Researchers will begin to map out the Yellowstone Geyser system as they seek out to ensure both a better understanding of the water’s innerworkings and see to the park’s development and visitor safety.
The Yellowstone National Park is famous, amongst others, for its geysers such as the Old Faithfull that have attracted both visitors and scientists that are trying to explain their inner workings.
The Old Geyser, which might be the park’s best known such natural formation sends periodical massive eruptions which can rise as high as 184 feet and occur as often as every 90 minutes.
Although the eruptions happen periodically, they are for the most unpredictable and as such have been raising steam and questions amongst scientists for decades.
After last year saw an official explanation as to the Yellowstone geyser system, a project which is to take place this November seeks to map out and offer a better general image of the Old Faithful and its mysteries.
A team of scientists established just last year the reasons for the geysers’ explosions as they determined that the formations are united and determined by a geological, natural U-Bend.
They determined that the underground Yellowstone geyser system features loops and bends which trap the geothermic steam. As such trapped steam starts warming the water circulating in the system, it heats it up to an almost boiling temperature.
A geyser such as the Old Faithful will then blow up steam periodically as the system cools only to repeat its action after about 90 minutes.
As the Old Faithful’s explosions vary from 1.5 to 5 minutes long, the geyser has honored its name as it has erupted for over 100,000 times in its registered history and has 106 to 184 feet high eruptions.
Such an explosion or series of explosions are thought to have led to the formation of the crater spanning 1.6 miles across the surface of the Yellowstone Lake’s bottom, probably the largest of its kind.
In an effort to better understand it and the Yellowstone Geyser system, a team of United States and Denmark scientists will be mapping out the park’s innermost system.
The projects will use a helicopter carried electromagnetic system. The giant, hoop-shaped device will serve as a sort of X-ray machine as it will help determine where, why and how the underground hot waters circulate.
The electromagnetic system was initially established in Denmark in order to create a plan of the groundwater supplies.
This mapping out of the park should help researchers better understand the natural plumbing system according to the US Geological Survey lead scientist, Carol Finn.
According to the same Finn, researchers are not currently aware of the direction in which the water of the Yellowstone Geyser system travels, or if it moves at all.
A better understanding of the system could help park authorities open up new areas and also offer a better protection to its visitors.
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