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The gigantic underground plume of partly molten rock that feeds the Yellowstone supervolcano might be bigger than previously thought, a new image suggests.
Seismic images of the plume made by Smith in 2009 showed the plume of molten rock dips downward from Yellowstone at a 60-degree angle and extends 150 miles (240 kilometers) west-northwest to a point at least 410 miles (660 km) under the Montana-Idaho border — as far as seismic imaging could "see."
The new electrical conductivity images show the conductive part of the plume dipping more gently, at an angle of perhaps 40 degrees to the west, and extending perhaps 400 miles (640 km) from east to west. The geoelectric image can "see" to a depth of only 200 miles (320 km).