Norris Basin is one of the hottest and most acidic of YS hydrothermal areas. This is sitting on one of the world’s largest active volcanoes. Water fluctuation and seismic activity often changes features. The intricate plumbing system and unreliability of stable ground i.e. earthquaky seismology pipes get broken and others are formed.
It is completely unpredictable, clear springs may become muddy and boil violently and some may temporarily become geysers. Geysers cease erupting or have altered cycles. New features appear. This is called “thermal disturbance” and can last a few days or more than a week, things eventually return to “normal.”
The porcelain spring is CRAZY and CRAZILY BEAUTIFUL. Named for the almost milky blue-white that looks like porcelain. It is an ever-changing area that may be full of water from new springs or geysers or it could be dry and quiet. While we were there it looked like the entire surface was bubbling, steaming and moving in some form or fashion.
Pork chop Geyser is rather famous in this basin. It was a small hot spring that erupted occasionally until 1985 when it began spouting continuously. Then with visitors watching it exploded in 1989 throwing rocks and debris more than 200 ft, luckily no one was hurt in this explosion. It has since become a gently roiling hot spring.
Vixen Geyser is usually a slightly steaming hole in the ground, but while we were there it erupted several times and ended up in almost constant eruption. It was a narrow and tall eruption.
The different colors of Thermophiles (heat-loving microorganisms) in this area are quite dramatic. The color changes are due to different temperatures in the springs. Here you see yellow, red and green each flowing from a different spring.
Steamboat geyser is the world’s tallest active geyser. It throws water more than 300 ft high showering viewers and drenching the walkways. It has not had a major eruption since 2014, but seems to constantly steam, bubble and gurgle.
Peace and Love