[Geysers] Fan & Mortar details, 11/6/10

Tara Cross fanandmortar at hotmail.com
Sun Nov 7 23:06:22 PST 2010

Fan & Mortar erupted at 1254 on November 6, 2010.  For some background, one event cycle was seen each day from the 2nd to the 5th.  I saw the events on the 4th and 5th.  On the 4th, the event cycle was pretty weak overall--single River pause with only about 10 minutes of Main Vent splashing before Bottom Vent started and killed it.  The cycle on the 5th was theoretically stronger, with two pauses lasting 12 and 41 minutes and lots of Main Vent splashing, including one of those huge-into-East-Vent splashes.  However, the water levels died within a couple of minutes after the start of Gold.

We were all very surprised when the marker was still in place on the morning of the 6th.  When I arrived around 0730, Main Vent was roaring, but I never saw it splash.  Gold waited 15 minutes to start after River, but the water levels were less than impressive.  After this there were several long cycles.  Mike Keller called the events at F&M as follows:

1127 River on
1141 River off for a River pause, with continued roaring in Main Vent
1147 Main Vent splash
1156 River on, pause duration 15 minutes, and Main Vent continued to splash
1157 Bottom Vent (d~1m)
1208 River off for a double River pause
1216 Bottom Vent (d~15m), Main Vent continued to splash during Bottom's eruption
1233 Bottom Vent, didn't get the duration but it was off and on until a few minutes after River started
1234 River on, pause duration 26 minutes
1239 Gold on
1243 Angle on, water levels continued to look good
1252 Lock, there wasn't much suspense about it, High quickly built from 1-2 foot splashing to a steady column to 5-6 feet, then it built even more to 10+ feet
1254 Fan and Mortar, East Vent was first, followed by Main and Mortar

Very short lock by recent standards.  We were all surprised when East Vent shot up just 2 minutes after the lock commenced.  The eruption was partially backlit by the midday sun.  The prevailing wind direction was toward the pit toilet, but everything from the benches to the picnic table got wet.  There wasn't much from Lower Mortar, but Upper Mortar was in fine form, and Main Vent reached past the jugwalk.

Interval 6d23h, one of several longer intervals this season.  The 5 previous intervals had all been 3 1/2 days or less.  We kept theorizing that Fan & Mortar were waiting for somebody, but people continued to arrive and no eruption ensued until finally everyone was there.

--Tara Cross
fanandmortar at hotmail.com
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