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The Yellowstone Caldera is one of nature’s most awesome creations and sits atop North America’s largest volcanic field.
Its name means ‘cooking pot’ or ‘cauldron’ and it is formed when land collapses following a volcanic explosion.
In Yellowstone, some 400 miles beneath the Earth’s surface is a magma ‘hotspot’ which rises to 30 miles underground before spreading out over an area of 300 miles across.Atop this, but still beneath the surface, sits the slumbering volcano.
Until recently, Bob Smith had never witnessed two simultaneous earthquake swarms in his 53 years of monitoring seismic activity in and around the Yellowstone Caldera.
Now, Smith, a University of Utah geophysics professor, has seen three swarms at once.
Yellowstone’s recent earthquake swarms started on Sept. 10 and were shaking until about 11:30 a.m. Sept. 16.
“A total of 130 earthquakes of magnitude 0.6 to 3.6 have occurred in these three areas, however, most have occurred in the Lower Geyser Basin,” a University of Utah statement said. “Notably much of seismicity in Yellowstone occurs as swarms.”
It would explode with a force a thousand times more powerful than the Mount St Helens eruption in 1980.
Spewing lava far into the sky, a cloud of plant-killing ash would fan out and dump a layer 10ft deep up to 1,000 miles away.
Two-thirds of the U.S. could become uninhabitable as toxic air sweeps through it, grounding thousands of flights and forcing millions to leave their homes.
Popocatepetl Volcano is at it again. The active volcano near Mexico City erupted again this morning, spewing ash up into the sky.
The volcano is currently in the middle of an extremely active phase. According to theInternational Business Times, the volcano has registered 39 exhalations in the last 24 hours.
An eruption earlier this month caused several flights to be canceled in and out of Mexico City.
The BBC notes that officials raised the alert level yellow following Popocateptl’s eruption on Saturday morning. Yellow is the third-highest caution level on the city’s seven step scale.
Ash wafted as high as 3 miles above the Sakurajima volcano in the southern city of Kagoshima on Sunday afternoon, forming its highest plume since the Japan Meteorological Agency started keeping records in 2006. Lava flowed just over half a mile from the fissure, and several huge volcanic rocks rolled down the mountainside.
Though the eruption was more massive than usual, residents of the city of about 600,000 are used to hearing from their 3,664-foot neighbor. Kagoshima officials said in a statement that this was Sakurajima’s 500th eruption this year alone.