Yellowstone National Park

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Yellowstone was the first national park established in the United States, and one of the most visited. The enormous park stretches into 3 states and is known for its wildlife and many geothermal features (especially Old Faithful Geyser). A study that was completed in 2011 found that at least 1283 geysers have erupted in Yellowstone. Of these, an average of 465 are active in a given year. Yellowstone contains at least 10,000 geothermal features altogether. Half the geothermal features and two-thirds of the world's geysers are concentrated in Yellowstone. As you explore Yellowstone, molten rock is heating ground water deep beneath your feet. This water follows cracks and fissures upward, forming hot springs where it escapes. Since hot water is a better solvent than cool water, it dissolves large amounts of silica beneath Earth's surface and precipitates it when the water reaches the surface.

#1 - Old Faithful
Old Faithful, named for its consistent performance, erupts more frequently than any of the other big geysers, although it is not the largest or most regular geyser in the park. Its average interval between eruptions varies from 60-110 minutes. Each eruption lasts 1.5 to 5 minutes, expelling 3,700-8,400 gallons of boiling water, and reaches heights of 106-184 feet. Although its average interval has lengthened through the years (due to earthquakes and vandalism), Old Faithful is still as spectacular and predictable as it was a century ago.
Coordinants: 44.460465, -110.827782
#2 - Morning Glory Pool
A long time favorite destination for park visitors, Morning Glory Pool was named in the 1880s for its remarkable likeness to its namesake flower. However, this beautiful pool has fallen victim to vandalism. People have thrown literally tons of coins, trash, rocks, and logs into the pool. Much of the debris subsequently became embedded in the sides and vent of the spring, affecting water circulation and accelerating the loss of thermal energy. Through the years, Morning Glory's appearance has changed as its temperature dropped. Orange and yellow bacteria that formerly colored only the periphery of the spring now spread toward its center.
Coordinants: 44.474813, -110.843360
#3 - Grand Prismatic Spring
Grand Prismatic Spring is the park's largest hot spring. It measures approximately 370 feet in diameter and is over 121 feet deep. The vivid colors in the spring are the result of pigmented bacteria in the microbial mats that grow around the edges of the mineral-rich water. The bacteria produce colors ranging from green to red, depending on the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids and on the temperature of the water. In the summer, the mats tend to be orange and red, whereas in the winter the mats are usually dark green. The center of the pool is sterile due to extreme heat, but appears blue due to the water's depth (similar to any other deep body of water).
Coordinants: 44.524875, -110.837717
#4 - Fountain Paint Pot
Fountain Paint Pot is one of many mudpots found in the park. In early summer the mudpots are thin and watery from abundant rain and snow. By late summer they are quite thick. The mud is composed of clay minerals and fine particles of silica. In this area the rock is rhyolite, which is composed primarily of quartz and feldspar. Acids in the steam and water break down the feldspar into a clay mineral called kaolinite.
Coordinants: 44.550587, -110.806225
#5 - Norris Geyser Basin
This is the hottest geyser basin in the park. Norris Geyser Basin is so hot and dynamic because two faults intersect with the fracture zone from the creation of the Yellowstone Caldera 640,000 years ago. The Basin consists of three main areas: Porcelain Basin, Back Basin, and One Hundred Springs Plain. Unlike most of other geyser basins in the park, the waters from Norris are acidic rather than alkaline (pH ~3.5). The difference in pH allows for a different class of bacterial thermophiles to live at Norris, creating different color patterns in and around the Norris Basin waters. Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world is located in Norris Basin.
Coordinants: 44.728168, -110.702620
#6 - Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs are the main attraction of the Mammoth District. These features are quite different from thermal areas elsewhere in the park. Travertine formations grow much more rapidly than sinter formations due to the softer nature of limestone. As hot water rises through limestone, large quantities of rock are dissolved by the hot water, and a white chalky mineral is deposited on the surface. The location of springs and the rate of flow changes daily, but the overall volume of water discharged by all of the springs fluctuates little.
Coordinants: 44.967599, -110.706723
#7 - Boiling River
A parking area on the east side of the road is used by bathers in the "Boiling River." Bathers must walk upstream about a half mile from the parking area to the place where the footpath reaches the river. This spot is also marked by large clouds of steam, especially in cold weather. Here, a large hot spring, known as Boiling River, enters the Gardner River. Bathers are allowed in the river during daylight hours only. Boiling River is closed in the springtime due to hazardous high water and often does not reopen until mid-summer.
Coordinants: 44.992370, -110.691065
#8 - Lamar Valley
Lamar Valley is the best place in the park to see wildlife. Be on the lookout for grey wolves, elk, bison, osprey, bald eagles, antelope, moose, black bears and grizzlies. The best time to see wildlife is in the early morning or late evening. Lamar Valley has the largest concentration of grizzlies and wolves in the park, and with a little patience and a lot of luck, you may see one.
Coordinants: 44.867185, -110.179653
#9 - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Yes, there is a "The" before Yellowstone. The specifics of the geology of the canyon are not well understood, except that it is an erosional feature rather than the result of glaciation. The area was also covered by the glaciers that formed during several ice ages. Glacial deposits probably filled the canyon at one time, but have since been eroded away, leaving little or no evidence of their presence. The colors in the canyon are also a result of hydrothermal alteration. The rhyolite in the canyon contains a variety of different iron compounds. When the old geyser basin was active, the "cooking" of the rock caused chemical alterations in these iron compounds. Exposure to the elements caused the rocks to change colors. The rocks are oxidizing; in effect, the canyon is rusting. The colors indicate the presence or absence of water in the individual iron compounds. Most of the yellows in the canyon are the result of iron present in the rock rather than, as many people think, sulfur.
Coordinants: 44.719874, -110.478601
#10 - Yellowstone Caldera
The Yellowstone Caldera stretches over a large portion of the park. It was formed from the most recent eruptions of the Yellowstone supervalcano. The last full-scale eruption of the Yellowstone Supervolcano ejected approximately 240 cubic miles of rock, dust and volcanic ash into the sky. When it erupts again, the results will be disastrous for a large portion of the United States.
Coordinants: 44.514135, -110.423584

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