Steve Connor
Independent.co.uk
January 6, 2013

Crested Pool - Yellowstone National Park / image via Wikimedia Commons, David McConeghy
Crested Pool – Yellowstone National Park / image via Wikimedia Commons, David McConeghy

The eruption of a “supervolcano” hundreds of times more powerful than conventional volcanoes – with the potential to wipe out civilisation as we know it – is more likely than previously thought, a study has found.

An analysis of the molten rock within the dormant supervolcano beneath Yellowstone National Park in the United States has revealed that an eruption is possible without any external trigger, scientists said.

Scientists previously believed many supervolcanic eruptions needed earthquakes to break open the Earth’s crust so magma could escape. But new research suggests that this can happen as a result of the build-up of pressure.

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