According to experts at the University of Arizona, during the exploration of the Yellowstone they managed to find the key to predictions of future eruptions of the volcano. In the process, tuff Lava Creek, formed in the last major explosion of the giant about 631 thousand years ago, scientists were able to detect two unique crystal which allowed to determine the status of the volcano immediately before the catastrophic eruption.
The crystals have a diameter from 1 to 2 mm and are considered to be too large to be formed during the explosion. According to lead author of the study, geologist Hanna Shamlu, crystals originated earlier inside the magma chamber of the Yellowstone and grew gradually, starting with the core and accumulating the outer shell.
Due to the differences in chemical composition between the core and outer layers of crystal, scientists were able to assess the conditions that prevailed in the magma reservoir immediately prior to eruption. According to them, before the mass explosion in Yellowstone there was a significant increase in temperature, and also saw an increase in the concentration of barium in magma that is likely to be associated with the flow in the tank is fresh portions more hot materials.
According to Shamlu, and now scientists know the trigger mechanism of the eruption of the volcano, however, this is only the first step towards the prediction of its future activities. The next step will be understanding during what time period was the growth temperature and the increase in the concentration of barium, resulting in a massive explosion and the formation of tuff Lava Creek.