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Geyser

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Small hydrothermal explosions — steam blasts — are common at Yellowstone National Park, occurring every year or two. Most happen in the backcountry and are not observed by people. In 1989, however, Porkchop Geyser blew up right in front of several observers on an otherwise sunny September afternoon.

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Yellowstone Volcano Observatory scientists investigate many aspects of the Yellowstone volcanic system, including the incredible geysers that are the highlight of any visit to the park. After witnessing a geyser eruption, many visitors begin to wonder about some aspects of these incredible phenomena. One question — “how tall was that?” — can be answered by anybody with a few simple tools.

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Ponng! Bluughh! Poowee! Once smelled, Yellowstone's not easily forgotten, but this U.S. National Park is also the largest geothermal area on earth, dancing to a tune of burps and bubbles.

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Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Dakota Churchill, physical scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of California, Berkeley; Michael Manga, professor at the University of California, Berkeley; Shaul Hurwitz, research hydrologist with the USGS; Joe Licciardi, professor at the University of New Hampshire; and Jim Paces, research geologist at the USGS.

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Yellowstone Caldera Chronicles is a weekly column written by scientists and collaborators of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory. This week's contribution is from Annie Carlson, research coordinator at the Yellowstone Center for Resources, Yellowstone National Park.

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