News

World’s largest geyser puts on rare show

World’s largest geyser puts on rare show

The world's largest geyser has exploded to life at Yellowstone National Park for the first time in eight years. Photo: Associated Press

(Reuters) – The world’s largest geyser has exploded to life at Yellowstone National Park for the first time in eight years, sending a high-pressure burst of steamy water 300 feet into the air, a park official said on Thursday.

The stream of 160 degree water released on Wednesday night by the so-called Steamboat Geyser lasted for roughly 10 minutes, delighting a small number of “geyser gazers” who have waited years for such a show, Yellowstone spokesman Dan Hottle said.

“There are a lot of people who wait hour after hour, day after day, for things to erupt,” he said.

Yellowstone visitors could potentially wait a lifetime for Steamboat Geyser, which has gone as long as 50 years between major eruptions. Steamboat Geyser last sent a superheated torrent of water hundreds of feet into the air in May 2005.

Yellowstone, which stretches across the states of Idaho, Montana and Wyoming, is the oldest and arguably best known U.S. national park, attracting more than 3 million visitors a year.

The park contains half the world’s geothermal features in the form of more than 300 geysers and countless hot springs, boiling mud pots and steam-emitting fumaroles.

Old Faithful, the park’s most famous geyser, gained its name by reliably spewing hot water and steam every 90 minutes.

Major eruptions of Yellowstone geysers can be likened to pressure cookers. They are caused when cold water from snowmelt and rain meets underlying rock liquefied by heat.

The mix creates steam that rises in temperature and pressure until it shoots through surface vents, carrying overlying water with it.

Geyser eruptions can trigger seismic tremors and have sometimes been mistaken for earthquakes by Yellowstone visitors.

“The ground shakes and you can hear it from several miles away. It sounds like a jet taking off,” Hottle said.

Recent Headlines

in Sports

This week’s top sports shots

AP25484007378_9

A look at some of this week's biggest plays and best photos in sports.

in National

Making headlines this week

AP563782069795_2

A look at some of the biggest stories this week and the headlines you may have missed.

in National

Spring ahead! Daylight-saving time starts Sunday

clock

Don't forget to spring forward this weekend.

in Sports

This weekend’s sports schedule

kentuckybball

A look at this weekend's sports schedule.

in Local

UPDATE: Ithaca firefighters put out North Cayuga Street blaze

fire_cayuga street

The Ithaca Fire Department says the cause of the fire was likely the result of a plumber who was thawing the pipes.