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Researcher to Discuss Yellowstone’s Super Volcano Thursday

July 22, 2013

New discoveries involving Yellowstone’s giant volcanic system and potential earthquake hazards will be the topic of the weekly summer lecture series Thursday, July 25, at the University of Wyoming-National Park Service (UW-NPS) Research Center. The center is located at the AMK Ranch in Grand Teton National Park.

University of Utah geologic hazards researcher Robert Smith will speak at 6:30 p.m. at the AMK Ranch, located north of Leeks Marina. A barbecue, at a cost of $5 per person, will take place at 5:30 p.m. Reservations are not required. For more information, call the UW-NPS Center at (307) 543-2463.

Yellowstone’s volcanic system fuels a shallow crustal magma reservoir and drives the most intense earthquake area in the western U.S. interior, Smith and his research team have found. He says the crustal magma reservoir is 50 percent larger and the mantle plume 50 percent deeper than what was previously know about earthquakes that occur in swarms.

“The biggest threat in Yellowstone is not from volcanic eruptions, but from large earthquakes,” Smith says. “Yellowstone is living, breathing, shaking and baking.”

The UW-NPS Research Center provides a base for university faculty members and government scientists from throughout North America to conduct research in the diverse aquatic and terrestrial environments of Grand Teton National Park and the greater Yellowstone area.

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