steamboat geyser

Yellowstone - The world’s largest geyser recently set a new record for the most eruptions it’s had in one year. And, it’s still spouting off. In Yellowstone, Steamboat Geyser eruptions are the most spectacular you can hope to see. This year may be the best chance you may get to catch the big one in Yellowstone.

Steamboat Geyser is the largest on earth: twice as tall as Old Faithful. It is notorious for being dormant for years.

Yellowstone Geologist Dr. Jeff Hungerford said in May, 2018, “Steamboat geyser was dormant for fifty years from 1910 to 1961.”

Hungerford met us at Steamboat last summer, shortly after the giant started erupting repeatedly.

Yellowstone Supervolcano expert Dr. Robert Smith happened to be flying by Norris Geyser Basin in 1984, when he saw Steamboat’s huge plume. He says he got the only aerial photograph of the giant.

At his home in Moose, Wyoming, Dr. Smith said, he saw, “Hot water height of about 500 feet, and the steam height to about another 500 feet.”

But, now, Steamboat is eclipsing its own records: In 2018 it erupted 32 times. It was the most ever recorded in one year. It has topped that record already this year:

Hungerford pointed out, “So far in 2019 we’ve had 34 eruptions, and the last eruption happened on the 3rd of September.”

University of Utah and Yellowstone Geologists are watching this time.

Smith said, “They installed 28 seismographs around Steamboat.”

Hungerford explained, “We are crunching that data right now.”

Still, all the great minds can’t pinpoint the exact cause of the multiple eruptions.

Hungerford conjectured, “It could be something about seismicity, it could be about deformation or ground swelling in the area…it could be something about water, or precipitation.”

There is no way to predict when it will erupt again, but this year, It’s been going off almost weekly..

In 2018, September was the month with the most eruptions.

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