The supervolcano, located in Yellowstone National Park, has erupted three times in history – 2.1 million years ago, 1.2 million years ago and 640,000 years ago. Volcanoes typically blow when molten rock, known as magma, rises to the surface following the Earth’s mantle melting due to tectonic plates shifting. However, geologists have revealed how Yellowstone’s magma chamber, which sits on top of the magma plume, is slowly rising each year.
Should it continue at this rate, it is possible magma could break through the Earth’s crust – forming flowing lava, it was revealed on YouTube’s “Why the Yellowstone supervolcano could be huge”.
The 2015 mini-documentary detailed: “Scientists have new data that gives them a better picture of Yellowstone’s underground plumbing.
“Right beneath the caldera, from the last eruption sits the magma chamber stretching 465 miles northwest.
“Scientists are closely monitoring it as magma rises from the plume into the chamber at two inches a year.
“The danger will be if the plume starts liquifying and moving up any faster.”
Scientists are now looking for a pattern that matches that of any previous triggering events.
The last eruption of Yellowstone produced around 2,500 times more volcanic material than the 1980 eruption of Mount St Helens.
Geologists have previously warned, once they spot a sign, an eruption could happen in as little as two weeks.
Jacob Lowenstern, a researcher with the US Geological Survey in Vancouver, Washington, detailed how the last catastrophic incident may have played out.
He said: “Typically when these eruptions begin, they begin from a certain event, then they get larger as they move along the fracture system.
“The entire sequence that formed the last Yellowstone eruption may have taken as little as two weeks.”
Should the same happen again, the ground around Yellowstone National Park would rise upwards forming a swarm of earthquakes.
Then, following the eruption, enormous pyroclastic flows would blast their way across the park.
This mixture of ash, lava blebs, and superheated gas exceed temperatures of 1,000C and can move at speeds of up to 300mph.
They are predicted to spread more than 100 miles out from Yellowstone, burying states like Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, and Colorado in three feet of harmful volcanic ash.
If the pyroclastic flow hits anyone, they would possibly die within seconds as the air could heat up to around 300C.