With another event this morning, a Yellowstone Steamboat Geyser eruption is now on the bucket list of many Park visitors. If you can’t make it on your own, here’s a video for you.
A Yellowstone Steamboat Geyser eruption used to be one of the rarest events in Yellowstone National Park thermal fields, with the famous geyser going for years between eruptions. But Steamboat is active once again, and geyser observers have been keeping tabs. There was an eruption this morning at 9:04 MST, and many observers, including some from the Geyser Observation and Study Association, were on hand, and here’s a video:
Here the seismogram:
Looks like @YellowstoneNPS #Steamboat #Geyser is holding true to its ~ 6-8 day repetition cycle – a geyser eruption occurred at about 9:05 a.m. MDT today. How long do you think this will keep up? https://t.co/653XydhbWk pic.twitter.com/jpoequBArb
— USGS Volcanoes🌋 (@USGSVolcanoes) June 4, 2018
There is some predictability to the activity, as noted here: it seems to be erupting every 6-8 days, and today’s event stays on that schedule. So, if you’re headed to Yellowstone National Park in the next 6-8 days, do head to the Norris Geyser Basin and check it out.
Before 2018, Steamboat Geyser’s last major eruption occurred on September 3, 2014. Steamboat Geyser roared back to life on March 15, 2018, with subsequent eruptions on April 19, April 27, May 4, and May 13, and May 19.
Researchers at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory believe that Steamboat may be entering a new phase of activity, with smaller, more frequent eruptions. They noted, for instance, that the past few eruptions have been weaker than the September 2014 eruption.
Cause for Concern?
Even though this activity is unusual, scientists say that this shift in Steamboat Geyser’s activity does not mean the Yellowstone caldera (the pool of magma that feeds Yellowstone’s hot springs and geysers) is due to blow.
Steamboat has had an erratic eruption history. Notably, it went fifty years without an eruption, between 1911 and 1961. But, it has also had more active phases like the current one.
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