Geology

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Busy year for Yellowstone supervolcano rumors

Steam rises from Excelsior Geyser Crater and Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park.

Have you heard about what's happening with the Yellowstone supervolcano? The biggest earthquake in more than 30 years hit Yellowstone National Park in March. Bison were seen this winter pushing outside the park's boundaries. Extremely high levels of helium are rushing out of hot springs and fumaroles. Seismic detection gear has gone haywire. The roads are melting! All of this can only mean one thing: an eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano is imminent, right? Continue Reading →

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Steamboat geyser, world’s tallest, erupts in Yellowstone after 8-year lull

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, the tallest active geyser in the world, erupts in 1963.

The world's tallest active geyser has erupted in Yellowstone National Park for the first time in eight years, sending a steam-powered jet of excitement through geyser gazers who consider it one of the most special eruptions to behold. The water from Steamboat can reach as high as 300 feet, with steam from that spray reaching even higher. By comparison, the Statue of Liberty measures 305 feet from the torch to the ground below its pedestal. Continue Reading →

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An 1880s tale of catching and cooking a fish on same line in Yellowstone

Fishing Cone in Yellowstone National Park.

Many Yellowstone Park tourists have described places where an angler can catch a fish and cook it in a nearby hot spring without taking it off the hook, but few report actually doing it. Henry J. Winser described performing the feat in his 1883 guide for tourists. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Geyser Report for January: Longer days make winter viewing more productive

Old Faithful Geyser erupts on the morning of Dec. 19 as seen from the National Park Service webcam.

The geysers and other thermal features of Yellowstone National Park make up a vast, complex and dynamic collection of constantly changing natural wonders. A wide range of amateur hobbyists and professional geologists and hydrologists regularly track the activities and changes in Yellowstone’s thermal features and post their findings at various sites online. Here’s a look at thermal activity in December 2012 and January 2013. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone Geyser Report for October: Great Fountain Goes Wild

Great Fountain Geyser in eruption 28 Oct 2012

The geysers and other thermal features of Yellowstone National Park make up a vast, complex and dynamic collection of constantly changing natural wonders. A wide range of amateur hobbyists and professional geologists and hydrologists regularly track the activities and changes in Yellowstone’s thermal features and post their findings at various sites online. Here's a look at October's thermal activity. October saw quite a few interesting changes, and based on reports, would have been a great time to head to Yellowstone to see things in person. The first snowfall of the season came to Yellowstone and closed some of the entrances in October. Continue Reading →

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Making use of ‘a million billion gallons of hot water’ in Yellowstone in 1872

A postcard by historic Yellowstone National Park photographer Frank Haynes shows Grotto Geyser as it appeared in approximately 1913. (click to enlarge)

A group of professionals and businessmen visited the geysers in 1872—long before the era of hot water heaters. The trip was chronicled by Harry Norton, who published the first Yellowstone travel guide in Virginia City in 1873. Norton called one of his companions, who owned telegraph lines between Deer Lodge and Bozeman, “Prince Telegraph.” Here’s Norton’s description of the Prince’s experiments in geyserland. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone geyser report for September: Fan and Mortar fall into a rhythm

Grotto Geyser in eruption

September 2012 saw Plume Geyser stop erupting for the second time this year. The last known eruption was on the morning of September 6. While no eruptions have been seen since, constant gurgling lets us know the water isn’t terribly far below the surface. Listen to the gurgling of Plume Geyser here. Beehive Geyser seems to be averaging an eruption once every 12-17 hours. About 15 hours is a good guess to have for the center of an unofficial prediction window. Most daytime eruptions are caught on the live streaming webcam and can be a nice break during the work day. Aurum Geyser has had a few 3- and 4-hour intervals between all the long intervals of 10 or more hours. That means it's likely to shift into winter mode soon. Continue Reading →

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6 Kid-Friendly Geysers in Yellowstone Park’s Upper Geyser Basin

Young children often have short attention spans while older kids are sometimes more interested in texting than wildlife watching. Which is why Old Faithful geyser is among the most popular family attractions in Yellowstone National Park. It provides a predictable and guaranteed natural wonder that performs on schedule. But that also makes it one of the most crowded places in the park. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone geyser report for August: Plume takes a break, Grand speeds up

Lemon Spring no longer just gently overflows as it did here on 30 May 2010

They geysers and other thermal features of Yellowstone National Park make up a vast, complex and dynamic collection of constantly changing natural wonders. A wide range of amateur hobbyists and professional geologists and hydrologists regularly track the activities and changes in Yellowstone's thermal features and post their findings at various sites online. Here's a look at what has been going on in August: Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone geysers yield refreshing showers for adventurous visitors

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Many first-time Yellowstone Park visitors are surprised to learn the spray from Yellowstone geysers that reaches them on the boardwalks can be cool and refreshing on a hot summer day. But if you think about it, that superheated water (hotter than the normal boiling point of water due to underground pressure) is tossed high into the air as tiny droplets that cool quickly. A hundred feet up and a hundred feet back down can cool a fine mist in a hurry, giving adventurous Yellowstone visitors the chance to experience a unique shower. Continue Reading →

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