Geologists found out, how did the Yellowstone SUPERVOLCANO

© Photos : “Windows into the Earth,” by Robert B. Smith and Lee J. SiegelБольшой prismatic spring in the crater of the Yellowstone SUPERVOLCANOGeologists found out, how did the Yellowstone SUPERVOLCANO© Photos : “Windows into the Earth,” by Robert B. Smith and Lee J. Siegel

. The giant volcano in Yellowstone national Park occurred at a great distance from fault lines and other geological hot spots by immersing the deceased the continental plate beneath the Western part of the future of the United States, according to a paper published in the journal Nature Geoscience.

«The heat required to run volcanic processes normally found in those parts of the Earth where tectonic plates collide, and one of them goes into the bowels of the planet. Yellowstone and other volcanoes in the Western United States located far from the coast, where the border between the plates. Our colleagues believed that the «engine» of their eruptions are the so-called mantle plumes – hot currents of magma rising from the mantle to the crust of the planet,» says Li-Jun Liu (Lijun Liu) from the University of California at San Diego (USA).

Yellowstone SUPERVOLCANO today is a giant funnel with a length of 72 km and a width of 55 kilometers, which is located in the eponymous national Park in Wyoming. In the middle of the last century, scientists have found that this is a deepening of the mouth of an ancient volcano with a giant magma chamber located at a depth of about 8 kilometers.

Further observations of Yellowstone showed that he has repeatedly erupted in the last million years, and that these eruptions have worn a catastrophic nature, capable of changing the planet’s climate. On the other hand, scientists have been unable to find any obvious source of lava and magma that makes today geologists to argue fiercely about the possible reason for the appearance of a giant volcano in this part of the United States.

Liu and his colleagues tested these theories by examining the structure of the subsoil of the Yellowstone and its environs with the so-called «seismic tomography» – a special device that can reveal the structure and composition of the deep layers of rocks according to how they are crossed by seismic waves of different types.

These data by themselves can not give an accurate picture of the structure of the Earth in one way or another point – as a rule, scientists compare them with computer models of the crust and mantle and the vibrations generated by earthquakes and explosions would pass through them.

Following this idea, the team Liu made a few dozen computer models based on hypotheses other geologists about the origin of the Yellowstone, and «rewind» time, 20 million years ago, when presumably there was the progenitor of this volcano. Comparing the results of these calculations and the real seismic data, scientists have tried to understand what the idea is closer to the truth.

As it turned out, the prevailing theory about the «plumbum» the origin of the main American SUPERVOLCANO was not true – the flow of heat that occurs in most of such models of the Yellowstone, flowing up and down, toward the bowels of the planet, or out on the surface where you need it.

The real source of the heat required for the «launch» of Yellowstone, how do you think Liu and his colleagues is in the surface layers of the mantle in the North-Eastern United States, and represents one of the fragments of the so-called Farallons tectonic plates. It covers in the distant past, the bottom of the Pacific ocean and broke into pieces during the time of the dinosaurs.

Her pieces continue to dive deep into the bowels of the Earth today, and some of them, as shown by calculations of scientists, could cause the SUPERVOLCANO in Wyoming and other centers of volcanism that occurred in the Western United States in the last 20 million years. The same idea, as noted by Liu, is in good agreement with those traces of the «lava floods» in the Western United States related to the Farallons stove, which his team opened two years ago.

To test this idea, how do you think Liu and his colleagues simply – it is enough to analyze the chemical composition of rocks from Yellowstone and compare them with a typical emission plumes. American geologists are planning to do so in the near future.