Huge sea of BOILING CARBON the size of MEXICO sitting beneath USA – UK geologists warn
Researchers mapped the area – which covers 700,000 sq miles, around the same size as Mexico – using a massive network of seismic sensors.
And they fear it could cause unprecedented environmental damage if emitted into the atmosphere.
The study was carried out by a team of geologists from top London university Royal Holloway.
Lead author Dr Hier-Majumder said: “It would be impossible for us to drill far enough down to physically ‘see’ the Earth’s mantle.
“So using this massive group of sensors we have to paint a picture of it using mathematical equations to interpret what is beneath us.
“Releasing only one per cent of this CO2 into the atmosphere will be the equivalent of burning 2.3 trillion barrels of oil.”
The area covered by the study includes Yellowstone National Park, where previous research has uncovered evidence of a supervolcano.
The volcano at the national park – which last erupted 640,000 years ago – sits atop a huge reserve of molten rock.
It releases around 45,000 metric tonnes of carbon dioxide each day.
Experts have previously claimed it could spark a “nuclear winter” if it erupts.
According to a chilling report released by the How Stuff Works website in 2015, it could “kill as many as 90,000 people immediately”.
The eruption could also “spread a 10-foot layer of molten ash as far as 1,000 miles from the park”, the report added.