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  • Squeaks here loves learning about volcanoes.

  • It's so cool when huge mountains erupt with waves of lava and clouds of ash!

  • But did you know there are other things that erupt that aren't volcanoes?

  • They're called geysers, and instead of spewing out lava and ash, they erupt with a big spout

  • of water and steam!

  • This is Old Faithful, one of the most famous geysers in the world.

  • It's in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming, and thousands of people come to see it erupt

  • every year.

  • When a geyser like Old Faithful erupts, it creates an amazing display of water shooting

  • into the sky.

  • But Old Faithful is extra special because it erupts on a set schedule!

  • A lot of geysers only erupt once in a while, and it's hard to know when it's going

  • to happen.

  • But Old Faithful erupts about every hour and a half, sending thousands of liters of boiling-hot

  • water flying up into the air.

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • Well Squeaks, it doesn't work exactly like a sprinkler.

  • The water that erupts from geysers is so incredibly hot that you can't touch it without getting

  • burned.

  • In fact, all of that water needs to be really hot in order to shoot out of the ground in

  • the first place.

  • Geysers form in special places where there are big pools of water underground, called

  • reservoirs.

  • Normally, the water in a reservoir is very cold, and there's a thick layer of rock

  • that separates it from the magma inside the Earth.

  • Magma is basically rock that's melted into liquid, and it's super hotmuch hotter

  • than the water in the reservoir.

  • In most places, the rock layer in between the magma and the water is thick enough to

  • keep the magma's heat from reaching the water.

  • But in some areas, the rock layer is thin enough that the heat from the magma can get

  • to the water.

  • And when you have something very hot near water, the water heats up and boils, just

  • like in a pot on your stove.

  • Now, there's something that's different between a pot of cool, calm water and a pot

  • of boiling hot waterother than the bubbles.

  • What do you think it is?

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • That's right, Squeaks!

  • Boiling water moves around a lot.

  • That's because when water is boiling, it has a lot of energy from all of that heat,

  • which makes it move around and bubble.

  • But when the water in a reservoir boils, there isn't much room in there for it to move

  • around!

  • So, the boiling water rises up to the top of the reservoir pool, and it finds any cracks

  • in the top of the reservoir.

  • Then, a bunch of things happen very quickly:

  • The boiling water races through the crack in the reservoir ceiling, and as huge amounts

  • of hot water flow into that small space, it moves faster and faster.

  • The water moves so fast, that when it finally reaches the Earth's surface, it shoots out

  • of the top in a big spout, creating a geyser!

  • The water in the reservoir under the Old Faithful is almost always very hot, and every hour

  • and a half or so, there's enough boiling water to cause a huge eruption.

  • So, there are a lot of things that need to happen for a geyser to form: there needs to

  • be a reservoir, and magma, and extra-thin rock between them, and a crack for the water

  • to flow through, all at the right temperatures to cause an eruption.

  • And that only happens in five countries in the world!

  • Only the United States, Russia, Chile, New Zealand, and Iceland have geysers.

  • Geysers around the world can be very different, though.

  • Some, like the Little Cub Geyser in Yellowstone, aren't very big.

  • The Little Cub is less than 2 meters high, or just about 5 feet tallshorter than

  • most grown-ups.

  • Others, like the Steamboat Geyser, which is also in Yellowstone, can reach over 120 meters

  • high, or 400 feet.

  • Lots of geysers, including Old Faithful and Steamboat, don't have other geysers around them.

  • But there are some places that have lots of geysers all together.

  • That can happen where there are a bunch of cracks in the Earth's surface all close

  • together, so boiling water from a reservoir can erupt from lots of different geysers in

  • one area.

  • Like in the Valley of Geysers in Russia!

  • It has almost a hundred geysers that have erupted over and over, creating really incredible

  • sights!

  • [Squeaks squeaks]

  • Maybe we should go and visit Old Faithful, Squeaks!

  • It's not very far from where we live.

  • Would you like to visit a geyser and see it erupt?

  • What other amazing landforms do you want to learn about?

  • Ask a grown-up to help you leave a comment below, or send us a message at

  • We'll see you next time, here at the fort.

Squeaks here loves learning about volcanoes.

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B1 US water reservoir faithful boiling erupt magma

Geysers: When Water Erupts!

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    joey joey posted on 2021/05/09
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