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Guest Thinkers

Yellowstone: the return?


Everyone loves a “supervolcano”*. According to a recent report, Los Angeles will be erupting from underneath Yellowstone Caldera (Wyoming). OK, not really, but apparently there has been 7 cm of uplift underneath the footprint of the Yellowstone Caldera since 2004, which is a pretty good amount of uplift. Whether this uplift is caused by new magma intruding, volcanic gases collecting or hydrothermally spawned (however, in the article, we are to believe these unnamed “researchers” that it is magma). I’ll keep an eye out for more on this, but it sounds like this is just another “more uplift!” sort of report.

* you know, I am still pretty ambivalent towards this buzzword “supervolcano”. Really, the term has only been around, or at least in popular use, for the last 10 year or so, and it just smacks of media jargon. There already is a word for volcanoes that erupt this much material in large eruptions. They’re called “calderas”. Sure, it doesn’t have the same visceral reaction as “supervolcano,” but it also doesn’t sound like something from a Jerry Bruckheimer film.


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