Yellowstone is a volcanically active region in the northwestern United States, evidenced by its frequent eruptions of geysers and earthquakes. In April this year, geologists observed a new sign of activity when the so-called "thermal zone" appeared on infrared scanners near Lake West Turn. The thermal zone describes a part of Yellowstone National Park where ground temperatures drop dramatically and grass and trees burn. Geologists at Yellowstone Volcano Observatory (YVO) have analyzed the thermal zone to find out the extent of the damage.
A team of scientists visited the scorched area last week for ground and air observations.
Geologists map the extent of the thermal zone and measure the temperatures near the earth.
YVO is responsible for monitoring Yellowstone Volcano for signs of activity in the US Geological Survey (USGS).
YVO Chief Scientist Michael Poland with colleagues Greg Vaughn and Jefferson Hungerford addressed the new thermal zone in the Caldera Chronicles weekly.
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'The sides of fallen trees against the warm earth are burned and blackened, while the sides facing the sky are not burnt.
"In the cooler zone, some parts of the earth were at background temperature. "[1
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Aerial photos of Yellowstone dating back to the 90s show that this part of the park was a lush, green landscape 30 years ago.
But by the summer of 2001, satellites had removed the first signs of tree drying.
By 2006, a large area of dead trees was slowly expanding outwards.
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YVO geologists say: "These observations raise many questions about the formation and development of the thermal zone.
"Did a first gas slug be released over a wide area, followed by more localized heating on the ground, or
" What killed the trees – the gases or the heat, or both? And why is vegetation in some areas already recovering? ",
According to YVO, instead it is part of the life cycle of Yellowstone's dynamic hydrothermal systems.
The new system seems to be simply an extension of the existing hydrothermal feature of Lake West Turn.
The Yellowstone Observatory says:" We were lucky enough to witness the birth of a brand new thermal zone and to be able to visit it and collect data and observations early in our lives. "