This Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum activity introduces Geology of National Parks students to Yellowstone National Park. The module takes a broad overview of volcanic features of the park, including the line of calderas along the up-drift hot spot trace, the mapped area of tuffs produced by their cataclysmic eruptions, and the hydrothermal features for which the park is so well known. Students calculate the rate that the North American Plate has been moving over the hot spot, the relative volume of the materials produced in the cataclysmic eruptions, their recurrence interval, and probability of eruption in any given year. The module ends with the Organic Act, and its dilemmas involving preservation, visitation (now 3 million visitors a year at Yellowstone National Park) and safety (where and when can visitors soak in thermal waters there).
This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant Number NSF DUE-0836566. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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Citation / Publisher Attribution
Spreadsheets Across the Curriculum, Module SSACgnp.QE521.JAM1.4
Scholar Commons Citation
McIlrath, Judy, "Yellowstone! A National Park on a Hot Spot" (2010). School of Geosciences Faculty and Staff Publications. 1452.