Words of exclamation, words of amazement, and words of interest, but what else would you expect when standing next to an astounding natural wonder, like a geyser. Strokkur is an Icelandic geyser found in a geologic haven, where the most famous geyser, Geysir, also calls home, Haukadalur. There are many more geysers in Haukadalur, however the most active of all is Strokkur, which erupts, more or less, every five minutes. I had the opportunity to personally witness approximately six eruptions. Each eruption produced a column of water and steam, sixty to one hundred feet(30 meters) into the air, with temperatures reaching up to or more than one hundred degrees Celsius.
When water and gas erupt from a
geyser it is due to the hot and cool fluid sources interacting with each other.
This causes a steady supply of heat. Additionally every geyser field in the
world is located near some sort of volcanic, shallow lying, heat source.
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Each geyser is said to have its
own unique “plumbing” system, however there seems to be four common reservoir
types. The first is a single
standpipe that is connected to an underground reservoir with a raised cone at
surface. The second have deep, rather narrow, shafts.
The third have standpipes much like those in the first type, however,
cones do not form around their surface openings, yet their openings have
slightly raised rims and are in pools of water. The last have deep reservoirs and depending on the
connection, thickness, etc., the eruption will vary.
It has been found that when
there are changes in the Earth's atmospheric conditions geyser behavior seems to
be effected. Changes in rainfall
amount and barometric pressure can effect on geyser activity.
Earth tides, like ocean tides, arise from relations between the
gravitational fields on the earth, sun, and moon. These tidal forces can
thoroughly affect geyser behavior. Low tides restrict the flow of water into
reservoirs. Equally, high tides
open cracks and channels and allows a faster change of water into the
After watching three eruptions a few of my fellow group members and I decided that we were hungry and that it was time to eat. So, since we were all missing our good old Canadian meals, out came the cans of ravioli. Right there in a near by geyser field we place our lunch, left it for a few minutes and then when it was warm, out came the spoons. Umm, umm a good hot meal (let me tell you they were very hot), with out the price!
Now lets face it, don’t they seem to be one of the coolest natural wonders on the earth!
By S. Thompson
and The Earth’s Pluming Systems. www.umic.edu/~265/geysers.html
Iceland: Geothermal Actives. www.randburg/is/general_17.html
Geysers and Hot Springs.
Hot Springs. Canadian Encyclopedia plus. c 1996 by Mc
Clelland &Stewart Inc.