A Yellowstone Geyser Has Experienced Unusual Eruptions Lately, and Scientists Can’t Explain Why
Alex Horton, The Washington Post
The Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park can spout 300 feet of scalding water into the air, a feature of the world’s tallest active geyser. That is known.
What isn’t known is why is the geyser has erupted three times in the past six weeks, including one event on Friday in an unusual pattern that hasn’t occurred since 2003.
The spike in activity has puzzled scientists who closely monitor Yellowstone – the crown jewel of the national park system that rests on top of a violent supervolcano measuring 44 miles across.
Though scientists say the reasons for the spate of eruptions is unclear, officials with Yellowstone Volcano Observatory cautioned that the geyser activity is not a sign of impending doom.
“There is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent,” observatory science in charge Michael Poland told The Washington Post. The last eruption was 70,000 years ago, and there are no signs of another one, including the recent Steamboat activity, he said Sunday.