A giant crack has opened up on the surface of the Yellowstone volcano, while the fissures were noticed just over a week ago they have as it seems truly been growing. Because of this crack, officials have shut down areas from tourists and are preparing for any potential landslides.
At the moment we do not know why they crack opened up, it seems to be most likely the result of seismic activity in the national park area. Grand Teton the area affected sits over the supervolcano itself but is about 100 kilometers from the Yellowstone National Park itself. This could be a sign of something quite deadly as it seems Yellowstone is really coming back to life.
The park statement reads as follows:
The National Park Service has implemented an emergency closure in the Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point areas on the west side of Jenny Lake for human safety. Some recently expanding cracks and fissures have been identified in a large rock buttress above the Hidden Falls viewing area.
Superintendent David Vela said, “Human safety is our number one priority, and with an abundance of caution we are temporarily closing this area until we can properly assess the situation.”
Those familiar with the site, specifically park rangers and personnel with Exum Mountain Guides, identified the cracks and fissures and determined the situation to be a possible safety hazard. The notable changes in the rock over the past 24 hours spurred park rangers to implement a temporary closure and initiate a risk assessment with subject-matter experts.
Exum Mountain Guides are relocating their practice school services to another location, and shuttle boat and scenic cruises with Jenny Lake Boating will continue to operate. Visitors are able to ride the boat to the west shore, hike Cascade Canyon or around the lake, and enjoy some areas of the west shore as well as the front country areas of the Jenny Lake Complex.
It is unknown how long the closure at Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point areas will be in place.
Grand Teton is connected to Yellowstone and it seems the state of Wyoming itself is sitting on top of a magma powder keg. According to Teton park’s spokeswoman Denise Germann, the crack itself is about 100 feet long and runs along a rock wall that is at least 100 feet tall. It was also noted that they do not know how long the closure will be in effect and at the moment things are being monitored.
While it doesn’t seem this is a clear sign that Yellowstone is going to erupt anytime soon is it a reminder that we are not as aware of the things going on within this volcano in the ways we wish we were. If this volcano explodes life as we know it will forever be changed.