Scientists have warned that a major tectonic shift at Yellowstone Supervolcano will spark a massive eruption that will devastate the planet.
As the world’s volcanoes begin to wake up, experts have turned their attention to the unusual activity going on at Yellowstone.
Express.co.uk reports: Increased activity above and below the surface at the US supervolcano has set off alarm bells for those who are monitoring the site for a potential eruption.
Multiple earthquakes at the National Park followed by a fourth eruption of its usually dormant geyser has led to speculation about the world’s largest supervolcano.
The supervolcano sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire, which is responsible for earthquake and volcanic activity along the Pacific Ocean, most recently including Hawaii and Indonesia.
The geyser Steamboat, which had been dormant since September 2014, suddenly erupted on March 15th, April 19th, April 27th and May 4th.
According to Fox News, a swarm of more than 200 earthquakes struck Yellowstone over two weeks, which indicates a shifting of the major tectonic plates beneath the Earth’s surface.
A Fox reporter said two out of the three warning signs of an imminent eruption has caused panic among visitors to the site.
Those warning signs include increased seismic activity, ground deformation and an increased gas outlet at the surface.
While seismic activity and gas outlet has increased during 2018, this has not been to a significant extent and without any sign of ground deformation.
Seismologists admit that an eruption could cause mass destruction, but experts at the National Earthquake Information Center in Golden have played down fears.
Harley Benz, a US Geological Survey seismologist who monitors the site, said locals would have plenty of warning time, adding: “It could be several weeks or months before it erupted.
“It would just get more and more intense in terms of the seismic activity. So, if it’s going into an eruptive phase, we would likely know way ahead of time.”
The increased activity has also set off fears for the 800-mile chain of 13 volcanoes in the nearby vicinity along the West Coast.
Liz Westby, a geologist at the US Geological Survey Cascades Volcano Observatory said: “There’s lots of anxiety out there. They see destruction, and people get nervous.”
Michael Poland, head scientist at the USGS Yellowstone Volcano Observatory in Washington state, said a major quake was not on its way.
He explained: “People tend to focus on the possibility of a huge eruption.
“When they do happen, they’re going to shake the region pretty severely, so people should be prepared for that.”
When the supervolcano next erupts, the expected consequences will see ash devastate the majority of the US, according to Live Science.