Sunday, February 12, 2012

Living Yellowstone

To begin to explain the unique characteristics of Yellowstone I chose to create a trailer for this entry. For me, discovering why Yellowstone is what we know today was as exciting as watching a summer “blockbuster” movie. 

Geysers, springs and hotspots are evidence that Yellowstone is an active volcano and will erupt in the future! Yellowstone's largest eruption, Lava Creek eruption, over 640,000 years ago. A 1,000 times the volume of Mount St. Helen's eruption in 1980. The Lava Creek erupted with violent force that blasted volcanic ash across more than 15 states.  After the explosion, the rhyolite dome volcano lacked magma that supported the structure. The volcano collapsed creating Yellowstone’s Caldera. Basalt lava flows uplift the lithosphere Yellowstone's caldera. To see the plateau rhyolite flows click here.

Cliff Geyser with exposed thermophiles at Black Sand Basin.

Underneath the North American Plate lives Yellowstone's hotspot of deeply rooted magma of extraordinary size and volume. The lithosphere moves southwest while the hotspot remains stationary, creating gigantic calderas in its path. This scar of calderas forms the Snake River Plain, a flood basalt. Follow the link to "Explore volcanic fields" and see the process’ in motion!

 Section cut of Yellowstone's hotspot.(Click to here enlarge)

Intrusive volcanic sills near Tower Falls. (Click image to enlarge)
Evidence shows Yellowstone may erupt again. University of Utah monitors the earthquakes and ground movements, they have about twenty seismic monitoring stations within Yellowstone National Park. Click here for up-to-date earthquake reports. The black lines are representing faults, the green is the swarm of earthquakes from 1995-2009 and the red cluster is the newest swarm in 2010. A total of 2,347 earthquakes shook Yellowstone over a span of four months!
University of Utah Seismic Graph of Yellowstone National Park.
This USGS Geologic Map of Yellowstone demonstrates connections between the fault lines, types of rock, and different areas of lava flows. There is a linear characteristic with the earthquakes and the fault lines along, with laccoliths, in both maps. The Sour Creek Dome and the Mallard Lake Dome are another sign of the volcano emerging once again.



  1. I immediately came to your blog because I knew Yellowstone had a very active volcano and wanted to read up on it more. I absolutely loved your trailer video clip you made, it made me laugh and you did it so creatively, like it was an actual movie and it made me really want to see what is going to happen. Good job! I really enjoyed that you would post links to see more information to further explain yourself. I cant believe that when the volcano erupted it let out so much magma that it couldn't support the structure and it collapsed. I was also shocked to know that over 2,000 earthquakes were recorded over a 4 months span! In addition, that the volcano can erupt again, but I'm glad we have a lot of technology now, that if it were to happen hopefully we can know before hand to get people out of the way! I went to Yellowstone when I was like 7, this blog makes me want to go again, mainly because its now more of a thrill seeker knowing that danger is just under my feet!

    Good job!

    -Alba Valerdi

  2. Hey Page, I love your written piece relating to the volcanic formations of Yellowstone National Park. I was impressed by your illustrations you utilized for the perimeter map of the fault lines and different areas presented for lava flows and the video clip of Yellowstone to demonstrate its various features. I especially loved your content of the expontential number of earthquakes that occurred in Yellowstone during a specific time period, at which I was surprised that 2,000 had occurred in a short timeframe. I like how you described the pattern of hotspots and their formation of the Snake River Plain calderas. What I loved the most was how you added external links to demonstrate the processes of hotspots and the statistics reports of the earthquakes that had occurred and their impact on the partk itself. Plus, I like the note you mentioned at the end of the formation of yet another volcano from the Sour Creek Dome and the Mallard Lake Dome.

    Keep up the good work and I look forward to more post!!

    -Jonathan Weyi

    I have added my link to my blog as well, and feel free to express opinions about it!!