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Magma Discovery in Yellowstone Topic of AMK Ranch Talk July 23

July 17, 2015
man on skis standing in the snow by a stream
Robert Smith will discuss Yellowstone Park’s volcanic history at 6:30 p.m. Thursday, July 23, as part of the weekly Harlow Summer Seminars at the UW-National Park Service Research Center in Grand Teton National Park.

Yellowstone National Park’s volcanic and tectonic history is the topic of discussion during the weekly Harlow Summer Seminars Thursday, July 23, 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.

Robert Smith will present “Immense magma reservoir discovered beneath Yellowstone extending well beyond its caldera” 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 Research Center at (307) 543-2463.

Smith, a director of the Yellowstone Seismic Network and coordinating scientist for the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory at the University of Utah, will review Yellowstone’s history and explain new research on the dynamics of the park’s hotspot.

A giant magma system fuels Yellowstone’s geyser-hot spring system, including the world’s tallest geyser, Steamboat Geyser, Smith says. He also will discuss how an interpretation of earthquakes and ground deformation supports the dynamics of lateral volcanic fluid migration from the magma reservoir laterally to outside of the caldera. This reveals the mechanics of Yellowstone’s “natural volcano pressure relief valve” that retards volcanic eruptions for thousands of years, but that can occasionally breach the surface and cause volcanic eruptions, he adds.

Smith is one of the founding board members of Teton Science Schools and an early board member of the Grand Teton National Park Foundation. He was raised in Jackson and Logan, Utah, and resides in Moose and Salt Lake City, Utah.

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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Chad Baldwin

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