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The sound of fumaroles

What are fumaroles, and what do they sound like?

Fumaroles come in all shapes and sizes, but broadly speaking they’re openings in the ground that emit steam and gases – for example carbon dioxide or sulphur dioxide.

Yellowstone Park is one place where you can find these natural phenomena, and in this recording from the National Park Service, you can hear this collection of small vents issuing into the outflow of Porcelain Springs, which passes below the boardwalks in the Norris Geyser Basin.

City version:


These fumaroles have been reimagined by regular contributor Andy Lyon, who write:

“Water is fundamental to life. It is often taken for granted with spiritual and symbolic aspects often also ignored.

“It is fascinating to watch, this piece is inspired by watching the movement of water and considering its properties and symbolism.

“I’ve used the recording with delay and reverb to give greater depth and presence – timelessness even – adding orchestration and synth parts.”

Memory version: