The Yellowstone Plateau is one of the largest manifestations of silicic volcanism on Earth, and marks the youngest focus of magmatism associated with the Yellowstone Hot Spot. The earliest products of Yellowstone Hot Spot volcanism are from ~17 million years ago, but may be as old as ~32 Ma, and include contemporaneous eruption of voluminous mafic and silicic magmas, which are mostly located in the region of northwestern Nevada and southeastern Oregon. Since 17 Ma, the main locus of Yellowstone Hot Spot volcanism has migrated northeastward producing numerous silicic caldera complexes that generally remain active for ~2–4 million years, with the present-day focus being the Yellowstone Plateau. Northeastward migration of volcanism associated with the Yellowstone Hot Spot resulted in the formation of the Snake River Plain, a low relief physiographic feature extending ~750 kilometers from northern Nevada to eastern Idaho. Most of the silicic volcanic centers along the Snake River Plain have been inundated by younger basalt volcanism, but many of their ignimbrites and lava flows are exposed in the extended regions at the margins of the Snake River Plain.
|Title||A field trip guide to the petrology of Quaternary volcanism on the Yellowstone Plateau|
|Authors||Jorge A. Vazquez, Mark E. Stelten, Ilya N. Bindeman, Kari Cooper|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Scientific Investigations Report|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Volcano Science Center|