New research shows that although the volcano would need to be building up for tens of thousands of years, as magma becomes packed beneath the surface slowly building pressure, we would only have a year’s notice.
Guilherme Gualda, associate professor of earth and environment sciences at Vanderbilt University and co-author of the study published in PLOS One, said: "The evolution of a giant, super-eruption-feeding magma body is characterised by events taking place at a variety of time scales.
"Now we have shown that the onset of the process of decompression, which releases the gas bubbles that power the eruption, starts less than a year before eruption."
However, the frightening realisation that we would only have a year to prepare would mean that nothing short of a miracle would be required to save us.
Mr Gualda and his co-author Stephen Sutton, of the University of Chicago, analysed dozens of small quartz crystals from a huge volcanic eruption that took place 760,000 years ago in California. Read More