Not to worry — that’s a geyser, and I only want to counter some scary online headlines starting to show up about earthquakes at Yellowstone, as well as to mention the cool news about this particular geyser that tabloids (and most mainstream media) are missing.
Yellowstone Volcano Observatory does public updates every month. These and other information and data, including cams and webicorders, are on the YVO website.
They just put the June one up on YouTube. It’s fun to watch in these pandemic times, because the scientist-in-charge who does these went right out there and reported from the field, at Steamboat Geyser!
He let everyone share that park experience with him, while doing his job at the same time. The earthquake swarms are discussed in detail — these are not unusual, simply part of the baseline at Yellowstone Volcano.
Thank you, USGS and Dr. Poland! (By the way, here is a 31-minute, high-def video of Steamboat from 2018 that illustrates the features mentioned above. The towering geyser plume and steaming runoff are incredible!)
This is the interesting piece of news at Yellowstone: starting in 2018, it began having more frequent eruptions.
This has happened before at Steamboat, but of course volcanologists would like to get a better understanding of its causes and what it might tell them about the complex, everchanging processes happening underground.
This is a topic of interest at every active volcano, regardless of size.
In terms of Steamboat Geyser and Yellowstone, here is a recent article by volcanologist/petrologist Erik Klemetti, discussing a new paper on that.
Yes, Yellowstone is indeed a geologic wonderland as well as a beautiful national park.
Featured image: Steamboat Geyser eruption in June 2018, Jamie Farrell/USGS, public domain.