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Is the Supervolcano beneath Yellowstone set to blow in 2012…?

Yellowstone And the 2012 Mayan Prophecy

By Jon King

Three Times The Historic Average

Geological surveys show that the caldera at Yellowstone National Park in America has been rising at the slightly alarming rate of around 3 inches a year since 2004, three times the historic average.

This coupled with the significantly high number of earthquakes detected beneath Yellowstone in recent times has given some geologists cause for concern, because as we all know, if Yellowstone blows, much of the United States blows with it.

For the record, the Yellowstone supervolcano – like any supervolcano – is substantially larger in size and power than regular volcanoes. A super-volcanic eruption, they say, would likely plunge the world into a cold, dark volcanic winter. Many species would perish and most of the earth would disappear beneath a carpet of lava, ash and ice. Food production would effectively cease.

Thankfully, super-volcanic eruptions happen rarely – the last time the Yellowstone supervolcano erupted was 640,000 years ago.

Yellowstone And the 2012 Mayan Prophecy

The Early Stages Of A Super-Eruption

But recent seismic activity beneath Yellowstone, plus the accelerated rate at which its caldera has reportedly risen over the past four years, has evidently begun to quicken the heart rate of interested parties, with some experts even claiming that Yellowstone is already in the early stages of a super-eruption.

In a recent interview with Wyoming-based Tribune Online, University of Utah geophysicist, Bob Smith, who works at the Yellowstone Observatory, said that the gradual uplift of the supervolcano’s caldera “adds energy to the whole system”.

“It adds to the whole deformation and expands the Great Basin to the west.”

He added that, as the crust expands, it affects the rotation of the various tectonic plates underlying the region well beyond Yellowstone.

“Yellowstone affects a much bigger area, ten times as big as Yellowstone Park,” he said. “So it plays a major role in the plate tectonics framework.”

The problem is, of course, if Yellowstone is about to blow then there’s precious little we can do about it, a realization sufficient to set ‘Armageddon fever’ raging in the minds of the apocalyptic few.

Indeed, with the 2012 Mayan Prophecy looming large on the geological calendar, the doomsayers are already out in force predicting a volcanic conclusion.

Personally, I’m not so sure this is what Pacal Votan and his Mayan sages believed when they set the current prophecy mania in motion all those years ago.

What say you? Do you think the Yellowstone supervolcano might be due to erupt and blast us into a new era? Or is it all fear-based, doom-laden hype?

I guess this time next year we’ll all know the answer.

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image source: USGS”:http://www.usgs.gov/

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