In this video excerpt from NOVA: “Deadliest Volcanoes,” learn why the Yellowstone supervolcano is located in the middle of the North American Plate instead of along a plate boundary, where most volcanoes form. Scientist Bob Smith uses a network of seismometers to record seismic waves from earthquakes and construct a three-dimensional model of the magma located beneath Yellowstone. He uses the model to investigate the geologic process responsible for the active volcanism. Data reveal a mantle plume—a column of magma that is rising from deep within Earth’s interior through the North American Plate to create the active volcanism at Yellowstone.
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