Some Yellowstone geyers "behaving strangely"

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33
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
#1
It looks like there are a few changes ongoing in the geyser field near (but not connected to) Old Faithful. Read the whole article update at the link. This is groundwater stuff, literally miles away from the magma chamber, which has been maintaining itself per usual--YVO continues the volcano in normal status.

I hope it doesn't eventually affect Old Faithful. And I hope it doesn't change too much--I've been thinking about one of those "Yellowstone in winter" tours.

 

JayF

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416
Location
Hartselle, al
#2
I love how the got the Yellowstone is not about to erupt out of the way LOL. People would have taken that post as a pending eruption without it.
 
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Harvest, Alabama
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#3
I love how the got the Yellowstone is not about to erupt out of the way LOL. People would have taken that post as a pending eruption without it.
Ever since the Yellowstone Volcano became mainstream knowledge with the release of that 2012 disaster movie, every time a stick falls in the woods and somebody tweets about it, it becomes a pending eruption.
 
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33
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
#4
Ever since the Yellowstone Volcano became mainstream knowledge with the release of that 2012 disaster movie, every time a stick falls in the woods and somebody tweets about it, it becomes a pending eruption.
Around 15 years ago there was doom'n'gloom like that when changes happened in the Norris hydrothermal system; it was even mentioned in the BBC/Discovery movie "Supervolcano," back in the early 00's. Those were similar to the changes now, which are happening in a different area (the steamy area behind Old Faithful, on the cam, I think; there's several small geysers back there).

They did write last week that Old Faithful has a separate plumbing system, which is good.

From today's Caldera Chronicles (YVO):

Several features on Geyser Hill have shown changed behavior since the eruption:
  • A new thermal feature has formed directly beneath the boardwalk, west of Pump Geyser. The feature started as a crack and has grown into a spouter with water erupting for 5 minutes at 15 minute intervals. Wooden planks have been removed from the boardwalk for easier observation.
  • Doublet Pool has had boiling surges up to 2 feet high, resulting in overflow that is killing some of its bacteria mats.
  • An unnamed geyser on the Observation Point side of the boardwalk that hasn't been known to erupt recently began erupting to 10-15 feet or higher.
  • Lion Geyser, which typically erupts many times per day, went quiet for 3 days
  • North Goggles erupted for the first time since August and now erupts every 12-20 minutes.
  • A feature on the Solitary Geyser/Observation point trail very near the boardwalk is splashing water up to a foot onto the trail.
  • Pump Geyser has less water than prior to Ear's eruption, to the point that its bacteria mats are dry.
Changes in Yellowstone's hydrothermal system are common. Similar changes occurred at Norris Geyser Basin in 2003 when new thermal features formed, hot springs began erupting water, and increased ground temperatures caused vegetation to cook. The superintendent of the park decided to close the area to keep people safe, and eventually boardwalks were reconfigured to accommodate the changes to the thermal ground.

For the public's safety some boardwalks and trails in the Geyser Hill area have been temporarily closed. Closure signs are posted. For those visiting the area, additional information is available at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center during business hours. The boardwalks around Old Faithful remain open.

Although the outcome of current changes on Geyser Hill are uncertain, Yellowstone National Park geologists are monitoring the situation closely. The area of thermally heated ground may expand, or a small hydrothermal explosioncould occur, much like that which occurred at Porckchop Geyser in 1989. We will keep you up to date with changes as they occur.
 
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1,705
Location
Tuscaloosa, Alabama
#5
If there is a science topic the general public is less informed on than meteorology, it is geology. I guess the concept of geological time, a fundamental, is difficult for most to wrap their head around.

Some of the questions I used to get when doing field work was insane.
 
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33
Location
Corvallis, Oregon
#6
Speaking of field work, wonder what worker's comp premiums the USGS pays.

This morning, the USGS tweeted this time-lapse of one of the new thermal features. It's fascinating to watch it form, and it's also excellent public education (without any layperson realizing they're learning something about the real Yellowstone, not the place outlined in scary headlines and movies):

 

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