New thermal activity near Old Faithful in Yellowstone

Posted at 3:03 PM, Sep 20, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-20 17:03:53-04

Yellowstone National Park says there is some new thermal activity near Old Faithful.

Ear Spring, a normally docile hot pool, had a water eruption that reached 20 to 30 feet high on Saturday, September 15. 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.

The last known similar-sized eruption of the spring was in 1957, although smaller eruptions occurred as recently as 2004.

Park officials provided the following information in a press release:

  • Over the last several days there has been new thermal activity in the Geyser Hill area of the Upper Geyser Basin. This includes new erupting vents splashing water on the boardwalks, surface fractures, and a rare eruption of Ear Spring on Saturday, September 15.
  • Geyser Hill lies across the Firehole River from Old Faithful and features dozens of hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles.
  • For the public’s safety some boardwalks and trails in the Geyser Hill area have been temporarily closed. Closure signs are posted. Find additional information at the Old Faithful Visitor Education Center during business hours.
  • The boardwalks around Old Faithful remain open.
  • There are no signs of impending volcanic activity in the park.

Park staff remind visitors that geysers and thermal features can be extremely dangerous.

Read more about recent observations at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory website.