Emergence Setting and Hydrology

Riverside Geyser, Yellowstone National Park, WY.

Explosive flow of hot water from confined aquifer.

For Example: Riverside Geyser, WY


Sketch of Geyser spring type. A=aquifer; I=impermeable stratum; S=spring source. The inverted triangle represents the water table or piezometric surface. Fault lines are shown where appropriate.

Globally rare, geysers are geothermal springs that eject hot water explosively and usually erratically. Of just over 1,000 geysers worldwide, nearly half are located in Yellowstone National Park, WY, USA. (Bryan 1995). Although there are 10,000 non-geyser hot springs in Yellowstone, these are limnocrene or helocrene springs. Half of Yellowstone's 600 geysers erupt frequently. Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, with about 200 geysers, has the second-highest density of these geothermal springs (Bryan 1995). No other location in the world has more than 40 geysers. The thermal water found in geysers support unique communities of bacteria (Brock 1994).