Cistern Spring

Alternate Names



Cistern Spring and Steamboat Geyser are linked underground. During a major eruption of Steamboat, the water in Cistern Spring's pool drains. Normally Cistern is a beautiful blue pool from which water continually overflows. It is quite creative, depositing as much as 1/2 inch (12 mm) of grayish sinter each year. By comparison Old Faithful Geyser and many other thermal features may build at the rate of 1/2 to 1 inch (12 - 25 mm) per century. Cistern Spring's influence expands throughout the lodgepole pine forest below. This forest has been slowly flooded with silica rich water since 1965. The pioneering lodgepole pine forest at Norris is in constant flux, retreating here and in other areas of increasing heat while advancing in places of diminished thermal activity.

*Adapted from the NPS Norris Geyser Basin Trail Guide and the Norris Interactive Map

Feature Type

Hot Spring

Inventory ID



Latitude: 44.72308
Longitude: -110.704
Survey Date: June 26, 1998

Geographic Area: Gibbon Canyon
Thermal Region: Norris Geyser Basin
Thermal Complex: Back Basin
Ranger District Contact: Norris District, Al Miller (307) 344-2501


Nordstrom, D. Kirk


The YNP metagenome project: environmental parameters responsible for microbial distribution in the Yellowstone geothermal ecosystem, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2013
Phylogenetic and functional analysis of metagenome sequence from high-temperature archaeal habitats demonstrate linkages between metabolic potential and geochemistry, Frontiers in Microbiology, 2013

Feature Data

Data Source Supplied By Sample Date Temp Vent Temp pH Cond Extended Data
Participant USGS 7/1/1967 -- -- -- -- Yes Details
Participant USGS 9/1/1973 -- -- -- -- Yes Details
Participant USGS 7/1/1974 -- -- -- -- Yes Details
Participant USGS 6/1/1975 -- -- -- -- Yes Details
Park 6/26/1998 49.5°C 0°C 7.08 2200 µS/cm No
USGS Nordstrom, D. Kirk 5/26/2001 86°C -- 5.23 1821 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS Nordstrom, D. Kirk 9/12/2001 85°C -- 5.1 1800 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS Nordstrom, D. Kirk 6/30/2002 82°C -- 5.3 1820 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS 5/31/2003 72.6°C -- 5.75 1750 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS 5/31/2003 -- -- -- -- Yes Details
USGS 9/2/2003 81.4°C -- 4.73 1770 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS 9/4/2004 85.4°C -- 5.29 1990 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS 6/7/2005 86°C -- 4.9 1604 µS/cm Yes Details
USGS 9/19/2005 85°C -- 5.37 1928 µS/cm Yes Details
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