Bends in Plumbing Cause Geysers to Erupt

February 25, 2015 11:58 PM

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Bends in Plumbing Cause Geysers to Erupt

Old Faithful at Yellowstone National Park erupts every 35 to 120 minutes. But it’s only been in recent years that scientists have figured out what actually causes the landmark — and the other 1,000 or so active geysers of the world — to spew water and steam high into the air, instead of merely bubbling at the surface like hot springs do.

What they’ve discovered is that it’s all in a geyser’s plumbing — in particular, the twists and turns in the underground passageways through which the heated water moves.

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