Ticking Time Bomb? What Happens to South Dakota if Yellowstone Erupts?
In case you didn't know, Yellowstone National Park sits on top of one of the largest volcanic systems on earth; and while it hasn't erupted in around 640,000 years, experts say it will inevitably occur again at some point in the future.
If the Yellowstone Supervolcano erupts, it will be a devastating event for the entire nation, as geologists consistently give it the highest ranking for possible destruction that a volcano can have.
Taking that into consideration, it's pretty obvious that the states of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho will see the brunt of the destruction, but what about South Dakota? Is the Mount Rushmore State far away from Yellowstone to avoid serious damage?
Will South Dakota Survive if Yellowstone Erupts?
If you're looking for the short answer: Yes, South Dakota would be greatly impacted if the Supervolcano at Yellowstone erupts. The entire state would be covered in ash, killing livestock, plants, and a large amount of people as well.
As Travel Well puts it; any state in the immediate vicinity of Yellowstone would see mass devastation:
The nearby states of Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming would all suffer greatly if the Yellowstone volcano erupted in the same way that it did millions of years ago. Wyoming, Colorado, Montana, and Idaho could all see 3 to 4 feet of ash at once.
-Travel Well Website
Other sources point out that the ashfall would be the worst thing to deal with:
The eruption would produce an enormous amount of volcanic ash and debris, which could be carried by wind to South Dakota and surrounding states. Ashfall would have severe consequences for agriculture, infrastructure, and public health. It could damage crops, contaminate water supplies, and disrupt transportation and communication systems.
-Chat GPT Website
Fortunately, the Yellowstone Supervolcano doesn't appear to show any signs that it's close to erupting at the present.
To learn more about the consequences of a Yellowstone eruption, and its wider impact on the U.S., check out the article from Travel Well, here.