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Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions

Underground, Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming is an exciting place. With more than 10,000 geysers, hot springs, and steaming volcanic vents, there's always something spewing, spouting, or bubbling over. Scientists recently turned up a new surprise at Yellowstone. Amazingly, an earthquake that shook Alaska on Nov. 3, 2002, affected underground activity in Yellowstone more than 3,100 kilometers away, say geologists from the University of Utah in Salt Lake City. The earthquake had an especially large effect on some of the geysers in the park. Geysers are spouts of water that shoot out of the ground at periodic intervals. The park uses instruments to monitor 22 geysers around the clock. Of those, eight changed their patterns for a few weeks after the quake, records show. Some geysers, such as Daisy Geyser, erupted more often for a few weeks after the quake. Others, such as Lone Pine Geyser, erupted less often. The researchers think underground vibrations traveling all the way from Alaska loosened mineral deposits that normally regulate geyser eruptions. The famous geyser Old Faithful wasn't affected at all. The quake influenced some of the park's hot springs, too. A few springs that are normally calm surged into a raging boil. A spring that's normally clear turned muddy. That's a long, long way over which an earthquake's effects can be felt!—E. Sohn

Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions
Distant Quake Changes Geyser Eruptions

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