Yellowstone National Park is breathing, what is the reason behind it?

USGS believes that possibilities of a volcanic eruption in Yellowstone are pretty low in the near future

A new study conducted by scientists has found that a region in Yellowstone National Park, known as Norris Geyser Basin, the oldest, hottest and most dynamic thermal region is inflating and deflating in the past decade.

The research report found that this area mysteriously observed a rise of 5.9 inches each year from 2013 to 2015.

What caused this breathing of the earth?


During the study, researchers used satellite radar and GPS data and found that this breathing of the earth is due to magma intrusions that are trapped under the basin's surface.

As per experts, the pressure exerted by magma pushed rocks above it, and this phenomenon is causing this pulsating effect. Even though scientists know that this phenomenon is common, this is for the first time they are tracking an entire episode of magma intrusion.

"When magma intrudes the crust it cools, crystallizes, and releases gases that had been dissolved in the melt. Gas escape lowers the pressure in the magma, causing the surface to subside... But rising gases can become trapped under an impermeable layer of rock, causing the kind of rapid uplift seen at Norris from late 2013 until the 4.9 M earthquake in March 2014.

It seems likely the quake created microfractures that allowed gases to escape upward again, resulting in subsidence that ended in 2015. The third uplift episode from 2016 to 2018 suggests rising gases became trapped again, this time at a slightly shallower depth," said Dan Dzurisin, one of the authors of the study, Newsweek reports.

Will Yellowstone volcano erupt?

Recently, Ron Smith, a former University professor, during a speech at Dixie University in Utah predicted that this volcano may erupt within days or thousands of years.

"Yellowstone has gotten a lot of publicity because of the severity of a supervolcano and the effect it would have on the Earth. We cannot say that Yellowstone is overdue. It is probably going to blow again but it could well be 500,000 years from now or a week from Tuesday," said Smith. However, USGS revealed that the possibilities of a volcanic eruption in the near future are pretty low.