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

NFL: Legal process will play role in punishments

nfl

Punishment for players implicated in domestic violence will not be imposed upon arrest but at some point "farther down the process."

in National

Ebola czar starts work, drugmakers launch vaccine drive

ebola

The Obama administration is ramping up its response to the potential spread of the virus.

in National, World

Canadian parliament attacked, soldier fatally shot

canadashooting

A gunman shot a soldier and then entered the country's parliament buildings, with at least 30 shots fired in dramatic scenes in the heart of the Canadian capital.

in Local

Oklahoma senator releases report on waste in government, cites Ithaca SWAT team funding

money

Tom Coburn's report questions need for SWAT funding for Ithaca, citing crime rates in town

in Local

CU Police investigating meth materials in backpack

crime

Cornell Police are seeking information after a resident reported a suspicious backpack found at 10:30am Sunday on the 300 block of Maple Avenue in the Town of Ithaca.