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Ash from a Yellowstone supereruption would travel across the U.S.

USGS

Ash from a Yellowstone supereruption would travel across the U.S.

It’s just a hypothetical—but if the giant volcano beneath Yellowstone National Park were to erupt, it could blanket the Rockies in ash, send ash as far away as Miami and New York City, alter the climate, and shut down electronic communications and air travel. That’s because a Yellowstone supereruption could create a giant ash umbrella cloud that would spread the ash evenly in all directions, scientists from the U.S. Geological Survey report online today in Geochemistry, Geophysics, Geosystems. They modeled a monthlong eruption with wind conditions from January 2001, but the actual distribution of ash would ultimately depend on multiple factors, they note: not just the duration of the eruption and the direction of winds, but also the height of the ash cloud and the size of the ash particles. (Right now there are no signs of an imminent eruption at Yellowstone!)

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