Giant Crack In The Earth Has Suddenly Appeared Near Yellowstone

Last Updated on – A giant crack in the Earth has suddenly appeared in the foothills of Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains, Wyoming, USA.

The crack is huge, measuring 685 meters (2,250 feet) long and 45 meters (150 feet) wide. This sudden major fracture would not normally be cause for concern, but this mountain range happens to be located fairly close to the Yellowstone caldera, a dormant supervalcano that has recently shown signs of its magma chamber being recharged.

However, although ominous to look at, the experts say there’s nothing sinister about it, and it doesn’t portend an eruption at Yellowstone or some other disaster.

The huge crack appeared earlier in October and locals are calling it “the gash”.

Huge crack near Yellowstone
This giant crack in the earth appeared in the last two weeks on a ranch we hunt in the Bighorn Mountains. Everyone here is calling it “the gash”. Image credit: SNS Outfitter & Guides

Sudden tectonic movements in Earth’s crust causes earthquakes, which displace large amounts of material in very short periods of time, often producing large fractures at the surface level. Mysteriously, no seismic activity of any kind was reported in the area, meaning that this miniature canyon was formed through other means.

Huge crack near Yellowstone
Image credit: Randy Becker

It may have formed in a way similar to how huge sinkholes around the world are generated. “These enormous depressions, which often form extremely rapidly and without any prior warning, appear when the surface layer of soil collapses down into a cavity created by one of several processes.

The dissolving of carbonate rocks by acidic rain or subsurface water is one possible mechanism; variations in the flow of water underground may also serve to undermine the sediments supporting the surface layer. It is possible that this chasm was created in much the same way, “ IFL Science reports.

According to a spokesperson for the Wyoming Geological Survey the phenomenon isn’t too uncommon, and pointed to an early, wet spring and summer as potential factors.

Crack near Yellowstone
Image credit: Randy Becker

“A number of things trigger them, moisture in the subsurface which causes weakness in soil or geology, and any process that would weaken the bedrock or unstabilize it somehow,” Seth Wittke, another Wyoming Geological Survey representative who is the organization’s manager of groundwater and geologic hazards and mapping, told the Powell Tribune.

SNS Outfitters & Guides, the company that first posted pictures of the crack online, said they consulted an engineer for an explanation.

“Apparently, a wet spring lubricated across a cap rock. Then, a small spring on either side caused the bottom to slide out. He estimated 15 to 20 million yards of movement,” they wrote on Facebook.

The enormous crack is clearly shows how fragile our Earth is.


The Weather Network – Massive Crack Appears Near Yellowstone Park

IFL Science – An Enormous Crack Has Suddenly Appeared In The Mountain Range Near Yellowstone