Essential Travel Experience #25 — Get Warm and Toasty with Geothermal Features

   Some of the world’s most fascinating locations feature geothermal activity, heat which upwells from deep in the earth. These places are great examples of Plate Tectonics, the theory that the earth’s surface is composed of large areas known as plates which float on this liquid mantle, much like objects on a conveyor belt. These plate movements are driven by convection currents within the mantle. In certain locations there is an upwelling of this heated magma which rises to the surface and appears in various forms.

     There are several fantastic places to observe these geothermal activities and they make great destinations, especially for tourists who love science and nature.

     For this reason, Yellowstone National Park is my favorite place in the world. Here, dramatic geothermal features can be found throughout the park, in many strange and unusual forms.

    The most famous of these features are the geysers, in particular, Old Faithful, which reliably spurts thousands of gallons of hot water at fairly regular and predictable intervals.

Old Faithful Geyser

  There are other geysers in the park, as well. Another famous example of geothermal activity is the hot spring, which in Yellowstone gives rise to the terraces like this  

Mammoth Hot Springs

 and this

Terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs

   A very colorful and intriguing type of hot water attraction is the thermal pool, such as Morning Glory Pool.

Morning Glory Pool

   Yellowstone is not the only place to see such interesting examples of geothermal power. In Lassen Volcanic National Park, in northern California, an area known at Bumpass Hell reminds visitors of Yellowstone.

Bumpass Hell, Lassen NP

 Here, you can also find hot water pools and steam rising from the ground.

Bumpass Hell Thermal Area

 In Iceland there are also geysers and thermal features since the country sits above the edge of two diverging plates. Here is Strokur

Strokur Geyser


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