Scientists discover ‘molten activity’ underneath New England


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Scientists believe they’ve recently made a discovery about molten activity happening underneath New England.

Several national articles circulating on social media claim there’s a “super volcano” forming underneath the feet of New Englanders, but scientists at Brown University say their research shows a “bullseye” of molten rock, which is far less dangerous.

Professors of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences Karen Fischer and Colleen Dalton have been studying the unusual hotspot under the Northeast.

“We don’t anticipate a volcanic eruption in New England any time soon,” Fischer said. “But when you look at New England to the rest of the United States, there is a bullseye of hot rock in the mantle.”

“It’s been a nice surprise to find something exciting in our backyard,” Dalton added.

Fischer and Dalton conducted their analysis by using seismometers installed across New England in 2014. As seismic waves from earthquakes abroad approach New England, the waves slow down, which Dalton says is important.

“There is a little bit of molten rock tens of miles below the Earth’s surface,” she explained.

Dalton and Fischer say the molten rock is far, far away from exploding through the surface.

“In terms of where you build your house or the type of insurance you get, in my opinion, that’s not something people need to think about in our lifetime,” Fischer said.

If there were to be an eruption, Dalton said it’s safe to say it’s millions of years away, so no one should be worried. She also said if it were to bubble up, there would be more telltale signs, including earthquakes or the heating up of the ground.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.


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