[Geysers] Wildflowers During Giant's Dormancy?

Mike Newcomb mnewcomb at xmission.com
Wed Aug 3 21:58:22 PDT 2011

Attached is a photo of Bijou and Giant taken in July 20, 1985. I have
circled several areas where plants (grasses) are growing on the platform.
This was 9 months after the previous Giant activity and 13 months before the
next Giant eruption. I assume this would count as a dormancy?


Mike Newcomb


From: geysers-bounces at lists.wallawalla.edu
[mailto:geysers-bounces at lists.wallawalla.edu] On Behalf Of TSBryan at aol.com
Sent: Wednesday, August 03, 2011 6:11 PM
To: geysers at lists.wallawalla.edu
Subject: Re: [Geysers] Wildflowers During Giant's Dormancy?


I am very uncertain as to the use of the term "dormancy" for these groups.
In the case of the Giant Group, there has essentially always been activity
among those geysers, mostly by Bijou but spritzing by Catfish, boiling in
Mastiff and even surging (yes, down inside the vent but still present) in
Giant. Attached is a photo of Bijou taken in October (yes, October) 1978. I
think you can see the colored bacteria on the cone as well as on the
platform, the result of constant wetting by the Bijou and other activity.
Although I have no photo proof of it, I can certainly remember plants (if
not flowers) on the platform. But I also know that annual wildflowers can
sprout in a minimum of soil and do so... well... annually. This in the
middle of the "dormancy."


Much the same can be said of the Daisy Group. Comet never quit, there was
action by Bonita and Radiator, as well as by numerous sputs on the
"platform" near Splendid. 


I guess maybe this business of group dormancy can be said of the other
places cited but, overall, I think Jeff's proposed paper might be doomed
from the start.

Scott Bryan



In a message dated 8/2/2011 7:32:35 P.M. US Mountain Standard Time,
jeff.cross at utah.edu writes:

I recall overhearing once that during the period of Giant Geyser's dormancy
from 1959 through the gradual reactivation in the mid-1980s, wildflowers and
grasses grew on the Giant platform.  Is this indeed true?

How many other groups of geysers have gone dormant all at once, as the Giant
Group did during this period?  I can think of three:

Orion Group, Shoshone Geyser Basin, late 1970s and ongoing
Lower Group, Heart Lake Geyser Basin, between 2008 and 2010 and ongoing
Daisy Group, Upper Geyser Basin, during the 1960s and recovered in the 1970s

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