World's tallest geyser erupts at Yellowstone Park


A geyser formed by the Yellowstone National Park super volcano in the U.S. has mystified scientists with its spike in activity, erupting three times in the past six weeks.

Experts are unable to offer a precise explanation as to why the Yellowstone Steamboat Geyser has erupted three times in the past six weeks, most recently on April 27.

Scientists are stumped about what's causing all the activity.

Though scientists say the reasons for the spate of eruptions is unclear, officials with Yellowstone Volcano Observatory cautioned that the geyser activity is not a sign of impending doom.

Before the spate of eruptions this year, the massive geyser in Wyoming had been dormant for 15 years, according to the US Geological Survey's Yellowstone Volcano Observatory.

The last time it erupted prior to March was more than three years ago in September 2014.

A geyser happens when magma heats water that has seeped into the ground, triggering an eruption of liquid through vents in the earth's surface followed by billowing steam.

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Yet geysers are hard to study.

But scientists don't believe there is any eruption likely to happen for thousands of years, or perhaps ever again. It was reported by a visitor, he said. "Right now, neither of those conditions are in place", Poland said.

On March 15 and April 19, also the geyser erupted. And already in 2018, Steamboat has experienced three eruptions, although they have been relatively small compared to previous events. The recent bursts of water have been smaller than usual, suggesting that the geyser's single, towering eruption has been split into shorter ones.

At this time, most of Norris Geyser Basin is still covered in snow and ice. Steamboat erupted several times in the early 1980s but was inactive for five decades, ending its drought in 1961, he said. "Geysers tend to be random, so this is not at all unexpected behavior".

"This is what geysers do".

The appropriately named Old Faithful to the south of Steamboat is an outlier, with eruptions so predictable that the park operates a Twitter feed of alerts with a 10-minute margin of error. Such an event would have catastrophic effects across much of the country.

As for the Steamboat Geyser, Poland told The Washington Post: "It's cool, it's exciting, it's neat".