Yellowstone hotspot’s giant magma plume slowly eats its way northeast

Scientists confirm 500-mile finger of molten rock under Yellowstone-

Park’s giant magma plume eating up mountains. By Cory Hatch. Jackson Hole Daily.

Actually the hot spot is probably stationary. The apparent surface movement is due to the North American plate drifting to the southwest over the spot. The new information (at least to me) that is interesting is that the top of the plume is deformed like the wind blows smoke from a fire. So while the internal origin of the actual hotspot may still be under what is now SE Oregon, the magma rises at an angle. It rises toward the northeast.

I was also interested to learn that the source of the hot spot is very deep in the Earth. It is at least 500 miles deep. It might go all the way to the core.

The fact that the plume rises at an angle might well explain geologically recent volcanic activity well to the southwest of Yellowstone Park, e.g., the Craters of the Moon lava flows and cinder cones and the lesser known Willow Creek cinder cones and lava flows to the north of Soda Springs, Idaho. It might take a long time for the continental plate to pass completely over the magma plume.

My photos of the Willow Creek Lava Field.

http://www.panoramio.com/photo/4245367
http://www.panoramio.com/photo/12549114