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Posted by on Jan 8, 2016 in Tell Me Why |

What Makes Geysers?

What Makes Geysers?

Geysers are steam explosions of a spring from which water and steam is ejected forcefully into the air at heights ranging from less than a few feet to over several hundred feet.

A geyser occurs where water seeps into a crooked column in the earth and is heated by hot underground rock.

The water at the bottom boils first, and the pressure of the water in the column prevents the water closer to the surface from boiling until the temperature is far above water’s usual boiling point.

Suddenly the superheated water explodes into steam, shooting steam and water high into the air. After the eruption, water begins to refill the geyser hole and the temperature begins to increase, in advance of the next steam eruption.

Geysers are a quite rare phenomenon on Earth due to the precise conditions that are required for them to form. They are mainly clustered near active volcanic areas.

There are only around one thousand known active geysers worldwide.

Geyser formation requires a particular combination of three geological aspects, water, intense heat and cracks/spaces in the ground that form a type of underground plumbing system.

Content for this question contributed by Diane Stackhouse, resident of York, York County, Pennsylvania, USA