The Yellowstone Caldera

The Yellowstone region has produced three large volcanic eruptions over the last 2.1 million years.  The last super eruption happened 640,000 years ago.  It was 1,000 times larger than the eruption of Mount St. Helens in 1980.  This super eruption spewed approximately 240 cubic miles of rock and dust into the atmosphere and created the Yellowstone caldera.  This caldera is about 35 miles wide by 45 miles long.

This was taken south of Casper and shows some of the ash from this super eruption 640,000 years ago .

 

Yellowstone has many geothermal vents that mix with water to create geysers, like Old Faithful.   This goes to show us that this region is still very active.

 

Millions of tourists visit Yellowstone National Park every year.  I know when I visited, the scenery was so awe inspiring, that I wasn’t thinking about standing on top of a super volcano.  Fortunately, geologists have not found any evidence that we are due for another super eruption in the Yellowstone area.  However, they do monitor the area extensively.

 




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  1. Island Hopes April 27, 2012

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