Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser, the World's Tallest, Erupted a Record Number
|Steamboat Geyser erupt|
The Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park erupted 47 times this year, blowing past the record set in 2018 for the most eruptions recorded in a year.
Steamboat Geyser in Yellowstone National Park blew past its yearly eruption record in 2019.
The world's tallest active geyser erupted 47 times, according to the U.S. Geological Survey, indicating the erratic geyser has entered an unusually active period.
Over the years, Steamboat has gone decades without erupting, including a quiet period between 1911 and 1961. USGS scientists say the recent eruptions mimic activity spikes in the 1980s, and do not signal future volcanic activity at Yellowstone.
Volcanologists including Janine Krippner urged people not to worry about a connection between the increased eruptions and the infamous Yellowstone "supervolcano."
"Yellowstone has an incredible geyser system that is unrelated to magmatic activity – other than the magmatic system basically providing heat," Krippner tweeted at the time.
Of the 1,000 natural geysers around the world, half are in Yellowstone National Park. The only geyser that has shot water higher than Steamboat is New Zealand's Waimangu Geyser, which hasn't erupted in more than 100 years, according to the Park Service.
As for Yellowstone's supervolcano, there are no signs it's about to erupt. Scientists who study the 45-by-30-mile caldera — roughly the size of Rhode Island — said in 2018 the underground system of the volcano will probably give warnings for a decade before it blows, and that isn't likely to happen for thousands of years.