Sunday, May 07, 2006


The Whole Shooting Match
Check Grotto's Marathon's

Giant Geyser
<-- Haynes Photo

<--nps photo

Giant Geyser
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-- All winter it was such a crowd pleaser to have Giant Geyser erupting on a nearly regular schedule. This seems to be continuing so far in May as well. Grotto Geyser & Giant Geyser in Yellowstone National Park generally slow down in the summer because they are sensitive to near-surface groundwater for their recharge cycles.
--Grotto Geyser just finished a 19 hour marathon session on Friday, May 5, 2,006, and then, late last night (at 10:20 PM) Giant produced a show for about a dozen of the faithful gazers who were on hand to see the show. It lasted for about an hour and may have been 90' in the air. That's a lot of water!
-- For those of you interested in the science behind eruptions and their variability in winter & Summer & Spring & Fall here are two papers that may help:
1,)Groundwater impacts of liquid-dominated geothermal systems with overlying vapor caps , Goff, F. In: Eos, Transactions, American Geophysical Union, November 10, 1998, Vol. 79, Issue 45, Suppl., pp.323
2,)Monitoring of thermal activity in southwestern Yellowstone National Park and vicinity, 1980-1993 , Friedman, Irving In: U. S. Geological Survey Bulletin, 1993.
-- The most appealing explanation is that high cold water tables dampen the heat build-up from the geyser system and slow down the eruption cycle. Right now the interactive Giant Geyser Group is very active - but the eruption period is slowing down.
-- Currently Giant Geyser is on a 7 - 14 day cycle. Other geysers respond to shifting levels of ground water variously. The ones with a lot of heat seem to need the ground water for eruptions: which is on the other end of the "cause-effect" spectrum.
--Whatever the case, now is a good time to see Giant Geyser in Yellowstone National Park.

Grotto Geyser In Marathon
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