super volcano

Steamboat Geyser steaming
Kamila Kudelska

Early Sunday morning, Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupted for the fifth time this year. It erupted for the first time in mid-March.

Kamila Kudelska


Abnormal activity in Yellowstone National Park has some people thinking the end of the world is near. In the past two months, Steamboat Geyser has erupted four times. This is highly unusual for the geyser, which unlike Old Faithful can go years between eruptions. Some believe this means the super volcano that sits beneath Yellowstone will erupt next. But is doomsday really upon us?

Old Faithful gets all the attention, but a geyser called Steamboat is the world’s tallest active geyser. And it’s acting a little odd.

Nature Geoscience

It’s long been a mystery why one of the world’s largest volcanoes, Yellowstone, is stuck out in the middle of the continent. Most volcanoes occur on the edge of continents where the tectonic plates bump together, creating pressure. 

Chris DuRoss USGS

Scientists this week closed up a large trench they built to study the Teton Fault, a 40-mile geological feature along the east side of the Teton Range.

The research team affiliated with the U.S. Geological Survey, the Forest Service, the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort and many other groups will now take data they collected in the trench and try to evaluate how often large earthquakes hit the Teton Fault.

Huge Magma Reservoir Under Yellowstone

May 19, 2015
Hsin Hua Huang, University of Utah

Scientists say a mammoth magma reservoir lies under Yellowstone. It’s four times the size of the magma pool that fuels the super volcano. They say it holds enough hot rock to fill the Grand Canyon 11 times… but you shouldn’t worry.

Dr. Robert Smith is considered the world’s foremost expert on the Yellowstone super volcano system. His publication last year drew attention worldwide, when it declared the magma body under the park was two and a half times larger than previously thought. 

Yellowstone National Park/Creative Commons

Researchers with the University of Utah have discovered a large magma reservoir underneath the Yellowstone National Park caldera. In a report released Thursday, they say the new area lies 12 miles underground, below a shallower well-known magma chamber.

Researcher Robert Smith is a co-author of the study and says his team used a geologic CT scan to discover the reservoir that’s filled with a mass of hot porous rock, rather than the typical magma. He says the new finding solves a puzzle of the Yellowstone volcano system.

National Park Service

Millions of people visit Yellowstone each year to see its geysers, fumaroles, hot springs, and mud pots. It's the largest concentration of thermal features in the world. The park sits on top of the world’s largest active volcano. Called the Super Volcano. Its most recent eruption was more than 600,000 years ago. All that remains is the top, or caldera.

When you come into the Park they’ll give you a map and it has an overlay of the caldera. It’s huge.

Yellowstone Denies Super Volcano Rumors

Apr 4, 2014

A video of bison running down a road in Yellowstone sparked viral internet rumors this week that the park's super volcano is about to explode. The rumors gained so much traction that Yellowstone officials felt the need to respond. Spokesman Al Nash says all is well, and that the animals were simply migrating.