Geysers are very rare. Yet, a few hundred exist in Yellowstone, more than anywhere else on Earth, in fact more than the rest of the world combined! You actually only need a few things to have geysers. Obviously you need water. But you also need heat. The heat source here is the Yellowstone volcano. Magma underground heats up the water as it travels through cracks and fissures and the hotter water rises to the surface.
But you need more than just hot water to have a geyser. Geysers need a special plumbing system. Since the Yellowstone volcano is in the middle of a continent, we have a different type of lava than most other volcanoes. We have rhyolite which is full of silica. The hot water can dissolve out the silica and then re-deposit it along the cracks and fissures on the ground creating a water-tight seal and allowing pressure to build.
Yellowstone also has you. As a national park, this area’s protected and that keeps the geysers from being developed for energy production. In other geyser fields around the world, they have not been protected and have been damaged by people and development. Many no longer erupt naturally.
Yellowstone National Park belongs to you. We’ve been protecting it for years. It’s up to all of us to ensure that the beauty and natural processes we admire today continue to be protected for generations to come.