Robert B. Smith, one of four seismologists from the University of Utah who recently discovered and made images of a magma reservoir underneath the Yellowstone super volcano, will be the keynote speaker at the 67th Annual Meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America in Casper May 21-23, 2015.

This year’s conference is titled “Groundbreaking Discoveries in the Rockies: Fracturing, Fossils, and Fumaroles.” According to a release from the University of Utah, Smith and the other three University of Utah seismologists found “a reservoir of hot, partly molten rock 12 to 28 miles beneath the Yellowstone super volcano, and it is 4.4 times larger than the shallower, long-known magma chamber. The hot rock in the newly discovered, deeper magma reservoir would fill the 1,000-cubic-mile Grand Canyon 11.2 times, while the previously known magma chamber would fill the Grand Canyon 2.5 times.”

Smith, who is a co-author of the study and research and emeritus professor of geology and geophysics at UU, will speak on the Yellowstone-Teton volcano-tectonic system on Thursday, May 21.

In addition to Smith's keynote, the conference will “feature a technical program covering a broad scope of topics including Yellowstone volcanism, geoarchaeology, structural geology, paleontology, paleobiology, sedimentology, geomorphology, shallow geophysics and hydrology, applications in GIS, and the mining and petroleum industries,” said Kent Sundell, Ph.D.

For more information or to register contact Kent Sundell, Casper College geology instructor and general conference chair, at ksundell@caspercollege.edu or go to geosociety.org/Sections/rm/2015mtg.