[Geysers] Spiteful's Sput

David Schwarz david.schwarz at alumni.duke.edu
Sat Feb 11 15:49:15 PST 2012

   There are actually at least four more-or-less related vents above
Spiteful, but two of them are usually buried.

   The first is the familiar "Spiteful's Sput," a slit-like vent located in
Spiteful's crater on a shelf right at or just above the water line, that
ranges from continuous blurbling to large, angled jets that land well clear
of the crater.  It's activity is pretty consistent and continuous any given
year--when it's active, the only times it stops are after euptions of
Spiteful (stops entirely) or Fan and Mortar (sometimes stops, sometimes
slows down to strong overflow, sometimes keeps going, possibly related to).

   To the left of and above the main sput (viewed from the old road),
there's a crack that more or less lines up with the fissue Spiteful and
Fan's vents are on.  This crack is also sometimes active as a spouter,
albeit a much smaller one.  When active, water is visible splashing in and
just above the crack.  It's visible, but not erupting, just below and left
of center in this photo:

   Next, just up from the crack and basically in line with it, there's a
vent that is almost always buried.  It was cleared in the mid 1990s by NPS
volunteers and took over much of the function of the main sput.  The crack
vent was active along with it, and as I recall, the main sput was reduced
to a strong, bulging overflow.  This vent was reburied over the course of a
year or two and to my knowledge, no effort has been made to clear it since.

   The last one is probably not directly related to the other three.

   It's well known that, when the road was built through the Upper Geyser
Basin, a spring/geyser above Spiteful at the edge of the road was capped
with stone and concrete and its output diverted through a tile-lined
culvert to an outlet downslope from Spiteful.  The culvert was known to
discharge a flood of output during eruptions of Fan and Mortar in the '80s
and '90s, so it was often referred to as Fan's "Tile Vent."  One summer in
the late 1990s, a spot in the gravel in front of the concrete cap started
steaming, sputtering, and periodically filling with water.  We all assumed
at the time that it was a break in the pipe or some other expression of the
buried spring.  The activity did not persist.

   As for whether they're separate geysers...  I'd say no, not any more
that the cone sputterers on Daisy are separate geysers.  When Spiteful is
full, the sput is in eruption--from whichever vent is dominant.  When
Spiteful drains after an eruption, the sput quits.  It's a high-water-level
vent of Spiteful that functions as a perpetual spouter when active.

David Schwarz

On Sat, Feb 11, 2012 at 1:11 AM, JEFFREY CROSS <jeff.cross at utah.edu> wrote:

> A question for all:
> Is the small vent at the uphill edge of Spiteful Geyser's crater an
> independent geyser?
> Also, I recall that a second vent existed here.  Was it, too, a geyser?
> Thank you for your opinions on this issue.
> Jeff Cross
> jeff.cross at utah.edu
> _______________________________________________
> Geysers mailing list
> Geysers at lists.wallawalla.edu
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