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  • Quaking Yellowstone
  • Thermal Features & Earthquakes
  • Earthquake Swarms
  • Hebgen Lake Quake
  • Quake Effects
  • The Hebgen Lake earthquake affected many of Yellowstone’s geysers and hot springs. Nearly 300 features erupted, 160 of which had had no previous record of geyser activity! On the other hand, several active geysers stopped erupting.

    Sapphire Pool is a blue colored hot spring

    Before the earthquake, Sapphire Pool was a beautiful, sapphire blue hot spring with minor eruptions of approximately 6 feet (1.8 m). The day after the tremor, the crater was filled with churning muddy water.

    Sapphire Pool erupts in a cloud of steam and water

    A month later, Sapphire began erupting violently—up to 125 feet (38 m) tall and nearly as wide. It was a geyser with regular intervals for several years. Gradually the interval time lengthened and the force of the eruptions subsided.

    In 1971 Sapphire stopped erupting—about the same time its water finally regained its clarity.

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    This work is supported by

    National Science Foundation    Yellowstone Park Foundation

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