Steamboat Very Active in 2018
Written by Andrew-Rossi on September 7, 2018
Steamboat geyser has had a very active year in 2018.
The world’s tallest active geyser has erupted 16 times so far this year, the most activity the attraction has seen since 1982.
Yellowstone Park officials say that Steamboat’s eruptions can reach heights of 250 to 380 feet – that’s three times the average height of Old Faithful geyser. Only Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand has rocketed to greater heights—but not in more than one hundred years.
Steamboat’s minor and major eruptions are entirely unpredictable. But because of the interest in the recent eruptions of Steamboat Geyser, visitors are warned that parking at Norris Geyser Basin is extremely limited, and the parking lot may be closed for large portions of the day. A significant amount of eruption debris can accumulate around the geyser, and even cars in the parking area can be littered with debris.
The water phase of a major eruption lasts from 3 to more than 40 minutes, and once the water supply is exhausted, the geyser continues with a powerful steam phase that can last from several hours to several days. Its roar is so great that conversation near the geyser is difficult, and visitors in the Norris Campground, a mile to the north, have been awakened by the noise.
Some scientists believe that Steamboat’s eruptions are tied to thermal energy shifts caused by seismic activity. After 50 years of dormancy, Steamboat erupted two years after the 1959 Hebgen Lake Earthquake. Although, as of this day there is still no clear correlation between Steamboat’s eruptions and earthquake activity.
The most recent eruption was September 1st.
This matched pair of photos shows the August 22, 2018 eruption.