Steamboat Geyser erupts for 8th time since March

Steamboat geyser on June 4th/Courtesy Arthur Haeussler.jpg

Steamboat Geyser erupted for the eighth time this year at 9:04 a.m. Monday morning.

According to officials the geyser’s water stage lasted for about 30 minutes. The steam stage followed, which lasted throughout the day and was accompanied by a low rumble and billowing white steam.

Steamboat had been inactive for decades, but with its first eruption on March 15 it has proven to be a very active season for the geyser.

Jeff Hungerford is the chief geologist at Yellowstone National Park and said they haven't seen Steamboat this active since the 1960s and 1980s.

Even larger than Old Faithful, when Steamboat erupts it shoots a near-boiling water column into the air that can reach up to 345 feet.

"Geysers are the surface expression of the volcano that lies beneath us here," Hungerford said. "The water works down through all of the flows that you see around us, and it's super-heated and comes up and expresses itself as steam and hot water," he added.

Hoping to see it in action, many observers like Bill Warnock and his brother have been sitting and waiting for the next eruption. They say it's worth the wait.

"Just the wildness of the roar that comes after you've been watching water surges going higher and higher; it's just an overwhelming power of nature -- a number of people here were crying, they were just overcome from being in the presence of something truly awesome," Warnock said.

Park officials say geysers are unpredictable and often go off in the middle of the night or in the early morning. If you’re planning a trip to Yellowstone, officials say there’s a chance it will erupt again in the next seven or eight days and advise visitors to plan accordingly.

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