Wyoming road melted by Yellowstone super volcano’s heat
No, that’s not poor road maintenance that you might be seeing in Wyoming’s Yellowstone National Park these days- that’s melted asphalt caused by heat generated by a supervolcano.
Sound ominous? Not really. Well, sort of. Let’s explain.
A handful of roads, including one to Old Faithful, the park’s most famous landmark, have begun to crack underneath a combination of summer heat and heat underneath the surface from the caldera (the round gap created by past eruptions) of the park’s supervolcano.
There have been fears that the Yellowstone supervolcano could be on the verge of erupting, following the viral spread of a video earlier this year showing animals sprinting (it was a false alarm) from the park. And while geologists don’t know when it may next erupt, this is believed to be a relatively ‘normal’ happenstance that comes with pavement being built on top of one of the world’s largest volcanoes.
The supervolcano – one of only six such designated in the world – last erupted about 640,000 years ago, according ot U.S. Geological survey records, but it has the power to potentially wipe out a huge portion of the United States. Geologists aren’t sure when it may erupt again, but if it were to do so, the lava could cover a large swath of the U.S. and shroud the world in a plume of smoke.
So, um, hopefully that supervolcano doesn’t erupt.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi