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Reseach on the tectonic plate and hot spots in Yellow Stone National Park, Wyoming - Research Paper Example

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Yellow Stone National Park, Wyoming. Tectonic plate and hot spots Yellowstone National Park (YNP) is a world heritage site based in the southern Rocky Mountains, North West America. Founded in 1872, the park spans 8,980 square kilometers (km) and is principally located within the state of Wyoming, with smaller areas crossing into Montana and Idaho…
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Reseach paper on the tectonic plate and hot spots in Yellow Stone National Park, Wyoming
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"Reseach on the tectonic plate and hot spots in Yellow Stone National Park, Wyoming"

Download file to see previous pages The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE) is home to an enormous biodiversity of insects, birds and mammals, all of which are coming under increasing pressure from a growing human population. Human Population and Economics The population of Wyoming alone is estimated to be around 522,830 (Local Census) and the GYR has one of the fastest population growth rates in the U.S. (Hansen et al.). Population growth in the GYR is driven by ecological and social, rather than economic factors, with ‘quality of life’ being the predominant reason stated for relocation reasons. The most common businesses are tourism related or are service industry businesses such as insurance and real estate firms (Rasker and Hansen 30). A large percentage of the population is also retired (Ibid 31). The state GDP as of 2005 was $27.4 billion (Local Census) Historical population levels were far fewer and centered on extraction industries such as mining, logging, grazing and agriculture. These industries now only represent 5% of the region’s economic output (Rasker and Hansen 30). Developments are being built on the 3million acres of privately owned land that was previously used for agricultural purposes. These lands fringe the federally owned parklands of the GYR (Rasker and Hansen 30). ...
he GYE Animal populations of the GYE include large and varied populations of herbivorous, insectivorous, and predatory bird species, insects, reptiles, fish and herbivorous, omnivorous and carnivorous mammals. Many of these species are registered as endangered. The grizzly bear is common to the region, as are large herds of grazing ungulates, including some of the last bison and Elk herds in North America. The wolf has also been successfully re-introduced to the region (Yellowstone National Park). Most bird species reside in lowlands where primary productivity is at its highest and the climate most agreeable. This places them directly in competition with human populations for productive lands (Hansen et al.). Geology, Volcanism and Seismicity of the GYE YNP is located in a volcanic caldera or ‘super volcano’ that was formed about 600,000 years ago (kya). The Yellowstone caldera (YC) lies above a ridge centred, mid-continental hotspot/magma plume that continues to be volcanically active (Foulger and Natland 922). The ridge forms the north-easternmost part of one of two volcanic chains in western America that are linked in origin to the Juan de Fuca Plate subducting beneath the North American Plate (Suppe, Powell and Berry 400). The YC is situated at the convergence of the Western U.S. Plate and the North American Plate. The Western Plate’s eastern boundary is fastened to the Yellowstone hotspot and it is slowly drifting eastwards, creating the Great Basin (Suppe, Powell and Berry 400). A volcanic eruption has not occurred since 70kya when lava flows covered much of the region (Brantley et al. 1). The YC continues to be volcanically active, as evidenced by YNP’s famous geothermal features and the high frequency of earthquakes that occur in the region. Thousands ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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