Secret of Geyser Eruption Unveiled

February 27, 2015 3:49 AM

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The research was led by Michael Manga, professor of earth and planetary science at UC Berkeley and the team especially observed El Jefe, a geyser situated at an elevation of about 14,000 feet in the El Tatio geyser field in Chile, which is known to erupt every 132 seconds. The research team found that a major role is played by the underground bend or loop which traps steam and bubbles it out slowly to heat the water column above. The boiling of the column occurs from the top and results in spewing of water and steam hundreds of feet into the air.

Manga said “Most geysers appear to have a bubble trap accumulating the steam injected from below, and the release of the steam from the trap gets the geyser ready to erupt. You can see the water column warming up and warming up until enough water reaches the boiling point that, once the top layer be...

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