Thermal Spring Erupts at Yellowstone, Not Linked to Supervolcano

Jack Phillips
By Jack Phillips
September 21, 2018US News

A Yellowstone National Park thermal spring near the famed Old Faithful geyser erupted for the fourth time in 60 years.

Ear Spring, which is shaped like a human ear, began shooing steam 20 to 30 feet up in the air, U.S. officials said. A height of that size has not been recorded since 1957.

The U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory said in a statement: “Ear Spring, normally a docile hot pool, had a water eruption that reached 20 to 30 feet high on Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018.”

“The eruption ejected not only rocks, but also material that had fallen or been thrown into the geyser in years past, like coins, old cans, and other human debris,” it added. “The last known similar-sized eruption of the spring was in 1957, although smaller eruptions occurred as recently as 2004. As a result of these changes, Yellowstone National Park has closed portions of the boardwalk.”

Officials had to close some boardwalks and trails in Yellowstone. New activity was recorded in the Geyser Hill area of the Upper Geyser Basin, East Idaho News reported.

The eruption of the Ear Spring comes as the same year that the Steamboat Geyser started experiencing high activity. The geyser has erupted 19 times in 2018, and the latest eruption was on Sept. 17 (the video at the top shows the eruption), Yellowstone officials said.

yellowstone super volcano ear spring
Tourists view the Morning Glory hot spring in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, on May 14, 2016. (Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)

Yellowstone Supervolcano?

Officials have stressed that there have been no signs of volcanic activity at the park. There have been a bevy of reports in recent years, namely from U.K. tabloids, that the Yellowstone “supervolcano” is about to erupt due to geyser activity or rockfall in the area that officials have said was not linked to any seismic activity. The Express tabloid on Sept. 21, in its headline, attempted to link the Yellowstone supervolcano to Ear Spring.

“Changes in Yellowstone’s hydrothermal features are common occurrences and do not reflect changes in activity of the Yellowstone volcano. Shifts in hydrothermal systems occur only in the upper few hundred feet of the Earth’s crust and are not directly related to movement of magma several kilometers deep. There are no signs of impending volcanic activity. There has been no significant increase in seismicity nor broad-scale variations in ground movement,” said the USGS.

Geologist Jeff Hungerford at Yellowstone National Park, said last year that the volcano won’t erupt in the near future.

“The volcano is not going to erupt anytime soon; however, we definitely have stories saying otherwise,” Hungerford told NBC Montana at the time. “They usually don’t spin them in the right direction.

“The Yellowstone area is the most monitored volcanic system in the world,” said seismologist Mike Stickney, with the Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology.

“We would likely see years to decades of anomalous activity at Yellowstone before any kind of a significant eruption,” Stickney added.

However, if the volcano were to erupt, some scientists said that it would cause catastrophic damage, or about 2,500 times more powerful than the Mount St. Helens eruption in Washington state in 1980. The Yellowstone volcano has erupted three times in the past 2.1 million years, the officials say.

From The Epoch Times

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