A new sensor network installed in Yellowstone National Park this summer is giving scientists and the public real-time temperature readings from geysers and hot springs in the park’s Norris Geyser Basin.
Ten new, radio-equipped sensors were installed at different spots within the geyser basin, recording temperatures within runoff channels from Yellowstone’s geysers, hot pools, soils, and air. Data gathered by the new sensors are transmitted to the U. S. Geological Survey offices in Menlo Park, Calif., and will be accessible within 24 hours of measurement, allowing for rapid assessment of changing conditions.
The information will help scientists track temperature changes in local streams that might correlate with seismic tremors, and help Park officials keep an eye on thermal features for educational and safety purposes.
“This innovative use of new technology will allow the public, park staff, educators, and scientists to observe temperature variations in Norris Geyser Basin, one of Yellowstone’s more dynamic geyser basins,” said Yellowstone geologist Henry Heasler.
Yellowstone’s existing temperature sensors, which have been operational for about eight years, lack the ability to transmit, making it necessary to visit sensors to retrieve their data.
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