Additional possibility

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]

Posted by Ballpark Frank ( on 14:01:08 03/01/15

In Reply to: Liz Kearney comes through again posted by Swanie Bucknell

Swanie Bucknell,

Having done thermal feature monitoring around the Mammoth area, while working as a seasonal interp ranger, and having measured the Boiling River flow on a number of occasions while not wearing the uniform, I can imagine another fairly simple possibility to explain temperature fluctuations.

First, we know that the thermal waters that exit the limestone formation at Boiling River pass through the Mammoth area. That was confirmed many years ago, when geologists put markers in the water at Mammoth, and observed it exiting the formation at Boiling River.

Next, we observe temperature and flow volume fluctuations all over the Mammoth area. We know that we never see water temps as high as the boiling point, or even 180F for that matter, but I have measured temps as high as the low 160Fs at the semi-dormant vent of Minerva. Of course, it was bubbling, as if it was boiling, but that was simply degassing going on.

I do remember seeing what appeared to be a trend toward lower temps in winter, which could easily support Hank's theory.

We know that the thermodynamics and calcium carbonate deposition, drying, and fracturing of the underlying travertine in and below Mammoth serve to open, close, and reroute thermal flow on a continuing basis.

At the end of the day, Hank is a geologist, with a dozen years tenure in Yellowstone, and I am merely an uncredentialed geological "hack", but I like to think Boiling River's fluctuations have their origins further upstream than what is apparent.


Follow Ups:

Post a Followup

Optional Link URL:
Link Title:
Optional Image URL:
Please enter the following value as your Submit Key:     
Submit Key:
Note: The Submit Key is Case Sensitive. Do not Copy and Paste!

[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ Yellowstone Up Close and Personal Chat Page Version 1.60 ] [ FAQ ]