The magmatic-hydrothermal system at Yellowstone National Park is unique among presently active systems in regard to its unparalleled geysers, tectonic environment, and magnitude of caldera-forming volcanic activity. However, over geologic time, systems like Yellowstone have been common and appear to have been responsible for the formation of many important basc-metal and precious-mctal ore deposits. For these reasons, YellowÂ stone has received a great amount of scientific attention. Geologic invesÂ tigations in Yellowstone began with the Hague expedition in the late 1 800s, and the results of the first chcmical analyses of thermal waters from the Park's many hot springs and geysers were published in 1 88 8 by Gooch & Whitfield ( 1 888). Since then, numerous investigators have studied the hydrothermal system and its geologic environmcnt, and data collectcd over a span of a hundred years are available for comparison and interpretation. THE GEOLOGIC AND GEOPHYSICAL SETTING The geologic setting and geophysical characteristics of the Yellowstone National Park region have been described by many investigators. ParÂ ticular attention is called to summaries by Smith & Christiansen ( 1 980), 1 The US Government has the right to retain a nonexclusive royalty-free license in and to any copyright
Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences – Annual Reviews
Published: May 1, 1989
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