By Janet White
With the start of the summer season in Yellowstone National Park, geyser enthusiasts (also known as geyser gazers) have been visiting areas of the park that aren’t visible via the Internet over webcams, including the Lower Geyser Basin, to get an idea of what geysers might be active this year.
On Thursday, reports came in that something different was happening in the Fountain area. Clepsydra normally erupts nearly constantly from multiple vents, but was seen erupting weakly from only one vent. Water levels in Fountain Geyser were high enough to normally trigger an eruption, yet an eruption never came. Any change in behavior of thermal features usually has geyser gazers speculating on something unusual happening, and in this case, hopes of an eruption from Morning Geyser rose.
Friday morning, more reports came in to say that it appeared Fountain Geyser had erupted not long before 7 a.m., as there was water around its crater, but none around Morning Geyser. At 4:02 p.m. Friday, even though viewing conditions were poor due to weather, a few lucky geyser enthusiasts witnessed a rare dual eruption of both Fountain Geyser and Morning Geyser. Morning Geyser erupted for 24 minutes and Fountain Geyser continued on for a total duration of 69 minutes.
A short video of the two by knowledgeable geyser gazer, Maureen Edgerton, was posted to YouTube. She points out the two geysers for us here.
It is rare for Morning Geyser to erupt, but it has been active on and off for the past year. Prior to that, it was quiet for 18 years. Hopefully the activity continues to allow more visitors to witness such a rare treat.