It’s Mount St. Helen’s again! – Is there a supervolcano lurking underneath Mount St. Helens in Washington State, which already erupted in 1980? Scientists now have special instruments that enable them to “peek” beneath the seemingly dormant volcano, and they have seen a large amount of semi-molten rock, which could set off another eruption at any time.
A supervolcano is a major eruption that can send up enough ash into the atmosphere to block sunlight for years, thus cooling off the planet (which might be just what we need right now. Together with the lack of sunspots, the earth may be desperately trying to save itself). Since these only occur about once every hundred thousand years, scientists tend to ignore this very real threat.
If what scientists suspect is true, it would be one of the largest magma chambers ever discovered, like the one in Yellowstone National Park, which some experts think could erupt at any time, just like it did over 600,000 years ago.
In New Scientist, David Shiga quotes volcano expert Graham Hill as saying, “A really big, big eruption is possible if it is one of those big systems like Yellowstone. I don’t think it will be tomorrow, but I couldn’t try to predict when it would happen.”
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