What’s Going On With the Yellowstone Supervolcano? Geologists Discover Patch of Warm Land the Size of 4 Soccer Fields Where Trees Are Being Killed Off

(Credit: Pexels/Pixabay)

Scientists have discovered a new thermal area at Yellowstone National Park, which is believed to have grown in the past two decades. 

Experts at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory found what appeared to be a previously unknown pocket of warmth nestled between West Tern Lake and the Tern Lake thermal area after studying the latest thermal infrared images of the National Park taken in April 2017, according to the U.S. National Geodetic Survey.

The team then checked high resolution aerial photos of the same spot captured in 2017 by the The National Agriculture Imagery Program, and noticed dead trees and bright soil. These were the signs of a thermal area they were expecting to find. In contrast, a 1994 picture showed a crop of healthy trees which started to fade in a 2006 image.

Researchers therefore believe the thermal area near the northeast border of the Sour Creek resurgent dome first emerged in the late 1990s or early 2000s.

The region where the thermal area sits is relatively unexplored; around half a mile from the nearest trail and 11.2 miles from the nearest trailhead. That explains why the thermal area has only just been discovered, the U.S. National Geodetic Survey states.

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