The Yellowstone Caldera is a volcanic caldera and supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park in the Western United States, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano.
The caldera and most of the park are located in the northwest corner of Wyoming.
Part of the controversy is the relatively sudden appearance of the hotspot in the geologic record.
The western United States has been the locus of considerable subaerial volcanic and plutonic igneous activity since the mid-Mesozoic.
After the destruction of the Jurassic-Cretaceous magmatic arc-trench system, subduction was re-established in the Late Mesozoic with low-angle underthrusting of the oceanic plate beneath western North America.
At least a dozen of these eruptions were so massive that they are classified as supereruptions.
Volcanic eruptions sometimes empty their stores of magma so swiftly that they cause the overlying land to collapse into the emptied magma chamber, forming a geographic depression called a caldera.
Volcanism at Yellowstone is relatively recent, with calderas that were created during large eruptions that took place 2.1 million, 1.3 million, and 630,000 years ago.