No less than three times in six weeks, the Steamboat geyser started spitting out boiling water! This is a very unusual event, which scientists simply cannot explain.
The Yellowstone volcano is known as a supervolcano. When its next large eruption occurs in 1,000 to 10,000 years time, it is sure to have a devastating impact. The Yellowstone Park is also home to Steamboat – the largest of the 400 geysers in the park – which is the tallest active geyser in the world.
Steamboat is capable of projecting boiling water up to 90 meters high, for a period of almost 40 minutes. According to information provided by Reuters press in an article on the 28th April, the geyser erupted on the 15th March, the 19th April and the 27th of April, making three eruptions in a six week period.
However, Steamboat has been dormant since 2014. These new eruptions are less impressive than those observed in 2013, when the 90 meter record height was reached. The fact is that it is not the first time that Steamboat became so active, but the shortening time between eruptions is what scientists do not understand.
As indicated by researchers from the U.S. Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, when a geyser re-activates, it can be a warning sign of a new volcanic eruption. However, the researchers indicated that in this case, there is nothing to suggest an imminent eruption.
The last eruption dates back 70,000 years, and according to Michael Poland, geophysicist at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, “there is nothing to indicate that any sort of volcanic eruption is imminent”, as he told the Washington Post.
Poland claims that the most likely explanation is that of the “randomness of geysers”. In fact, Steamboat erupted several times in the 1980s, after a half a century of inactivity!