Yellowstone Volcano, the most detailed information

Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park in the USA is widely known for its numerous geysers, thermal springs, scenic landscapes, rich wildlife and flora.

Yellowstone National Park is located in the northern part of the United States. Its area is about 9,000 km2 , and its length – 102 km from north to south, and 87 km – from east to west. Almost the entire territory of the mountain plateau, where the park is located, belongs to the state of Wyoming. Yellowstone National Park was founded in 1872, the first on the planet. The name comes from the yellow rocky canyons of the park.

Yellowstone can be called the geyser capital of the world – two-thirds of them are located here. In it you can see and feel the breath of the Earth. This UNESCO-listed biosphere reserve is also famous for its numerous waterfalls, lakes, rich flora and fauna, and seemingly ethereal landscapes.

First information about geysers and hot springs of Yellowstone appeared in the early 19th century. For half a century they were thought to be inventions, until some scientific expeditions visited the area. The first time after the founding of the national park, no funds were allocated to protect it, and the director was not even paid a salary. Poaching flourished in the park until the army was brought in to protect the natural monuments in 1886. In 1918 the reserve was turned over to the National Park Service.

Yellowstone Attractions

In Yellowstone National Park, travelers are most attracted to geysers and hot springs. There are about 3 thousand of them in the park. One of them – Old Faithful – is especially popular with tourists (and the administration). Every hour and a half it spews out 14,000 to 32,000 liters of hot water in a few minutes. The height of the fountain reaches 56 meters. Such punctuality makes it possible to indicate the exact time of the next action on the observation deck.

Another geyser – Steamboat – is the highest on the planet. The column of hot water, and then steam, rises to 90 meters. But not many tourists have seen this impressive spectacle. After all, Steamboat geyser eruption does not happen every day. The cone of another geyser, Castle, is truly suggestive of a palace, thanks to deposits of siliceous tuff.

Among the thermal springs the most beautiful is called “The Lake of Morning Glory”. Its central part resembles a blue creeper flower. The bacteria and algae living inside give a bluish tint to its central part and a golden one to the edges.

The iconic attraction of Yellowstone Park is Mammoth Hot Springs. Water at 72 0 C from these geothermal springs flows down tiered brownish terraces. They are formed from travertine overhangs. The limestone ledges grow up almost before our eyes. The landscape opens up and seems ethereal, creating the feeling of being on another planet. The landscape of Mammoth Hot Springs changes from year to year. Some terraces dry up, and frequent mini-earthquakes create new ones.

There are dozens of waterfalls in the reserve. The most famous are Lower and Upper. They are located near Yellowstone Grand Canyon. The first of them is 94 meters high and 22 meters wide. Climbing up the path to the cliff, you can also admire the Upper waterfall, which falls from 33 m. At the north end of the Grand Canyon is Tower Falls, decorated with a double rainbow on sunny days.

In the center of the caldera (the volcano’s circular basin) there is a big mountain lake Yellowstone.

In the valley of the Lamar River you can see an amazing petrified forest filled with volcanic ash many thousands of years ago. The calcium it contained mixed with the groundwater and mineralized the trees.

When will the Yellowstone volcano erupt

Yellowstone National Park sits atop one of Earth’s largest volcanoes. The Yellowstone volcano in America, unfortunately, is not one of the extinct ones. On the contrary, its numerous geysers and thermal springs are very active.

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Scientists have long been known that on its territory in ancient times there were repeatedly catastrophic eruptions, not just devastating the surrounding areas, but also changing the Earth’s climate and leading to the extinction of animal species. But the most important thing is that the supervolcano Yellowstone may start a new eruption at any minute, capable of placing in doubt the continued existence of civilization.

This conclusion was reached not by sensationalist journalists or alarmists, but by scientists. It all began with the fact that in 2002, several new geysers started to gush in the reserve. It would seem to please tourists. But two years later the U.S. authorities have closed some areas of the park to visitors. More often than before, volcanologists and seismologists began to visit Yellowstone National Park. They found a number of alarming processes indicating a growing likelihood of natural cataclysm.

  • The frequency and intensity of the tremors, constantly identifiable Yellowstone mini-earthquakes, were increasing, and their epicenters were approaching the earth’s surface.
  • Old geysers in the park are “waking up” and new ones are springing up. Water temperatures in them and in the lakes are rising, and are now much higher than normal. This may be a consequence of red-hot lava rising to the surface.
  • From the new crevasses emerging in the park, gases normally contained in magma emerge. In recent years, their concentration has increased tenfold.
  • The soil in the park is rising faster and faster, which is also characteristic of an approaching eruption.

These facts initially led scientists to the conclusion that the next Yellowstone will explode not in 20 thousand years, as previously thought, but by 2075. But further research showed that the negative changes are growing much faster. Scientists have classified the new forecast in order to avoid panic.

The catastrophic consequences of the expected eruption of the Yellowstone volcano will begin with a huge release of magma, gases and dust into the stratosphere. Within two days this giant cloud will cover the Americas, Greenland, Antarctica, Europe, Asia, and Australia. The sun’s rays will stop reaching the surface of the Earth, and an extreme winter with temperatures as low as – 50 0 C will set in. It is believed that it will last at least a year and a half. Very few will survive.

How to get to Yellowstone Park

How to get to Yellowstone. The Wyoming Cody (80 km) and Montana West Yellowstone airports are relatively close to the reserve. The latter operates from June through September. You can fly to these airports from Denver or Salt Lake City on local airlines. You can rent a car and drive it to the park. You can also drive directly from Salt Lake City (distance – 628 km).

From July to September, there are buses from nearby Bozeman and Salt Lake City. And a year-round municipal bus from Bozeman goes to West Yellowstone.

Admission to the park costs $30 USD for a motorist and $15 USD for a hiker. It is valid for 7 days. The best time of year to visit is from May to September, when daytime temperatures are 20-25 0 C. In late summer and fall there is a high probability of fires, and in winter it is quite cold, especially in the mountains. Book rooms in one of the 9 hotels in the park in advance. This applies not only to the high season. Only the luxury hotel at Mammoth Keys and the Snowy shelter near Old Faithful are open in winter.

If you look north clockwise, the Yellowstone Park is divided into 5 regions. These are Mammoth, Roosevelt, Canyon, Lake and Geyser Countries. The administration, the main Albright Visitor Center and museum are located in the north of the park, near Mammoth Hot Springs. The north entrance at Gardiner, Montana Highway 89, is available year-round (the others are in high season). There are 9 visitor centers on the preserve, all of which have information desks. They are located along Grand Loop Rd every 32-48 miles.

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There is no public transportation in the vast Yellowstone National Park. But there is no shortage of campgrounds, gas stations, stores, and eateries. A common way to get around is by rental car, and in winter by snowmobile. There is a 230-kilometer Grand Loop Rd through the park, which runs near the major attractions. There are also 1,770 kilometers of marked trails and bicycle paths. Dozens of species of animals and hundreds of birds, protected by the current ban on hunting. Fishing is possible after purchasing a license.

At the entrance or entry to the park tourists are given a map and a local newspaper with descriptions of attractions and coordinates of places where there is a high probability of seeing this or that animal. Lamar Valey is the best place to see wolves, grizzly bears, bison, elk, sheep, and deer. You can almost certainly see them at dawn or dusk or, if you’re lucky, during the day.

Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming was founded in 1872. It is the first national park in the world, famous for its geothermal landscape and geysers, including a strikingly punctual “old servant.”

Yellowstone National Park is a biosphere reserve and, due to its unique topography, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of the park is in Wyoming, extending into neighboring Montana and Idaho. The mountain peaks range in elevation from 3,462 m – Eagle Peak, to 1,610 m – Reese Creek.

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Video: Yellowstone

Highlights

Yellowstone, a mountain plateau among the Rocky Mountains at an altitude of 2,500 meters, is not only a land of mountains, valleys, rivers and forests, both living and petrified, but also fascinating with the unforgettable spectacle of surging geysers (including the famous Old Faithful, the Old Clerk) whose columns of water soar for tens of meters: There are exploding puddles of mud, boiling hot springs, and waterfalls so high that Niagara Falls appears as a bathtub pouring over the edge. All this takes place amidst a riot of color, with the yellow of the rocky canyons that gave the park its name as its base. Two-thirds of all geysers are found here. There is no other place like it.

The park even has an active volcano producing about 2000 earthquakes a year, one of the largest petrified forests in the world, one of the largest calderas in the world measuring 72×48 km and about 290 waterfalls, the highest of which is the Lower Waterfall – 94 m. The Upper Valley of Geysers is a place where there are at least 150 geysers on an area of 2.5 square kilometers, five of which operate strictly on schedule – Castle, Big Geyser, Daisy, Riverside and the most famous – Old Clerk. Then there is the sixth of the predictable geysers – “Big Fountain”, whose eruption twice a day heaves water to a height of 30-61 meters.

Not only is the park home to true natural wonders and magnificent scenery, but it is also home to many large mammals, including black bears – baribals and grizzlies, coyotes, gray wolves, red foxes, wildcats, mountain lions, bobcats, beavers, otters, several species of bison and deer, Canadian snow rams, and snow goats.

Coyote Elk Buffalo

Yellowstone Park has a distinct change of seasons: cold in winter, pleasant in spring, hot in summer, and cool in fall.

John Coulter was the first white man to visit the area in 1807. At that time the only inhabitants here were the Tukadikas (also known as “sheep eaters”), Shoshone Indians, snow ram hunters. Colter’s reports of exploding geysers and boiling mud pots (his story was at first considered implausible) attracted the interest of explorers and tourists, stimulating active funding for the construction of railroads. The park was founded in 1872 (as the first in the world) to preserve the incredible geography of Yellowstone – the geothermal phenomenon, the fossil forests and Yellowstone Lake.

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Tourists

Yellowstone National Park, 8,992 km², is divided into five distinct areas (clockwise from north) : Mammoth, Roosevelt, Canyon, Lake, and Geyser Countries.

The main office of the reserve is at the Mammoth Hot Springs in northern Yellowstone. Whenever possible, visitors should come through the north entrance near Gardiner, Montana (Gardiner; Montana Highway 89; open all year) . The others, usually open from May through October, are accessible from the northeast (Cook City), east (Cody), south (Grand Teton National Park), and west (West Yellowstone) . The park’s main road is the 230-kilometer scenic Grand Loop Rd. Upon entering the national park, you will receive a basic map and a park newspaper with detailed stories from park officials about places to visit. All of the visitor centers have information desks whose staff can help you plan a hike according to your preferences, from great places to take pictures to observation points where there’s every chance of seeing a bear. There is also a museum in the main office, where you can learn about the fauna and flora and geological phenomena in the area.

You should take care of your accommodation beforehand, especially in winter, when only a posh hotel near the Mamontova Hot Springs and the “Snow Shelter” near the “Old Clerk” work. You can get to the “Snow Shelter” only on tried-and-true snowmobiles, and there’s no smoking anywhere. For more information and to book a room, visit: www.travelyellowstone.com.

Snack bars, delis, snack stores and grocery stores are scattered throughout the park. In addition, most lodges offer breakfast buffets, salad bars and lunches and lunches in the usual dining halls. The food, while not always exceptional, is decent enough considering how many people the chef cooks for, and not too expensive given the exceptional views around.

The park gets snowed in in the winter, so the only way to get there is by renting a snowmobile or a park multi-passenger snowmobile. Local airlines fly from Salt Lake City and Denver to Yellowstone Airport. You can rent a car there. Although you can get to the main attractions in the park by car, you’ll still have to do quite a bit of walking.

Geyser Land Lake

Park entrance fees (hiker/car $12/25) are valid for seven days to visit both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton. The summer visitor centers are equally spaced 32-48 km apart along Grand Loop Rd.

Albright Visitor Center (Tel: 307-344-2263; www.nps.gov/yell; Mammoth; 8 a.m.-7 p.m. June-September, 9 a.m.-5 p.m. October-May) Operates as the main park office. The park website is a treasure trove of useful information.

Yellowstone Geysers.

They gurgle, bubble, and smoke: surprisingly enough, as much as 60% of all known natural hot springs on Earth are in Wyoming, in Yellowstone National Park. There are more than 300 geysers here, and among them the most famous is Old Clerk. And that’s not because it’s the biggest – that title belongs to nearby Steamboat – but it’s certainly the most predictable. It is said to erupt at extremely regular intervals, varying from 60 to 120 minutes, throwing anywhere from 1,400 to 32,000 gallons of water into the air. It is an unforgettable sight.

Old Clerk Geyser

Geysers are hot springs that actively spew water – some regularly, others not. They were formed due to a specific combination of geological and climatic conditions.

Rose Cone Geyser

“Old Servant” boils and erupts in the center of Yellowstone Park’s Upper Geyser Basin. It was officially described in 1870, and was the first of all geysers to be given its own name. Since then, tens of thousands of tourists, not to mention an entire team of scientists, have been keeping a close eye on the activities of “The Old Clerk.” It is thanks to this work that we know that more than a million eruptions have taken place since the discovery of “Old Clerk” in the 19th century. And all the time the geyser has been so precisely on schedule, as if it had clockwork built into it. Nowadays, the Old Handyman wakes up every 90 minutes on average to shoot a tall fountain of boiling water into the sky.

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“Old Clerk is not the only geothermal wonder that has caught the attention of scientists. They are monitoring all 300 geysers Yellowstone. And any deviation from the normal rhythm of their activity, for example, related to the earthquake, immediately recorded and thoroughly analyzed.

The Great Prismatic Spring

What to see

One of Yellowstone’s stunning geological phenomena can be seen at Mammoth Hot Springs: silvery limestone ledges rise daily – you can see it. The hot springs eject salt-rich water from beneath the limestone rocks, depositing their contents in dams on the escarpments themselves, where nearly 2 tons of lime tuff is deposited daily.

Limestone Bluffs of the Grand Teton Mammoth Keys

Drive 34 kilometers south from Mammoth Hot Springs to a junction at Norris River and take the 230-kilometer-long Grand Teton Loop Road to see all the major sights. The information desk at the crossroads will show you a shortcut (on bridges) through the smoky Norris Geyser Basin and give you details on how the geysers and hot springs work.

If you’re lucky, you might even see the world’s largest geyser in action, called Steamboat . But unlike the consistency of “Old Clerk” a little further down the road, it is as unpredictable as a volcano. Water eruptions occur then every couple of days, then once a year. But when it comes to life, it spews water, steam, rocks and mud as high as 122 meters.

To the south, at the source of the Madison River, the county road meets the trail leading to the western entrance to Yellowstone, winding along a stream aptly named Firehole, that is, “The Furnace Hole.” It is fed by hot springs, and in some places the water there is warm compared to the ice streams of the Plateau, where the temperature does not exceed 4 ° C.

Yellowstone River Yellowstone’s Old Clerk

The park’s most famous attraction, Old Clerk Geyser, is located 26 km south of the junction at the source of the Madison River. You can be sure it will gush about every 60-90 minutes. Each eruption takes 2.5-5 minutes, during which time the geyser spews upwards tens of thousands of liters of hot water under tremendous pressure. Powerful column of water reaches 30-55 m in height, forming around itself a water cloud of steam, so it is visible from afar. There are bigger geysers here, but none of them works as reliably as Old Faithful, which comes out of the ground more often than the others. Located nearby is another Information Center with the help of audiovisuals will explain to you the nature of this phenomenon. You’ll also find the park’s three most active geyser basins, the Upper, Middle, and Lower. Beware of the eye-catching, stinky mud puddles. These pools of hot, liquid clay are swirled up by a gaseous discharge called a souffler.

The Prism (Eye), the symbol of Yellowstone National Park

To avoid the crowds that throng the Old Clerk, follow the Loop east to West Thumb, named after the nearby caldera where the Yellowstone Loop meets the John D. Rockefeller Memorial Highway. Rockefeller, which leads to the park’s south entrance on the shore of beautiful Yellowstone Lake. You are allowed to fish here for redfish salmon, which reach a length of 46 centimeters. You can rent a boat and tackle from either Grant Village on the southwest end of the lake or Fishing Bridge on the north shore. Remember, you’re competing with otters, osprey and grizzlies for fish, and coyotes looking for what others have dropped out.

Tower Falls Inspiring Place

From the north shore of the lake along the Yellowstone River, the Loop goes to Yellowstone Grand Canyon. Driving from the south, the first thing you’ll see are the foaming cascades of Upper Falls, 33 meters high. Stop further along a short trail that takes you to Inspiration Point, where you can admire the even more majestic 94m-high Lower Falls and the sweeping canyon view for 40km. On the banks of the Yellowstone River it drops off at 360-1200 meters. The walls of the canyon are saturated with sulfuric arsenic, giving them different shades of yellow, which is beautifully emphasized by the emerald greenery of the nearby thickets of twisted pine.

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At the north end of the canyon, at the intersection with Cook City Place Road leading to the northeast entrance to the park, is Tower Falls. On a sunny day, you’re almost certain to see a double rainbow over the 40-meter-high waterfall. If you think a huge, protruding boulder is about to fall, you’re screwed, just like the first Europeans who discovered the falls on August 27, 1870, who bet that the boulder would fall the next day.

To the east of the junction near the falls, a striking petrified forest stretches along the road along the Lamar River valley. Among these frozen trees, whose trunks still stand millions of years later, you’ll note sycamores, magnolias, maples, oaks, sequoias, black walnut, and willows, with their coloring preserved. All of this is evidence that it was once much warmer here. The forest was filled with calcium-rich volcanic ash, which the groundwater soaked into the trees and plants, turning them to stone.

Observe the animals

Yellowstone is home to large mammals (grizzly, black bear, American elk and bison) as well as wapiti, bighorn sheep and snow bighorn sheep. Despite complaints from willing trigger-happy ranchers just outside the park boundaries, wolves have been part of the national treasure since reintroduction in 1996. Both wolves and bison are natural in the area, but by the end of the last century, hunting and human activity led to a gradual extinction of the population. Over the past decade, their numbers have increased again, a concern for ecologists and ranchers.

Grizzly White-headed Eagle

Hidden Valley in the heart of Yellowstone between Yellowstone Lake and Canyon Village is the best option for comprehensive wildlife viewing. You’ll have a good chance of seeing wildlife if you come to the park at dawn or dusk, set up somewhere to the right of Grand Loop Rd, and set up an observation post. If you have the patience and a pair of binoculars, you might catch a grizzly in the viewfinder or maybe spy deer mating games or hear the long call of a lone moose before it lowers its majestic head into the river to drink water.

Lamar Valley in the north of the park is the epicenter of wolf sightings. This is where the first reintroduction of the population of these majestic beasts took place. Check with park rangers to see where packs are most often seen, or take a wolf (or other animal) sighting tour recommended by the Yellowstone Institute (www.yellowstoneassociation.org) . Hearing a wolf howl echoing throughout the valley at dusk is a magical experience that raises the hair on your head and reminds you that there are still places so wild in the United States.

Winter in Yellowstone National Park

Getting there and back.

The closest year-round airports are Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD) in Cody (84 km) ; Jackson Hall Airport (JAC) in Jackson (90 km) ; Gallatin Field Airport (BZN) in Bozeman, MT (105 km) ; and Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) in Idaho Falls, ID (172 km) . The West Yellowstone Airport (WYS) in West Yellowstone is usually open from June through September. It usually offers more affordable flights to Billings (274 km) , Salt Lake City (628 km) or Denver (906 km) , then you should rent a car.

Public transportation is not available to and from Yellowstone National Park.

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