Caldera chronicles: Henry Wood Elliott and the first map of Yellowstone Lake

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This watercolor painting by Henry Wood Elliott (1846-1930), is titled Yellowstone Lake, 1871 (Phoenix Art Museum). The view is from northern Yellowstone Lake looking to the south.  In the foreground is his boat, the Annie, and the three largest of the lake’s islands: Stevenson Island, with Frank Island and the smaller Dot Island behind. Flat Mountain and Mount Sheridan are in the background on the southern side of the lake, with the Tetons in the far background. To the left is the Promontory and, continuing counterclockwise, Steamboat Point, Lake Butte, the wall of the Mary Bay explosion crater, the Absaroka Range in the distance and Storm Point.

Courtesy Phoenix Art Museum

Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week’s contribution is from Lisa Morgan, emeritus research geologist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

In 1999-2002, the U.S. Geological Survey, with support from Yellowstone National Park and Eastern Oceanics, produced the first high-resolution bathymetric map of Yellowstone Lake. One of the outcomes of this work was the discovery of

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