Yellowstone National Park is world renowned for its geothermal activity. Hot springs, mud pots, and geysers bubble and froth, sending plumes of steam up into the air on cool mornings. Scientists from the HD-YLAKE project are interested in measuring the flow of heat from the lake floor, and how it varies with time at different locations. Heat flow is measured by determining how fast the temperature increases with depth below the lake floor, and specialized tools are required when you are working in a lake that is more than 400 ft deep. The heat we are measuring comes directly from the magma chamber(s) that underly the Yellowstone caldera, and at our focus site we measured values greater than 100 W/m^2, which is more than one thousand times the average value for sites in North America.
Photos by Chris Linder and Rob Sohn, WHOI. Work was completed under an authorized Yellowstone Research Permit.