Thursday, June 01, 2006

Yellowstone National Park

America's first National Park was created in 1872 with the establishment of Yellowstone National Park by Congress. This one single park has over 2 million acres of land and was a favorite camping area for Teddy Roosevelt. President Roosevelt dedicated the park entrance arch above in 1903.

Several of the books on Yellowstone available from the Al Harris Library are located in Government Documents (most have maps included):
"Yellowstone River Floater's Guide" (I 53.7/2: 3/4).
"American Indians and Yellowstone National Park: a documentary overview" (I 29.2: IN 2/20).
"Yellowstone in the afterglow: lessons from the fires" (I 29.2: Y 3/16).
"Enchanted enclosure: the Army Engineers and Yellowstone National Park: a documentary History" (D 103.2: En 1).

One book is: "Tracking Changes in Yellowstone's Restless Volcanic System" (I 19.127: 100-03). It details Yellowstone's creation by a large volcanic blowout about 640,000 years ago. 240 cubic miles of magma were blown into the atmosphere, creating a 53 mile long caldara under the current park. This explosion moved 1,000 times the amount of material as Mount St. Helens did in 1980. Much later, lava flows covered the caldera floor up to 400 feet thick, making a solid cap over a magma reservoir.

Recent studies have shown that the floor of yellowstone is moving continuously. This movement and the occurance of earthquakes in the area is related to the slight rupturing of a impermeable layer of rock on top of the caldera by the hot magma below. It will take years before scientists understand exactly how the two interact.

Click on the title above to link to the Wyoming/Yellowstone National Park website.

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