Yellowstone National Park Road Melting From Supervolcano’s Heat

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Visitors watch the 'Old Faithful' geyser in Yellowstone National Park, one of the signs of significant geothermal activity just below the surface. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

Visitors watch the ‘Old Faithful’ geyser in Yellowstone National Park, one of the signs of significant geothermal activity just below the surface. (MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) — Geothermal activity from an underground supervolcano might make visiting Yellowstone National Park a real headache.

Part of a scenic one-way road off of Yellowstone’s main loop was closed when hot oil bubbled to the surface and damaged the blacktop.

Park spokesman Dan Hottle told Live Science the surface of Firehole Lake Drive rose to 160 degrees, hot enough to melt asphalt.

The combination of the summer sun and the huge supervolcano just beneath the surface nearly melted the 3-and-a-half mile stretch of road, he said. But there is no cause for worry about any pending eruption.

“The supervolcano is not going to blow,” Hottle told Live Science.

Yellowstone has more than 10,000 geothermal features and 500 geysers. The park has closed Firehole Lake Drive for repairs in the past because of heat damage.

“This road has had this particular issue in the past, but it doesn’t happen too often,” Hottle told Live Science.

The road could be reopened by the end of the week.

The Park Service is planning to relocate a part of Grand Loop Road that takes visitors past Frying Pan Spring.

“That area of the road is always buckled up and being repatched and repaired, so we’re moving it away from the thermal area,” Hottle explained to Live Science.

Yellowstone National Park was closed during last year’s federal government shutdown.

(TM and © Copyright 2014 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2014 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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