Old Faithful Facts
- Old Faithful represents a cone-type geyser located in Yellowstone National Park, in the United States, in North America. It also remains famous for being one of the most predictable geological features on the planet.
- The geyser received its name from the members of an expedition in 1870. Though not the largest geyser in the park, it certainly serves as the most predictable and regular.
- Between 1983 and 1994, four different scientific surveys lowered instruments into the geyser for research purposes. But, though many measurements took place, 72 ft (22 m) continues to be the deepest that probes have ever been able to reach.
Old Faithful Eruptions
Old Faithful remains perhaps the most closely observed marvel of geology on earth. More than 137,000 eruptions have been monitored and recorded.
Nevertheless, eruptions of the site vary in interval, duration, volume, and height. However, these all fall within a given range, following regular patterns, and last between 1.5-5 minutes.
Intervals between eruptions stay between 45-125 minutes and average 90 minutes today. The average once only measured 66.5 minutes. The volume of water ejected ranges between 3,700-8,400 US gallons, depending upon the duration.
The average height of the ejecta usually reaches 145 ft (44 m).
Old Faithful Predictability and Interval
During the time that recordings of the patterns of Old Faithful have been kept, the interval between eruptions has changed. The average interval now measures significantly longer than it once did.
Scientists believe this to be the direct result of numerous small earthquakes within the area. These they also believe responsible for altering the levels of the subterranean water deposits which feed the geyser.
However, these alterations actually made the geyser even more predictable than before. So, the greater the duration of a given eruption, the more extended the next interval will be.