[Geysers] MODERATOR: List Information

Carlton Cross Carlton.Cross at wallawalla.edu
Fri May 27 09:43:55 PDT 2016

Moderator Comment:  Just received a request about recovering a password, so it seems to be a good time to review the general information about the list as described in the Welcome Message that you received when you first subscribed. ( I'll bet not many of you could find your original copy.)  And, yes, unlike a highly secure system, you can recover your password.

Carlton Cross


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1) How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe, Change Your Password or Recover Your Password
2) How to Post to the Geyser List
3) Possible Publication in the GOSA SPUT
4) Geyser-List Charter
5) Back-Country Warning
6) Commonly Used Abbreviations
7) Glossary of Common Terms
8) Disclaimer

1) How to Subscribe/Unsubscribe, Change Your Password or Recover Your Password

For all functions, you may visit the Web page

How to subscribe via email:

     Send an email to geysers-join at lists.wallawalla.edu.  You will receive a return email asking
you to confirm your request.

How to unsubscribe via email:

     Send an email to geysers-leave at lists.wallawalla.edu.  You will receive a return email asking
you to confirm your request.

2) Posting to the Geyser List

Send submissions to address geysers at lists.wallawalla.edu.

Please end each message to geysers with your full name.

All postings will be screened by the moderator to guarantee compliance with the Geyser List
Charter (see the next section) and, unless there are extenuating circumstances, posted to the

3) Possible Publication in the GOSA SPUT

The SPUT (a semi-monthly GOSA publication) Editors reserve the right to publish
geyser-activity information in whole, in part or as condensed, unless your posting begins with an
explicit denial, such as "Permission for republication is denied."  SPUT Editors will request
permission before publishing anything beyond geyser-activity information.

4) Geyser List Charter

This mailing list is a moderated group that deals with any news about geysers and thermal
features, anything that affects these features or their surroundings or the people who watch them.
It deals primarily with Yellowstone National Park, but submissions about other geyser areas
around the world are also encouraged.

Below are listed some, BUT NOT ALL, of the types of submissions that are appropriate to this

Submissions about current geyser activity are greatly encouraged.  No piece of information in
this area is too small or insignificant.  The accuracy of the report is the responsibility of the
person making the report.

Clarifications or corrections of previous posts are greatly encouraged.  It is more important to try
to get out correct information than to feel embarrassed about sending out incorrect information
previously.  Everyone makes mistakes.  Clarifications and corrections should not be accusatorial
in tone.

News about vandalism or other activities that have a negative affect on the thermal features is
greatly encouraged.

News about Geyser Gazers or actions that will affect them is appropriate.

News about dangers, such as bear activity near back country thermal features, is appropriate.

Below are listed the types of posts that are not acceptable:  Posts describing how to carry out an
illegal activity will not be sent out to the list.  News about an illegal activity that has occurred,
such as vandalism of a geyser, are encouraged but a tutorial on how to do it is not allowed.

Attacks against other people (flames) are discouraged and people that engage in such activity will
be encouraged to leave the group.

5) Back-Country Warning

I.   Many posts will originate from people experienced in travel to Back-Country geyser basins
and thermal areas.  These posts usually will not include specific warnings about potential dangers
in these areas which do not have boardwalks or signs.

II.  Back-Country areas are potentially dangerous and have caused fatal injuries.  New areas
should never be entered without knowing the nature of the thermal features or someone who
understands the specific precautions.

III. The most common hazards follow:
        a)  Overhangs around pools,
       b)  Thin crust completely covering hidden hot pools,
        c)  Hot mud with a deceptive crust,
        d)  Hot mud with a deceptive mossy crust,
        e)  Geysers that erupt in unpredictable directions,
        f)  Geysers that have occasional superlative (larger) eruptions unexpectedly,
        g)  Unexpectedly hot runoff, and
        h)  Areas that have changed since last written about and are far more dangerous than any
written material could warn about.

IV.  Specific advice:
        a)  Never approach the edge of a pool without checking for overhangs,
        b)  Never stand closer than your height to the edge of something dangerous (so that if you
keel over you won't fall in)
        c)  Never stand close to a geyser that you do not understand, and
        d)  DEFINITELY!! Try to avoid leaving unsightly footprints.

6) Abbreviations commonly used on the Geyser List

Here are some of the abbreviations commonly used on the Geyser List and in the Old Faithful

First it should be noted that geyser times in Yellowstone are always recorded based upon a
twenty-four-hour clock. Thus, a 3:10 PM eruption would be noted as 1510 in the logbook.
Notice that the convention is to not include the colon.

Now for the abbreviations:

YNP - Yellowstone National Park

UGB, LGB, NGB, etc - Upper Geyser Basin, Lower Geyser Basin, Norris Geyser Basin....

VC - Visitor center (Usually, the Old Faithful Visitor Center)

ie - in eruption (the geyser was already erupting when first seen.)

ns - near start (the geyser was already erupting when first seen but the observer knew that the
eruption had just started.)  This judgment call must be used infrequently and is defined
differently for different geysers- for statistics, these entries are most often treated as ie entries.
(Daisy is never ns, but Grotto can be ns when Grotto Fountain is still erupting)

d - the duration of the eruption.

s - seconds

m - minutes

of - overflow

p - pause (often recorded on Great Fountain Geyser. It indicates the time between the "Official"
start of the eruption -  the first sustained boil over one meter -  and the start of the bursting play.)

h - height

~ - approximate

I - Interval

IBE - Interval Between Eruption Starts

ini - Initial eruption of a series (usually noted on a Lion series.)

Ind - indicator (as in Beehive's Indicator)

VR - visitor's report (Information reported to the visitor center by a person not known to the
naturalist on duty.)

> - greater than

< - less than

UNNG (or ung) - (pronounced un-guh) unnamed geyser.

Grand Geyser Legend

Example - 1434 G3Q D4 - indicates the eruption started at 2:34 PM.  Grand started the eruption
before Turban. There were 3 burst in the eruption. At the end of the eruption, Vent and Turban
geysers stopped erupting. And finally, the eruption occurred on the fourth Turban eruption after
the delay.  Grand brief version:  for example, Grand 1434 (3B) for the number of bursts.

     D - delay (Turban interval is over 25 minutes. D0 (D zero) is the notation for the first Turban
eruption whose interval is over 25 minutes from the previous.  Subsequent Turban eruptions are
noted as D1, D2, etc.)

     N - no Turban delay observed
     G - Grand started first (G3 - three bursts)
     T - Turban started first (T2 - two bursts)
     Q - Turban and Vent quit at end of Grand's eruption
     C - Turban and Vent continued

7) Glossary of Terms commonly used on the Geyser List

GOSA - The Geyser Observation and Study Association, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to
studying, documenting, understanding, preserving, and simply enjoying geysers.  For more
information, go to http://www.geyserstudy.org

The Sput - The bi-monthly newsletter of GOSA.

Gazer - A geyser aficionado.

Frog - A FRiend Of the Geysers (a GOSA participant.  "Member" is not used because it has a
specific legal meaning in the context of a corporation.)

Tadpoles - Gazer kids.

Afterburst - A burst that occurs after the main part of Grand's eruption (not to be confused with
the usual after play) when there has been a long enough time delay.  Noted as a "+1".

Bathtub - When water in Mastiff rises to near-full and then drops.

Blue Bubble - A rare phenomenon seen in fountain geysers when water domes and bursts,
retaining some of its blue color.

Concerted/Dual Eruption - When two geysers erupt simultaneously (in concert).  Dual is usually
applied to concerted eruptions of Splendid and Daisy.

Disturbance - The seasonal change in activity at Norris Geyser Basin, characterized by increased
activity and muddy water in many of the springs.

Diurnal Cycle - A day/night cycle of a geyser's activity characterized by varying intervals or other
change in behavior from day to night.  Plume Geyser exhibited marked diurnal variation a few
years ago.

Dormant - When a geyser is not active, it is dormant.

Duration - The period of time from the start of an eruption to the end of that eruption.

Exchange of Function - An energy/water shift from one spring, geyser, or group to another
spring, geyser, or group.

The Flounder - A common pejorative for Great Fountain Geyser.

Adequate Fountain - A less common pejorative for Great Fountain Geyser.

Geyser Hill Wave (GHW) - The cyclic changes in water levels on Geyser Hill that are thought to
be related to cyclic changes in geyser intervals.  Some features, notably Little Squirt and Dome
Geyser, erupt at the peak of the water levels.

GIP - Giant Indicator Pool

The Hamster - A nickname for the Lower Hamilton Store which is no longer operated by
Hamilton Stores.

Hot Period - A period of increased minor activity by a geyser (such as Giant).

Interval - There are two definitions for Interval in common usage.  The first, often used in general
conversations in Yellowstone and on the Geyser List, is "the period of time from the START of
one eruption to the START of the next eruption."  Some scientific publications refer to this as
IBE, Interval Between Eruptions.  The second, often used in publications and outside
Yellowstone (New Zealand for instance) is "the period of time from the END of one eruption to
the START of the next eruption."

Lower Hams - The Hamilton Store (no longer operated by Hamilton Stores) nearest the Upper
Geyser Basin.

Major/Minor - For geysers with two types of eruptions distinguished by size and/or duration, the
larger is called a major and the smaller is called a minor (Lion, Castle, North Goggles, Knobby,

Marathon - A long Grotto eruption (in excess of 8 to 10 hours up to 20 or more hours, usually
accompanied by a Spa eruption).

Pause - A pausing of activity, usually in the minor preplay.  Definitions as pertain to various
geysers (Great Ftn., Bijou, Fan).

Period - A term rarely used meaning the time from the start of one eruption to the start of the

Series - An active period wherein the geyser erupts repeatedly.  A series is over when the geyser
takes a long break.  Lion Geyser is a good example of a geyser that erupts in series.

SMax, South Maximum - The time in the GHW when water levels on the south end of geyser
hill, especially in Bronze and Silver Springs, are very high and the most likely time for Little
Squirt Geyser to erupt.

Steam Phase - The part of an eruption (typically occurring after the water phase) that is mostly

Superburst - An exceptionally large, sustained burst of Great Fountain, usually occurring near the
beginning of an eruption.

8) Disclaimer

This group is not authorized by Yellowstone National Park, The National Park Service or GOSA.
The views expressed are those of their authors and not of the organization hosting the list (Walla
Walla University).

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