The scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory says that scientists would “absolutely” know if an eruption was looming at the supervolcano.
He also said that they would “absolutely” tell the public if an eruption was certain to happen.
“We would see signs leading up to a major eruption,” Jacob Lowenstern told the Yellowstone Gate blog. Signs include ground deformation, gas discharge, and precursor earthquakes.
Lowenstern was speaking about the rampant rumors that have circulated this year following the earthquake that hit the Yellowstone National Park in March.
A video of bison allegedly fleeing the park fueled the speculation.
“It has been a busy year for this stuff,” Loewnstern said.
“Generally we get a trickle of emails at all times from people who are curious or worried. “Every once in a while, there’s an uptick in the number of inquiries. But there has been a lot more this year, for reasons I don’t fully understand.”
A recent article on a fake news website also spurred rumors of an impending eruption, with the article claiming that evacuation of the area was already under place.
While the observatory, which is run through the U.S. Geological Survey, doesn’t typically address rumors, it released a statement on the fake story and other recent rumors earlier this month.
“It’s not something I can really control,” Loewnstern said. “It’s like tilting at windmills.”