9 March 2023
Yellowstone National Park in the US, which celebrated its 151st anniversary recently, is considered the first national park in the world. The park, spanning over 9,000 sq km across Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho, was established by the US Congress in 1872 with the Yellowstone National Park Protection Act.
About Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park is famed for its scenic beauty and diverse wildlife, including grizzly bears, wolves, and endangered bison and elk. The Old Faithful geyser is one of its most notable geothermal features. However, this national park was established after the displacement of Native American communities who had been hunting and gathering in the area for over 11,000 years before the government took over.
Physical Features of Yellowstone National Park
The Yellow Stone National Park region was created due to tectonic activities like earthquakes and volcanoes. It also has erosional actions like ice and water. The park has fossil forests, obsidian mountains, lava flows, and odd unique erosion forms. Obsidian are igneous rocks that are formed due to the rapid cooling of the lava from volcanoes.
Hydrothermal features in the Yellowstone National park
The water in the park is superheated and mineral-rich. There are steam vents, colourful pools, fumaroles, mud caldrons, geysers, paint pots, and more. Fumaroles are like geysers but are formed in areas where the water table is near the earth’s surface. The paint pot is a region in the park where there are different colours of mud like red, brown, and yellow. The different colours are due to the oxidation states of the iron in the soil.
Apart from these features, there are morning geysers. They are fountain geysers. Fountain geysers are dormant geysers. The vents close to the fountain are larger. They are inactive most of the time. When they erupt, they are active for around 30 minutes.