Magma accumulation at depths of prior rhyolite storage beneath Yellowstone Caldera

Ross Maguire, Brandon Schmandt, Jiaqi Li, Chengxin Jiang, Guoliang Li, Justin Wilgus, Min Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Seismic tomography has provided key insight into Yellowstone’s crustal magmatic system that includes attempts to understand the melt distribution in the subsurface and the current stage of the volcano’s life cycle. We present new tomographic images of the shear wave speed of the Yellowstone magmatic system based on full waveform inversion of ambient noise correlations, which illuminates shear wave speed reductions of greater than 30% associated with Yellowstone’s silicic magma reservoir. The slowest seismic wave speeds (shear wave speed less than 2.3 kilometers per second) are present at depths between 3 and 8 kilometers, overlapping with petrological estimates of the assembly depth of erupted rhyolite bodies. Assuming that Yellowstone’s magmatic system is a crystal mush with broadly distributed melt, we estimate a partial melt fraction of 16 to 20%.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1001-1004
Number of pages4
Issue number6623
StatePublished - Dec 2 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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