Yellowstone National Park in Park County, Wyoming — The American West (Mountains)
Learning to Love the Unpredictable
When Steamboat Geyser erupts, it can rocket a column of scalding water 90-120 meters into the air – two to three times the average height of Old Faithful. Steam roars for twenty-four hours after. Odds are against your witnessing this drama, however, since Steamboat’s major eruptions occur 4 days to 50 years apart.
In Yellowstone’s geyser basins, unpredictability is the pattern. Old Faithful’s relatively predictable intervals are the exception. An earthquake could disrupt Old Faithful’s timetable, or a shift in subterranean plumbing could allow Steamboat more frequent eruptions.
Though order and symmetry in nature can be reassuring, true geyser gazers appreciate surprise and suspense. Watch the larger, upslope vent for massive, frequent bursts to heights of at least 5-10 meters, accompanied by heavy runoff – Steamboat’s only known eruption indicators.
When Steamboat Geyser has a major eruption, the deep pool of nearby Cistern Spring drains almost completely. Gradually, within a day or two after Steamboat’s eruption, Cistern begin to refill.
Erected by National Park Service.
Location. 44° 43.406′ N, 110° 42.205′ W. Marker is in Yellowstone National Click for map. Marker is located in the Back Basin section of Norris Geyser Basin. Marker is in this post office area: Yellowstone National Park WY 82190, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Cistern Spring (within shouting distance of this marker); Echinus (about 600 feet away, measured in a direct line); Echinus (about 700 feet away); Minute Geyser (approx. 0.2 miles away); Emerald Spring (approx. 0.2 miles away); Norris Geyser Basin (approx. 0.2 miles away); The Norris Area (approx. 0.2 miles away); Yellowstone National Park (approx. 0.2 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Yellowstone National Park.
More about this marker. Photographs of an erupting Steamboat Geyser and a drained Cistern Spring appear on the marker.
Categories. • Natural Features •
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 129 times since then and 3 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.