A blob of molten lava has been detected under three states in the Northeast. The new supervolcano currently brewing under New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and Vermont is creeping upwards and surprising geologists.
The region in which the new volcano was discovered is geologically stable with no active volcanoes in the surrounding area. Earthquakes are almost unheard of in the area. That means that the formation of the massive magma buildup in the northeast is a relatively recent event, scientists say. But keep in mind, in the timescale of Earth’s geological processes, this still means tens of millions of years. If these findings hold up though, the northeast could be considered more active geologically than previously thought.
Fox News reported that the unexpected supervolcano has been gradually making itself known to geologists in the United States. A huge mass of molten rock is slowly climbing upwards beneath three of the nation’s northeastern states. The new supervolcano only became evident through a new and large-scale seismic study. “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,” says Rutgers University geophysicist Professor Vadim Levin.
“Our study challenges the established notion of how the continents on which we live behave,” Professor Levin says. “It challenges the textbook concepts taught in introductory geology classes.” But there should be no fear of this supervolcano erupting anytime soon either. “It will likely take millions of years for the upwelling to get where it’s going,” Professor Levin explains. “The next step is to try to understand how exactly it’s happening.”
“It is not Yellowstone-like, but it’s a distant relative,” Professor Levin says. And geologists say that the volcano may never erupt at all. “Maybe it didn’t have time yet, or maybe it is too small and will never make it,” Professor Levin told National Geographic. “Come back in 50 million years, and we’ll see what happens.”
These recent findings, which were published in the journal Geology, suggest that New England may not be so immune to abrupt geological change. “Ten years ago, this would not have been possible,” said Levin. “Now, all of a sudden, we have a much better eye to see inside the Earth.”