Recent talk summarizing our results on the Yellowstone Hotspot

Both a PDF and power-point slide show format are provided.

Yellowstone talk PDF    (a 9 Mbyte file; be patient or get high-speed)

Yellowstone talk HTML slide show  (note this may require you click a button to allow active-X control use)

For an alternate view of hotspot and plumes see:

New Yellowstone hotspot seismic data

From June 2000 to July of 2001 we operated 47 broad-band PASSCAL seismometers in a 450 km diameter array about the Yellowstone hotspot which is currently beneath the Yellowstone Caldera. Results to date include a Teleseismic P-wave tomogram, a Rayleigh-wave tomogram of shear wave velocity, and mapping of topography on the 410 and 660 km discontinuities.

Short conclusion on Yellowstone hotspot: plume or not?

Our primary finding is that an 80 km wide conduit extends from beneath the current hotspot location (Yellowstone Park) to 500 km depth. We believe the P-wave resolution tests are definitive enough to conclude that the plume ends at 500 km depth. An 18 km down-warp in the 410 km discontinuity is imaged where the low velocity conduit crosses the 410 km depth. An upwarp of the 660 km discontinuity is not imaged consistent with the P-wave tomogram. These new constraints imply that the Yellowstone hotspot is being driven by an upper mantle plume. The finding of a plume is further supported by a surface wave shear-wave velocity tomogram that finds the mantle beneath the Yellowstone hotspot track to be 104 degrees warmer than normal mantle.

Wyoming Yellowstone Researchers

Dr. Schutt:      Dept.   Personal

Dr. Dueker:    Dept.   Personal

Huaiyu Yuan: Dept.   Personal

Collaborators:  Gene Humphreys (Oregon)   Bob Smith (Utah)

Links to papers

Yellowstone P-tomography (accepted GRL Febuary 2005)

Yellowstone 410 and 660 km mantle discontinuityies

GSA Today 2000 Yellowstone review paper

Other Links

Yellowstone Seismic Array


Assorted Yellowstone hotspot and plume pictures