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Spectacular Steamboat Geyser Erupts

Posted by feww on August 2, 2013

YNP’s Steamboat Geyser Erupts

Yellowstone National Park’s Steamboat Geyser, the world’s tallest active geyser, erupted for the first time since 2004.

Steamboat ejected steaming hot water up to 300 feet in the air during a 9-minute eruption Wednesday night, said the Park geologist.

steamboatThe world’s tallest active geyser, Steamboat can erupt to more than 300 feet (90m), showering viewers with its mineral-rich waters. For hours following its rare 3 to 40 minute major eruptions, Steamboat thunders with powerful jets of steam. As befitting such an awesome event, full eruptions are entirely unpredictable. In recent years, Steamboat has had several major eruptions. More commonly, Steamboat has minor eruptions and ejects water in frequent bursts of 10 to 40 feet. Source: National Park Service/Yellowstone.

Unlike Old Faithful, which faithfully spews steam every 90 minutes, Steamboat has no predictable eruption frequency.

Steamboat is one of more than 300 geysers at Yellowstone (YNP has more than 10,000 hydrothermal features,), and erupted a record 29 times in 1964, though it’s previously gone as long as 50 years without any significant activity.

Cistern Spring

cisternCistern 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 (12mm) of grayish sinter each year. By comparison, Old Faithful Geyser and many other thermal features may build at the rate of only 1/2 to 1 inch (12 – 25mm) 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.  Source: National Park Service/Yellowstone.

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