Supervolcano could wipe out most of America… and scientists fear it may be due to erupt
The giant magma pool could be closer to erupting than previously thought – and a similar super-eruption almost wiped out humans 74,000 years ago
Supervolcanoes with the power to destroy human civilisations may have much shorter fuses than was previously thought, scientists believe.
The news could be bad for the US, where a supervolcano is said to be simmering beneath Yellowstone National Park.
If it erupted, two thirds of the country could be rendered uninhabitable.
Supervolcanoes are fuelled by giant pools of magma that form deep underground.
Geologists had thought it took between 100,000 to 200,000 years for a supervolcano magma pool to build up enough pressure to erupt.
But the new study suggests that the giant magma bodies may only exist for a few thousand years, or even a few hundred, before exploding.
A magma reservoir six miles below Yellowstone has been rising at a record rate since 2004.