Steamboat Geyser, found in Yellowstone’s Norris Geyser Basin, has the prestige of being the world’s tallest active geyser. Though active, it is entirely unpredictable, and major eruptions have come anywhere from 4 days to 50 years apart. Needless to say, anytime Steamboat erupts is indeed newsworthy.
Scientists announced that Steamboat Geyser erupted once again at 5:30 a.m. on Thursday, March 15. Because most park roads are currently closed for spring plowing, no one actually saw the eruption first-hand. Scientists, however, do have sensors in Norris Geyser Basin that track seismic and temperature data that can help them determine when a geyser has erupted, especially one the size of Steamboat. The last eruption occurred on September 3, 2014.
When it does erupt, Steamboat can reach heights up to 380 feet. For some perspective, this is three time as high as Old Faithful!
Park staff did report seeing a significant plume from the geyser on the 15th. Park geologists shot the below video on March 16th of Steamboat in its post-eruption steam phase.
A few Yellowstone National Park staff did witness the eruption in 2014. Yellowstone’s Communications team recorded their experience and excitement as they recall the impressive eruption in this Minute Out In It series video.
Part of the wonder of Yellowstone is that something utterly fantastic and astounding may occur on any given day. And who knows, you may be lucky enough to be there to see it!