Supervolcano In Yellowstone Turns Roads ‘Into Soup’

Julia Dent Contributor
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A road at Yellowstone National Park is melting from extreme heat due to magma underneath a supervolcano. The roads connecting the Old Faithful geyser and the Madison Junction have been closed off to visitors.

“It basically turned the asphalt into soup,” Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle said, according to RT. “It turned the gravel road into oatmeal.”

There are still many other attractions for visitors to see while the danger of seeing Old Faithful is high.

“There are plenty of other great places to see thermal features in the park,” park public affairs chief Al Nash said.“I wouldn’t risk personal injury to see these during this temporary closure.”

The last supervolcano to erupt at Yellowstone was 640,000 years ago, and this one could spew magma more than 240 cubic miles across the surrounding land.

“We believe it will erupt again someday, but we have no idea when,” analysis team scientist James Farrell of the University of Utah said.

But the chances of it erupting soon are unlikely.

“The chance of that happening in our lifetimes is exceedingly insignificant,” said Peter Cervelli, associate director for science and technology at the U.S. Geological Survey’s Volcano Science Center in California.

The park goes through temperature fluctuation from the underground thermal activity, but it seems to be getting worse.

“But it’s hard to tell if a thermal area is hotter than normal, because it’s always fluctuating here,” Nash said. “Road closures are business as usual for us.”

To fix the melting roads, maintenance workers have to remove the melted asphalt and apply a sand and lime mixture to soak up the remains. They hope the roads will be open again by next week.