The hydrothermal explosion craters of yellowstone and how they came to be

GSA's new Special Paper 459, Hydrothermal Processes above the Yellowstone Magma Chamber: Large Hydrothermal Systems and Large Hydrothermal Explosions,
by Lisa A. Morgan, W.C. Pat Shanks III and Kenneth L. Pierce, uses new mapping, sampling, and analysis techniques to document a broad spectrum of ages and geologic settings for these events. -  The Geological Society of America
GSA’s new Special Paper 459, Hydrothermal Processes above the Yellowstone Magma Chamber: Large Hydrothermal Systems and Large Hydrothermal Explosions,
by Lisa A. Morgan, W.C. Pat Shanks III and Kenneth L. Pierce, uses new mapping, sampling, and analysis techniques to document a broad spectrum of ages and geologic settings for these events. – The Geological Society of America

Yellowstone National Park is widely known for its more than 10,000 thermal features. Among these features are at least 20 large (100 to greater than 2,500 meters in diameter) hydrothermal explosion craters, produced during the past 16,000 years. Although large hydrothermal explosions are rare on a human time scale, the potential for future explosions in Yellowstone is not insignificant, and events large enough to create even a 100-m-wide crater may be expected every 200 years.

Using new mapping, sampling, and analysis techniques, this new volume from The Geological Society of America documents a broad spectrum of ages and geologic settings for these events and considers additional processes and alternative triggering mechanisms not previously explored.

The book’s authors, all from the U.S. Geological Survey, present the information in a clear and compelling manner and include 50 figures (most in color) and several tables to help illustrate the data. Details on several lakes, basins, and explosion craters are synthesized in order to help determine the timing, distribution, and possible causes of hydrothermal explosions in Yellowstone and thereby aid in mitigation planning.

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