Possible Cause for Supervolcano Eruptions

Yellowstone Supervolcano Caldera

While the topic itself might not seem directly environmental like most of the news posts, this topic is actually quite relevant.  According to this article, studies show that magma buoyancy has little to no influence on generating a supereruption.  Instead, they find that it it likely the size of the magma chamber that has a more significant impact.  If a chamber were to grow to the point of creating faults in the roof above it, the magma chamber could use those faults as eruption points, and it then becomes a domino effect where the area becomes “unzipped”.  This is quite relevant due to the sudden appearance of a rift 150 miles to the east of Yellowstone just 2 weeks ago.  From this other article, I gathered that the shallower magma chamber underneath Yellowstone is estimated to be 19 miles wide from northwest to southeast and 55 miles southwest to northeast, while the more recently discovered deeper reservoir is 30 miles northwest to southeast and 44 miles southwest to northeast.  Though the distance shows the area of the rift not being an immediate warning sign of an eruption, it does show that something in the area is active.  Let’s just hope that whatever it is, it leaves the Yellowstone magma chamber/reservoir alone.

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