Saturday, May 02, 2015

Huge magma reservoir discovered under Yellowstone supervolcano

It’s below the magma chamber they knew about before and contains enough hot, partly molten rock to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over.

[EarthSky] University of Utah seismologists have discovered a reservoir of hot, partly molten rock 12 to 28 miles beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano that is 4.4 times larger than the shallower, long-known magma chamber.
Yellowstone is among the world’s largest supervolcanoes, with frequent earthquakes and Earth’s most vigorous continental geothermal system.
What do you know about the Yellowstone supervolcano?
The hot rock in the newly-discovered, deeper magma reservoir would fill the 1,000-cubic-mile Grand Canyon 11.2 times, while the previously known magma chamber would fill the Grand Canyon 2.5 times, says postdoctoral researcher Jamie Farrell, a co-author of the study published online April 23, 2015 in the journal Science.
The researchers emphasize that Yellowstone’s plumbing system is no larger – nor closer to erupting – than before, only that they now have used advanced techniques to make a complete image of the system that carries hot and partly molten rock upward from the top of the Yellowstone hotspot plume – about 40 miles beneath the surface – to the magma reservoir and the magma chamber above it. Read More