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Evolution of Seismic Geyser, Yellowstone National Park

January 1, 1977

The most significant event that has affected the geyser basins of Yellowstone National Park since its discovery was the Hebgen Lake earthquake, which occurred at 11:37 PM on August 17, 1959, with a Richter magnitude of 7.1. The epicenter of this earthquake was just west of the park, about 48 km northwest of the Upper Geyser Basin. No earthquake of comparable intensity had jarred the geyser basins in historic times. More hydrothermal changes occurred in response to this disturbance than during the previous 90 years of the park's history. 

During the first few days after the earthquake, a reconnaissance was made of most of the thermal features in the Firehole River geyser basins (fig. 1). Early results showed that at least 289 springs had erupted as geysers, and, of these, 160 were springs with no previous record of eruption (Marler, 1964). Some previously obscure springs had erupted very powerfully, and large pieces of sinter were strewn about their craters.

Publication Year 1977
Title Evolution of Seismic Geyser, Yellowstone National Park
Authors George D. Marler, Donald E. White
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Earthquake Information Bulletin (USGS)
Index ID 70169244
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse