Array

Array

Old Faithful geothermal system data to be reviewed

Geyser experts plan to spend three days in Yellowstone next week pooling their knowledge about the Old Faithful area’s geology to help guide future decisions about construction in the park’s most popular destination.

CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Geyser experts plan to spend three days in Yellowstone next week pooling their knowledge about the Old Faithful area’s geology to help guide future decisions about construction in the park’s most popular destination.

Old Faithful is by far the most famous geyser, but only one of at least 150 in the Upper Geyser Basin, the world’s most active geyser basin.

Geysers are sensitive to digging and other ground interference, human-caused or natural.

Yet scientists still don’t know as much as they’d like to about the Upper Geyser Basin’s underground fissures and chambers soaked by water superheated by the massive Yellowstone volcano.

Throw in the massive numbers of people who visit Yellowstone each year — more than 3 million, an estimated 90 per cent of who visit Old Faithful — and park managers face a challenge in meeting their needs while protecting the park’s thermal features, park geologist Hank Heasler said Wednesday.

“What is the sensitivity of the hydrothermal system at Old Faithful with respect to the development that currently exists, has existed in the past, and may exist in the future?” Heasler said.

“The understanding of the hydrothermal system is in some ways is very complete, but in other ways is in its infancy.”

No big projects are in the works near Old Faithful right now except a dormitory building for park employees.

The start of that project is still at least a year off, park spokesman Dan Hottle said.

The scientists plan to meet Monday through Wednesday at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.

They will present to one another and park managers and the highly technical sessions will be open to any curious tourists who want to listen in.

The half-dozen scientist participants will include Jake Lowenstern, scientist in charge at the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, and Duncan Foley, chairman of the Geology Department at Pacific Lutheran University in Tacoma, Wash.

The scientists plan to release a summary report in September that will serve as a reference guide for future infrastructure projects.

The report will focus on the top 10 feet or so of the Upper Geyser Basin’s geology.

“That’s where your water lines and sewer lines go. That’s where your building foundations go,” Heasler said.

Heasler said he’ll be interested in seeing how much the scientists know about how water flows beneath the geyser basin.

Unlike other scientific review panels convened in Yellowstone, such as panels that tackled the tough problem of Yellowstone Lake’s invasive lake trout population, the Upper Geyser Basin panel won’t make recommendations.

“It’s time to take another look. It’s been awhile,” Hottle said.

In fact, Heasler said he couldn’t recall the last time a scientific panel had been convened just to look at the basin’s geology.

“Are there certain areas that are more sensitive than others, or should there be additional studies?” Heasler said. “This is a wide-open questioning of what is known about the system. And an important component of that is what is not known.”

Just Posted

Supporters dance during a rally against measures taken by government and health authorities to curb the spread of COVID-19 at the Whistle Stop Cafe in Mirror, Alta., on Saturday, May 8, 2021. RCMP say they have ticketed four people after the rally that was attended by hundreds.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta leadership responsible for protests against public health orders: expert

EDMONTON — A criminologist says a recent court order that allows Alberta… Continue reading

Alberta Premier Jason Kenney arrives at the 2021 budget in Edmonton, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021.
Kenney distances himself from caucus vote to turf dissidents with ‘personal agendas’

EDMONTON — Alberta Premier Jason Kenney says he kept his distance in… Continue reading

Rental units in Red Deer continued to be some of the most affordable in Canada, according to the National Rent Report from Rental.ca. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chris Young)
Red Deer rent up year over year, still among lowest in Canada

Rent in Red Deer is up nearly six per cent but is… Continue reading

Rebels logo.
Red Deer Rebels trade last year’s first overall selection in U.S. Prospects Draft

The Red Deer Rebels have traded their first overall selection from the… Continue reading

Bo’s Bar and Grill owner Brennen Wowk said the hospitality industry is looking for more clarity from the province around what conditions must be met to allow for restaurants reopening. (Advocate file photo)
Frustated restaurant owners want to know government’s reopening plan

Restaurant owners feel they are in lockdown limbo

People participate in an Eid al-Fitr ceremony in Overpeck County Park in Ridgefield Park, N.J., Thursday, May 13, 2021. Millions of Muslims across the world are marking a muted and gloomy holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the fasting month of Ramadan - a usually joyous three-day celebration that has been significantly toned down as coronavirus cases soar. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
Ramadan drives donations, memberships to giving circles

Sahina Islam can still recall the day when she heard an elderly… Continue reading

.
Pandemic record for Manitoba: Province reports 560 new COVID-19 cases

WINNIPEG — The Manitoba government reported a record 560 new COVID-19 cases… Continue reading

Alberta’s provincial flag flies on a flag pole in Ottawa, Monday, July 6, 2020. A judge is expected to rule this morning on a challenge of the United Conservative government’s inquiry into whether foreign groups have conspired against Alberta’s oil industry. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Judge dismisses attempt to quash ‘anti-Alberta’ activities inquiry

CALGARY — A judge has dismissed an attempt to quash the United… Continue reading

Unifor National President Jerry Dias is seen at a meeting in Toronto, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2020. The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour, and possibly put future increases into the hands of an independent commission. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio
Business, labour groups clash at Senate committee over $15 federal minimum wage

OTTAWA — The head of the country’s largest private-sector union says Parliament… Continue reading

In this file photo dated Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, doses of AstraZeneca vaccines for COVID-19 sit in vials at the Fiocruz Foundation after being bottled in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Some health experts are questioning Canada's decision to accept thousands of doses of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine this week just for them to sit in freezers in an Ontario warehouse because provinces have shunned the idea of using any more of them for first doses. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Bruna Prado, FILE
Experts call on Canada to use COVAX doses of AstraZeneca or give them back

OTTAWA — Some health experts are questioning Canada’s decision to accept thousands… Continue reading

In this image from video, Rep. Brian Higgins, D-N.Y., speaks on the floor of the House of Representatives at the U.S. Capitol in Washington, Thursday, April 23, 2020. A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out of getting the border with Canada reopened is once again pressing his case with President Joe Biden. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP-House Television via AP
New CDC guidance makes it clear: time to reopen Canada-U.S. border, congressman says

WASHINGTON — A U.S. lawmaker who has made a political crusade out… Continue reading

A used protective face mask is seen discarded on the ground in Vancouver, B.C. in May 2020. (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Medical exception letters required for Albertans who don’t wear masks in public areas

EDMONTON — Alberta has moved to close loopholes people might use as… Continue reading

Most Read