World's Tallest Geyser Erupts
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Steamboat Geyser at Yellowstone National Park—the world's tallest geyser—erupted on May 23, 2005, at 2:40 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time (UTC 20:40). Steamboat Geyser has erupted only seven times since 1991.
The geyser, an unpredictable and infrequent performer, throws a vertical column of water in excess of 300 feet (90 meters). Prior to the current activity, Steamboat Geyser's most-recent eruption was on October 22, 2003—19 months ago.
The Yellowstone Public Affairs Office reported that the geyser erupted water for approximately 15 minutes, followed by sustained, powerful blasting of steam. As of May 24, 2005, 10:51 a.m. MDT, the powerful steaming is finally waning.
According to Alan Glennon, a scientist at the University of California, Santa Barbara, Steamboat Geyser may discharge a hundred thousand gallons or more of water in a single eruption. By comparison, Old Faithful Geyser discharges 3,700 to 8,400 gallons during a typical 1.5 to 4.5 minute eruption.
Park officials are collecting visitor reports and examining evidence to assess the magnitude of Monday's eruption. The Yellowstone Public Affairs Office stated that the eruption, coupled with high winds, carried fine sand and debris up to a mile.
Alan Glennon, Department of Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, May 23, 2005.
Yellowstone Public Affairs Office, Yellowstone National Park, Interview, May 24, 2005.
Yellowstone National Park, FAQ on Old Faithful, Website: http://www.nps.gov/yell/planvisit/areaplanners/faq/faqoldft.htm