Yellowstone Super-Eruptions More Numerous Than Thought?
Giant blasts consumed much of what's now Yellowstone National Park.
Much of Yellowstone National Park—which covers parts of Idaho, Montana, and Wyoming—lies in a roughly 40-mile-wide (70-kilometer-wide) crater formed by the collapse of a massive volcanic cone during the area's most recent super-eruption, some 640,000 years ago.
Before then, Yellowstone had seen two other super-eruptions: one about a million years ago and another about two million years ago. Now, however, it seems the earliest blast might actually have been two cataclysmic explosions, thousands of years apart.
(Related: "Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells.")
Among geologists, it's no secret that the two-million-year-old Yellowstone lava deposit has three layers.
"That got us thinking whether these things were representing different magma batches [from a single eruption] or different events," study leader Ben Ellis,