May 14, 2019– Mary Greeley News –YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK, Wyo. — A noisy geyser in Yellowstone National Park 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 (38 meters) high and a distance of 220 feet (67 meters).
Ledge is the second-largest geyser in Norris Geyser Basin, after Steamboat. What it lacks in size, however, Ledge makes up for in sound.
Yellowstone geologist Jeff Hungerford says Ledge Geyser is noisy because its water and steam must pass through a narrow opening in the ground.
“Because it erupts at an angle, however, the water will sometimes reach the ground 220 feet away.”
Yellowstone Park Geologist Jeff Hungerford
Yellowstone has 1,300 thermal features and 500 geysers, more than anywhere else on Earth. Some geysers such as Old Faithful are predictable but most, like Ledge Geyser, erupt erratically.
The park’s website said Ledge has “erupted at regular intervals of 14 hours” in the past. “The geyser became inactive between 1979 and late 1993. It erupted on a fairly regular cycle of every four to six days in 1994 and 1995.”
Although studies of the park’s geothermal plumbing system are constantly undertaken by scientists to better understand the park’s subterranean connections, there is still much that is unknown.
Water near the geyser has been measured at 202 degrees, and drilling in the region has found water near 400 degrees. So it’s no wonder Norris is one of the hottest and most acidic places in Yellowstone.
In 2018 Yellowstone National Park saw thermal activity that hasn’t been recorded in the area in decades.
The normally still and calm Ear Spring in the Upper Geyser Basin, not far from Old Faithful, sent out its largest burst of water in recorded history. The National Park Service has closed some areas of the boardwalk to accommodate additional new thermal features that have formed. And all this comes at the same time that Steamboat Geyser in the Park’s Norris Geyser Basin, has erupted more, annually, than in at least three decades.
credit: In part with https://billingsgazette.com/outdoors/yellowstone-s-ledge-geyser-roars-to-life-after-sitting-quiet/article_c0ebaddb-bcbb-5056-ad80-dfa79d6ec4c8.html