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Join USGS Online Lecture on 5/26/16: Forecasting Ashfall Impacts from a Yellowstone Supereruptiion

Forecasting Ashfall Impacts from a Yellowstone Supereruption

  • Yellowstone is one of a few dozen volcanoes on Earth capable of "supereruptions" that expel more than 1,000 cubic km of ash and debris.
  • The plumes from such eruptions can rise 30 to 50 km into the atmosphere, three to five times as high as most jets fly.
  • Yellowstone has produced three supereruptions in the past 2.1 million years. The most recent was 0.6 million years ago.
  • Eruptions this large can create their own continental-scale wind field, pushing ash more than 1,000 km against the prevailing, ambient wind field.