Another Yellowstone Geyser Has Just Rumbled To Life After Years Of Quiet

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This recent but undated photo provided by the National Park Service shows Ledge Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, within days of its most recent eruption that began on April 28, 2019. The noisy geyser in Yellowstone has roared back to life after three years of quiet. Ledge Geyser is one of the biggest in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin. The Billings Gazette reports the geyser shoots hot water at an angle up to 125 feet high and a distance of 220 feet. (National Park Service via AP)

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It continues to be an interesting time for Yellowstone National Park’s hydrology and geology after the huge Ledge Geyser erupted for the first time in three years.

The eruption was recorded on April 28, but no eruptions have been reported since.

Ledge is the second largest geyser in Yellowstone’s popular Norris Geyser Basin and can shoot water 125 feet in the air.

According to the National Park Service:

“Because it erupts at an angle, however, the water will sometimes reach the ground 220 feet away. It has at times in the past erupted at regular intervals of 14 hours. The geyser became inactive between 1979 and late 1993.”

Ledge Geyser is just a short walk from Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest,  which began erupting regularly in March of 2018 after its own three-and-a-half-year break. Steamboat Geyser has been known to send water and steam 300 feet in the air. Its most recent eruption was on Monday.

While Ledge might not reach the same heights,  Park geologist Jeff Hungerford told the Billings Gazette that it has its own calling card.

“It’s really a fun one because it’s really loud,” he said.

According to an eyewitness report filed on GeyserTimes:

“Observed in Steam phase. Main (Red) vent in heavy roaring steam that was heard from parking lot…. Having to yell to talk to each other. “

The last period of regular eruption for Ledge Geyser was in 2015, when it erupted up to twice a week.

While there’s lots of chatter online about geologic activity at Yellowstone thanks to fears over the supervolcano that underlies the area, the increased activity in the popular Norris Geyser basin  is normal and should not be misread as an indication that a catastrophic eruption is imminent.

“Yellowstone doesn’t work that way,” writes Michael Poland, Scientist-in-Charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, in a recent blog post for the U.S. Geological Survey

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