Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

What Makes An Old Geyser Faithful?

Date:
June 16, 2008
Source:
U.S. Geological Survey
Summary:
New research suggests that how often Old Faithful and other Yellowstone geysers erupt may depend on annual rainfall patterns. Geysers are rare hot springs that periodically erupt bursts of steam and hot water. Old Faithful has remained faithful for at least the past 135 years, showering appreciative tourists every 50 to 90 minutes (most recently an average of 91 minutes).

New research suggests that how often Old Faithful and other Yellowstone geysers erupt may depend on annual rainfall patterns.
Credit: USGS

New research suggests that how often Old Faithful and other Yellowstone geysers erupt may depend on annual rainfall patterns.

Related Articles


Geysers are rare hot springs that periodically erupt bursts of steam and hot water. Old Faithful has remained faithful for at least the past 135 years, showering appreciative tourists every 50 to 90 minutes (most recently an average of 91 minutes).

USGS researcher Shaul Hurwitz and his colleagues from Stanford University and Yellowstone National Park have discovered that changes of water supply to a geyser's underground plumbing may have a large influence on eruption intervals; that is, the time between eruptions. For example, geysers appear to lengthen and shorten their intervals on cycles that mimic annual dry and wet periods.

Multi-year precipitation records also strongly correlate with geyser behavior. Based on these results, the study proposes that an extended drought should result in longer intervals between eruptions, and perhaps even cessation of activity in some geysers. In contrast, in years with high precipitation, eruption intervals should be more frequent.

Additional information: Geysers are extremely rare; perhaps less than 1000 exist worldwide, with more than half of them in Yellowstone National Park. The famous Old Faithful Geyser was named in 1870 during the Washburn-Langford-Doane Yellowstone expedition and was the first geyser in the Park to be named.

Old Faithful eruptions can be viewed on any computer on Earth via a video camera deployed by the National Park Service. Instrumental data which records geyser eruption times is available at the Geyser Observation and Study Association web site. Long-term meteorological trends can be inferred from seasonal streamflow trends like those in the Madison River.

This study is a cooperative effort involving the U.S. Geological Survey and the National Park Service.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by U.S. Geological Survey. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Climate-Induced Variations of Geyser Periodicity in Yellowstone National Park, USA. Geology, June, 2008

Cite This Page:

U.S. Geological Survey. "What Makes An Old Geyser Faithful?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 June 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080614080441.htm>.
U.S. Geological Survey. (2008, June 16). What Makes An Old Geyser Faithful?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved November 24, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080614080441.htm
U.S. Geological Survey. "What Makes An Old Geyser Faithful?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/06/080614080441.htm (accessed November 24, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, November 24, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

Ebola-Hit Sierra Leone's Late Cocoa Leaves Bitter Taste

AFP (Nov. 23, 2014) The arable district of Kenema in Sierra Leone -- at the centre of the Ebola outbreak in May -- has been under quarantine for three months as the cocoa harvest comes in. Duration: 01:32 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

NY Gov. on Flood Prep: 'prepared for the Worst'

AP (Nov. 23, 2014) First came the big storm. Now comes the big melt for residents of flood-prone areas around Buffalo. New York's governor says officials are preparing for the worst as the temperature is expected to rise and potentially melt several feet of snow. (Nov. 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Anglerfish Rarely Seen In Its Habitat Will Haunt You

Newsy (Nov. 22, 2014) For the first time Monterey Bay Aquarium recorded a video of the elusive, creepy and rarely seen anglerfish. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

Raw: Buffalo Residents Digging Out, Helping out

AP (Nov. 22, 2014) Hundreds of volunteers joined a 'shovel brigade' in Buffalo, New York on Saturday, as the city was living up to its nickname, "The City of Good Neighbors." Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins