Geyser Bashing: Distant quake alters timing of eruptions | Science News

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Geyser Bashing: Distant quake alters timing of eruptions

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10:02am, June 2, 2004

A powerful earthquake that struck central Alaska on Nov. 3, 2002, did more than just shake up the locals: It changed the eruption schedule of some geysers in Wyoming's Yellowstone National Park, more than 3,100 kilometers away.

Yellowstone, one of the most active hydrothermal regions on Earth, contains more than 10,000 geysers, hot springs, and steaming volcanic vents. As seismic waves from the Alaskan quake rolled through the park, several small, normally calm hot springs suddenly surged into a heavy boil, with some eruptions reaching heights of 1 meter or more, says Robert B. Smith of the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. Another hot spring nearby, which normally discharges clear water

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