Would Montana Survive A Supervolcano? What Does Science Say?
I remember sitting in my living room when I was a boy watching Peter Jennings talk about Mount St. Helens back on May 18th, 1980. I was completely fixated on what was happening and at that point in my life, had zero understanding of volcanos or what they could do.
To be truthful, I was never much of a science guy in school, as it wasn't my best subject of study. However, I've always been fascinated by volcanos and how in a matter of minutes, they could absolutely change the entire landscape for miles and miles.
Of course, most of us know that we're sitting on one of the largest supervolcanos in the world. Yellowstone.
One doesn't have to search very far online to find out all kinds of scenarios on what would/will happen when there is a major eruption of the Yellowstone Caldera. I've come across all kinds of theories on the subject, from everyone dies, to the United States not seeing sunlight for over a year.
So what do you say we ask those in the know? According to the United States Geological Survey, an eruption of Yellowstone will not wipe out humanity. Ok, well that's good news, but what about Montana?
Yea, things don't look so good for the state of Montana.
The USGS says in the event of an eruption of a supervolcano, that "the area around large explosive eruptions is devastated by hot flows of rock and ash. Ashfall out to distances of hundreds of kilometers can be many inches thick." Not only would that completely change the landscape of much of the state, but it would also more than likely take out most of the residents of the state.
When can we expect this life-altering explosion to happen? Well, looking at the numbers and doing the math, it appears that we have about another 100,000 years according to the USGS, although they say the math is questionable at best.
Either way, there isn't much of a reason to worry, considering our close proximity to Yellowstone, chances are, we won't feel a thing.