A sinking, melting ancient tectonic plate may fuel Yellowstone’s supervolcano

Computer simulations suggest that a core-deep plume of magma isn’t needed to power the massive eruptions

Yellowstone

HOT SPOT  The Yellowstone supervolcano has a 17-million-year history of eruptions in the western United States. Now scientists say the source of the supervolcano’s heat isn’t a deep mantle plume, but the downward drag of an ancient subducting slab stirring up the mantle.

Riishede/iStockphoto

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