Scientists have discovered a massive body of magma rising up from under New England, with volcanoes to possibly form in the region due to the activity.
New England residents, however, should not panic, and not just because the volcanic eruptions are not expected to be as massive as the expected "big one" from the Yellowstone supervolcano.
The Magma Under New England
Research led by Rutgers University discovered a massive mass of warm rock that is rising from underneath parts of New England. People living in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire are not aware that they are living on top of a huge bubble of magma.
"The upwelling we detected is like a hot air balloon, and we infer that something is rising up through the deeper part of our planet under New England," said geophysicist Vadim Levin, who is a professor at Rutgers' Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences and the lead author of the study on the magma under New England.
The researchers gathered their data from the EarthScope program of the National Science Foundation. Over the last two years, EarthScope has placed thousands of seismic measurement devices across the United States. The goal of the program is to analyze the changes in the continent of North America and to track the activities that result in volcanic eruptions and earthquakes.
The discovery of the massive blob of magma underneath New England, according to Levin, revealed that scientists still have a lot to learn about Earth.
Should New England Residents Evacuate?
Fortunately, there is no need to panic for New England residents. According to the researchers, while the rising magma may one day result in a volcanic eruption, it will take a while before that happens.
People living in Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire will not have to face any danger of volcanoes sprouting up in their backyards for millions of years.
Levin, however, added that even if volcanoes appear in New England, their eruption will not match the expected devastation from the Yellowstone supervolcano whenever it decides to explode.
Recent studies suggested that the Yellowstone supervolcano actually erupted twice over 6 million years ago, resulting in volcanic winters that stalled climate change. When the next Yellowstone eruption will happen is impossible to predict, but once its magma chambers start to fill up, it will only give us decades to prepare and not centuries as previously thought.
A new study also claimed that a volcano super-eruption, similar to what Yellowstone is expected to be capable of might bring humanity back to a "pre-civilization" state.