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Yellowstone road melts, sites closed

By Mead Gruver

Associated Press

POSTED:
LAST UPDATED: 09:04 a.m. HST, Jul 11, 2014


CHEYENNE, Wyo. >> The ever-changing thermal geology of Yellowstone National Park has created a hot spot that melted an asphalt road and closed access to popular geysers and other attractions at the height of tourist season, officials said Thursday.

As they examined possible fixes, park officials warned visitors not to hike into the affected area, where the danger of stepping through solid-looking soil into boiling-hot water was high.

"There are plenty of other great places to see thermal features in the park," Yellowstone spokesman Al Nash said. "I wouldn't risk personal injury to see these during this temporary closure."

Naturally changing thermal features often damage Yellowstone's roads and boardwalks. Steaming potholes in asphalt roads and parking lots -- marked off by traffic cones -- are fairly common curiosities.

However, the damage to Firehole Lake Drive is unusually severe and could take several days to fix. The 3.3-mile loop six miles north of Old Faithful takes visitors past Great Fountain Geyser, White Dome Geyser and Firehole Lake.

Unusually warm weather for Yellowstone -- with high temperatures in the mid-80s -- has contributed to turning the road into a hot, sticky mess.

"We've got some ideas. We're going to try them. Our maintenance staff has really looked at the issue," Nash said.






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HD36 wrote:
This one's due to explode any day.
on July 11,2014 | 07:12AM
soundofreason wrote:
She's gonna blow!....someday.
on July 11,2014 | 07:28AM
GinoP wrote:
Looks like some our roads on Oahu!
on July 11,2014 | 07:42AM
loquaciousone wrote:
You think maybe Pele has something do with that?
on July 11,2014 | 08:03AM
Ewasohappy wrote:
Wow! global warming worse than expected.
on July 11,2014 | 08:45AM
Ronin006 wrote:
AP could not stick to the facts about sub-surface thermal geology being the cause. They had to find some way to blame the melted asphalt in part on global warming. It is a croc of bull droppings. Temperatures reaching as high as the mid-80s will not melt asphalt. If that was true, most roads in Hawaii, southern California, Arizona, New Mexico, Texas and on over to Florida would be sticky messes every summer.
on July 11,2014 | 09:21AM
HanabataDays wrote:
"nusually warm weather for Yellowstone" Where do you see "global warming" or "climate change" in there? You don't? "Unusually warm weather" means exactly what it says, except to those with a particular axe to grind.
on July 11,2014 | 09:53AM
Alohapatty wrote:
And I actually didn't think it was the weather that did it at all. I thought the article was saying that it was boiling water underneath the road that melted it?
on July 11,2014 | 12:44PM
Ronin006 wrote:
You are right. The AP report did not explicitly mention global warming or climate change, but the reporter or reporters who wrote the story did place part of the blame on unusually warm weather for Yellowstone, with high temperatures in the mid-80s, when such temperatures had nothing to do with the hot, sticky mess. In this age of political correctness, one can reasonably infer from the story that global warming or climate change was partially to blame. However, the hot, sticky mess was caused entirely by a sub-surface thermal feature, which occur quite often in Yellowstone. Incidentally, asphalt will soften with temperatures of about 100 degrees and will melt at around 120 degrees. Temperatures in Yellowstone did not come close.
on July 11,2014 | 05:45PM
bluebowl wrote:
Several days to fix 3.3 miles. Here in Hawaii it takes how long to fix 3.3 miles? My guess would be several months or longer.
on July 11,2014 | 10:08AM
64hoo wrote:
just send our mayor over there with pitch and shovel and he can fix it.
on July 11,2014 | 03:19PM
lokela wrote:
Guess that is one place off my bucket list.
on July 11,2014 | 03:33PM
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