Fifteen-minute display of "Riverside" Geyser--boiling water 100 feet in air--Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 authored by No Author
You are looking about southeast from near the northern end of the Upper Geyser Basin; the stream you see down at the right is the Firehole River. The name of the stream explains itself, for one of many "holes" along its course is just at the end of this ridge where you see at this very moment boiling water leaping out in a slanting jet eighty or ninety feet long as if bursting from a hose under heavy pressure, then falling in a scalding shower into the water of the river. The puffy steam clouds that roll out around the water jet are themselves at fierce heat; you notice these tourists have all taken pains to keep on the windward side. Somewhat over a quarter of an hour this terrific display continues, sending a downpour of scalding rain into the river and loosing clouds of steam to float off over the tops of those pines and spruces; then the furious energy subsides--the spouting ceases, the clouds disappear without renewal, and nothing is left to se except two oblique-lined crater openings in the end of this mass of geyserite. For eight hours all is serene, just as it might be beside any woodland river. Then once again the boiling jet leaps out as if it were a live thing in a furious temper. Geologists account for the periodic explosions as the result of upward pressure from super-heated waters far down in the geyser's cone. For a time the weight of less heated waters above holds the other waters down and prevents their normal expansion into vapor--then, when the upward pressure becomes great enough to overcome the downward pressure of the superincumbent waters, the sudden outburst causes this eruption. (See Encyclopaedia articles on "Geysers;" Chittenden's "Yellowstone Park," etc.) From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.