What were the effects of the most recent Ice Age on Yellowstone National Park?
I saw the Nature broadcast last night (12-23-2007), entitled
Christmas in Yellowstone
then I came up with this question today.
I wonder if the glaciers ever made it to that part of the country(?) and did they change the geothermic nature of the
area by putting pressure on the crust, etc.?
- busterwasmycatLv 71 decade agoFavorite Answer
The major ice sheets did not make it that far. Alpine glaciers covered the area, and were up to about one km thick. Apparently the most recent eruption 640,000 years ago occurred during a period when the area was glaciated. Maybe it was like iceland, where volcanic activity beneath the ice cover produces some really spectacular and hazardous events.
You pose an interesting question. There is evidence of rebound of the crust following melting of the glacier, so clearly the weight was considerable. The hydrothermal activity was evidently occurring during glaciation, so the presence of the glacier did not cut off that activity. How the magma chamber and heat flow conditions responded to the overlying ice is a question I cannot answer.
It's an interesting question. You get a star.
- MelissaLv 44 years ago
Yellowstone National Park