Stories tagged geysers

Old, faithful and slowing down: Due to recent droughts, the time between eruptions at Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyers is getting longer.
Old, faithful and slowing down: Due to recent droughts, the time between eruptions at Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful geyers is getting longer.Courtesy Rmhermen
Vacation season is upon us and if you're planning to go to Yellowstone National Park, prepare to wait a little bit longer to see Old Faithful erupt. Due to several years of drought, the iconic geyser has been erupting at longer intervals in recent years. Read more about it here to find out excactly how much longer the waiting time is between eruptions.

Jan
15
2008

That's no hydrothermal explosion: The water blasting from Castle Geyser at Yellowstone National Park is a pop-gun shot compared to the mile-high hydrothermal explosion that rocked the park some 14,000 years ago.
That's no hydrothermal explosion: The water blasting from Castle Geyser at Yellowstone National Park is a pop-gun shot compared to the mile-high hydrothermal explosion that rocked the park some 14,000 years ago.Courtesy Wikipedia
It seems like every few weeks I run into more evidence that Yellowstone has, or will again be, the most violent place on Earth.

Scientists this past weekend at a seminar at our national park jewel heard that some 13,000 years ago, an earthquake created the largest-ever hydrothermal explosion, firing off tsunami-size waves that rumbled out from Lake Yellowstone for miles. Debris from the impact could be found as far as 18 miles away and the steam column from the blast may have risen up has high as a mile.

The result of that explosion was the Mary Bay crater, which stretches across the north end of the lake. The massive water eruption may have released as much as 77 million cubic feet of water. Such explosions happen when hot water below the lake’s bottom suddenly flashes into steam and bursts upwards.

Since that time, researchers also figure there have been around 20 smaller hydrothermal explosions around Yellowstone, leaving behind craters larger than a football field. Even smaller explosions happen on a much more frequent basis, but rarely when people are around or causing significant damage. One such blast in 1989 sent rock and debris 200 feet into the air.

And while bloggers and cable TV stations like to make a big deal about Yellowstone being a super volcano ready to blow again, researchers say it’s much more likely that another hydrothermal explosion will alter the park’s landscape first.

What do you think about all of this? Share your thoughts here with other Science Buzz readers.