Norris Geyser Basin offers great diversity in thermal features largely because it is at the junction of several disturbances in the earth's crust. A major fault (rock fracture) runs south from the Mammoth Hot Springs area toward Norris. This fault crosses another fault extending eastward from Hebgen Lake to Norris. Both of these breaks in the earth's surface intersect with fractures radiating from the great caldera that dominates central Yellowstone.
Water from rain and snowfall percolates downward through cracks and fissures and becomes heated, rising to the surface again as a hot spring, geyser, mud pot, or steam vent. At Norris, a rare combination of ingredients creates a landscape unique on this planet. We hope you have enjoyed visiting it online.
To learn more about how these geothermal features work, visit our Geothermal Features Page.
Technical information about this geyser basin is available through the following non-NPS source.
Yellowstone Geysers - courtesy of David Montieth & Contributors
Did You Know?
Prior to the establishment of the National Park Service, the U.S. Army protected Yellowstone between 1886 and 1918. Fort Yellowstone was established at Mammoth Hot Springs for that purpose.