Site hosted by Build your free website today!

Funkygeyserman's Thermal Wonderland

Old Faithful Geyser (1989 and 1998) - Photos by Matthew McLean

Come on in and check out some interesting stuff about geysers, hot springs, mud pots, and other thermal fun!! I will be updating this from time to time as I slowly get my act together!!!

Upper Geyser Basin

Lower Geyser Basin

Norris Geyser Basin

Gibbon Geyser Basin


Waiting for Norris Pool, August 1999 - Photo by Matthew McLean

Funkygeyserman Ponders: Why Yellowstone?

Yellowstone is an interesting phenomenon. While we know it is caused by a magma plume that comes within a few miles of the Earth's surface - why NW Wyoming? If it was simply due to the subduction of the Pacific oceanic plate, then it seems like there would be a line of calderas running the entire length of the Rockies. One thought that I had was that it has something to do with the subduction of the Juan de Fuca plate which is being subduced somewhere near Northern California and Oregon (this might also account for the recent activity in the Cascades ie. Mt. St. Helens) It should be noted that the Juan de Fuca plate will soon (geologically speaking again) be completely subduced. While this may have nothing to do with the plume under Yellowstone, from what I know about volcanic activity, it seems to be a valid theory. (Note: The plume that causes Yellowstone is similar to the plume that causes Hawaii - except the Hawaiian volcanoes are Basaltic(low viscosity) and therefore do not explode. The caldera of Yellowstone is of the andesitc/rhyolitic nature(high viscosity) and therefore volcanic pressure builds up to cause incredible explosions when active. But, the two plumes (Hawaii/Yellowstone) are similar in that they have both moved to form a chain of volcanoes. In fact, evidence shows that the plume that now sits under Yellowstone once possibly as far away as northern Nevada. Also, a major difference is that Hawaii is not in a Suduction Zone)

Public Service Announcement: Soaping Geysers

Soaping geysers? No fun!! If every geyser was turned on with a little soap, what would be the point of trying to figure out the science of geysers. It's kind of like visiting the zoo-thing they have at West Yellowstone instead of searching for animals yourself in the Lamar or Hayden Valleys. Also, as mentioned before - it is Illegal and dangerous to the health of the geyser or hot spring. (Note: Scalloped Spring on the boardwalk between Castle and Grand used to be a full pool before it was soaped. Now it sits a couple of feet below overflow and churns. While this might be entertaining, this was not the activity that nature called for!!!) Unfortunately, they soap geysers in Iceland daily for the benifit of tourists.