The world's largest active geyser, the Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park in northwest Wyoming, has broken out for the third time in six weeks, reports the Bozeman (Mont.) Daily Chronicle. A park visitor told the staff early Friday (April 27), after previous eruptions on March 15 and April 19.
Steamboat outbreaks are unpredictable. It can shoot water more than 300 meters, as it did last in 2014. "Only Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand has shot to greater heights – but not in more than 100 years," says the US National Park Service.
Geysers are hot springs in which water cooks at times and sends a high head of water and steam into the air. The most famous in Yellowstone is Old Faithful, who usually breaks out every 60 to 1
"A big eruption of Steamboat Geyser is memorable: water rising from two chimneys to different heights, then suddenly water explodes from the larger, more than 300 feet high north hole, "says the National Park Service. "Water curtains fall on the slope above the geyser and accumulate in torrents that flow back into the drain and carry huge amounts of mud, sand and rocks, which are shot skyward again and again."
"Water covers everything with a glittering layer of silicic acid as much as 700 cubic meters of eruption residue can accumulate around the geyser, even cars in the parking lot may be covered in debris." "Mature pines were broken by the blast, undermined, and then from The wooden footbridge at the foot of the hill was covered by washing out the geyser.
"The water phase of a large eruption lasts from three to more than 40 minutes. Once the water supply is exhausted, the geyser continues with a strong vapor phase lasting from several hours to more than one day. Its roar is so great that entertainment near the geyser is difficult, and visitors to the Norris Campground, one mile north, were awakened by the noise. "
Drew Broach covers Jefferson Parish politics and Louisiana interests in Congress, as well as other trifles, for NOLA.com. The Times-Picayune. E-mail: dbroach @ nola.com Facebook: Drew Broach TP Twitter: drewbroach1 Google+: Drew Broach