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Find Your Science at GSA
24 November 2009
GSA Release No. 09-63
Christa Stratton
Director of Education, Communication, & Outreach
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The Hydrothermal Explosion Craters of Yellowstone and How They Came to Be

Boulder, CO, USA - Yellowstone National Park is widely known for its more than 10,000 thermal features. Among these features are at least 20 large (100 to greater than 2,500 meters in diameter) hydrothermal explosion craters, produced during the past 16,000 years. Although large hydrothermal explosions are rare on a human time scale, the potential for future explosions in Yellowstone is not insignificant, and events large enough to create even a 100-m-wide crater may be expected every 200 years.

Using new mapping, sampling, and analysis techniques, this new volume from The Geological Society of America documents a broad spectrum of ages and geologic settings for these events and considers additional processes and alternative triggering mechanisms not previously explored.

The book’s authors, all from the U.S. Geological Survey, present the information in a clear and compelling manner and include 50 figures (most in color) and several tables to help illustrate the data. Details on several lakes, basins, and explosion craters are synthesized in order to help determine the timing, distribution, and possible causes of hydrothermal explosions in Yellowstone and thereby aid in mitigation planning.

Individual copies of the volume may be purchased through the Geological Society of America online store, or by contacting GSA Sales and Service, .

Book editors of earth science journals/publications may request a review copy by contacting Jeanette Hammann, .

Hydrothermal Processes above the Yellowstone Magma Chamber: Large Hydrothermal Systems and Large Hydrothermal Explosions
by Lisa A. Morgan, W.C. Pat Shanks III, and Kenneth L. Pierce
Geological Society of America Special Paper 459
SPE459, 95 p., $45.00, GSA Member price $33.00
ISBN 978-0-8137-2459-1