Yellowstone was set aside as the world’s first national park because of its geothermal wonders. The park contains more than 10,000 thermal features, including the world’s greatest concentration of geysers as well as hot springs, mudpots, and steam vents. Research on heat-resistant microbes in the park’s thermal areas has led to medical, forensic, and commercial uses. Oil, gas, and groundwater development near the park and drilling in “Known Geothermal Resources Areas” identified by the U.S. Geological Survey in Island Park, Idaho, and Corwin Springs, Montana, could potentially alter the natural functioning of geothermal systems in the park.
Updated 3/26/13 CR