Jul 22, 2015

After being routed around new thermal feature, drive near Mammoth Hot Springs reopens

A popular drive near Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park has reopened to vehicle traffic, though officials have had to block off a part of the road that's turned into a small kind of hot spring.

Traffic is being routed around the new thermal feature. Photos courtesy Yellowstone National Park
Park officials temporarily closed the drive to traffic last week after discovering a new thermal feature had become active underneath one part of the pavement.

Maintenance crews have since installed temporary concrete Jersey Barriers and eliminated three parking spaces around the thermal feature to help protect it.

“The activity is changing and the thermal feature is evolving,” said park geologist Hank Heasler in a Tuesday news release. “The Jersey Barriers are a temporary measure to allow vehicle access to the Upper Terrace Drive while options are investigated.”

The thermal feature became visibly active in May and then water began flowing from a new spot at the edge of the pavement last week. About a gallon of thermal water a minute is now streaming from one of the holes that geologists drilled to keep tabs on the activity.

Staff will continue to monitor the thermal feature and reassess restrictions as needed, Yellowstone officials said.


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