A star-shaped hot spring in the middle of bare ground on a snowy winter day.
Blue Star Spring in the winter.

Quick Facts

Blue Star Spring is a clear, deep, blue pool surrounded by a rim of solidified sinter that forms a shape that slightly resembles a star shape with linear 'arms' extending from the center of the pool. One of these 'arms' is a runoff channel from the pool. Minimal thermophiles are observed due to the high heat of the water. While Blue Star Spring has been known to erupt, it has not had a recorded eruption since 2002.

Blue Star Spring has an average temperate of 190.7°F (88.2°C), an average pH of 8.9, and an average conductivity of 1866 uS/cm.

Hot Springs

Hot springs are the most common hydrothermal features in Yellowstone. Their plumbing has no constrictions.

Superheated water cools as it reaches the surface, sinks, and is replaced by hotter water from below.

This circulation prevents water from reaching the temperature needed to set off an eruption.

Upper Geyser Basin

The majority of world’s active geysers are in the Upper Geyser Basin, including Old Faithful. Only four other places in the world have large concentrations of hydrothermal features: Russia (Kamchatka), Chile, New Zealand, and Iceland.

The heat for the hydrothermal features comes from Yellowstone’s volcano. Molten rock or magma may be as close as 3-8 miles (5-13 km) underground. Rain and snow supply water that seeps down several thousand feet (more than a kilometer) below the surface where it is heated.

Underground cracks form a natural plumbing system. Hot water rises through the plumbing to produce hot springs and geysers.

Use Caution in Hydrothermal Areas

  • Stay on boardwalks and designated trails.
  • Hydrothermal water can severely burn you.
  • Never run, push, or shove.
  • Supervise children at all times.
  • Do not scratch hydrothermal mats.

You are responsible for your safety.

Think safety, act safely. Yellowstone is a dangerous place.

Last updated: March 2, 2021