This story first appeared on Cowboy State Daily
By Tom Ninnemann, Cowboy State Daily
Steamboat Geyser, the tallest active geyser in the world, fell dormant last month after erupting semi-regularly for the past two years.
According to a website tracking each eruption, Steamboat’s last eruption was on May 31, when he spat water into the air for an impressive 10 minutes.
The most recent previous eruption had occurred 26 days before that.
Michael Poland, scientist in charge of the Yellowstone Volcano Observatory, said the change in geyser activity was expected.
âThis is the sort of thing that is expected – Steamboat goes through periods of high activity and then reverts to periods of less activity, so we knew the current show would eventually come to an end,â he said. .
Poland said it was uncertain whether water availability was the main or secondary reason for the recent lack of eruptions.
âRecent research suggests that Old Faithful even went extinct for about 150 years during a period 650-800 years ago when there was a major regional drought,â he said. âSo I suspect that might play a role. ”
If Streamboat falls asleep, Poland has said it will offer the opportunity to study what happens in a geyser during its dormant period.
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