[Geysers] Geyser Report June 19, 2015 (Stephens)

Lynn Stephens lstephens2006 at hotmail.com
Fri Jun 19 18:40:28 PDT 2015

Unless something unusual happens tomorrow, this will be my last report for the season.
I started the morning at Till to get a double interval.  I ended the day back at Till, also with a major.  The double interval averaged 10h44m; the closed interval was 10h33m.
After Till this morning I was headed toward Black Sand to watch Cliff Geyser.  Just before it was time to make the right hand turn into Black Sand Basin, I heard Jim Scheir call Beehive on the radio.  I drove on up to the overpass and then to Three Sisters to watch the remainder of the eruption before heading back to Black Sand Basin.

I took some time this morning to watch one cycle of Cliff
Geyser.  For many years the method of
measuring Cliff’s cycle has been to record the “major” eruption as the start,
with “major” being the full pool eruption. 
The “full pool” definition I use dates back to 1991.  In 1991, when I was a volunteer for Rick
Hutchinson, he asked me to help “ground truth” eruptions for a few of the
geysers his summer assistant, Tim Thompson, was going to mechanically monitor.  Cliff was one of those geysers.  Tim asked me to record times for “full pool”
to “full pool” eruptions.  His monitor
was placed to catch runoff from a notch in the southeast corner of the sinter
moat that creates Cliff’s pool.  Thus, I
was asked to use “consistent spillover from that notch” as the definition of
“full pool” so my visual times would be comparable with the mechanical
times.  If you peruse
the electronic version of the Old Faithful Visitor (Education) Center logbooks,
you will find entries for Cliff (full pool). 
(See, for example, June 25, 2006 for four consecutive eruptions.)
I watched two eruptions, one with a duration of 14 minutes and one with a duration of only 2 minutes.  Interval between the eruptions was 52 minutes.  I have never been able to find any correlation between durations and intervals for Cliff.
On the other hand, Flood continues to exhibit a positive relationship with longer duration eruptions followed by longer intervals.  With only 1 1/2 hours of safety between the end of a Gemini series and potential beginning of the next series, I haven't gotten very many Flood durations and subsequent intervals, but when I ran a regression with the sample size from a few days ago, the duration still explained 84% of the length of the subsequent interval, with a statistical significance level of .0001.
Gemini showed me something new this afternoon.  I had two eruptions, then, 14 minutes after the second eruption, Gemini filled, burbled up nicely, pushed waves of water out of the crater, then drained completely.  I have gotten into the habit of waiting for the second drain before declaring the series ended.  About 9 minutes after the failed attempt to erupt, Gemini succeeded in having a third eruption--total interval of just over 23 minutes from one eruption to the next, the longest interval I've recorded this year.
Other items of note:  Yesterday I noticed small patches of asphalt near White Dome turning from gray to black as they melted in the hot sun.  Today on Firehole Lake Drive I tried to get a picture of a full size bus speeding down the road.  I did capture pictures of the man who came around the "back" side of White Dome, then continued walking around the base of the cone.  I also got a picture of the man coming out of the gully leading into Cave Spring.  I should have taken a picture of him way down near the edge of Cave instead of asking him to come back before I took his picture.
Best excuse, albeit fictitious, I've ever heard from a wrong-way driver on Firehole Lake Drive.  Yesterday as I was leaving, I noticed two women sitting with their feet in the stream that goes from Firehole Lake under the road and then on into Hot Lake.  There was also a family on the boardwalk near where the bridge is out.  As I was driving down the straight section on the north side, I saw a vehicle coming toward me.  I positioned myself in the middle of the road; he pulled over onto the side with one set of wheels in the grass.  I pulled up beside him and told him he was going the wrong way on a one-way road and he needed to turn around so he wouldn't cause an accident.  He replied, "I have to go this way.  I just got a call from my daughter saying my wife collapsed back there by the hot lake."  I thought to myself, OK, but we don't have any cell phone service here.  Giving him the benefit of the doubt that maybe they had used frs radios, I asked, "Do you want me to contact the park service to get paramedics out here?"  He hesitated a minute, then said, "Um, oh, um, oh, that's OK, they've already been called."  With that he pulled away and kept driving the wrong way back toward Firehole Lake.  Oh well, I tried.
Rule breaking continued today.  As Maureen and I were watching a series of Gemini, a full-size, white bus came barrelling down the road toward us from Great Fountain.  I barely had time to get to the pickup to get the camera to try to take a picture of it.  The driver hadn't slowed down as he came through Great Fountain's parking lot, and didn't slow down as he rounded the curve, so I don't know why he bothered taking Firehole Lake Drive.  There wasn't any identifying information on the front or sides of the bus, but one of the pictures I took shows the license plate, name of the company, and telephone to call.  The company advertises itself as "a licensed and bonded freight shipping and trucking company running freight hauling business" in case you want to use it to send some freight through Yellowstone.  (I don't know about Yellowstone, but I know commercial hauling is NOT allowed in Mount Rainier National Park, and can't think where the company would be delivering freight on Firehole Lake Drive!)
Maureen pointed out a couple walking from the road across the grass to the north of White Dome today.  I didn't want to go over there to say anything to them, and they weren't on sinter at that point.  A few minutes later I noticed she had returned to the road, but he was continuing farther through the grass toward the west.  Then I lost sight of him.  The next time I saw him, he was coming around to the base of White Dome's cone.  I took a picture of him as he started running back toward the road.  Possibly someone standing on the boardwalk had said something to him.
Lots and lots and lots of people walk out to the "Danger, thermal area, keep out sign" that's several feet off the pavement near the edge of the grass that is supposed to keep people from going on down to Cave Spring or turning to their left and coming up onto the sinter around Pebble and Crack.  I've given up asking people to return to the road unless they go past the sign and have their feet on bare ground or sinter.  This afternoon one man moved quite quickly past the sign and down into the gully leading to the mouth of Cave Spring.  I called to him to come back to the road because I didn't want to see him get burned.  Too bad I didn't take the picture first to show just how far down he had gone, but the picture of him returning does clearly indicate he was well into what I think is a danger zone.
Some bird sightings/hearings:  A couple days ago Maureen, Byron, and I were entertained throughout the day by what I think was a yellow warbler.  Today I watched a redwing blackbird chase a raven right past the pickup, only a few feet from my window.  The blackbird was certainly mad about something.
That's all folks.
Lynn Stephens
-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: </geyser-list/attachments/20150619/15991467/attachment.html>

More information about the Geysers mailing list