Studies of Hydrothermal Systems Under Yellowstone National Park

Hydrothermal Systems pic

Hydrothermal Systems
Image: nps.gov

Manuel Marquez, MD has had a lengthy career in health care management and currently engages with Travel Corporation-affiliated Insight Vacations as tour director. Among the trips he has led are those taking in the Southwest’s national parks, as well as Yellowstone National Park.

As reported in the New York Times, Yellowstone National Park stands as a hotbed of current research activity, as Danish and American scientists seek to map the system that controls flow of hydrothermal features such as Old Faithful. Research teams have undertaken helicopter flights above Yellowstone, with the aircraft equipped with a large-scale electromagnetic system. Acting in much the same way as an x-ray on the human body, the system pinpoints areas where heated water flows under the land surface.

An area of focus is in understanding major hydrothermal explosions that periodically arise in the park. These involve subterranean pockets of boiling water experiencing an abrupt pressure shift that turns the water into steam and creates activity such as geysers. Researchers expect that this project will further refine their knowledge of how complex volcanic systems operate.

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