Are you aware of the tallest active geyser on planet Earth? A geyser is a natural formation that spews hot water high into the air due to volcanic activity beneath the formation.
Geysers are known to be erratic, but this one is majorly concerning some people right now. This geyser is located above Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, which is of course the most potentially disastrous natural feature of North America period.
Sometimes, it’s a few years between eruptions when it comes to the Steamboat Geyser. Other times, it’s only a few months. However this year, it has erupted many, many times: 9 times as of Monday.
Since just March 15 of this year, this geyser had undergone eight major eruptions as of June 4th. Official sources on this topic, which include the agency known as the US Geological Survey, reported that during the beginning years of the 21st Century, this geyser has proven to be more active than any time since the beginning of the 1980’s.
Then, on Monday it erupted a 9th time.
Absolutely no large eruptions occurred for a 9 year period of time from 1991 to 2000.
Then, 10 significantly large eruptions occurred since May 2000: so many of those are in this year, it’s astounding.
However on the contrary to concluding that the geyser is becoming more active than it ever was, these eruptions are slightly less powerful than other eruptions that occurred in past decades. The previous eruptions had reached heights of up to 295- 330 feet, or 90- 100 meters. 9 eruptions in 2018, and none of them have exactly reached heights like that. What does it mean?
The first three eruptions in 2018 had no human witnesses at all. Instruments set up to measure the activity at the site of the geyser took the actual measurements.
Somewhere around 200- 400 cubic meters of water were released, per eruption, in April. That’s about 10 times the usual amount of water the geyser also known as “Old Faithful” releases when it erupts.
The area of the park is known as the Norris Geyser Basin, and the site has a notable reputation for being hot, with a wide range of thermal variability, presumably due to the volcanic activity beneath it.
That’s probably because this location is at the intersection between two major fault lines. These lines form an intersection with the ring fracture zone, and that zone delineates the Yellowstone caldera.
Week-long, extremely inconsistent changes in water temperature happen at the Norris Geyser Basin. It’s not just that: extremely unusual changes in water level, pH balance, color and other factors occur in addition to temperature. It’s an interesting region of an interesting region of North America.
“It’s unclear why this happened, but the Norris area is known for having thermal changes over time,” lead scientist at the US Geological Survey’s Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, Michael Poland said. “Steamboat’s eruption pattern is quite random, so it’s entirely possible that the eruptions had nothing to do with the disturbance.”
This actually isn’t the very first time this happened. In 1964, this geyser erupted a whopping 29 times.
The Yellowstone Caldera region will fascinate people for many centuries to come, until it finally may destroy those exact same people.