When I visited Yellowstone National Park, I learned that there was one river that flowed over the exact point where the massive supervolcano would erupt from (if it ever does), OR where fault lines / tectonic plates abutted and where the park’s “Big One” earthquake epicenter exists.

I have completely forgotten what that spot is called, but it had a name. I think it was at a point in the river called the “xxxxx Rapids” or “xxxxx Falls.”

I can’t recall which river it was, but I am actually asking what the name of that exact spot is. Online research reveals nothing, but this site has a helpful map of the park’s rivers.


  • "Exact point"? Hmm, I don't think eruptions occur from a point. Calderas are sort of circular. Yellowstone's is huge, not really a point, any more than say, the park itself is a "point." And there's no known point for an earthquake that hasn't happened yet. We won't know the point until after it occurs. – Don Branson Sep 15 '18 at 0:24
  • @DonBranson Maybe it's more accurate to say "specific area" since it's likely not a 1x1 foot "point." But it's driving me mad. I can ALMOST recall the name. I am pretty certain it's a "falls" or a "rapids" of some specific name. – Headblender Sep 17 '18 at 23:14

Yellowstone National Park sits over the Yellowstone Hotspot which is the cause of all the geothermal activity at the park. The name of the supervolcano is called the Yellowstone Supervolcano.

I'm not sure how anyone would know that exact spot where the next eruption will occur, but this study (Future volcanism at Yellowstone caldera: Insights from geochemistry of young volcanic units and monitoring of volcanic unrest) published by the Geological Society of America show three NNW trending lineaments hypothesized for future volcanic activity, as shown in the image below, that may help define where to concentrate future monitoring. There are numerous faults withing the Yellowstone Caldera as shown on this Yellowstone Caldera Faults website.

enter image description here

Map of the Yellowstone area showing our hypothesized foci of future volcanism in relation to the main National Park infrastructure, roads, and surrounding towns. The numbers 1, 2, and 3aa refer to the three intracaldera fault-controlled lineaments as discussed in the text.

Source: http://www.geosociety.org/gsatoday/archive/22/9/article/i1052-5173-22-9-4.htm

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    The question asks where the supervolcano would erupt from if it ever does. How would one know an epicenter of a future earthquake/eruption? – wanderweeer Sep 12 '18 at 0:11
  • The knowing were the epicenter will be is not hard, the knowledge of "WHEN" is the hard part. – James Jenkins Sep 12 '18 at 12:36
  • @wanderweeer While this is a very comprehensive answer, it doesn't identify the spot I'm thinking of. I understand that it's difficult to predict where this will occur, but someone working for the park or USGS did just that. There's a sign along the road by the river (Which road and river? I don't recall.) that marks it. It doesn't say, "Here will be the volcano!" but it does say the name I am looking for. – Headblender Sep 12 '18 at 23:10
  • @Headblender: You have me really curious now knowing that someone from the park or USGS told you this. You may have better luck at Earth Science SE finding someone with a seismology or volcanology background that could give you a definitive answer. – wanderweeer Sep 13 '18 at 0:49

Other answers address the name part of your question, here I just speak about the location.

It is going to occur in what is now Yellowstone National Park. CUBIC MILES of Earth will ejected "the volume of deposits for that eruption is greater than 1,000 cubic kilometers (240 cubic miles)", this is Hundreds of times more then the 1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens. Every person and animal in Yellowstone park at the time will die. Most of the people in Western Wyoming, as well as parts of Montana and Idaho will also instantly die.

Life as we know it in the United States and possibly the world will be altered by the climate change from debris in the sky, changes that will last beyond the lifespan of anyone who survives the initial event. Read more here and here

The location is North Western Wyoming. It is not a point, it is a large area measured in miles.


I believe you are thinking of the Yellowstone Caldera

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    @CharlieBrumbaugh: there isn't a singular epicenter. Additionally, the OP is confusing volcanism with earthquakes, they are not interchangable. Volcanic eruptions don't have epicenters. They typically have many quakes to go with them, each with its own epicenter. – whatsisname Sep 12 '18 at 0:42
  • I know they're different - I just don't recall which one of them the "mystery spot" was the center of. It was literally this one spot with a sign marking it. It was along the road which parelleled one of the rivers. – Headblender Sep 12 '18 at 23:04

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