Tags: steamboat | geyser | yellowstone | eruption

Steamboat Geyser Activity Watched for Hints of Yellowstone Eruption

Steamboat Geyser Activity Watched for Hints of Yellowstone Eruption

Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. (Kateryna Neganova/Dreamstime)

By    |   Friday, 08 June 2018 11:13 AM

Yellowstone's Steamboat geyser has been increasingly active in recent weeks, and scientists are now watching for hints of a possible eruption on its way.

The geyser, which is the largest in the world, has already erupted eight times in less than three months, with the most recent incident taking place Monday morning, Newsweek noted.

Jamie Farrell, a geologist at the University of Utah was on site gathering data when the eruption occurred, and he said it sounded like a jet engine going off, according to Newsweek.

He added that, of all currently active geysers, Steamboat is capable of producing the largest eruptions but what makes this phenomenon particularly exciting is that it appears to be following a schedule of sorts.

Geysers usually erupt at random, however Steamboat has been erupting every six to eight days, and while this could be pure coincidence, it could also signal a break from randomness.

Steamboat shocked and excited experts in 2013 when it erupted for the first time since 2005.

Since March this year, the geyser has erupted more times than it has in the past 15 years, but experts are not certain why there has been a sudden uptick in activity, ABC15 reported.

Farrell is hoping to answer these and other questions by studying data obtained by 28 seismometers he had deployed at the site about a month ago.

Steamboat's activity may seem uncharacteristic for the geyser, but Wendy Stovall, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist with the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, said it was not entirely abnormal.

In the mid-1960s and early 1980s the geyser went through periods of being very active, she noted, with four separate years seeing more than 20 eruptions at the site, according to Newsweek.

There have been fears that a volcanic eruption is brewing under the surface, however Michael Poland, the scientist in charge of the observatory, said there is nothing to indicate that this is imminent.

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Yellowstone's Steamboat geyser has been increasingly active in recent weeks, registering eight eruptions in less than three months.
steamboat, geyser, yellowstone, eruption
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2018-13-08
Friday, 08 June 2018 11:13 AM
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