Is the Yellowstone supervolcano really ‘due’ for an eruption?


A hydrothermal feature at Yellowstone National Park. (Image credit: zrfphoto via Getty Images)

Beneath Yellowstone National Park, a vast region of spectacular wilderness visited by around 3 million people annually (opens in new tab), lurks one of the largest volcanoes in the world. 

The Yellowstone Caldera — the cauldron-like basin at the summit of the volcano — is so colossal that it is often called a “supervolcano,” which, according to the Natural History Museum (opens in new tab)in London, means it has the capacity to “produce a magnitude-eight eruption on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, discharging more than 1,000 cubic kilometers [240 cubic miles] of material.” 



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