Quantification of Groundwater Flux at a Hydrothermal Feature in the Yellowstone River

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem hosts mountainous terrain and thousands of hydrothermal features that interact with rivers of various size and geomorphology. Hydrothermal inputs often have distinct thermal and chemical signatures that can have significant ecological and biogeochemical implications. 

Jesse Bunker, a graduate student at Montana Technological University, is researching groundwater surface water interactions in the Yellowstone River near La Duke Hot Springs. He is using streambed temperature profiles to quantify vertical seepage flux as well as drones to develop 3D optic and thermographic models. This research will provide insight to the seasonal variability of seepage flux and hydrothermal river mixing.