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The Heart Lake Geyser Basin, a small isolated basin, is located along Witch Creek at the base of Mount Sheridan and the western shore of Heart Lake. The Langford Expedition in 1870 named the lake and geyser basin. A 5.5 mile trail through a dense lodgepole pine forest leads to a series of five thermal groups which make up the Basin.

Most of the thermal features are fumaroles and hot springs associated with fissures. Because this area is secluded many of the thermal features have not been studied and remain unnamed.

The main features are found in the Rustic Group along Heart Lake. Rustic Geyser and Columbia Pool are the two primary features, and like most Heart Lake thermal features, they are in almost pristine condition. Logs, believed to have been placed around the vent of Rustic Geyser by Indians or early explorers, are still detectable under a layer of sinter. Columbia Pool has wide, elaborate sinter edges or shelves.

The Upper Group has two important features, Spike and Deluge geysers. Spike has a two foot high cone and is beautifully beaded with sinter. Deluge is an irregularly shaped basin with clusters of rosette sinter around the edge and bluish-gray water.


RUSTIC GEYSER 0
Temperature 196°F Interval 10-90 minutes and dormancy. Duration 1 minute. Height 20-45 feet. The 1878 Hayden Expedition named Rustic Geyser after they discovered logs placed around the geyser by either Indians or early explorers. The geyser has long periods of dormancy. When it is active it is the major geyser of the Heart Lake Basin and then erupts at regular intervals. A pending eruption is marked by water slowly rising to the rim, sudden overflowing surges burst into an eruption, sending water jets 30 feet high. As suddenly as it begins, the eruption ends. Rustic also has unexplained periods of dormancy. High ground water in the spring and fall influences eruption intervals.


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COLUMBIA POOL 0
Temperature 188.7°F Dimensions 48x53 feet. Depth 25 feet. Columbia Pool is a beautiful azure blue pool named by the 1878 Hayden Expedition. Because of its remote location, Columbia Pool still retains much of its pristine condition. Large ledges, formed by white sinter deposits in the shape of rosettes, project over the pool. The size of the pool and the stability of the edge is deceiving. There are no boardwalks through this area and much of the Heart Lake Geyser Basin has very unstable ground. Caution is advised. Orange and yellow cyanobacteria surround the pool creating a beautiful display of color.


SULFUR VENTS 0
Temperature 110-180°F On the slopes above Heart Lake and the Rustic Group, along Witch Creek, are the four remaining groups which make up the Heart Lake Basin. In these groups are numerous sulfur vents. The small vents, ranging within a few inches in size, are fumaroles. They do not possess enough water in their craters to become hot springs, but below the surface, water boils. The vents emit steam and they sizzle and hiss. As the steam condenses in the cold air, steam-carried minerals deposit on the outer edges of the vents. Resulting bright yellow deposits of sulfur dot the barren hillsides.

 

 

The Heart Lake Geyser Basin, a small isolated basin, is located along Witch Creek at the base of Mount Sheridan and the western shore of Heart Lake. The Langford Expedition in 1870 named the lake and geyser basin. A 5.5 mile trail through a dense lodgepole pine forest leads to a series of five thermal groups which make up the Basin.

Most of the thermal features are fumaroles and hot springs associated with fissures. Because this area is secluded many of the thermal features have not been studied and remain unnamed.

The main features are found in the Rustic Group along Heart Lake. Rustic Geyser and Columbia Pool are the two primary features, and like most Heart Lake thermal features, they are in almost pristine condition. Logs, believed to have been placed around the vent of Rustic Geyser by Indians or early explorers, are still detectable under a layer of sinter. Columbia Pool has wide, elaborate sinter edges or shelves.

The Upper Group has two important features, Spike and Deluge geysers. Spike has a two foot high cone and is beautifully beaded with sinter. Deluge is an irregularly shaped basin with clusters of rosette sinter around the edge and bluish-gray water.


RUSTIC GEYSER 0
Temperature 196°F Interval 10-90 minutes and dormancy. Duration 1 minute. Height 20-45 feet. The 1878 Hayden Expedition named Rustic Geyser after they discovered logs placed around the geyser by either Indians or early explorers. The geyser has long periods of dormancy. When it is active it is the major geyser of the Heart Lake Basin and then erupts at regular intervals. A pending eruption is marked by water slowly rising to the rim, sudden overflowing surges burst into an eruption, sending water jets 30 feet high. As suddenly as it begins, the eruption ends. Rustic also has unexplained periods of dormancy. High ground water in the spring and fall influences eruption intervals.


COLUMBIA POOL 0
Temperature 188.7°F Dimensions 48x53 feet. Depth 25 feet. Columbia Pool is a beautiful azure blue pool named by the 1878 Hayden Expedition. Because of its remote location, Columbia Pool still retains much of its pristine condition. Large ledges, formed by white sinter deposits in the shape of rosettes, project over the pool. The size of the pool and the stability of the edge is deceiving. There are no boardwalks through this area and much of the Heart Lake Geyser Basin has very unstable ground. Caution is advised. Orange and yellow cyanobacteria surround the pool creating a beautiful display of color.


SULFUR VENTS 0
Temperature 110-180°F On the slopes above Heart Lake and the Rustic Group, along Witch Creek, are the four remaining groups which make up the Heart Lake Basin. In these groups are numerous sulfur vents. The small vents, ranging within a few inches in size, are fumaroles. They do not possess enough water in their craters to become hot springs, but below the surface, water boils. The vents emit steam and they sizzle and hiss. As the steam condenses in the cold air, steam-carried minerals deposit on the outer edges of the vents. Resulting bright yellow deposits of sulfur dot the barren hillsides.

 


For more information on Yellowstone National Park and
the surrounding communities visit these helpful sites:

YellowstoneNationalPark.com
- YellowstoneLodging.com
YellowstoneFlyFishing.com


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