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Sapphire Pool thermal feature, Yellowstone National Park

The Yellowstone hot spot, a 16-million-year-old volcanic system covering southeastern Oregon, southern Idaho, southwestern Montana, and northwestern Wyoming, is one of Earth’s largest silica-rich volcanic systems.

In northwestern Wyoming, the Yellowstone volcanic system is a large, Pleistocene, silicic volcanic field distinguished by three large calderas. There have been three major eruptions at Yellowstone in the past 2.1 million years, with the most recent having occurred 640,000 years ago, forming the Yellowstone caldera. Since then there have been approximately 80 smaller eruptions, such as lava flows. The youngest of these ranges from 70,000 to 160,000 years old.

Additional Information:

Link to interactive oil and gas map

Seth Wittke,