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Geysers of the World   

Geysers of Yellowstone   



Transactions II

Geysers Active in 1989, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

T. Scott Bryan

"Monarch of All These Mighty Wonders": Tourists and Yellowstone's Excelsior Geyser, 1881-1890, Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Lee Hale Whittlesey

INTRODUCTION: Tourists traveling to the young Yellowstone National Park during 1881-1890 were, to be sure, going to see its famous Old Faithful Geyser. Many of them had read accounts of Yellowstone by Langford, Hayden, and others in magazines and newspapers, or in guidebooks to the West that were constantly appearing, such as To the Rockies and Beyond [Strahorn, 1881] and The Pacific Tourist [Williams, 1876]. One 1883 visitor wrote that "the pictures of [Thomas] Moran have made us impatient to see the wonders of the Yellowstone" [Gunnison, 1884], and Old Faithful was certainly high on the list. But once they arrived in Wonderland, some of the lucky visitors who happened to make trips in 1881, 1882, 1888, or 1890 might get to see something far more rare and glorious than Old Faithful or a colorful canyon- the Excelsior Geyser, a natural hot water fountain capable of projecting boiling water to a football field in height and a football field wide!

Activity of "Carapace" Geyser, Cascade Group, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Marie Wolf

Abstract: Carapace Geyser is a small feature within the western portion of the Cascade Group. Its activity and relation- ship to a nearby pool are described.

A Short Study of Jewel Geyser, 5-16 August, 1989, Upper Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Ralph C. Taylor Jr. and Brenda K. Taylor

ABSTRACT: This report describes the authors' observations of Jewel Geyser in August, 1989. 130 closed intervals over a total of seventeen hours are included in the data. Trends in the periodicity are analyzed, and a mathematical model relating the ob- served number of bursts in an eruption to the subsequent interval is derived.

Investigations of Patterns of Minor and Major Activity of Steamboat Geyser , 1982-1984, Norris Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Paul Strasser, Suzanne Strasser, and Bill Pulliam


ABSTRACT: Prior to 1982, the major eruptions of Steamboat Geyser were believed to be completely unpredictable and random events. Between 1982 and 1984, our intense studies of Steamboat led to the discovery that, contrary to the previously held belief of unpredictability, all observed major eruptions were preceded by specific changes in the behavior of its frequent minor activity. The most important aspect of the minor activity was the relative timing of the start of play from Steamboat's two main vents. The style of the play from each vent (vertical or oblique, sustained or intermittent) was also significant. During the days or weeks preceding a major eruption, the minor play progressed through fairly consistent pattern of behavior. This pattern was clearest when major eruptions occurred at shorter intervals. No simple pre-major indicator could be identified without knowledge of the progression of minor play since the last major eruption, thus single observations of minor activity were of little significance.

Since Steamboat is currently the world's tallest geyser - and arguably the most spectacular - it is expected that individuals will wish to devote considerable time to its study when it again enters an active phase. We hope that the information included herein will assist future observers to better understand Steamboat and possibly witness one of its major eruptions, which undoubtedly is Yellowstone's most marvelous attraction.

A Summary of the General and Geothermal Geology of the Long Valley-Mono Lake Region, Mono County, California

T. Scott Bryan

Abstract: In both its age and general geological-hydrological framework, California's Long Valley Caldera is very similar to Yellowstone. The most significant differences lie in the comparatively intense record of recent volcanic and seismic activity, and the relatively lesser geothermal action. This paper reports on the history of the caldera and its geothermal systems, and includes recent observational studies of the hot springs.

Activity of Valentine Geyser and Other Related Features, Norris Geyser Basin, Summer 1988, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Mike Keller

INTRODUCTTION: The best place from which to observe Valentine Geyser is the boardwalk bench at the Whirligig Geysers. Looking back toward the Norris Museum, within a large alcove is what appears to be a geyserite cone. This is Valentine. The vent is actually a crack in a large rhyolite boulder measuring roughly 4.25 X 6 feet.

Until 1988, when a single major eruption was observed, Valentine had apparently been dor-mant (or nearly so) since 1978. It was, however, definitely active during the fall, winter and spring of 1988-1989 since markers were washed and channels were cut in the snow.

The first eruption I observed was on May 22, 1989.

The Sentinel Group: Historical Perspective and Present Day Activity, Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Rocco Paperiello

INTRODUCTION: The Sentinel Meadows is today an almost forgotten area of the Lower Geyser Basin, yet a few remarkable thermal features reside there.

Narcissus Revisited, Lower Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

John S. and Marion S. Rinehart

INTRODUCTION: In 1968 we made extensive observations on the behavior of Narcissus Geyser in Yellowstone National Park. These observations, extending over a period of several days, included simultaneous continuous temperature measurements at both top and bottom of the geyser reservoir over 8 to 10 hour time periods. In addition, the physical state of the geyser was monitored as regards filling and emptying rates, overflows, over- turnings, times of eruptions, and number and height of bursts. The results of these observations were published in 1970 [Rinehart, 1970].

During the next 20 years we made almost yearly, casual visits to the geyser to check on its behavior. Although we did not make systematic observations, our impression was that Narcissus, behavior was not changing. Bryan's [1986] description of this geyser, however, made us think that perhaps changes were taking place, so that in 1987, 1988 and 1989 we spent one 8 to 10 hour period each year continuously monitoring the geyser. From these observations, we have concluded that its behavior has not changed appreciably over the last 20 years.

The Cold Water Geysers of Utah I: Observations of Woodside Geyser

Clark Murray

Abstract: Woodside Geyser erupts from a drilled well at what w once and may again be a developed roadside attraction. Although subject to frequent vandalism, its activity h not significantly changed over the years.

The Cold Water Geysers of Utah II: Observations of Crystal Geyser

Clark Murray

Abstract: Crystal Geyser, a spectacular cold-water geyser near Green River, Utah, has been extensively observed. Its eruptive activity follows a clear progression which is reflected by the action in other, nearby features.

Description of the Valley Hot Springs, Beowawe, Nevada, 1972-1986

T. Scott Bryan

Abstract: The hot springs and geysers at Beowawe can be divided into two distinct groups: those on the top and flanks of the large geyserite Beowawe Terrace, and those on the flat sinter platform on the valley floor below the terrace. Historically, most attention was paid to the terrace springs, with those below receiving little note. Since most Beowawe action after the time of early geothermal drilling was confined to the valley floor springs, I made observations of them on several occasions. Here these springs are described.

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