Wednesday, 15 September 2010
Volcano of the Week #6- Yellowstone Supervolcano
This is a pretty super volcano (I should really stop making volcano jokes), it's located in Wyoming in the first ever nation park Yellowstone. While the volcano is inactive it is responsible for some of the largest ever eruptions; three notable ones (all VEI=8) occurred 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 640,000 years ago. The volcano also helped shape the beautiful landscape of the national park, there are volcaniclastic piles in Yukon, Canada; calderas in Idaho and volcanic fields in Nevada and Oregon created by the hotspot. Due to the age of the volcano and ever changing landscape it difficult to tell exactly when and how these volcanic feature where created. However it is known that the Yellowstone caldera formed during the eruption of the Henry's Fork Caldera which was in turn formed by the Island Park Caldera.
Today there is very little volcanic activity in the national park, the most recent lava flow was 70,00 years ago. The Park is however famed for its Old Faithful Geyser which is a result of the volcanic hotspot, the uneasy plate tectonics and ever mobile magma also produce many earthquakes. The caldera floor is moving constantly moving upwards and the and was rising at an unprecedented 7.6cm a year between 2004-2008. This volcano is not likely to erupt any time soon.