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Peering into the mysterious crater of "Old Faithful," between its eruptions, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.

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posted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
it is one of the most famous geyser-craters in the world into which the tourist is looking. The crusty stuff covering the ground for rods al around is sinter or geyserite, an amorphous silica, left there by the evaporation of the over-flowing hot waters which had held it in solution. (Experiments show that a year's deposit is only about 1-30-inch, and as the deposits here around Old Faithful are 70 feet deep, it would seem that the geyser must have been at work some 25,000 years). They came from somewhere down in the depths of the earth, along the course of the tube or chimney of which this open crater is the top. At this moment only a low gurgle is to be heard from the cavernous depths, and just a little steam, as you see, is rising, but there are, away down below, waters in contact with the fiery hot rocks, themselves growing steadily hotter and hotter, geting ready for a sudden leap upwards through these ragged lips. Once in sixty to sixty-three minutes the eruption comes, almost as regular in its recurrence as the striking of a clock. It is that regularity which gives the spring its name. When the moment does come, a great jet of boiling water shoots up from this hollow like a rocket with a fiery train, 150 feet in the air; steam rushes after and clouds of steam are blown off from the ascending water0column; then the scalding liquid falls back to the earth in a heavy, blistering shower. Scientists have calculated that during the two-minute duration of each eruption the geyser sends up 1,500,000 gallons of boiling water, i.e., about 31,000,000 gallons daily. (See Encyclopaedia articles on "Geysers"; M. Chittenden's "Yellowstone National Park," etc.) From Notes of Travel, No.13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.

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