Public worried about Yellowstone supervolcano eruption after earthquakes, geyser activity

Earthquakes and increased geyser activity have sparked anxiety of an imminent Yellowstone eruption.

The Yellowstone Caldera is home to a dormant supervolcano, which could cause mass destruction if it erupted again.

And two recent strong earthquakes in southern California have sent fears skyrocketing that they could cause the supervolcano to reawaken in wrath and fire.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) reports 73 earthquakes in the Yellowstone National Park region during June, including two earthquake swarms.

There's also been increased geyser activity inside Yellowstone Park. So far this year the Steamboat Geyser has erupted 25 times, according to the USGS, putting it on track to break the yearly record of 32 eruptions.

The USGS says the Steamboat Geyser erupted seven times in June alone and broke the record for the shortest interval between eruptions.

However, the USGS says the Californian earthquakes won't trigger a volcanic eruption at Yellowstone, although they still can have an impact on volcanoes.

"Earthquakes like those of the past week are unlikely to trigger volcanic eruptions, although they might trigger microearthquakes at some volcanoes," it notes.

"The last lava eruption was 70,000 years ago, and the last huge explosion was 631,000 years ago. To get magma to the surface, you need pressure and a volume of eruptible magma. The magma reservoir at Yellowstone is mostly solid. And there's no indication of pressurization."

And Michael Poland, the USGS scientist-in-charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, told CNN the increased geyser activity is nothing to worry about.

"They're mostly random and experience phases of alternating eruptive activity," he said.

"So while fascinating, it's not unusual, nor cause for concern."


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