Yellowstone's Giantess Geyser erupts for first time in six years


In these troubled times there comes a point where we all need to let off steam.

For this huge geyser in Yellowstone park, the moment was now and the eruption was spectacular, after a six-year wait.

But, for the rest of us, watching this natural phenomenon is strangely meditative and beautifully distracting from much of the bad news around, despite the violent geothermal forces propelling it.

Giantess Geyser spouted for the first time in more than six years in Yellowstone National Park, which straddles part of Wyoming and a little of Montana, on 25 August, according to the US National Park Service (NPS).

“She” has more typically erupted between twice and six times a year in the past, according to the NPS website, and blasts a spout up to 200ft high.



“The surrounding area may shake from underground steam explosions just before the initial water and/or steam eruptions,” the NPS website adds.

Giantess is one of the biggest geysers in the park, alongside phenomena such as the super-tall Steamboat geyser, the largest active geyser in the world, and the park’s most famous, Old Faithful, renowned for its punctual regularity as it soars from the ground about 20 times a day.

Colorful hot spring features in the park include the blue-hued Morning Glory Pool and the psychedelic Grand Prismatic spring, as well as whiffy, sulfurous bubblers and roiling natural pots of scalding hot water fizzing out of the rocks.
When the geyser erupts, it typically shoots a stream that is 100-200 feet high.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS)  said Saturday that Giantess Geyser used to erupt more frequently in the past.

The six-year gap between eruptions was the longest since at least the 1980s, but the geyser has had years-long dormant periods before, according to the agency.

"Why geysers turn off and on is something that is not well understood," the USGS tweeted. "They are very fragile systems."
The features are among more than 10,000 hot springs and geysers in the park, a Unesco world heritage site.


 
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