What does geyser mean? What is the occurence of geyser? How geyser works? Information about geyser.
GEYSER, a spring that erupts and shoots forth hot water and steam from a natural tubelike opening sometimes reaching more than 100 feet (30 meters) into the ground. The period between eruptions is irregular for most geysers, but a few are fairly regular. Old Faithful Geyser in Yellowstone National Park, which spouts to heights of 100 to 170 feet (30-52 meters), erupts approximately every 65 minutes.
Occurrence. Besides Yellowstone, two areas of extensive geysers are known: Iceland and the North Island of New Zealand. The largest eruptions on record were from New Zealand’s Wai-mangu Geyser (now inactive), which spouted as high as 1,500 feet (460 meters). Small geysers that spout to heights of 10 feet (3 meters) or less occur in many parts of the world.
How Geysers Work. Geysers derive their energy from the heat of buried volcanic rocks that were molten within the past one to two million years. Some of a geyser’s water may originate as steam issuing from such rocks, but most comes from rain or snow that seeps down from the surface through fissures and permeable rocks and slowly fills the long tube of the geyser.
The pressure of the water that collects in the tube keeps the deeper water from boiling, even when internal temperatures rise well above the boiling temperature of water at ground level. An upward surge of water is brought about at length by rising bubbles, and water wells up and out of the geyser’s orifice. This lowers pressures sufficiently to cause some of the superheated water below to turn into steam and initiate the eruption. The mineral content of the water causes chalky or pastel deposits to build up around the geyser’s orifice; the deposits consist chiefly of a nonprecious variety of opal.
Understanding of geyser activity comes from surveys of active geysers, chemical and volumetric studies of erupted water, and studies of the geyserlike activities of some wells drilled in hot-spring areas. But agreement is lacking on many details of the eruption mechanism, particularly in geysers with periodic discharges.