Velocity structure of the Yellowstone hot spot from teleseismic tomography: Evidence for an upper mantle plume
Gregory P. Waite April, 2006 Journal of Geophysical Research vol . 111, B04303, doi: 10.1029/2005JB003867, 2006
This journal article uses modern seismic tomographic imaging and thorough analysis of related data to identify the source of volcanism for the Yellowstone hotspot. The study deployed a dense array of 80 seismographs around Yellowstone from 2000 through 2002, and was planned explicitly to examine the plume hypothesis. The feature identified is not the classical plume rising vertically 2700 km from the core-mantle boundary envisaged in Geology 1 courses, but a NW tilted plume rooted in the earth's upper mantle in the discontinuity zone, at a depth of approximately 500-650 km. Moreover, it is tilted at about 60 degrees to the NW because the rising melt is caught up in the SW motion of the mantle SE flowing "wind", originating beneath the Montana-Idaho border, below Dillon.