It's true that researchers have determined they'll have less warning than previously thought the next time the supervolcano erupts. Researchers at Arizona State University analyzed evidence form that eruption, and believe that the super volcano was awoken after two influxes of fresh magma flowed into the reservoir beneath that caldera.
It's the latest revelation that's come out of studying the caldera in recent years, including insights into Yellowstone's eruption history and the magma plume that feeds Yellowstone's thermal activity. Previously, geologists had thought it took millennia.
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The ASU scientists studied minerals in fossilized ash around the volcano and discovered that the critical changes in temperature and composition that would signal an impending eruption occurred in a matter of decades, not centuries, National Geographic reported.
That eruption was the deadliest and most economically destructive volcanic event the United States has experienced.
This is the first indication that "the conditions that lead to supereruptions might emerge within a human lifetime", which one researcher describes as "shocking", per the Times. The only change apparent with this research is our understanding of pre-eruption dynamics. The pair also presented an earlier version of their study at a 2016 meeting of the American Geophysical Union.
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Given that eruptions of supervolcanoes buried on our planet-and there are several-are thought to occur every 100,000 years or so, however, the likelihood of such an event during your lifetime is small, reports the New York Times.
Furthermore, a 2011 study found that the ground above the magma reservoir in Yellowstone had bulged by roughly 10 inches in seven years, per National Geographic.
An expert at the Yellowstone volcanism, Bob Smith from the University of Utah told that, "It's an extraordinary uplift, because it covers such a large area and the rates are so high".
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