A large area of warmth underneath the states of Vermont and New Hampshire suggests that a huge volcano could blow in a few million years.
Researchers have discovered a “mass of warm rock” that appears to be rising underneath the states of New Hampshire and Vermont, and it could result in a massive volcanic eruption. Fortunately, that probably wouldn’t happen for millions of years, but it’s certainly a fascinating discovery that will be examined more deeply by researchers.
As part of the study, scientists at Rutgers in New Jersey used data collected by the National Science Foundation’s EarthScope program to understand the structure and evolution of the conteintn and determine was causes earthquakes and volcanoes. While studying these seismic waves and vibrations, they found “an area of great warmth” that was hundreds of degrees warmer than nearby areas.
The primary region where this warming is taking place appears to be underneath western New Hampshire and central Vermont, with parts of western Massachusetts also possibly involved. The eruption would certainly be a devastating one in terms of human casualties were it to happen today, but that’s almost certainly not going to happen, scientists say.
“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 lead author Vadim Levin, a geophysicist and professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. “It is not Yellowstone (National Park)-like, but it’s a distant relative in the sense that something relatively small – no more than a couple hundred miles across – is happening.”