What Happens In Michigan If the Yellowstone Supervolcano Erupts?
Yellowstone National Park has been doing a lot of shaking recently. According to ScienceAlert, West Yellowstone had eleven earthquakes last Friday. They weren't big. The biggest one registered a magnitude of only 3.1. But, in the past month, they've had 34 earthquakes. They tend to get a lot of earthquakes. Because of the supervolcano sitting right underneath.
Yellowstone National Park sits right on top of a huge volcano measuring (about) 35 by 45 miles in size. The last time it erupted was around 630,000 years ago. (There was smaller eruption about 174,000 years ago, but nothing we could make a disaster movie about, so nobody really talks about that one) The real danger might be a bigger earthquake hitting the area - especially if the park is full of tourists. But, IF THE SUPERVOLCANO DID BLOW, how would it affect us - in Michigan? (It's all about us, huh?) Of course, it would be disastrous to all forms of life - but how much would we have to shovel?
In 2014, USGS scientists Larry Mastin and Jacob Lowenstern, and National Science Foundation researcher Alexa Van Eaton put together a report with a map of how much ash North America would get if there were another Yellowstone eruption like the one 630,000 years ago. First, they say this event is very unlikely, saying:
There is no reason to specifically prepare for an eruptive event at Yellowstone, which remains very unlikely.
Second, the ash fallout on Michigan would be very little. Their map shows Michigan getting only about a third of an inch of ash fallout. Billings, Montana, because it's much closer, would get about three feet. Sturgis, South Dakota would get about a foot of ash. So, leave your motorcycle at home that year.