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- Yellowstone National Park Samantha Scherm CMPT 109
- Yellowstone National Park
- Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park is America's first national park.
- Located in Wyoming, Montana and Idaho, it is home to a large variety of wildlife including grizzly bears, wolves, bison, and elk.
- Preserved within Yellowstone National Park a collection of the world's most extraordinary geysers and hot springs, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone .
- Hydrothermal Features
- With half of the earth's geothermal features, Yellowstone holds the planet's most diverse and intact collection of geysers, hot springs, mudpots, and fumaroles.
- Its more than 300 geysers make up two thirds of all those found on earth.
- In addition, the park contains 10,000 thermal features comprised of brilliantly colored hot springs, bubbling mudpots, and steaming fumaroles.
- Hot Springs
- Hot springs with names like Morning Glory, Grand Prismatic, Abyss, Emerald, and Sapphire, glisten like jewels in a host of colors across the park's harsh volcanic plain.
- They are the most common hydrothermal features in the park.
- Another hydrothermal feature, mudpots are an acidic feature with a limited water supply.
- Mudpots are created because some microorganisms use hydrogen sulfide, which rises from deep within the earth, as an energy source.
- They help convert the gas to sulfuric acid, which breaks down rock into clay.
- Various gases escape through the wet clay mud, causing it to bubble.
- Fumaroles, or steam vents, are the hottest hydrothermal features in the park.
- They have so little water that it all flashes into steam before reaching the surface.
- The result is a load hissing of steam and gases
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- At Mammoth Hot Springs, a rarer kind of spring is born when the hot water ascends through the ancient limestone deposits of the area instead of the silica-rich lava flows of the hot springs common elsewhere in the park.
- The results invoke a landscape that resembles a cave turned inside out, with its delicate features exposed for all to see.
- Sprinkled amid the hot springs are the rarest fountains of all, the geysers.
- What makes them rare and distinguishes them from other hot springs is that somewhere, usually near the surface in the plumbing system of a geyser, there are one or more constrictions that prevent water from circulating freely to the surface where heat would escape.
- The deepest circulating water can exceed 199F, the surface boiling point. As the water rises, steam forms. Tremendous amounts of steam force water out of the vent, and an eruption begins. Water is expelled faster than it can enter the geyser's plumbing system, and the heat and pressure gradually decrease. The eruption stops when the water reservoir is depleted or when the system cools
- The Grand Canyon
- While the thermal features are unique and interesting, perhaps the most picturesque area of the Yellowstone region is the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
- The canyon is approximately 20 miles long, 1000 ft deep, and 2500 ft wide.
- Its present formation dates back about 10,000 years, but the beginning of its formation actually started about 600,000 years ago.
- The unique and varied landscape of the park creates an ecosystem that is home to a variety of wildlife, including amphibians, reptiles, birds, and mammals.
- Yellowstone is home to:
- Four species of amphibians
- Six species of reptiles
- 148 species of birds
- 67 different kinds of mammals, the highest concentration in the lower 48 states.
- The Human History
- The human history of the Yellowstone region goes back more than 11,000 years.
- From about 11,000 years ago to the very recent past, many groups of Native Americans used the park as their homes, hunting grounds, and transportation routes.
- The first people of European descent found their way into the park about 200 years ago.
- In 1872 a country that had not yet seen its first centennial established Yellowstone as the first national park in the world.
- A new concept was born and with it a new way for people to preserve and protect the best of what they had for the benefit and enjoyment of future generations .
- Works Cited "Grand Canyon of Yellowstone National Park - AllYellowstonePark.com." Yellowstone National Park Vacations, Lodging, Old Faithful - AllYellowstonePark.com . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2011. . "The Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone Tours." Yellowstone Online Tours . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2011. . "Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)." U.S. National Park Service - Experience Your America . N.p., n.d. Web. 1 Oct. 2011. .
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