A Yellowstone road melts into an oatmeal-like surface that’s due in part to the super volcano. Visitors are urged to keep away from the area on the 3.3-mile Firehole Lake Drive at Yellowstone National Park. USA Today covers the story about how this summer’s scorching temperatures combined with underground heat from the volcano is creating a mushy mess on the road.
Park spokesman Dan Hottle says the road is closed until it’s safer to travel on. Firehole Lake Drive is near Grand Loop Road between Old Faithful and Madison Junction on the park’s Lower Geyser Basin. The road takes tourists past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser, and Firehole Lake. Yellowstone covers sections of Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho.
Heat that circulates through the geysers is the same heat melting the paved road.
“It basically turned the asphalt into soup. It turned the gravel road into oatmeal.”
The soupy road closed down Monday and will remain so until damaged parts can be removed and replaced. Park visitors can get updates on a recorded information line. Park officials ask hikers to keep clear of the area.
The Yellowstone road melts and bubbles because underground heat and shifting of the Earth are compounded.
Hottle says heat beneath the surface resulting in this kind of change is something they see “quite a bit.”
The National Park Service website for Yellowstone reveals this in their press release on Firehole Lake Drive as of July 10:
“Firehole Lake Drive in Yellowstone National Park has been temporarily closed due to a damaged road surface.
“Extreme heat from surrounding thermal areas has caused thick oil to bubble to the surface, damaging the blacktop and creating unsafe driving conditions on the popular, scenic road, located off the Grand Loop Road halfway between Old Faithful and Madison Junction in the park’s Lower Geyser Basin.
“The 3.3-mile loop drive takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.
“The road will remain closed for the next several days while maintenance crews make repairs. The date for reopening the road is uncertain at this time, and will be determined after crews assess the effectiveness of their efforts.
“Updated Yellowstone National Park road information is available 24 hours a day by calling 307-344-2117 or visit http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/roadclosures.htm.”
Another Inquisitr article was just published that looks more into the Yellowstone super volcano and how the National Guard is preparing for a disaster. This in addition to hearing a Yellowstone road melts will renew focus on the monstrous volcano that sits underneath the park.
[Photo Credit: National Park Service]