>  E32 – The Yellowstone Caldera
The Roaming Yeti
The Roaming Yeti
E32 - The Yellowstone Caldera

Welcome to the Addi Files. 

Today we put our geology hats on. In Scott’s episode about Yellowstone, he mentioned the Yellowstone Caldera, and I wanted to learn more about it, so I once again sent Addi out to learn more. She did her research and put together her field notes, which I will share with you now. Are you ready? Let’s roam.


Here is a transcript of the podcast. Please remember this was done via AI, so there are typos and mistakes.

Beth 0:06
Welcome to the roaming Yeti podcast. I am your host and Head Yeti Beth Schillaci. And we are diving into the Addi files again this week, the Addi files or when I want to dig a little deeper into a topic and don’t have an expert available. So I send out our agent Addy, our favorite Yeti mascot to investigate and bring back her findings. Welcome to the Addi files in Scotts episode about Yellowstone. He mentioned the Yellowstone caldera and I wanted to learn a little more about it. So once again, I sent it out to learn. Learn more. She did her research and put together her field notes and I’m going to share those with you now. Are you ready? Let’s Roam. Yellowstone National Park is a vast and diverse Protected Area located primarily in the state of Wyoming with smaller portions extending into Montana and Idaho. It was established as the first national park in the world in 1872, and it continues to be a popular destination for nature enthusiast, scientist and tourists from around the world. Yellowstone covers an area of approximately 2.2 million acres, and it is home to an extraordinary array of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, elk, moose, and numerous bird species. It provides a critical habitat for these animals, making it one of the last intact ecosystems in the continental US. Yellowstone is also home to the gray wolf which was reintroduced in 1995. After being absent for decades. The successful reintroduction has had significant ecological impacts on the parks ecosystem. Some of the more popular features of Yellowstone are Yellowstone Lake and it’s which is the parks largest lake. It’s the also the largest high elevation lake in North America. It covers around 136 square miles and is known for its crystal clear waters and scenic beauty. Also another feature is the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. This stunning Canyon was carved by the Yellowstone River and provides dramatic waterfalls such as lower falls and the upper falls. The canyon is approximately 24 miles long, between 812 100 feet deep, and from about a quarter mile to three quarters miles wide. One other feature one other popular place within Yellowstone is Lamar Valley, which is also referred to as the Serengeti of North America. Lamar Valley is a prime location for the wild for wildlife viewing, particularly the wolves and bison, and it offers vast open spaces and is considered one of the best places to see the wildlife. Scott mentioned in his episode about Yellowstone that this was one of his favorite places in Yellowstone Park. Now we know that Yellowstone is on a caldera but what is a caldera? caldera is a large bowl shaped depression or crater that forms when a volcano experiences a massive eruption, causing the ground above the empty magma chamber to collapse. It is typically much larger than the original volcanic crater crater, and can cover several square miles miles. calderas can vary in size, ranging from 95 to 250 miles in diameter and 1.2 to 2.5 miles high. These things are big, and I sort of wish I would have spent I don’t remember learning about these in geology in college, but probably did. But calderas are often associated with super volcanoes, which are volcanoes capable of producing extremely large eruptions. And these eruptions release enormous amounts of volcanic materials such as ash rock, and gases into the atmosphere, called euros can be found all over the world. It’s not specific to Yellowstone. And here are some other notable locations where you can find them. There’s the long valley caldera in California, and it’s located in eastern California. It’s one of the largest cold areas in North America, and it was formed about 760,000 years ago, is known for its geothermal activity and stunning landscape. Another caldera is the topo Toppo caldera and New Zealand and it’s situated in the North Island of New Zealand and it’s one of the world’s most active volcanic areas. It was formed during massive eruption around 26,500 years ago, and it’s a large crater lake that feels part of the caldera. Now, the Lake Tahoe. A third caldera is in Santorini. It’s the Santorini caldera in Greece, and it’s a volcanic island and agency. Its famous for its stunning caldera. The present day caldera was formed after a series of volcanic eruptions, with the most significant one occurring about 3600 years ago. The famous Minoan eruption is associated with the islands cataclysmic history. There’s also the crater lake caldera in Oregon. It’s a stunning caldera that was formed after the collapse of Mount Mazama due to a massive eruption around 7700 years ago. And the deep blue lake that now fills the caldera is one of the deepest in the world. And last, another one, there’s many more, these are just some some of the more well known ones. Lake log Aleta caldera in Colorado. It’s located in Colorado, San Juan Mountains. And it was formed around 20 million years ago during an enormous eruption, and it’s one of the largest known volcanic eruptions on Earth. So, you know, there’s definitely a lot of these throughout the world that you can go see if you want to check them out. There’s probably more that you can learn about. But I want to look specifically at the Yellowstone caldera. And the Yellowstone caldera was formed after a series of explosive volcanic eruptions over the last 2 million years. And these eruptions were so powerful that they cause the ground above the magnet chamber to collapse, creating a vast depression, or caldera. And the Yellowstone caldera measures about 30 miles wide, covers an area of approximately 1500 square miles. It extends into parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. And the Yellowstone hotspot is also a geological geologic feature located beneath the earth’s crust. And it is a plume of hot mantle material that rises from deep within the earth to the Earth’s surface. And the hotspot is responsible for all the Volcanic Volcanic activity in the region, including the formation of the Yellowstone caldera as well as the geothermal features found at Yellowstone. So like I said, in addition to the caldera is the the hot which was created by the Yellowstone hotspot. It also the hotspot also produces extensive geothermal features such as geysers, hot springs, and mud pots and these are the result of the heat from the hot hotspot heating underground water and then creating unique German geothermal landscape found in Yellowstone National Park. And you know, you know the most famous guys are the most famous one in the world um, Old Faithful, is located at Yellowstone and and of course attracts millions of visitors each year. Old Faithful is known for its highly predictable eruptions, which is the primary reason for its name. It erupts every 90 minutes to two hours with eruptions last name from about one and a half to five minutes. And during an interruption Old Faithful can shoot boiling water and steam up to a height of 100 to 185 feet in the air. This is not something I’ve seen yet, but man it just sounds just sounds beautiful and really powerful. Given its potential for larger eruptions, Yellowstone is still closely monitored by geologists and researchers. They study various indicators such as ground deformation, seismic activity, and gas emissions to understand the volcanoes behavior and potential hazards, you know, it’s active. So while the likelihood of an eminent eruption is low, the impact would be catastrophic if it were to occur. An eruption would release immense amounts of volcanic ash, which would affect both regional and global climates. It would cause crop failures, disruption and air travel

Beth 9:53
and volcanic winter could have a lot of severe consequences as well. So you know I’m glad they’re keeping an eye on it. I really hope we don’t have any more eruptions. It sounds like it wouldn’t be, wouldn’t be good for any of us, not just people visiting so you know, it’s active and it’s just something to keep in mind while you while you visit. Like I said, Yellowstone National Park is a treasure trove of biodiversity, which showcases the interconnectedness of various plant and animal species with their environments and the conservation efforts. And protections put in place within the park not only preserve this biodiversity, but also provides us valuable lessons, you know, for conservationists, and scientists study these things just so we can understand how, how this ecosystem works. You know, we’re all interconnected. We got to make it work with each other. So the Yellowstone caldera is an amazing geological wonder. And it continues to intrigue science and scientists and visitors alike. Between its immense size and potential for destruction, it reminds us of Earth’s incredible power. You know, it’s no wonder that Yellowstone, given its biodiversity and geothermal and scientists like there’s so many reasons that it’s such a popular tourist attraction and one that is enjoyed for its sheer beauty. It’s definitely someplace that I hadn’t thought about going until, you know, having the interview with Scott and then getting these field notes from Addy. It’s it sounds beautiful and powerful and something that it’s good to remind yourself that a nature is it can take care of itself, and we need to take better care of it. Honestly. I hope these episodes inspire you to get out and roam even in your own neighborhood. Please subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes. And if you like what we’re doing here, please leave a review and a rating. Also to help support us please head to Yeti to shop to pick up some roaming Yeti merch featuring our favorite Yeti hoodie. And sign up for our newsletter to join us in our monthly bingo challenge. Talk to you soon and keep growing