Caldera chronicles: The melting roads of Yellowstone

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week’s contribution is from David Shelly, seismologist, and Shaul Hurwitz, research hydrologist, both with the U.S. Geological Survey.

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week’s contribution is from Michael Poland, geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

No doubt you’ve heard the story—roads have melted in Yellowstone National Park, which is supposedly evidence that the region is “heating up” and that a volcanic eruption is imminent. This story gained a lot of traction in 2014—that was the year of a magnitude-4.8 earthquake (the largest to have occurred in Yellowstone National Park since 1975), as well as the infamous “bison running” video that went viral but was badly misrepresented (the video was implied by some misinformation sources to show bison running for their lives because of impending volcanic activity, but according to the person that shot the video, was actually bison just running for the sake of running, and, what’s more, they were running into the park, not away from it).

People are

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