Yellowstone National Park attracts over four million visitors each year. Swarms of people flock to the park to see its many natural wonders. Hot springs filled with boiling water host brightly colored bacteria. Geysers shoot heated water hundreds of feet into the air.
What Is The Yellowstone Supervolcano?
Rocks of this age are found in northern Yellowstone and in the hearts of the nearby Teton, Beartooth, Wind River, and Gros Ventre mountain ranges. During the Precambrian and the subsequent Paleozoic and Mesozoic eras to 66 million years ago , the western United States was covered at times by oceans, sand dunes, tidal flats, and vast plains. From the end of the Mesozoic through the early Cenozoic, mountain-building processes formed the Rocky Mountains. This period of volcanism is not related to the present Yellowstone volcano. This ongoing stretching process increased about 17 million years ago and created the modern basin and range topography north—south mountain ranges with long north—south valleys which characterizes much of the West, including the Yellowstone area. About Subsequent volcanic eruptions can be traced across southern Idaho towards Yellowstone.
The Cold Case of What’s Heating Up Yellowstone’s Steamboat Geyser
With its spouting geysers, majestic mountains, awe-inspiring waterfalls, and panoramic views, Yellowstone National Park has the undeniable power to uplift. Concealed beneath the park rests the Yellowstone Caldera, the largest supervolcano in North America. Each year, millions of visitors trek over a massive magma chamber that, according to the United States Geological Survey USGS , stretches from 5 km to 17 km beneath the surface and is about 90 km long and about 40 km wide. A little deeper rests another chamber that's 4.
Below the picturesque geysers and rainbow-tinted hot springs of Yellowstone National Park lurks one of the most destructive volcanoes on Earth. The gargantuan Yellowstone hotspot also known as the Yellowstone supervolcano has erupted at least 10 times over the past 16 million years, permanently altering the geography of North America, periodically warping Earth's climate and throwing flakes of airborne ash to every corner of the world. Now, the discovery of two ancient supereruptions — including the single largest in the hotspot's history — reveals an unexpected trend: The Yellowstone hotspot's activity may finally be waning.