National park of Yellowstone
See also: Yellowstone (homonymy)
The National park of Yellowstone ( National Yellowstone Park ) is located at the the United States, in the North-West of the Wyoming. A small portion of the park is on the States close to the Idaho and the Montana. Created in 1872, Yellowstone is oldest National park in the world. It extends on 8983 km ² (898300 [[hectares]], i.e. a Superficie more important than that of the area Alsace). It constitutes the second larger park of the United States, apart from the Alaska. Yellowstone is famous for its geothermic phenomena ; it contains two thirds of the Geyser S of planet, and many hot sources. It shelters many large Mammifère S: black Bear S, Grizzly S, Coyote S, wolves, dashes (mooses), stag S, squirrel S as well as wild herds of Bison S and Wapiti S. the park constitutes the heart of a vast preserved natural habitat, one of the last intact ecosystem S of the moderate zones. It is registered on the list of the reserves of biosphere since 1976. It receives each year the visit of approximately three million people what does of it one of the American parks the most attended.
FormationLeant with the Rocky Mountains, born from the slip of the Tectonic plate of the Peaceful under that of the American continent, the site of Yellowstone was the theater of gigantic explosions, intersected with more discrete telluric phenomena. The last goes back to approximately 642 000 years. Accumulated during millenia under the Earth's crust, the lava burst its envelope then, projecting thousand kilometers cubic of rocks. The roof recovering the magmatic room thus collapsed, forming a box of collapse called Caldeira which composes the central part of the park today. Since, minor but multiple eruptions partly filled will caldeira it. Nevertheless, it is still possible to recognize the escarpés edges of them. Volcanicity remains very active in Yellowstone where one counts approximately 300 Geyser S, testifying to the force of the underground activities. Currently, Yellowstone revives a phase similar at the first stage. The lava continues to accumulate, again making inflate the Earth's crust. At the bottom of the current box of collapse, altitude increased by 70 cm during these 50 last years.
Situation and general characteristicsThe national park of Yellowstone is in the North-West of the the United States. It is with horse on three States (Idaho, Montana and Wyoming), even if most of the park is in the North-West of Wyoming. The center of the park is at
The park of Yellowstone extends on 8983 km ² (: 898317 hectares), of which 96% are in the State of Wyoming, 3% on Montana and 1% in Idaho; the park measures 102 km of north in the south, and 87 km of are in west) and snow-covered. During this season, only the northern entry close to Gardiner is opened with the vehicles. The lowest temperature ever recorded is of -54 °C in 1933.
The Peaceful Watershed /Atlantique crosses Yellowstone by forming a diagonal in the south-western part of the park. Approximately a third of the park is in the west of this line. The rivers of the Yellowstone and the Snake, which take both their source in the park, move away in opposite directions: the first joined the Gulf of Mexico while being thrown in the Missouri, a Affluent of the the Mississippi while Snake joined the river Columbia which finishes in the Pacific Ocean. The rivers of the park are mainly fed by the cast iron of the snow-covered cover in spring.
The park counts 290 water falls measuring more than 4,5 meters height and running all the year, this lake is more the big lake of mountain of North America, with 354 km ². Between eight or sixteen kilometers under the Caldeira of Yellowstone, which represents about the size of the Massif of Mont Blanc. A hot spot is, as its name indicates it, a place of the Earth's crust which is more “hot” that the remainder of the sphere. Indeed, in the depths of the coat (the base of the higher coat concerning Yellowstone) a feather of magma hotter than the normal goes up and causes the cast iron of the coat located in lower part of the earth's crust before boring it as a blowtorch with an iron plate would do it. This push forms a kind of dome under the earth's crust. Once arrived just in lower part of surface, the partly cooled gases and the magma thus form a magmatic room generating of the volcanos apart from all zones of Subduction. Yellowstone is distinguished from the other volcanos by its original form. Indeed, this volcano appears in the form of one will caldeira wide whereas the traditional volcanos are rather conical: it is what is called one will caldeira active. Yellowstone is moreover only the explosive volcano placed on a hot spot but it is not only will caldeira active.
Volcanic historyThe known most violent eruption proceeded 2,1 million years ago. It rejected 2450 km ³ volcanic matters while creating the geological formation of Huckleberry Ridge Tuff. A less important eruption rejecting 280 km ³ matters occurred there are 1,2 million years. It thus gave rise to the Island Park Caldera and to the geological formation of Mesa Falls Tuff.
There is approximately: 640000 years.
A minor eruption took place there is: 160000 years. It formed one will caldeira more modest which currently contains the western part of the Lac Yellowstone. Two other eruptions still took place then. The last of them, which has occurred there is: 70000 years, stopped most of will caldeira with its lava flows.
A series of eruptions of weak explosiveness took place between: 630000 and: 70000 years and filled will caldeira it of Yellowstone of lava made up of Rhyolite and Basalte. This lava is visible with the level of the hills of Obsidian Cliffs (rhyolithe) and Sheepeaters Cliff (basalt). The layer S left are visible in the Large Canyon of Yellowstone at the place where the Yellowstone river erodes the old layers of lava. To finish, a hydrothermal eruption dug a crater 5 km in diameter in Mary Bay, there is approximately: 13000 years.
GeothermicsThe geothermic activity contributes to famous of the park. One counts currently more than 200 Geyser S and: 10000 hot sources; the eruptions are more irregular today. The name of “Old Faithfull” was given to the geyser by the general Henry Washburn. Its water spouts out with a height close to 40 meters.
The park also shelters the largest geyser in the world whose name Steamboat Geyser can result in “geyser Steamer”. It is in these geysers that the scientists discovered a Eubactérie essential to the genetic Engineering in particular for PCR.
Yellowstone counts many permanent hot sources in addition. During their underground way, the warm water takes care of Calcaire in solvent the rocks. When they reach surface, limestone settles under the effect of the cooling of water what has as a consequence the formation of natural sculptures of various forms, as for example of the basins in cascade. One of these formations limestones names Mammoth Hot Springs. This warm water facilitates the survival of the animals at the time of wintry time and belongs to a ecosystem very particular and very rare on planet.
EarthquakesThe seismic activity is followed closely by the authorities of the park of Yellowstone. The scientists permanently measure the movements of the plate, which inflates approximately 1.5 cm per annum. A fast increase this rate of travel could announce a major danger because it would be synonymous with instability of the magma and creation of gas.
In the past, the park knew six earthquakes of a magnitude higher than 6 on the scale of Richter of which that of 1959 a magnitude of 7,5.
Currently, one records each year approximately: 2000 earth tremors on average.
In 2003, certain accesses of Norris Geyser Basin were prohibited following the appearance of news Fumerolle S and with the recrudescence of the activity of certain geysers. The temperature of certain geysers was so high that the process of vapor ejection was disturbed. This event coincided with the publication of a report/ratio of the American geological service which had discovered the rising of a dome close to the lake Yellowstone. The report/ratio indicated that there was no immediate risk concerning the appearance of a new eruption.
The March 10th 2004, a biologist discovered five died bisons probably poisoned by pollutant gases left Norris Geyser Basin. This event was quickly followed in April by an increase in the number of the earth tremors.
In 2006, a study reported that Mallard Lake Dome and Sour Creek Dome rose from 4 to 6 cm per annum since 2004. Although this news made run much ink in the media, the experts affirm that there is no foreseeable increase in the risk of eruption in the park.
Time précolombienneOne found in Yellowstone of the traces of human presence going back to at least: 11000 years. In the Years 1950, a projectile of the Culture Clovis was put at the day on the building site of the post office to Gardiner.
The Amerindians used the layers of Obsidienne of Yellowstone, a very hard stone, to manufacture sharp tools and weapons. Arrowheads cut in this material were found until in the valley of the the Mississippi, which indicates that there at that time existed commercial exchanges between the tribes of Yellowstone and those which lived much more in the east.
The park draws its name from the sources of the Yellowstone River, baptized thus (“yellow Rock”) by the runners of wood and Trappeur S Canadian-French which explored and made trade in this area at the 18th century. It was then translated into English by “Yellow Stone” before taking the current name of “Yellowstone”. This name is undoubtedly itself resulting from a translation of the language Minnetaree ( Mi tsi a-da-zi , i.e. the “river of the yellow rock”). It refers to the color of the yellow stones which one found in the Large Canyon of Yellowstone.
ExplorationsIn 1806, a member of the Lewis Forwarding and Clark, called John Colter, left his travelling companions to join a group of Trappeur S and was undoubtedly the first man of European origin to visit this area and to come into contact with the Amerindian tribes. During the winter 1807 - 1808, Colter crossed a sector of the current park and observed the geothermic phenomena close to Tower Falls. After having survived wounds received at the time of engagements against the tribes Crows and Blackfoot S in 1809, it delivered a description of an area full with “fire and of sulfur”, which one at the time put on the account of is delirious.
In 1857, Jim Bridger returned from another forwarding in the same area and told to have seen ebullient sources, spouting out water, an iceberg and stones yellow. This account was generally ignored, because Bridger had the reputation to be an inveterate liar. However, its testimony aroused the interest of the explorer and geologist Ferdinand Vandeveer Hayden, which assembled another forwarding in 1859 to study the top Missouri, with Bridger like guide, accompanied by a Géomètre of the American Armée, W.F.Raynolds. The group approached Yellowstone but could not reach it because of strong snowfalls. The beginning of the American Civil War then stopped research during 11 years.
Folsom forwarding of 1869 is the first to give a detailed description of the area of Yellowstone. It went up the river Yellowstone until the Lac Yellowstone. In 1870, inhabitants of the Montana organized in their turn a forwarding (Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition), carried out by the Topographe Henry Washburn and in which Nathaniel P. Langford (which took part will become the first superintendent of the park with the nickname of “National Park Langford”) and a detachment of the American Armée ordered by the lieutenant Gustavus Doane. For one month, they studied the area, collected many specimens and baptized several sites.
Cornelius Hedges, a writer and lawyer of Montana, had taken part in Washburn forwarding. The newspaper Helena Herald published several articles consigning its observations between 1870 and 1871. It was one of the first, with the Gouverneur of Montana Thomas Francis Meagher, to propose to make of Yellowstone a protected national park. In a letter of 1871, addressed to Ferdinand Hayden by Jay Cooke, this last affirmed that his/her friend the senator William D. Kelley had suggested passing a law allowing to make of Yellowstone a public park.
In 1871, Hayden directed a second and more important forwarding, financed this time by the government. It wrote a total return on Yellowstone, illustrated by the photographs of William Henry Jackson and the illustrations of Thomas Morgan, which encouraged the American Congrès to protect this area. March 1st, 1872, the US president Ulysses Grant signed the decree creating Yellowstone National Park in order to make of it a place “free from mercantile exploitation, dedicated with the satisfaction of the people”. The Hayden valley draws its name from the geologist.
Beginnings of the parkNathaniel Langford voluntarily occupied during five years the function of superintendent and was followed by others, which worked with very modest means. Longford withdrew in 1877. The second superintendent, Philetus Norris, succeeds in obtaining small wages and some subsidies, intended to control vandalism and the Braconnage in the park. He made build some equipment and of the roads.
The Northern Pacific Railroad built a station with Livingston (Montana) connected to the northern entry of the park at the beginning of the Années 1880. The frequentation of the park increased quickly, passing from 300 visitors in 1872 with: 5000 in 1883. At that time, the tourists had few roads and of services and moved with horse or in Diligence. In 1908, one second railway, which functioned until in the Années 1960, gave access West Yellowstone by the Union Pacific Railroad.
In order to mitigate the insufficiency of the means to protect the national park, the administration of Yellowstone was entrusted to the army between 1886 and 1918. A body of specific civil guards (the rangers ) was created and placed under the authority of the National Park Service. The Fort Yellowstone was arranged as from 1891 to lodge them. In 1909, the whole of the buildings could accommodate 400 men, that is to say four troops. The army yielded the control of Yellowstone to the National Park Service the October 31st 1918.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the the United States built a road of 235 kilometers in form from “8” making it possible to connect the most interesting points of the park. The definite location of the Great Loop Road date of 1905. The US president Theodore Roosevelt visited Yellowstone in 1903. It deposited the angular stone of Roosevelt Arch at the northern entry of the park.
In 1915, a thousand of cars had access to the park, which caused problems of circulation with transport with horse, which was prohibited thereafter. Between 1933 and 1941, the Civilian Conservation Body built the tourist information centers, the campsites and the majority of the current roads. During the Second world war, the number of employees and visitors fell, involving the abandonment of several infrastructures.
The park after 1945In the Years 1950, the tourist frequentation of Yellowstone, like that of the other national parks in the United States, strongly increased. To answer this request, the authorities of the park decided to put in place a modernization program and of extension of the equipment, called “Mission 66”, because it was to be completed in 1966, date birthday of the foundation of the National Park Service. The new buildings were designed in a modern style. It is at the end of the Années 1980 that this style was abandoned with the profit of a more traditional style, in particular for the rebuilding of Grant Village, after the fires of 1988. The tourist information center of the Canyon Village, which opened in 2006, also follows a traditional architecture.
In 1959, powerful a Séisme assigned the west of Yellowstone to Hebgen Lake and damaged the roads and the installations of the national park.
The park of Yellowstone was declared international reserve of the biosphere the October 26th 1976 and was integrated into the world heritage of UNESCO the September 8th 1978. But in 1995, the Committee decided to place the park on the Liste of the world heritage in danger. The area was then threatened by the mining activities. Bad water quality, the tourist multitude and the use of the Motoneige S constituted other reasons for concern. Following the efforts carried out by the US government, the situation improving, the park was withdrawn from the list of inheritance in danger in July 2003. The most touched part was that of North Fork. Thousands of firemen tried to contain fire to protect the dwellings. But one showed the public authorities not to have had the will to completely extinguish the hearths, which remained in activity to the autumnal rains. Some ecologist S affirm on the other hand which the fires are a natural phenomenon that it is not advisable to block. In fact, few animals of big size were victims of the fires. The shrubs pushed back spontaneously, one redécouvrit some panoramas interesting and of new geological discoveries and archaeological was put at the day. But it will be necessary tens of years before Yellowstone finds its initial aspect. Nowadays, the National Park Service voluntarily lights some circumscribed fires, in order to prevent a catastrophe of the width of that of 1988.
Biology and ecology
EcosystemThe national park of Yellowstone belongs to a wide ecosystem on nearly 80937 km ² which also includes/understands others natural reserves such as the National park of Large Nipple and to the national forests. This ecosystem constitutes the greatest virgin extent of only one holding in the United States, apart from the Alaska. He is generally regarded as the vastest still intact medium of the moderate Zone northern. Thanks to the programme of reintroduction of the wolf set up in the Years 1990, all the species which lived in the area before the arrival of Europeans in America are still present.
80% of the surface of Yellowstone are covered by the forest. The most frequent Feuillu S are the Tremble and the Saule. The forests of tremble moved back considerably since the beginning of; however, according to a study of the University of State of Oregon, the reintroduction of the wolf limited the population of Wapiti S and at the same time stopped the decline of the Peuplier trembles ( Populus trembled ). Indeed, the wapitis nourish starts-up of poplar trembles and prevent their growth. The forests of poplars and Saule S regain ground. The return of the trees along the rivers could decrease the erosion which affect their banks.
There in addition exist tens of species of plants with flower, whose majority hatch between May and September. Yellowstone Sand Verbena, a abronie, is a plant with very rare flower (approximately: 8000 specimens) which pushes in the sand of banks of the Lac Yellowstone.
Invasive plants threaten the species autochtones by consuming the nutritive resources. One especially finds them in the sectors most attended by the tourists. The persons in charge of the park devote much time and energy to tear off them and to eliminate them.
FaunaYellowstone shelters an about sixty species of Mammifère S among which the gray Loup (species in danger and reintroduced), the Lynx and the Grizzli (threatened species) captured in Canada were reintroduced in the park, after being driven out and being disappeared from the area in the Années 1930.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the Coyote had become one of principal the Prédateur S. But this one cannot kill largest Herbivore S as the Wapiti S which started to thrive, threatening balance of the ecosystem. As from 1914, the American Congrès granted funds to eliminate the noxious animals with agriculture and the breeding, such as the wolves and the dogs of meadow. Towards 1926, 136 wolves had been killed and the species had already disappeared from Yellowstone. The Service of the National parks stopped hunting for the wolf in 1935 and votes it Endangered Species Act in 1973 made it possible to make a Protected space of it. Almost all the current individuals go down from the 66 wolves reintroduced in 1995-1996. But the wolves from now on are feared by the cattle breeders, who fear to see them proliferating and attacking pets: between 1995 and 2001, the wolves killed 12 cows and 50 sheep in the area, which authorizes the farmers to cut down the wolves which attack the herds.
BisonsYellowstone is a sanctuary for the bisons, present since the Préhistoire and recently saved extinction. In 1902, one could count less than 50 bisons in Yellowstone; it remained about it: 3000 in 1998. Each year, approximately 90 of these large mammals die under the wheels of the motor vehicles.
In order to prevent any decline of the herds, the employees force the bisons which outwards venture to turn over inside the park. During the winter 1996-1997: 1079 bisons which had left the park had to be shot down to satisfy the stockbreeders, the Canadian Mouflon, the marmot.
The Grizzli ( Ursus arctos horribilis ) is not regarded any more since 2007 as a threatened species in Yellowstone. Indeed, the population of grizzlis, which was estimated between 136 and 312 individuals in 1975, exceeds today the threshold of the 500 individuals. One counts in addition more than 600 black bears in the park.
No lynx was directly observed in Yellowstone since 1998, even if the analyzes DNA of hairs in 2001 confirmed that the Félin crosses the park. In 2003, traces of a female and its small as of the fecal dejections were identified.
The population of wapitis is estimated at: 30000 in Yellowstone. The herds of north decreased considerably since the reintroduction of the wolf in 1995. The herds of the south spend the winter in the National Elk Refuge which is just in the south of the National park of Large Nipple. This migration of mammals is most important of the United States, apart from Alaska.
The human economic activities and installations disturb the migration of the Pronghorn S ( Antilocapra americana ) in the area of Yellowstone. Their estimated population lies between 200 and 300 individuals.
Poisson, reptiles, Amphibians and birds18 species different of Poisson S live in Yellowstone. Since 2001, the practitioners of the sporting Pêche must slacken their catches in the rivers or the lakes.
311 species of birds are present at Yellowstone and half there niche. Other birds rather rare and are supervised like the Plongeon huard, the plunger Arlequin, the Osprey, the Peregrine falcon, the Cygne trumpet or the white pelican of America.
thermophilous bacteria and Cyanobactérie S live around the geysers and of the sources of warm water of the park and colors give them varying from blue to the yellow while passing by the red. Less than one percent of the Micro-organisme S of the park was to date identified. Some of these Micro-organisme S live under extreme conditions. One for example found some in the acid and hot environment (70°C) of the Norris Geyser Basin .
The bacteria which paper the hot sources form clusters of several billion individuals. These bacteria constitute the most primitive forms of life of planet. Flies and other arthropods are present in this medium including during the winter. For a long time, the researchers thought that these bacteria lived thanks to the Sulfure; but in 2005, of the scientists of the Université of Colorado de Boulder highlighted the role of the Hydrogène in the development of these bacteria.
The Thermus aquaticus is a thermophilous bacterium which was described by Thomas Brock in 1969. It is about a Gram-negative , aerobe and heterotrophic bacterium which produces a Enzyme cultivated in laboratory to diagnose infectious genetic diseases and , like determining a Genetic print. The scientists study other bacteria present in Yellowstone in the hope to find new remedies and treatments Médicament them.
See also: Circuits of the National park of Yellowstone
Yellowstone is one of the most famous national parks to the the United States. Since the medium of the Years 1960, the national park of Yellowstone receives each year more than two million visitors, of which: 160000 in winter (figure 2001).
The tourists come to admire the geysers, the Fumerolle S, the sources of warm water, large the Canyon, the forests and spaces wild, as well as a big lake. They practice the Kayak, the Randonnée, the fishing. They can also observe the large mammals like the bisons (especially in winter and in spring), the dash S, the Wapiti S and the Mouflon S. There are also Puma S, wolf S and Coyote S, but their observation is rarer. In love ones with the winter sports can practice the Ski touring there.
The park of Yellowstone has moreover important a historical inheritance: more than thousand sites, six National Historic Landmark S, of the collections adding up: 200000 objects. The roads are restored for the climatic periods most favorable, i.e. in spring and in summer. The roads of the park are accessible to the vehicles equipped for snow enters mid-December and at the beginning of March. There exist approximately 500 km of tarred roads and five entries to reach the park. The infrastructures of Old Faithful, the Canyon and Mammoth Hot Springs are very attended in summer. Congestions caused by road work or the presence of wild animals along the roads can cause long periods of waiting on the roads.
More: 2000 sites exist for to camp. The camp-site is also possible in the forests surrounding the park just like in the National park of the Large Nipple located a little more at the south. Isolated camp-sites are also accessible to walk or horse but require to have a license. There exists nearly 1770 km of hiking roads. The park is not regarded as a destination to make Alpinisme because of the instability of the volcanic rocks which represent consequently a danger. The pets must be obliged to leaves and their presence is accepted only in zones well defined and close to the roads. Around the geysers, let us bridge out of wood were arranged to make safe the access of the visitors and to facilitate the access of the handicapped people. A private clinic held by the National Park Service makes it possible to give first aid all the year
The Chasse is prohibited in the park whereas it is authorized in the surrounding forests in period of hunting. Fishing is possible on the condition of having a license delivered by the personnel of the park. It is interdict to sail on the rivers safe for the machines not motorized on a portion of 8 km of the Lewis river. The Lac Yellowstone has a Marina what in fact a popular destination to devote itself to the nautical pleasures.
The other protected areas of the area are the national forests of Caribou-Targhee, Gallatin, Custer, Shoshone. In the North-East of the park, it is possible to join by road the Beartooth Mountains. The town of Salt Lake City is located at approximately 500 km in the south of the park and constitutes the important urban area nearest to the park.
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