Is the Yellowstone supervolcano really “due” for an eruption?

(Image credit: zrfphoto via Getty Images)

Beneath Yellowstone National Park, a vast region of spectacular wilderness visited by around 3 million people annually (opens in a new tab)lurks one of the largest volcanoes in the world.

The Yellowstone caldera – the cauldron-like basin at the top of the volcano – is so colossal that it is often called a “supervolcano”, which, according to the Museum of Natural History (opens in a new tab) in London, meaning it has the capacity to “produce an eruption of magnitude eight on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, releasing more than 1,000 cubic kilometers [240 cubic miles] of material.”

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