Q:

When will Yellowstone erupt?

A:

Quick Answer

Predicting when the next eruption will occur is difficult; however, the National Science Foundation estimates the next major eruption shouldn't happen for at least another one million years. The next eruption may dump several inches of ash over a large portion of the United States and could change Earth's climate.

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When will Yellowstone erupt?
Credit: Todd Petrie Flickr CC-BY-2.0

Full Answer

Around 80 minor eruptions have occurred since the last major one, and these created relatively minor lava flows. Approximately 70,000 years ago was the last time lava flowed out of Yellowstone's supervolcano, and about 640,000 years ago is when the last major eruption occurred, which created the large caldera visible today.

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    A:

    Hot melted rocks collect under the Earth's surface and when the pressure becomes too hard, the Earth's skin breaks, and a volcano erupts. The melted rock inside the Earth is called magma, but when it comes out in an eruption, it is called lava.

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    How does a volcano erupt?

    A:

    A volcano erupts through the build-up and release of pressure, whether that pressure is of its underlying magma, water or both. This release can be explosive, as it was in the famous eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii, or it can be slow and effusive, as it is in the ongoing formation of the Hawaiian islands.

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    Why did Krakatoa erupt in 1883?

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    Krakatau erupted partly because it is located in an area with high volcanic activity in Indonesia, according to Wikipedia, and partly because of the structure of the island itself. Smaller eruptions, that started about two months earlier, created fissures in the sides of the volcano, states the Australian Bureau of Meteorology. The fissures split open, and sea water poured into the crater of magma, causing a huge explosion.

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    How often do volcanoes erupt?

    A:

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