and Mount Pheoehoe’s eruption.
“But we don’t know exactly why.”
Fischbah says the team is working on a paper to look into this topic.
Scientists aren’t sure what is causing the rapid change in Yellowstone’s volcano activities, but they suspect it could have to do with the fact that the climate has warmed up.
Ragozas team is using data from a variety of models, including those used by the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration, to analyze what is happening in the region.
They are also looking at what happens to the ground under Mount St when the volcano erupts.
“The atmosphere can be very important,