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Old Faithful

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  • Jan. 2009
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Old Faithful is a geyser located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, United States. It is one of 300 geysers in Yellowstone National Park. Old Faithful has a groundwater supply that is heated by a volcano. Old Faithful received its name by being predictable with its eruptions. It received its name by members of the 1870 Washburn Expedition. Old Faith had an average of 91 minutes between eruptions. Old Faithful is thought to be so reliable since it not connected to any other thermal feature of the Upper Geyser Basin. The formation of Old Faithful requires a favorable hydrogeology. Hydrogeology is the distribution and movement of groundwater in soil and rocks, aquifers. Old Faithful is a cone geyser; it is cone-shaped formed by the minerals in the water.

Old Faithful can shoot 3,700 – 8,400 gallons of boiling water as high as 106 – 184 feet in the air. The eruptions can last from 1.5 – 5 minutes. To this day there have been more than 137,000 eruptions recorded. Eruption patterns have been affected lately probably due to earthquakes. Earthquakes may have affected subterranean water levels. Old Faithful now has an eruption pattern of 65 minutes between eruptions if less than 2.5 minutes and 92 minutes if more than 2.5 minutes.

The temperature of Old Faithful has been captured with probes that were lowered into it. The probes were able to capture temperature and pressure. The probes were lowered as deep as 72 feet. The temperature was read at 244°F between 1983 and 1994. The same temperature was also measured in 1942. Video probes were lowered into Old Faithful and observed formation of fog from the interaction of cool air mixing with the warm air below.

Old Faithful is not the largest or most predictable geyser in Yellowstone National Park. Yet it is the most popular to tourists in Yellowstone. The geyser has boardwalks around it to protect the visitors and the plants and rock formations. The water that shoots out the cone is...