Scientists find two huge magma chambers under Yellowstone National Park
A huge reservoir of hot, partly-molten rock has been discovered by scientists under the supervolcano at Yellowstone National Park. The reservoir is so big that it can fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over.
According to imaging by researchers at the University of Utah, the newly-discovered magma chamber is four times bigger compared to the chamber above it, which is previously known. The magma is located up to 28 miles underground.
The discovery throws light on Yellowstone's volcanic plumbing system. However, according to scientists, it does not lead to increased risk of eruption, which is predicted to occur every 700,000 years.
Now, according to researchers, hot and semi-molten rock is rising from 40 miles under the surface to the newly-found reservoir and the chamber above it. Yellowstone is one of the world's largest supervolcanoes.
The park is an attraction for millions of tourists due to its hot springs, geysers and bubbling mud pots. The upper magma chamber affects Yellowstone's geysers and was accountable for three ancient volcanic eruptions.
The new reservoir has been mapped by scientists by doing the geological equivalent of a CT scan, in which they studied that how seismic waves move across different types of rocks. Their findings have been published in Science.
According to University of Utah seismologist Jamie Farrell said, “The existence of the second magma chamber does not make it any more or less likely that a large volcanic eruption at Yellowstone will occur. These findings do not change the current volcanic hazard at Yellowstone”.
Farrell added that these new findings assist researchers in getting the information required to know better how magma moves from the mantle to the surface.
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