thermal features

Recent Posts

Popular Yellowstone attraction closed to cars due to thermal activity

Rangers temporarily closed Upper Terrace Drive near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park to vehicles due to a new thermal feature that is affecting the road. The feature became visibly active this May near the Upper Terrace parking lot, creating new small terraces adjacent to the drive. Geologists and rangers monitored the thermal feature, and found temperatures up to 152 degrees Fahrenheit. Rangers noticed additional thermal activity this week adjacent to and under the pavement, prompting the temporary closure. Continue Reading →

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Mr. Bubbles: Soaking in a natural Yellowstone hot tub

Alyssa Ammen and Ben Griffith soak in Mr. Bubbles in Yellowstone National Park. Mr.Bubbles is one of the rare places you can soak in Yellowstone because it’s not a thermal feature. Hot water from thermal features nearby mixes with the cold river water.

I leaned over the water with trepidation, looking at the bubbles gurgling from the middle of the pool. I put my hand over the water, straining to feel how much heat it emitted. Then I put in my toe. My hiking partners and I knew Mr. Bubbles was one of the few places in Yellowstone National Park you can soak without being boiled alive. Continue Reading →

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Visitor crashes drone into Yellowstone’s largest hot spring

Grand Prismatic Spring is the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Its colors are the result of different forms of microbial life thriving in different temperature zones.

Officials are considering whether to use a manned helicopter flight to try and locate a drone that has crashed into the largest hot spring in Yellowstone National Park. Several eyewitnesses watched Saturday as a small drone aircraft crashed and sank into Grand Prismatic Spring, and the incident remains under investigation. Continue Reading →

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Scenic road in Yellowstone closed after ‘melting’ from extreme heat

A popular scenic road in Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed due to a damaged road surface from extremely high ground temperatures. Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to bubble to the surface of Firehole Lake Drive. The heat has damaged the blacktop and created unsafe driving conditions, according to a statement released by the park’s public affairs office. Yellowstone is a seismically active area where deep underground heat drives geysers, bubbling mudpots and other thermal features, and manmade features ranging from boardwalks to roads and even buildings often suffer from extreme heat. Firehole Lade Drive is located off the Grand Loop Road halfway between Old Faithful and Madison Junction in the park’s Lower Geyser Basin. Continue Reading →

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Yellowstone thermal features produce unexpectedly high amounts of helium

Researchers collect gas samples form a fumarole in Yellowstone National Park as part of a study aimed at learning more about the processes at work beneath the park's thermal features.

Scenic vistas, abundant wildlife, and now, new research shows there's yet another uplifting reason to visit Yellowstone National Park. Scientists studying the thermal features in Yellowstone have found that a surprisingly high amount of helium escapes every day through vents, pools and other cracks in the earth's crust. Continue Reading →

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Experts seek to unlock mysteries of Old Faithful, other Yellowstone geysers

Researchers and Yellowstone National Park staff members are meeting at Old Faithful this week to review the current scientific understanding of the park's hydrothermal systems. The group will eventually develop suggestions for new research projects and design standards that could help inform and guide management of and development near Yellowstone's thermal features. Continue Reading →

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

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 supervolcano more active but ‘less super’ than previously thought

Aurum Geyser is one of many thermal features in Yellowstone National Park powered by geologic forces active since the first Yellowstone supervolacno eruptions, dating back millions of years. (Janet White - click to enlarge)

A new technique for dating rocks produced in volcanic eruptions indicates that the Yellowstone supervolcano was more active than previously thought, but also bit less super. Researchers have just published the findings of a study that suggests a Yellowstone supervolcano eruption believed to have happened 2 million years ago was in fact two separate eruptions separated by at least 6,000 years. The discovery could require geologists studying the Yellowstone supervolcano and other similar sites to recalibrate their geologic clocks a bit, while also offering a better idea of what the future holds for the still-active region around Yellowstone National Park. Continue Reading →

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Beyond Old Faithful: 5 great Yellowstone geysers to see on Geyser Hill

While waiting for an eruption of Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park, you might notice people walking along boardwalks on a hill in the distance. That's Geyser Hill, one of the most amazing patches of thermal activity in the world. In this small area, there are about 30 geysers, some large and others small, along with many hot springs. Wandering among the thermal features on Geyser Hill is a great way to spend time before or after Old Faithful erupts, or a wonderful spot to learn more about geysers if you've already seen Old Faithful a few times. Continue Reading →

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