GOSA (The Geyser Observation and Study Association) Geyser

NOTE: The Geyser e-mail List Server is NOT part of GOSA (The Geyser Observation and Study Association.) Though, many members of the list serve, including the founder of the list server, are also members of GOSA.

The Geyser e-mail List-Server is a moderated discussion group for those interested in geysers. Besides discussing issues of interest to the gazer community, reports of current geyser activity are also frequently posted.

The following is the welcome message and charter of the geyser e-mail list-server.

[Last updated on: Mon Dec 8 18:13:49 1997]



  1. How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe
  2. How to Post to the Geyser List
  3. Possible Publication in the GOSA SPUT
  4. Geyser-List Charter
  5. Back-Country Warning
  6. Commonly Used Abbreviations
  7. Glossary of Common Terms
  8. Disclaimer

1) How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe

To subscribe just go to the following webpage and follow the directions


(See above instructions but replace "subscribe" with "unsubscribe".)

2) Posting to the Geyser List

Send submittals to address [geysers@wwc.edu]. All postings will be screened by the moderator to guarantee compliance with the Geyser List Charter (see the next section) and, unless there are extenuating circumstances, posted to the group.

3) Possible Publication in the GOSA SPUT

The SPUT (a bi-monthly GOSA publication) Editors reserve the right to publish geyser-activity information in whole, in part or as condensed, unless your posting begins with an explicit denial, such as "Permission for republication is denied." SPUT Editors will request permission before publishing anything beyond geyser-activity information.

4) Geyser List Charter

This mailing list is a moderated group that deals with any news about geysers and thermal features, anything that affects these features or their surroundings or the people who watch them. It deals primarily with Yellowstone National Park, but submittals about other geyser areas around the world are also welcomed.

Below are listed some, BUT NOT ALL, of the types of submittals that are appropriate to this group.

Submittals about current geyser activity are greatly encouraged. No piece of information in this area is too small or insignificant. The accuracy of the report is the responsibility of the person making the report.

Clarifications or corrections of previous posts are greatly encouraged. It is more important to try to get out correct information than to feel embarrassed about sending out incorrect information previously. Every-one makes mistakes. Clarifications and corrections should not be accusatorial in tone.

News about vandalism or other activities that have a negative affect on the thermal features is greatly encouraged.

News about Geyser Gazers or actions that will affect them is appropriate.

News about dangers, such as bear activity near back country thermal features, is appropriate.

Below are listed the types of posts that are not acceptable:

Posts describing how to carry out an illegal activity will not be sent out to the list. News about an illegal activity that has occurred, such as vandalism of a geyser, are encouraged but a tutorial on how to do it is not allowed.

Attacks against other people (flames) are discouraged and people that engage in such activity will be encouraged to leave the group.

5) Back-Country Warning

I. Many posts will originate from people experienced in travel to Back-Country geyser basins and thermal areas. These posts usually will not include specific warnings about potential dangers in these areas which do not have boardwalks or signs.

II. Back-Country areas are dangerous and have caused fatal injuries. New areas should never be entered without someone who can explain specific and necessary precautions and without preliminary reading to know the nature of the thermal features.

III. The most common hazards are:

a) Overhangs around pools,

b) Hot mud with a deceptive crust,

c) Hot mud with a deceptive mossy crust,

d) Geysers that erupt in unpredictable directions,

e) Geysers that have occasional superlative (larger) eruptions unexpectedly,

f) Thin crust completely covering hidden hot pools,

g) Unexpectedly hot runoff, and

h) Areas that have changed since last written about and are far more dangerous than any written material could warn about.

IV. Specific advice:

a) Never approach the edge of a pool without checking for overhangs,

b) Never stand closer than your height to the edge of something dangerous (so that if you keel over you won't fall in)

c) Never stand close to a geyser that you do not understand, and

d) DEFINITELY!! Try to avoid leaving unsightly footprints.


6) Abbreviations commonly used on the Geyser List

Here are some of the abbreviations commonly used on the Geyser List and in the Old Faithful logbook.