The Yellowstone caldera is chillingly referred to as a supervolcano due to its ability to inflict devastation on a global level. Located below the states of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, the supervolcano is constantly monitored by the USGS (United States Geological Survey) for signs that a supereruption is on its way. An event of this kind has occurred three times in history – 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago and 640,000 years ago, leaving some to claim the massive eruption is overdue.
Self-proclaimed experts reach this conclusion by calculating the difference in time between each event.
However, Dr Lowenstern has rubbished such claims.
He told viewers on the USGS YouTube channel in 2014: “When you see people claiming it’s overdue, usually the numbers they come up with say the last eruption was 640,000 years ago, but it erupts every 600,000 years.
“Therefore it’s 40,000 years overdue.
It wouldn’t be overdue for another 70,000 years
“But, in fact, if you average the eruption intervals, there’s 2.1 million to 1.3 million and then another 640,000 years ago.
“If you average those numbers you come up with something that’s over 700,000 years.”
“So, in reality, even if you tried to make this argument, it wouldn’t be overdue for another 70,000 years.”
Dr Lowenstern went on to state even this calculation is questionably useful.
He added: “The other thing that is important to realise is that when they do statistics based on two eruptive intervals, they are just playing games.
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“Because we don’t know.
There’s no clock down there, the magma is going to erupt when it wants to erupt.
“There’s been a lot of things that have happened over the last 600,000 years that might indicate there’s less likely of an eruption.”
USGS has provides a more detailed explanation as to why the volcano is not “overdue”.
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Their website reads: “First of all, one cannot present recurrence intervals based on only two values, it would be statistically meaningless.
“But for those who insist, let’s do the arithmetic. The three eruptions occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million and 0.64 million years ago.
The two intervals are thus 0.8 and 0.66 million years, averaging to a 0.73 million-year
Source:: Daily Times