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Underground Heat: Landsat Satellites Track Yellowstone's Geothermal Activity

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HysteryDiagnosis Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Dec-10-11 01:03 PM
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Underground Heat: Landsat Satellites Track Yellowstone's Geothermal Activity
http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/12/111207175738.htm

ScienceDaily (Dec. 7, 2011) Yellowstone National Park sits on top of a vast, ancient, and still active volcano. Heat pours off its underground magma chamber, and is the fuel for Yellowstone's famous features -- more than 10,000 hot springs, mud pots, terraces and geysers, including Old Faithful.



Yellowstone National Park is outlined by red in each of the Landsat scenes. On the left is a true color image with vegetation shown in green. On the right, is the thermal image with higher heat emitted shown in white. (Credit: NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center)

But expected development by energy companies right outside Yellowstone's borders have some fearing that Old Faithful could be cheated out of its energy.

"If that geothermal development outside of the park begins, we need to know whether that's going to cause Old Faithful to suddenly stop spewing," says Rick Lawrence of Montana State University.

Geothermal energy development is here to stay, says Yellowstone Park geologist Cheryl Jaworowski, but it has also raised some big questions for the National Park Service, which is tasked by Congress to monitor and protect Yellowstone's unique landscape.
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