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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.

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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

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