According to new information published researchers in New Jersey consider that they have located a “mass of warm rock” that is rising underneath northern New England, including New Hampshire and Vermont, and may lead to a significant volcanic eruption. While this mass could lead to a catastrophic volcanic eruption, the researchers think that such an incident won’t happen until several million years from now.
Other states may also be affected by the rising rock, which is a smaller version of the magma blobs that ascend to the surface beneath active volcanoes before they erupt.
“The upwelling we discovered is like a hot air balloon, and we assume that something is rising through the deeper part of our planet under New England,” Rutgers geophysicist Vadim Levin said in a statement. He added that the impending eruption wouldn’t reach the scale of the Yellowstone supervolcano in the mountain states of the western United States, but it would be a “distant relative” of the kind of monster explosion Yellowstone is capable of producing.
Seismic activity reveals what’s going on in the interior of the planet because of how vibrations change when they move through materials that vary in density, texture and other properties. The data used in this study from sensors that picked up vibrations rattling the U.S. after the National Science Foundation collected earthquakes through its EarthScope program, which aims to understand better the mechanics of North America and what causes earthquakes and volcanoes.
A team of geologists measured seismic activity across the U.S., finding vibrations that suggest an upwelling mass of rock underneath the northeastern region that stretches for a couple of hundred miles. Levin believes that this “upwelling pattern” of warm rock is beneath western New Hampshire, central Vermont and possibly western Massachusetts. It will take millions of years, he noted, for the upwelling to “get where it’s going.”