This animation shows the underground volcanic plumbing system beneath the Yellowstone supervolcano in Wyoming, as revealed by a new University of Utah seismic imaging study. The green lines represent the boundary of Yellowstone National Park. The study focused on Earth's crust, shows the previously known magma chamber (orange) about 3 to 9 miles beneath the surface, and reveals a previously unknown magma reservoir (red) at a depth of 12 to 28 miles. Beneath that is the Yellowstone hotspot plume (yellow) which brings hot rock up from deep within Earth's mantle. The new study, published online in the journal Science on April 23, 2015, did not focus on the mantle and thus image of the plume has poor resolution and is distorted from what previous imaging studies showed. The black lines show, first, the boundary of the giant volcanic crater or caldera that exploded during Yellowstone's last supervolcano eruption 640,000 years ago and, second, the outlines of what are called resurgent domes within the caldera. The white dots are locations of earthquakes that were used in the study.
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Video by Hsin-Hua Huang, University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics.