skip to main content

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

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