The study was presented in August at the Scientific Assembly Fostering Integrative Studies of Volcanism in Portland, Oregon.
Scientists from the Arizona State University found disturbing changes in the minerals of the fossilized ash, proving that the super-volcano could be taking much less than the few hundreds years they thought it would spend before transitioning to the next mega-eruption.
The study seems to confirm data from a 2011 study, which pointed to the impressive amount of new magma that has flowed in the chambers since the last eruption — about 10 inches in seven years.
“It’s shocking how little time is required to take a volcanic system from being quiet and sitting there to the edge of an eruption,” study co-author Hannah Shamloo told the New York Times on Tuesday.
However, Michael Stones, who leads the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory for the U.S. Geological Survey, tried to moderate the findings in an email to National Geographic saying the investigation was "somewhat preliminary, but quite tantalizing."
"We see interesting things all the time ... but we haven't seen anything that would lead us to believe that the sort of magmatic event described by the researchers is happening," he added.
The Yellowstone supervolcano could be releasing more than 1,000 cubic kilometers of rock and ash according to the scientists, meaning that the United States would be completely covered with ash.
According to National Geographic, the last mega-eruption took place 631,000 years ago, creating the Yellowstone famous crater of about 40 miles wide.