Keeping Watch Over The Castle
Photograph - Photography
Geyser watcher enjoying Castle Geyser eruption in Yellowstone National Park.
Castle Geyser is a cone geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. It is noted for the particularly large geyserite sinter deposits. When the geyser was given this name in 1870, the top edges of the structure resembled the typical profile associated with the modern concept of a castle, having the appearance of a large keep, multiple turrets, and especially because of the crenellation along the top edges of what resembled its towers. Over time the cone's shape changes because of the layers of mineral deposited in successive eruptions.
Castle Geyser has a 10 to 12 hour eruption cycle. The geyser erupts hot water for about 20 minutes in a vertical column that reaches a height of 90 feet before changing to a noisy steam phase that issues for 30 to 40 minutes.
The sinter cone for Castle Geyser has been dated to around 1022 using carbon-14 dating. A 3-D laser scan made of the cone reveals evidence that this geyser has evolved through four to five distinct stages to reach its current configuration.
In November 2002, an earthquake in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska caused Castle Geyser, as well as other geysers in Yellowstone, to decrease in eruption frequency. The affected geysers have returned to their previous pattern since that time, however.
November 2nd, 2012
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