Rhyolite-Basalt Volcanism of the Yellowstone Plateau and Hydrothermal Activity of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

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Start point

Old Faithful area of Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park

End point

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park


U.S. 89

Total distance

not given



This field guide provides an overview of the major geologic and hydrothermal features along the park roads through the western and northern parts of Yellowstone National Park. A number of sites from Old Faithful to Mammoth Hot Springs are described in the context of the geologic history of the Yellowstone region. Areas receiving special emphasis are the Firehole River and Upper Geyser Basin (including the Old Faithful area), Midway and Lower Geyser Basins, Firehole Canyon, Madison Junction, Norris Geyser Basin, the Norris-Mammoth Corridor, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Key Lithologic Features

  • rhyolite flows and tuffs
  • travertine terraces
  • landslide deposits


  • volcanic calderas


  • volcanic plateaus

Other Features

  • a variety of hydrothermal features including hot springs, geysers, fumaroles, mud pots, and explosion craters


Christiansen, R.L., and Hutchinson, R.A., 1987, Rhyolite-basalt volcanism of the Yellowstone Plateau and hydrothermal activity of Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, in Beus, S.S., ed., Centennial Field Guide Volume 2: Rocky Mountain Section of the Geological Society of America , p. 165-172.


Out of print. Check Amazon.com. Digital access to this publication is available via the links in the references section above.