Oct 29, 2023 | Nature, Videos

The beauty of America’s Yellowstone National Park disguises an incredible – yet incredibly destructive force: a supervolcano. But what would happen if this natural wonder erupted? That is the question posed by BBC’s two-part factual drama, which delves into the potential consequences of such an event.

There are many risks associated with a supervolcanic eruption, some of which are too frightening to even contemplate. Such an explosion could blanket much of the United States in thick layers of ash and debris, wiping out everything in its path. It could spark wildfires that spread across continents, and cause global temperatures to drop due to the huge volumes of sulphur dioxide released into the atmosphere.

Underneath Yellowstone sits a reservoir filled with enough molten magma to fill 18 Grand Coulees – an area larger than England – and it has been dormant for over 700 000 years. Scientists estimate that if it were to erupt today, it would be 2 000 times more powerful than Mount St Helens’ devastating 1980 eruption, making it one of the largest eruptions in Earth’s history.

Combining dramatic reconstruction with input from leading experts, What If Yellowstone Erupted? offers viewers an insight into this colossal natural disaster and explores possible ways to prevent or mitigate its effects. It also provides an inside look at how geologists work on a daily basis and how they strive to understand our planet’s geological processes better.

This eye-opening documentary is essential viewing for anyone interested in geology and natural disasters. Get ready for two gripping episodes as What If Yellowstone Erupted? reveals what could happen if we fail to prepare for nature’s unexpected forces!

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David B