The focus of the September HD-YLAKE fieldwork is to understand the deep history of Yellowstone Lake’s hydrothermal system by studying the sediment, or mud, that has settled on the bottom of Yellowstone Lake. The deeper you dig into the sediment, the farther back into history you can go. With these cores, some of which are nearly 40 feet in length, the HD-YLAKE team can get a better understanding of how the lake’s hydrothermal system has responded to geological events, including earthquakes, volcanic activity, and changing climate — up to 15,000 years ago when glaciers were beginning to recede from Yellowstone.
The HD-YLAKE coring science team includes PIs Lisa Morgan (USGS), Pat Shanks (USGS), Sheri Fritz (U Nebraska), Cathy Whitlock (Montana State U), and Rob Sohn (WHOI), as well as graduate students Chris Schiller (Montana State U) and Sabrina Brown (U Nebraska). Retired high school teacher Michael Baker, and visiting scientist Dan Conley (Lund U, Sweden) volunteered their time and energy to the fieldwork effort.
Ryan O’Grady and Mark Shapley from the LacCore National Lacustrine Core Facility at the University of Minnesota specialize in taking deep cores from lakes all around the world. Read the captions below to see how they worked with the HD-YLAKE science team to assemble this one-of-a-kind coring vessel… in a snowstorm.
Photos by Chris Linder, WHOI. Work was completed under an authorized Yellowstone Research Permit.