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Title: Hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Abstract

Hydrothermal vent systems within Yellowstone Lake are located within the Yellowstone caldera in the northeastern and West Thumb sections of the lake. The vent systems lie within areas of extremely high geothermal gradients (< 1,000 C/km) in the lake sediments and occur as clusters of individual vents that expel both hydrothermal fluids and gas. Regions surrounding the vents are colonized by unique, chemotropic biologic communities and suggest that hydrothermal input plays an important role in the nutrient dynamics of the lake's ecosystem. The main concentration of hydrothermal activity occurs in the northeast region of the main lake body in a number of locations including: (1) along the shoreline from the southern edge of Sedge Bay to the inlet of Pelican Creek; (2) the central portion of the partially submerged Mary Bay phreatic explosion crater, within deep (30--50 m) fissures; (3) along the top of a 3 km long, steep-sided ridge that extends from the southern border of Mary Bay, south-southeast into the main lake basin; and (4) east of Stevenson Island along the lower portion of the slope (50--107 m) into the lake basin, within an anastomosing series of north to northwest trending, narrow troughs or fissures. Hydrothermal vents weremore » also located within, and surrounding the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, with the main concentration occurring the offshore of the West Thumb and Potts Geyser Basin. Hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake occur along fractures that have penetrated the lake sediments or along the tops of ridges and near shore areas. Underneath the lake, rising hydrothermal fluids encounter a semi-permeable cap of lake sediments. Upwardly convecting hydrothermal fluid flow may be diverted by the impermeable lake sediments along the buried, pre-existing topography. These fluids may continue to rise along topography until fractures are encountered, or the lake sediment cover is thinned sufficiently to allow egress of the fluids.« less

Authors:
;  [1]
  1. (Northern Arizona Univ., Flagstaff, AZ (United States). Geology Dept.)
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
5203065
Report Number(s):
CONF-9305259--
Journal ID: ISSN 0016-7592; CODEN: GAAPBC
Resource Type:
Conference
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs; (United States); Journal Volume: 25:5; Conference: 89. annual meeting of the Cordilleran Section and the 46th annual meeting of the Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America (GSA), Reno, NV (United States), 19-21 May 1993
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
15 GEOTHERMAL ENERGY; FUMAROLES; SPATIAL DISTRIBUTION; HYDROTHERMAL SYSTEMS; GEOLOGY; YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK; AQUATIC ECOSYSTEMS; GEOTHERMAL FLUIDS; LAKES; WYOMING; DEVELOPED COUNTRIES; DISTRIBUTION; ECOSYSTEMS; ENERGY SYSTEMS; FLUIDS; GEOTHERMAL SYSTEMS; NORTH AMERICA; PUBLIC LANDS; SURFACE WATERS; USA 150200* -- Geology & Hydrology of Geothermal Systems

Citation Formats

Kaplinski, M.A., and Morgan, P. Hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. United States: N. p., 1993. Web.
Kaplinski, M.A., & Morgan, P. Hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. United States.
Kaplinski, M.A., and Morgan, P. 1993. "Hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_5203065,
title = {Hydrothermal vents of Yellowstone Lake, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming},
author = {Kaplinski, M.A. and Morgan, P.},
abstractNote = {Hydrothermal vent systems within Yellowstone Lake are located within the Yellowstone caldera in the northeastern and West Thumb sections of the lake. The vent systems lie within areas of extremely high geothermal gradients (< 1,000 C/km) in the lake sediments and occur as clusters of individual vents that expel both hydrothermal fluids and gas. Regions surrounding the vents are colonized by unique, chemotropic biologic communities and suggest that hydrothermal input plays an important role in the nutrient dynamics of the lake's ecosystem. The main concentration of hydrothermal activity occurs in the northeast region of the main lake body in a number of locations including: (1) along the shoreline from the southern edge of Sedge Bay to the inlet of Pelican Creek; (2) the central portion of the partially submerged Mary Bay phreatic explosion crater, within deep (30--50 m) fissures; (3) along the top of a 3 km long, steep-sided ridge that extends from the southern border of Mary Bay, south-southeast into the main lake basin; and (4) east of Stevenson Island along the lower portion of the slope (50--107 m) into the lake basin, within an anastomosing series of north to northwest trending, narrow troughs or fissures. Hydrothermal vents were also located within, and surrounding the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake, with the main concentration occurring the offshore of the West Thumb and Potts Geyser Basin. Hydrothermal vents in Yellowstone Lake occur along fractures that have penetrated the lake sediments or along the tops of ridges and near shore areas. Underneath the lake, rising hydrothermal fluids encounter a semi-permeable cap of lake sediments. Upwardly convecting hydrothermal fluid flow may be diverted by the impermeable lake sediments along the buried, pre-existing topography. These fluids may continue to rise along topography until fractures are encountered, or the lake sediment cover is thinned sufficiently to allow egress of the fluids.},
doi = {},
journal = {Geological Society of America, Abstracts with Programs; (United States)},
number = ,
volume = 25:5,
place = {United States},
year = 1993,
month = 4
}

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  • The Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park contains a large number of hydrothermal systems, which host microbial populations supported by primary productivity associated with a suite of chemolithotrophic metabolisms. We demonstrate that Metallosphaera yellowstonesis MK1, a facultative autotrophic archaeon isolated from a hyperthermal acidic hydrous ferric oxide (HFO) spring in Norris Geyser Basin, excretes formaldehyde during autotrophic growth. To determine the fate of formaldehyde in this low organic carbon environment, we incubated native microbial mat (containing M. yellowstonensis) from a HFO spring with 13C-formaldehyde. Isotopic analysis of incubation-derived CO2 and biomass showed that formaldehyde was both oxidized and assimilatedmore » by members of the community. Autotrophy, formaldehyde oxidation, and formaldehyde assimilation displayed different sensitivities to chemical inhibitors, suggesting that distinct sub-populations in the mat selectively perform these functions. Our results demonstrate that electrons originally resulting from iron oxidation can energetically fuel autotrophic carbon fixation and associated formaldehyde excretion, and that formaldehyde is both oxidized and assimilated by different organisms within the native microbial community. Thus, formaldehyde can effectively act as a carbon and electron shuttle connecting the autotrophic, iron oxidizing members with associated heterotrophic members in the HFO community.« less
  • Boron concentrations and isotope compositions have been measured in fourteen hot spring waters, two drill hole waters, an unaltered rhyolite flow, and hydrothermally altered rhyolite from the geothermal system in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The samples are representative of the major thermal areas within the park and span the range of fluid types. For the fluids, the B concentrations range from 0.043-2.69 mM/kg, and the {delta}{sup 11}B values range from {minus}9.3 to +4.4{per thousand}. There is no relationship between the dissolved B concentrations or isotope compositions with the concentration of any major element (other than Cl) or physical property. Eachmore » basin is characterized by a restricted range in B/Cl ratios and {delta}{sup 11}B values. Hot spring waters from the Norris Basin, Upper Geyser Basin, Calcite Springs, and Clearwater have {delta}{sup 11}B values close to that of unaltered rhyolite ({minus}5.2{per thousand}) and are interpreted to have derived their B from this source. Waters from Mammoth Hot Springs, Sheepeater, and Rainbow Springs have lower {delta}{sup 11}B values close to {minus}8{per thousand}. These lower values may reflect leaching of B from sedimentary rocks outside the Yellowstone caldera, but they are similar to the {delta}{sup 11}B value of hydrothermally altered rhyolite ({minus}9.7{per thousand}). Hence, the light boron isotope compositions recorded in these hot spring waters may reflect leaching of previously deposited hydrothermal minerals. Cooler springs along the Yellowstone River just outside the park boundary have lower B concentrations and higher {delta}{sup 11}B values that may reflect mixing with shallow meteoric water.« less
  • Y-2, a US Geological Survey research diamond-drill hole in Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, was drilled to a depth of 157.4 meters. The hole penetrated interbedded siliceous sinter and travertine to 10.2 m, glacial sediments of the Pinedale Glaciation interlayered with pumiceous tuff from 10.2 to 31.7 m, and rhyolitic lavas of the Elephant Back flow of the Central Plateau Member and the Mallard Lake Member of the Pleistocene Plateau Rhyolite from 31.7 to 157.4 m. Hydrothermal alteration is pervasive in most of the nearly continuous drill core. Rhyolitic glass has been extensively altered to clay and zeolite mineralsmore » (intermediate heulandite, clinoptilolite, mordenite, montmorillonite, mixed-layer illite-montmorillonite, and illite) in addition to quartz and adularia. Numerous veins, vugs, and fractures in the core contain these and other minerals: silica minerals (opal, ..beta..-cristobalite, ..cap alpha..-cristobalite, and chalcedony), zeolites (analcime, wairakite, dachiardite, laumontite, and yugawaralite), carbonates (calcite and siderite), clay (kaolinite and chlorite), oxides (hematite, goethite, manganite, cryptomelane, pyrolusite, and groutite), and sulfides (pyrhotite and pyrite) along with minor aegirine, fluorite, truscottite, and portlandite. Interbedded travertine and siliceous sinter in the upper part of the drill core indicate that two distinct types of thermal water are responsible for precipitation of the surficial deposits, and further that the water regime has alternated between the two thermal waters more than once since the end of the Pinedale Glaciation (approx. 10,000 years B.P.). Alternation of zones of calcium-rich and sodium- and potassium-rich hydrothermal minerals also suggests that the calcium-rich and sodium- and potassium-rich hydrothermal minerals also suggests that the water chemistry in this drill hole varies with depth.« less
  • Ninety-seven hot-spring and geyser samples (field acidified to pH < 1.4 with HCl or HNO/sub 3/) from Yellowstone National Park, Wyo., were analyzed for PO/sub 4/--P using reduced molybdenum-blue and the selective arsenate reducing agent, metabisulfite--thiosulfate. The PO/sub 4/--P concentrations ranged from below detection limit (approximately 1 to 73 micrograms per liter). Twenty-five springs had PO/sub 4/--P concentrations exceeding 6.8 ..mu..g/L; seven spring samples exceeded 20 ..mu..g/L. Elevated PO/sub 4/--P contents were invariably associated with mixed springs, as evidenced by diluted chloride concentrations and, commonly, subboiling temperatures, low pH's, and elevated calcium concentrations. Alkaline high-chloride (>400 milligrams per liter) hydrothermalmore » waters from Upper and Norris Geyser Basins had PO/sub 4/--P concentrations below 2 ..mu..g/L and represent the low end of the range of PO/sub 4/--P contents in natural waters.« less