Yellowstone’s Volcanic Plumbing More Extensive Than Believed
by Becky Oskin
Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing is bigger and better connected than scientists thought, researchers reported here today (April 17, 2013) at the Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting.
"We are getting a much better understanding of the volcanic system of Yellowstone,” said Jamie Farrell, a seismology graduate student at the University of Utah. “The magma reservoir is at least 50 percent larger than previously imaged.”
Knowing the volume of molten magma beneath Yellowstone is important for estimating the size of future eruptions.
Geologists believe Yellowstone sits over a hotspot, a plume of superheated rock rising from Earth’s mantle. As North America slowly drifted over the hotspot, the Yellowstone plume punched through the continent’s crust, leaving a bread-crumb-like trail of calderas created by massive volcanic eruptions along Idaho’s Snake River Plain, leading straight to Yellowstone.
The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions occurred in between and after the big blasts, most recently about 70,000 years ago…
(read more: Lives Science)           (image: National Park Service)

Yellowstone’s Volcanic Plumbing More Extensive Than Believed

by Becky Oskin

Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing is bigger and better connected than scientists thought, researchers reported here today (April 17, 2013) at the Seismological Society of America’s annual meeting.

"We are getting a much better understanding of the volcanic system of Yellowstone,” said Jamie Farrell, a seismology graduate student at the University of Utah. “The magma reservoir is at least 50 percent larger than previously imaged.”

Knowing the volume of molten magma beneath Yellowstone is important for estimating the size of future eruptions.

Geologists believe Yellowstone sits over a hotspot, a plume of superheated rock rising from Earth’s mantle. As North America slowly drifted over the hotspot, the Yellowstone plume punched through the continent’s crust, leaving a bread-crumb-like trail of calderas created by massive volcanic eruptions along Idaho’s Snake River Plain, leading straight to Yellowstone.

The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions occurred in between and after the big blasts, most recently about 70,000 years ago…

(read more: Lives Science)           (image: National Park Service)

  1. sharingpurellwithhowardhughes reblogged this from ofpaperandponies and added:
    Well, I was already scared of Yellowstone killing us all BEFORE I knew the magma chamber was bigger than previously...
  2. hannahoort reblogged this from jedinosaurmasterpalaeonthyr
  3. labrigantine reblogged this from cabinet-de-curiosites
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  5. plightofthelonelycitydweller reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Yellowstone’s Volcanic Plumbing More Extensive Than Believed by Becky Oskin Yellowstone’s underground volcanic plumbing...
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  16. weirder-fishes reblogged this from officiousseeingeyebitch- and added:
    NOPE
  17. mgodp reblogged this from joachimmurat and added:
    Borrowed time, woo! I can’t wait to see what sentences get handed out to the Italian geologists that fail to predict...
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