It seems just normal. For someone who is not fascinated by nature and its phenomenon, this is just another 'ordinary fountain'. The landscape is barren, a dry and rusty mountain in the background. Bamboos and tall pampas grass and in the middle lies a small pond with moss underneath. It looks very ordinary place until the water gushes out
Magnificent and spectacular; hot water accompanied with steam; shoots up to 60 feet in the air; around 177 degree Celsius hot. In awe, I witnessed a geothermal geyser for the first time in my life. I have always wanted to visit Yellowstone National Park or New Zealand to witness these hot springs. Never knew one existed right here in California; that also in the famous wine county of Napa valley. Thanks to my dear friend and his wife who took me there.
The backdrop of Mount St. Helena, Old Faithful towers up high in the air for a period of 2-3 minutes at regular intervals of 10-20 minutes; and then recedes. Its calm and barren all over again until it shoots out again. Its called Old Faithful because it is regular and periodic and erupts without fail.
Factors like moon, tides, barometric pressure and the tectonic stresses determine the interval and the height of the geyser shoots. These geysers can be utilized to harness geothermal power and hot thermal springs are good source of minerals that could be used for health spas and volcanic ash rich in minerals for mud bath.
They can be observed for probable earthquake occurrences. 2-14 days prior to earthquake, the geyser gives warning by delaying its regular performance to long intervals. A geyser exists only where conditions within earth's crust are right for it. Natural supply of water, heat source and series of fissures, cavities and fractures Surrounding formations of rock must be very strong to maintain the intense pressure of steam explosion.
When the water from deep within flows over the hot magma or lava waste, it boils and collects in cavities. Under ordinary conditions, the water, the heat and the underground structure remain still and constant. Thats why the water shoots out at regular intervals. Any deviation in this pattern relate to earthquake and that's how the geyser can predict earthquakes.
We spent around an hour or so; saw 7-8 performances of the geyser. Its mystic; out of nowhere from the earth's crust, boiling water and steam erupts and then calms down. The mount St. Helena in the background is composed of 2.4 million year old volcanic rocks. The area has volcanic rocks all around, and its breath-taking and gorgeous. I felt the water in the pond, the water at the border was warm; I could guess how hot it must be at the center!
Isn't nature mystical?
The pond, behind is mount St. Helena
Geyser just started.
The height at which it shoots up
A well nearby