Discovery explains why supervolcano exhales so much carbon dioxide, but doesn’t up risk of eruption
H.-H. Huang et al/Science 2015
Every day, the supervolcano lurking under Yellowstone National Park belches up 45,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide — much more than could be produced by the known magma chamber that lies just below the surface. Now, scientists have spotted a source of the excess gas, and it’s a doozy. They’ve discovered a magma pool containing enough hot rock to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times, the researchers report online April 23 in Science.
Geophysicist Hsin-Hua Huang of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City and colleagues found the missing magma by carefully tracking the seismic waves from nearly 5,000 earthquakes that echoed off the supervolcano’s insides. The newfound magma reservoir, which sits 20 kilometers beneath the surface, connects the magma-oozing hot spot that fuels the volcanic system to the near