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Encyclopedia > Yellowstone Caldera
Yellowstone Caldera

The northeastern part of Yellowstone Caldera, with the Yellowstone River flowing through Hayden Valley and the caldera rim in the distance
Elevation 10,308 feet (3,142 m) at Mount Sheridan
Location Wyoming, U.S.
Range Rocky Mountains
Coordinates 44°24′N, 110°42′W
Topo map USGS Yellowstone National Park
Type Caldera
Age of rock 70,000 – 2.1 million years
Last eruption 640,000 years ago
Easiest route hike/auto/bus

The Yellowstone Caldera is a volcanic caldera in Yellowstone National Park in the United States. It is located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, measuring about 55 kilometers (34 mi) by 72 kilometers (45 mi). The caldera was discovered based on geological field work conducted by Bob Christiansen of the United States Geological Survey in the 1960s and 1970s. After a BBC television science program coined the term supervolcano in 2000, it has often been referred to as the "Yellowstone supervolcano." Image File history File links Mergefrom. ... The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the worlds largest known eruptions. ... Image File history File links Size of this preview: 800 × 527 pixel Image in higher resolution (1999 × 1316 pixel, file size: 576 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Yellowstone River, Fishing Bridge, July 1959. ... A topographical summit is a point on a surface which is higher in elevation than all points immediately adjacent to it. ... Official language(s) English Capital Cheyenne Largest city Cheyenne Area  Ranked 10th  - Total 97,818 sq mi (253,348 km²)  - Width 280 miles (450 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 0. ... For other uses of terms redirecting here, see US (disambiguation), USA (disambiguation), and United States (disambiguation) Motto In God We Trust(since 1956) (From Many, One; Latin, traditional) Anthem The Star-Spangled Banner Capital Washington, D.C. Largest city New York City National language English (de facto)1 Demonym American... For exotic financial options, see Mountain range (options). ... For individual mountains named Rocky Mountain, see Rocky Mountain (disambiguation). ... Map of Earth showing lines of latitude (horizontally) and longitude (vertically), Eckert VI projection; large version (pdf, 1. ... // Topographic maps are a variety of maps characterized by large-scale detail and quantitative representation of relief, usually using contour lines in modern mapping, but historically using a variety of methods. ... InsertSLUTTY WHORES≤ non-formatted text here{| class=toccolours border=1 cellpadding=4 style=float: right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; width: 20em; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%; clear: right; |+ United States Geological Survey |- |style= align=center colspan=2| [[Image:USGS logo. ... Mountains can be characterized in several ways. ... Satellite image of Santorini. ... // For other uses, see time scale. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Southern and northern Mount Everest climbing routes as seen from the International Space Station. ... Two hikers in the Mount Hood National Forest Eagle Creek hiking Hiking is a form of walking, undertaken with the specific purpose of exploring and enjoying the scenery. ... Auto means: self in compound words such as autodidact (self taught) automobile (self moving) An auto rickshaw Short for automatic A device that automatically does something programmed into it. ... Autobus redirects here. ... Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska photographed from the International Space Station For other uses, see Volcano (disambiguation). ... Satellite image of Santorini. ... Yellowstone redirects here. ... Official language(s) English Capital Cheyenne Largest city Cheyenne Area  Ranked 10th  - Total 97,818 sq mi (253,348 km²)  - Width 280 miles (450 km)  - Length 360 miles (580 km)  - % water 0. ... This article includes a list of works cited but its sources remain unclear because it lacks in-text citations. ... InsertSLUTTY WHORES≤ non-formatted text here{| class=toccolours border=1 cellpadding=4 style=float: right; margin: 0 0 1em 1em; width: 20em; border-collapse: collapse; font-size: 95%; clear: right; |+ United States Geological Survey |- |style= align=center colspan=2| [[Image:USGS logo. ... A supervolcano is a volcano that produces the largest and most voluminous kinds of eruption on Earth. ...

Contents

Volcanism

Yellowstone, like the Hawaiian Islands, is believed to lie on top of one of the planet's few dozen hot spots where light hot molten mantle rock rises towards the surface. The Yellowstone hot spot has a long history. Over the past 17 million years or so, successive eruptions have flooded lava over wide stretches of Washington, Oregon, California, Nevada, and Idaho, forming a string of comparatively flat calderas linked like beads, as the North American plate moves across the stationary hot spot. The oldest identified caldera remnant is straddling the border near McDermitt, Nevada-Oregon. The calderas' apparent motion to the east-northeast forms the Snake River Plain. However, what is actually happening is the result of the North American plate moving west-southwest over the stationary hot spot deep underneath. This article is about the U.S. State. ... In geology, a hotspot is a location on the Earths surface that has experienced active volcanism for a long period of time. ... Earth cutaway from core to exosphere. ... For the capital city of the United States, see Washington, D.C.. For other uses, see Washington (disambiguation). ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. state. ... This article is about the U.S. State of Nevada. ... Official language(s) English [1] Capital Boise Largest city Boise Largest metro area Boise metropolitan area Area  Ranked 14th  - Total 83,642 sq mi (216,632 km²)  - Width 305 miles (491 km)  - Length 479 miles (771 km)  - % water 0. ... The tectonic plates of the world were mapped in the second half of the 20th century. ... McDermitt is an unincorporated community straddling the Nevada-Oregon border, in Humboldt County, Nevada and Malheur County, Oregon. ... Big Southern Buttes Prominence on Snake River Plain The Snake River Plain is a geological feature of (primarily) the American state of Idaho. ...

Yellowstone sits on top of three overlapping calderas. (USGS)
Yellowstone sits on top of three overlapping calderas. (USGS)

Currently, volcanic activity is exhibited only via numerous geothermal vents scattered throughout the region, including the famous Old Faithful Geyser, but within the past two million years, it has undergone three extremely large explosive eruptions, up to 2,500 times the size of the 1980 Mount St. Helens eruption. The three eruptions happened 2.1 million years ago, 1.3 million years ago, and the most recent such eruption produced the Lava Creek Tuff 640,000 years ago and spread a layer of volcanic ash over most of the North American continent. Smaller steam explosions occur every 20,000 years or so; an explosion 13,000 years ago left a 5 kilometer diameter crater at Mary Bay on the edge of Yellowstone Lake (located in the center of the caldera). Additionally, non-explosive eruptions of lava flows have occurred in and near the caldera since the last major eruption; the most recent of these was about 70,000 years ago. Craters of the Moon National Monument in Idaho is the result of volcanic activity between 11,000 and 2,000 years ago. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3072x2479, 2473 KB)Geologic information regarding Yellowstone Caldera. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (3072x2479, 2473 KB)Geologic information regarding Yellowstone Caldera. ... The geothermal areas of Yellowstone include several geyser basins in Yellowstone National Park as well as other geothermal features such as hot springs (including mud pots) and fumaroles. ... Old Faithful redirects here. ... (Redirected from 1980 Mount St. ... Tuff Cliff showing the Lava Creek Tuff formation. ... Ash plume from Mt Cleveland, a stratovolcano Diamond Head, a well-known backdrop to Waikiki in Hawaii, is an ash cone that solidified into tuff Volcanic ash consists of very fine rock and mineral particles less than 2 mm in diameter that are ejected from a volcanic vent. ... North America North America is a continent[1] in the Earths northern hemisphere and (chiefly) western hemisphere. ... Animated, colour-coded map showing the various continents. ... Craters on Mount Cameroon Perhaps the most conspicuous part of a volcano is the crater, a basin of a roughly circular form within which occurs a vent (or vents) from which magma erupts as gases, lava, and ejecta. ... Yellowstone Lake is the largest body of water in Yellowstone National Park, The lake is 7,732 feet (2,376 m) above sea level and covers 136 square miles (352 km²) with 110 miles (177 km) of shoreline. ... Look up lava, Aa, pahoehoe in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve is a U.S. National Monument and United States Preserve located in the Snake River Plain in central Idaho near Arco, Idaho. ...


The volcanic eruptions, as well as the continuing geothermal activity, are a result of a large chamber of magma located below the caldera's surface. The magma in this chamber contains gases that are kept dissolved only by the immense pressure that the magma is under. If the pressure is released to a sufficient degree by some geological shift, then some of the gases bubble out and cause the magma to expand. This can cause a runaway reaction. If the expansion results in further relief of pressure, for example, by blowing crust material off the top of the chamber, the result is a very large gas explosion. Magma is molten rock located beneath the surface of the Earth (or any other terrestrial planet), and which often collects in a magma chamber. ...


Volcanic hazard

A full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone caldera could result in millions of deaths locally and catastrophic climatic effects globally, but there is little indication that such an eruption is imminent. [1] However, the system is not yet completely understood, and the study of Yellowstone is ongoing. Geologists are closely monitoring the rise and fall of the Yellowstone Plateau, which averages +/- 1.5 cm yearly, as an indication of changes in magma chamber pressure.[1][2] Major eruptions of the Yellowstone hotspot appear to occur roughly every 700,000 years. The Lava Creek Tuff eruption 630,000 years ago was the last major eruption. The Yellowstone Plateau volcanic field developed through three volcanic cycles spanning two million years that included some of the worlds largest known eruptions. ...


Origin

Location of Yellowstone Hot Spot in Millions of Years Ago
Location of Yellowstone Hot Spot in Millions of Years Ago

The source of the Yellowstone Hot Spot is not without controversy. Some geoscientists theorize that the Yellowstone Hot Spot is the effect of an interaction between local conditions in the lithosphere and upper mantle convection (G.R. Foulger: [2] and [3]). Others prefer a deep mantle origin (mantle plume). (See list of off-line references in mantleplumes.org/CRB.html). No theory is close to airtight. Part of the controversy is due to the rather sudden appearance of the hot spot in the geologic record. Additionally, the Columbia Basalt flows appear at the same approximate point in time, causing speculation about their origin.[4] Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 549 pixelsFull resolution (1063 × 730 pixel, file size: 357 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Location of Yellowstone Hotspot in Millions of Years Ago I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Size of this preview: 800 × 549 pixelsFull resolution (1063 × 730 pixel, file size: 357 KB, MIME type: image/jpeg) Location of Yellowstone Hotspot in Millions of Years Ago I, the creator of this work, hereby release it into the public domain. ... The tectonic plates of the Lithosphere on Earth. ... Mantle convection is the slow creeping motion of Earths rocky mantle in response to perpetual gravitationally unstable variations in its density. ... A lava lamp illustrates the basic concept of a mantle plume. ... The Columbia River Plateau is shown in green on this map. ...


See also

  • Supervolcano, a two-part docudrama about a hypothetical eruption of the Yellowstone caldera
  • When Yellowstone Erupts, a documentary about the hypothetical after-effects of the Yellowstone caldera eruption, and warning signs that scientists are looking for.
  • Long Valley Caldera, Valle Grande, La Garita Caldera, and Bruneau-Jarbidge - examples of other calderas close to but not related to Yellowstone.
  • End Day, an apocalyptic docu-drama with five scenarios, the fourth being the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano.

Supervolcano is a 2005 Discovery Channel docudrama centered around the fictional eruption of the volcanic caldera of Yellowstone National Park. ... Long Valley Caldera is a depression in eastern California that is adjacent to Mammoth Mountain. ... Valle Grande (Va-lye Gra-n-de), known to geologists as the Valles Caldera and the Jemez Caldera, is a pristine area in the Jemez Mountains of northern New Mexico in the United States. ... La Garita Caldera is a large volcanic caldera located in the San Juan Mountains in southwestern Colorado. ... The Bruneau-Jarbidge supervolcano, located in present-day southwest Idaho, erupted in the Miocene between ten and twelve million years ago, spreading a thick blanket of ash in the Bruneau-Jarbidge event. ... Imagine waking up to the last day on Earth. ...

Further reading

  • Breining, Greg, Super Volcano: The Ticking Time Bomb beneath Yellowstone National Park (St. Paul, MN: Voyageur Press, 2007). A popularized scientific look at the Yellowstone area's geological past and potential future.
  • Vazquez, J.A., and Reid, M.R., 2002, Time scales of magma storage and differentiation of voluminous rhyolites at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming: Contributions to Mineralogy & Petrology, v. 144, p. 274-285
  • Iceland hotspot and Iceland plume describes aspects of volcanic processes

Eruption at Krafla, 1984 The Iceland hotspot is a hotspot which is partly responsible for the high volcanic activity which has formed the island of Iceland. ... The Iceland Plume is an upwelling of anomalously hot rock in the Earths mantle beneath Iceland whose origin probably lies at the boundary between the core and the mantle in ca. ...

References

  1. ^ John Timmer (2007-11-08). Yellowstone recharges. arstechnica.com. Retrieved on 2007-11-08.
  2. ^ Smith, Robert B.; Wu-Lung Chang, Lee Siegel. "Yellowstone rising: Volcano inflating with molten rock at record rate", Press release, University of Utah Public Relations, EurekAlert! (American Association for the Advancement of Science), 2007-11-08. Retrieved on 2007-11-09. 

Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 312th day of the year (313th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... Year 2007 (MMVII) is the current year, a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar and the AD/CE era in the 21st century. ... is the 313th day of the year (314th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ...

External links


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