Overwhelmed Beneath Me
The geysers of Yellowstone are the beautiful remnants of the violent history of today’s sleeping super volcano. Some 600.000 years ago the Yellowstone volcano erupted with global consequences. 70.000 years ago the eruption was still 800 times stronger compared to Mt. St. Helens in 1980. The collapsed volcanoes interior is 45 by 70 kilometers wide. Hence, today’s caldera is too large to be overlooked. An eruption these days would be a catastrophe. This volcanism hyperactivity originates from a hotspot intra-plate volcanism in a depth of only 6 km below Wyoming. Here, a giant magma chamber melts through the bedrock. Cracks in the bedrock are filled with groundwater that periodically heats up to several 100 degrees Celsius. The geysers are only the visible part of the geochemical boiling pot below the surface.
August 1998
Pentax K2, Pentax 28mm, f/22, 1/2sec, Kodak E6, ISO 100, polarization filter, tripod