Exhibits > Why
Geysers Erupt > Earthquakes
> 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.
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
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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