National Park Service

At the April 17th meeting of scientists at the Seismological Society of America heard a report that the magma reservoir beneath Yellowstone is 50% bigger than originally thought. Our Amazing Planet spent some more time on the story.

University of Utah's Jamie Farrell is the one who created a different picture of the magma chamber. In studying area earthquakes and following the speed of vibration thru solid rock and liquid magma led to the conclusions. Previously it was thought that the lava beneath Yellowstone was in a series of pockets, or blobs, but now is being described as being in the shape of a knobby banana some 37 miles long, 18 miles wide and 3-7 miles deep.

The last caldera eruption was 640,000 years ago. Smaller eruptions have also occurred, most recently about 70,000 years ago. Some scientists continue to say that the next big eruption could be hundreds or thousands of years in our future, but won't discount the fact that it could happen at anytime, hence the study continues.