The shape of the weld pool in laser beam welding plays a major role in understanding the dynamics of the melt and its solidification behavior. The aim of the present work was its experimental and numerical investigation. To visualize the geometry of the melt pool in the longitudinal section, a butt joint configuration of 15 mm thick structural steel and transparent quartz glass was used. The weld pool shape was recorded by means of a high-speed video camera and two thermal imaging cameras, a mid-wavelength infrared camera and a newly developed infrared camera working in the spectral range of 500 to 540 nm, making it perfectly suited for temperature measurements of molten materials. The observations show that the dimensions of the weld pool vary depending on the depth. The regions close to the surface form a teardrop-shaped weld pool. A bulge region and its temporal evolution were observed approximately in the middle of the depth of the weld pool. Additionally, a transient numerical simulation was performed until reaching a steady state to obtain the weld pool shape and to understand the formation mechanism of the observed bulging phenomena. A fixed keyhole with an experimentally obtained shape was used to represent the full-penetration laser beam welding process. The model considers the local temperature field, the effects of phase transition, thermocapillary convection, natural convection, and temperature-dependent material properties up to evaporation temperature. It was found that the Marangoni convection and the movement of the laser heat source are the dominant factors for the formation of the bulge region. A good correlation between the numerically calculated and the experimentally observed weld bead shapes and the time-temperature curves on the upper and bottom surface was found.