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Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser, World's Largest, Erupts For 3rd Time This Year

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By Suman Varandani, International Business Times - Business

Yellowstone National Park geologists said Steamboat Geyser, the world's largest active geyser, erupted for the third time this year. A park visitor reported the rare eruption on Friday, the National Park Service said.

This is the third eruption in the past six weeks, with the previous two reported on March 15 and April 19.

Based on comparisons of first-hand reports with seismic activity and the discharge of water, geologists suggested the eruption most likely started at 6.30 a.m. local time. According to the Geyser Observation and Study Association, this is the shortest interval between eruptions for Steamboat since 1982.

The last major eruption of the Steamboat occurred on Sept. 3, 2014. The recent eruptions were smaller than the 2014 eruption, reports said. The U.S. Geological Survey had assured the residents of the East Coast, there was no immediate indication of danger or volcanic activity.

“We don’t really know the exact duration for the eruption at this time,” Wendy Stovall, a U.S. Geological Survey scientist with the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, had said after the first eruption since 2014 in March. At the time, Stovall had said there was possibility of further eruptions in the recent future.

The park wrote on its Twitter account in March that Steamboat's eruption cannot be predicted.

“When it erupts, Steamboat reaches heights up to 380 feet (115 meters). That makes it more than three times the size of Old Faithful, and higher than any other active geyser in the world!” the park said mentioning another geyser at the park. The steam from Old Faithful averages a height of 40 meters.

What are geysers?

These are vents in the Earth’s surface that periodically release hot water and steam into the air. They only exist in very specific conditions and are closely linked to active volcanoes.

Steamboat Geyser facts:

The world's tallest active geyser is placed in the Norris Geyser Basin. The area near the geyser is snowed in much of the year. Steamboat's jets can rise as high as 300 feet and these big eruptions are known to go dormant for as many as 50 years at a time. The smaller bursts of 10-15 feet are more common.

Such heights of jet has only been reached by Waimangu Geyser in New Zealand. However, a landslide changed the local water table, and since then, Waimangu has not erupted, making it a dormant geyser.

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U.S. - U.S. Daily News: Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser, World's Largest, Erupts For 3rd Time This Year
Yellowstone's Steamboat Geyser, World's Largest, Erupts For 3rd Time This Year
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