There's a deserted place in the US state of Utahreferred to as Black Rock Desert. It would seem that there is nothing unusual in it - this is an ordinary desert, except that instead of yellow sand, black basalt lies on it. But, in fact, a huge volcanic complex is hidden under the ground, which may soon begin to erupt. In 2018 and 2019, several weak earthquakes occurred on the territory of this desert, which seemed too strange to scientists. The researchers were especially worried by the fact that the epicenter of the earthquake was not far from the surface, while the tremors that usually lead to earthquakes are recorded at a great depth of about 10 kilometers. In addition, the surface of the desert has slightly changed its shape, which is a sign of an imminent volcanic eruption. The last time the Black Rock Desert volcano erupted 9-12 thousand years ago, so it was considered extinct. He seems to be still active and can remind of himself again.
Volcanoes at Black Rock Desert
According to the scientific publication Science Alert, the powerearthquakes that occurred in September 2018 and April 2019 in Utah were estimated at 4 points. The tremors were recorded right in the middle of the Black Rock Desert, which is a desert of black basalt. Many people believe that all volcanoes are huge mountains with a hole at the very top. But few people know about volcanic fields, namely about areas on the earth's crust in which volcanic activity occurs. Black Rock Desert is one of these fields and its highest point is 1800 meters. The entire territory of this field is covered with various craters.
Interesting fact: the youngest volcanic formation in Utah is the Black Rock Cone. Its height is 1480 meters.
What happens before a volcanic eruption?
Despite the fact that there are manycraters and there are even young formations among them, it is believed that there has been no volcanic activity in this area for a long time. However, the authors of the scientific work, the results of which were published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, claim the opposite. They studied the data on the earthquakes mentioned above and noticed that the tremors occurred at a maximum depth of 2.4 kilometers. But if these were ordinary earthquakes associated with the movement of tectonic plates, tremors would occur at a greater depth, about 10 kilometers.
It is believed that volcanic activity in the stateUtah is associated with the fact that this territory has a very thin crust. It lets in a lot of heat from the bowels of the globe. Most likely, it was because of this that basalt lava was poured into this territory about 12 thousand years ago. In the article about methods for predicting volcanic eruptions, we have already found out that before that, earthquakes occur on the volcanic territory and the surface of the volcano swells. There were earthquakes in Utah, and deformation is noticeable on the surface. So it all fits - Black Rock Desert territory is still active.
According to seismologist Maria MesimeriMesimeri), the earthquakes that occurred were clearly caused by the movement of volcanic lava underground. At the moment, scientists intend to pay more attention to the Black Rock Desert region. They need to improve their methods of predicting eruptions in order to know about a possible eruption in time. How strong it will be and whether it will start at all is unknown. Fortunately, this is a desert and there are no settlements nearby. Therefore, no one should suffer. However, you need to be prepared for any outcome of events.
See also: What happens if something falls into the mouth of a volcano?
Interesting facts about the state of Utah
In fact, starting in 2020 from Utahvery interesting news comes. For example, in December, a mysterious monolith was discovered on its territory, made of a single piece of metal about 3 meters high. Outwardly, it very much resembled an alien obelisk from the movie "A Space Odyssey 2001" by Stanley Kubrick, so many people began to believe in the extraterrestrial origin of this object. After some time, almost the same object was found on the territory of Romania. I talked about all this in this article. In the end, it turned out that these monoliths were the work of the art group The Most Famous Artist.
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And finally, I would like to remind you that on ourthe site has an excellent article about the largest volcanic eruptions in the history of mankind. Most likely, everyone already knows about the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. But what about the eruptions of St. Helens and Pinatubo? It seems like this is something new, so read this material at a run.