Yellowstone National Park is famous for its geysers, calderas, hot springs and other unique geological features. The park attracts millions of visitors every year. Despite its popularity, little is known about its composition and its interior. After using supercomputer models, researchers can present a clearer picture of the magma bodies of Yellowstone and what happens beneath its surface.
The crust under the park is soft and extremely hot due to the continuous supply of magma. The magma originates from an anomaly called sheath feather and resembles the magma's source at Kilauea volcano in Hawaii. The presence of Plume explains why there are so many surface activities in the park. On the other hand, large amounts of water that drive the geysers and hot springs act as coolants and prevent the crust from getting too hot. Recently, researchers have attempted to understand the size and location of magma bodies below Yellowstone.
The prospect of a transition zone at depths of 5 to 1
"The modeling results are consistent with observations made by sending seismic waves through the area," said co-author Ilya Bindeman, a professor from the University of Oregon. "This work seems to confirm the initial assumptions and gives us more information about the magma locations of the Yellowstone."
Yellowstone often erupts quietly with lava flow, but he can erupt violently once or twice every million years and form large calderas. The new model can be used to predict when the next outbreak could happen and how to deal with it. The last time the Yellowstone eruption took place 640,000 years ago.