The researchers have uncovered a giant reservoir of hot and partly molten rock flowing under the supervolcano at the popular Yellowstone National Park. According to the scientists, the reservoir is so massive that it can easily fill the Grand Canyon 11 times over.
The newly-found magma chamber is located approximately 28 miles (or 45 kilometers) underground and “is four times bigger than the earlier known chamber above it. This revelation was made by the researchers at the University of Utah with the help of imaging technique.
According to the researchers, the latest discovery has bridged the missing link in the volcanic plumbing system in the Yellowstone National Park. But the scientists clarify that it doesn’t raise the risk of a volcanic eruption, which is estimated to occur every 700,000 years.
The scientists now believe that the hot, semi-molten rocks are carried upward from 40 miles (or 60 kilometers) beneath the surface to the newly discovered reservoir as well as the chamber above it.
The researcher group mapped the new reservoir with the help of the geological equivalent of a CT scan. They studied how the seismic waves pass through different rock types.
The Yellowstone National Park is one of the largest supervolcanoes in the world. It witnesses frequent earthquakes. It is spread across parts of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.
The national park’s hot springs, geysers and bubbling mud pots attract millions of tourists every year.
The findings of the study were published on Friday in journal Science.