Deep beneath Yellowstone National Park, one of the world’s most dynamic volcanic systems, lies an enormous, previously unknown reservoir of hot, partly molten rock big enough to fill up the Grand Canyon 11 times, scientists say.
Researchers on Thursday said they used a technique called seismic tomography to a produce for the first time a complete picture of the volcanic “plumbing system” at Yellowstone, from the Earth’s mantle up to the surface.
Yellowstone, which straddles the borders of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana, and boasts a remarkable array of geothermal features including geysers, mudpots, steam vents and hot springs, sits atop a supervolcano that has had three calamitous past eruptions.
Scientists already knew of a large magma chamber under Yellowstone that fed the eruptions 2 million, 1.2 million and 640,000 years ago. The new study, published in the journal Science, revealed a second, deeper reservoir 4.5 times larger.
“The existence of the second magma chamber does not make it any more or less likely that a large volcanic eruption at Yellowstone will occur. These findings do not change the current volcanic hazard at Yellowstone,” University of Utah seismologist Jamie Farrell said.
Full article: Giant magma reservoir found under Yellowstone National Park (The Telegraph)