Why are there geysers and hot springs in Yellowstone?
The Geysers of Yellowstone. Yellowstone National Park's thermal features can be seen as the product of millions of years of geology at work. Geysers are hot springs that erupt periodically. The eruptions is the result of super-heated water below-ground becoming trapped in channels leading to the surface.
With magma bubbling so close to the surface, geysers and hot springs can reach burning temperatures. The Scotts happened to choose the hottest thermal region in the park, where temperatures can reach 237 degrees Celsius (roughly 456 degrees Fahrenheit).
- It's all thanks to the heat-loving bacteria that call the spring home. Hot springs form when heated water emerges through cracks in the Earth's surface. And it's the different types of bacteria that give the spring its prismatic colors.
- Millions of years ago, a source of immense heat known as a hotspot formed in the Earth's mantle below what today is Yellowstone. Roughly 600,000 years ago, the hotspot pushed a large plume of magma toward the Earth's surface. This caused the crust to jut upward.
- When created in non-volcanic areas, water becomes heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks within the earth's crust. Then the water will rise back up to create hot springs. The volcanic activity responsible for creating the hot springs are caused by the moving hot spot, which is currently under Yellowstone.
During an eruption, the water temperature at the vent has been measured at 204°F (95.6°C). The steam temperature has been measured above 350°F!
- The Yellowstone Caldera is a volcanic caldera and supervolcano in Yellowstone National Park in the Western United States, sometimes referred to as the Yellowstone Supervolcano. The caldera and most of the park are located in the northwest corner of Wyoming.
- The best times to visit Yellowstone National Park are from April to May and between September and November. These seasons offer mild weather and fewer crowds. July and August are the most popular months to visit: The kids are out of school, and the weather is warm enough to sleep outside.
- What would happen if the Yellowstone supervolcano actually erupted? If the supervolcano underneath Yellowstone National Park ever had another massive eruption, it could spew ash for thousands of miles across the United States, damaging buildings, smothering crops, and shutting down power plants.
The temperature of the hot springs is up to 100°C and some are constantly boiling: if the temperature at depth rises above boiling, the hot springs erupt which means that they are geysers.
- The rate of temperature increase with depth is known as the geothermal gradient. If water percolates deeply enough into the crust, it will be heated as it comes into contact with hot rocks. The water from hot springs in non-volcanic areas is heated in this manner.
- To heat the water, the current passes through electrical-resistance heating elements—usually two, one at the middle of the tank and one at the bottom. Power is delivered to each element through a thermostat—a switch that senses the water temperature.
- An electric heater is an electrical device that converts electric current to energy. The heating element inside every electric heater is an electrical converter, and works on the principle of Joule heating: an electric current passing through a resistor will convert that electrical energy into heat energy.
Updated: 3rd October 2019