Glittering spray from "Constant" Geyser and steam from "Black Growler," Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 authored by No Author
These are among the first of the famous spouters that you see in making the rounds of the Park. You are near the northern end of the Norris geyser Basin. The "Constant" just before you, sending up that sparkling shower of boiling water, plays every fifty seconds almost as regularly as a clock. The scalding drops are flung twenty or thirty feet into the air as you see them now-then in a few seconds the show ceases; the pool at your feet becomes only a kettle of fiercely hot water and stays so till another fifty seconds have passed. "Black Growler" over there beyond the low ridge sends up ceaseless clouds of steam, but no hot water. Geologists are pretty well agreed that this display is caused by the percolation of surface waters down through rock chimneys into hollows far below, where they come in contact with rocks at furious heat-rocks which have not yet cooled down from their ancient experience as parts of volcano openings in the earth's crust. Both the spouting waters and the swirling steam smell of sulphur and they bring up with them in solution quantities of silica which you see deposited on the ground all about here, forming a crust of yellowish sinter or geyserite-a thin crust, by the way, by no means safe everywhere. A venturesome person will be lucky if it does not give way under him and introduce him to a hot foot-bath. The water in the boiling pool before you is made a beautiful blue by the presence of certain curious forms of vegetable frowth (algae) that appear and flourish in this extraordinarily high temperature. (See H. M. Chittenden: "Yellowstone National Park.") From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.