Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park was established on 1st March, 1872. It is a national park located primarily in the U.S. state of Wyoming, although it also extends into Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone is the first national park in the world. It is known for its wildlife and its many geothermal features. It has many types of ecosystems, but the sub-alpine forest is dominant.
Yellowstone National Park takes an area of almost 9000 km. It has many lakes, canyons, rivers and mountain ranges. Yellowstone Lake is one of the largest high-altitude lakes in North America. It is centered over the Yellowstone Caldera (the largest supervolcano on the continent).
The caldera is considered to be an active volcano. It has erupted several times in the last two million years. A Half of the world’s geothermal features are in Yellowstone (about 250 active geysers from 10,000 thermalfeatures). Yellowstone is home to thousands of active thermal features, including the world famous Old Faithful Geyser.
Yellowstone is also known for the spectacular Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which is 1200 feet deep ending with the powerful Lower Falls. The park is the largest remaining nearly intact ecosystem in the northern part of the Earth. Grizzly bears, wolves, bisons and elk live in the park. The Yellowstone Park bison herd is the oldest and largest public bison herd in the United States.
- See Amazing Wildlife
- Take a Hike
- Watch Geysers Erupt
- Go Rafting
- Experience the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone
- Attend a Powwow (Powwows serve to preserve the rich heritage of Native American culture and allow tribal members to participate in traditional rituals.)
- Ride a Horse
- Go Camping in Yellowstone National Park
- Watch a Rodeo
- Go Fishing
The term supervolcano was first used in a TV documentary to describe eruptions of more than 1,000 cubic kilometres of magma (molten rock and gas). This is thousands of times larger than normal volcanic eruptions. Such volcanoes are devastating, but very rare.
Supervolcanoes can occur when magma in the mantle (a boiling reservoir) rises into the crust from a hotspot (a place where from it is supposed to break through) but is unable to break through the Earth’s crust. Pressure builds in a large and growing magma pool until the crust is unable to contain the pressure.
The most wellknown continental hotspot location is the Yellowstone Caldera. Although there are only a small number of supervolcanoes, supervolcanic eruptions usually cover huge areas with lava and volcanic ash and cause a long-lasting change to weather (like starting a small ice age, and able to bring some species to extinction.).The last one happened at Toba in Sumatra, Indonesia, 74,000 years ago.
The active volcanic system at Yellowstone National Park has resulted in super-eruptions. The most recent happened 640,000 years ago. The area what is now the center of the park suddenly exploded. In minutes the landscape was devastated. Fast-moving ash flows covered thousands of square miles. At the center only a smoking caldera remained, a collapsed crater 73 by 48 kilometers. At least two other cataclysmic events happened before this one. Boiling hot springs, mud spots, and geysers serve as reminders that another could occur.
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