Quaternary volcanism on the Yellowstone Plateau

Yellowstone Caldera

Pre-meeting field trip, August 8-13; max/min participants, 30/12

This 4-day field trip will explore the Quaternary volcanism at Yellowstone Plateau. We will provide a detailed overview of Yellowstone’s volcanic history from ca. 2.1 Ma to ca. 0.074 Ma and discuss field, geochronological, and geochemical evidence that informs our understanding of the petrologic evolution of Yellowstone’s magmatic system. Each day we will examine a particular aspect of Yellowstone Plateau’s volcanic history, including (1) the caldera-forming rhyolites from all three of Yellowstone’s eruptive cycles, (2) post-caldera volcanism of the first and second eruptive cycles, (3) extracaldera basalts and rhyolites, and (4) effusive intracaldera volcanism following Yellowstone’s most recent caldera-forming eruption. Additionally, we will observe world-class hydrothermal features associated with ongoing magmatism at Yellowstone. Participants will leave the field trip with a clear understanding of Yellowstone’s eruptive history, the petrologic processes controlling the evolution of its magmatic systems, and the outstanding research questions that have yet to be answered.

Participants will be picked up at Idaho Falls airport in Idaho on Tuesday August 8, 2017, and ferried to a local hotel for lodging and an evening icebreaker. The group will lodge in West Yellowstone, Montana, from August 9 to August 11, and in Jackson, Wyoming, for the final night of August 12. Participants must organize their own flight schedules to arrive in Idaho Falls by 5:00 PM on August 8 and depart from Jackson on August 13. Flights from Jackson, Wyoming, to Portland, Oregon, typically depart between 7:00am to 3:20pm. Trip leaders will be available to shuttle participants to the Jackson airport up to 1:00 pm on August 13. In addition, the hotel in Jackson provides a complimentary shuttle to the airport.
During the field trip, we will take several short walks that will require sturdy shoes and a water bottle. Expect temperatures conditions with highs of about 20oC and lows near 5oC. Bring sunglasses, sunhat, sturdy shoes or light boots, handlens, and small daypack. Precipitation is possible so rain jackets are encouraged. Insect repellent is recommended. Hammers are optional. Collecting is acceptable when outside of Yellowstone National Park.
Estimated cost: 
Field trip cost of $1,160–$1,570 depending on number of participants, and includes 5 nights of double-occupancy lodging, transportation during the field trip, and lunches and snacks each day. Complimentary breakfast will be available at each lodging locality, and dinner will be available for personal purchase at local restaurants. The first night includes an icebreaker with light refreshments, and final night will include a group dinner in Jackson, Wyoming.

Jorge Vazquez, U.S. Geological Survey;
Mark Stelten, U.S. Geological Survey;  
Ilya Bindeman, University of Oregon
Kari Cooper, University of California at Davis