Saturday, 28 April 2018

World's tallest geyser erupts at 

Yellowstone for third time in six 

weeks: report

The world's tallest active geyser, the Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming, has erupted for the third time in six weeks, the Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle reports. A park visitor told staff it vented early Friday (April 27), after earlier eruptions on March 15 and April 19.
Steamboat's eruptions are unpredictable. It can shoot water more than 300 feet, as it most recently did in 2014. "Only Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand has rocketed to greater heights -- but not in more than 100 years," the U.S. National Park Service says.

Geysers are hot springs in which water intermittently boils, sending a tall column of water and steam into the air. The most famous at Yellowstone is Old Faithful, which usually erupts every 60 to 110 minutes for 90 seconds to five minutes. It shoots water 100 to 180 feet.

"A major eruption of Steamboat Geyser is unforgettable. Water surges from two vents to varying heights, then suddenly water explodes from the larger north vent more than 300 feet high," the National Park Service says. "Curtains of water fall to the slope above the geyser and collect in torrents rushing back into the vent, carrying huge amounts of mud, sand and rock that are shot skyward again and again.
"Water coats everything with a glistening layer of silica. As much as 700 cubic feet of eruption debris can accumulate around the geyser. Even cars in the parking area can be littered with debris. Mature lodgepole pines have been broken by the blast, undermined and then washed away by the geyser's massive discharge. The boardwalk at the base of the hill has been covered by the geyser's outwash.
"The water phase of a major eruption lasts three to more than 40 minutes. Once the water supply is exhausted, the geyser continues with a powerful steam phase lasting several hours to more than a day. Its roar is so great that conversation near the geyser is difficult, and visitors in the Norris Campground, a mile to the north, have been awakened by the noise."
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Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and Louisiana interests in Congress, plus other odds and ends, for | The Times-Picayune. Email: Facebook: Drew Broach TP. Twitter: drewbroach1. Google+: Drew Broach.

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