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geyser

geyser

A geyser is a rare kind of hot spring that is under pressure and erupts, sending jets of water and steam into the air

Grades

4 - 12+

Subjects

Earth Science, Geography, Geology, Physical Geography

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Morgan Stanley

A geyser is a rare kind of hot spring that is under pressure and erupts, sending jets of water and steam into the air.

Geysers are made from a tube-like hole in the Earth's surface that runs deep into the crust. The tube is filled with water. Near the bottom of the tube is molten rock called magma, which heats the water in the tube.

Water in the lower part of the tube, close to the magma, becomes superhot. Gradually, it begins to boil. Some of the water is forced upward. The boiling water begins to steam, or turn to gas. The steam jets toward the surface. Its powerful jet of steam ejects the column of water above it. The water rushes through the tube and into the air.

The eruption will continue until all the water is forced out of the tube, or until the temperature inside the geyser drops below boiling (100 degrees Celsius, or 212 degrees Fahrenheit, at sea level).

After the eruption, water slowly seeps back into the tube. The process begins again. In some small geysers, the eruption process can take just a few minutes. In larger geysers, it can take days. The most famous geyser in the United States, Yellowstone National Park's Old Faithful, erupts about every 50-100 minutes.

Fast Fact

Geyser Central
Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming has more than 300 geysersabout two-thirds of the number of geysers in the entire world. Other geyser hot spots are Siberia, Chile, Iceland and New Zealand.

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Writers
Kim Rutledge
Melissa McDaniel
Santani Teng
Hilary Hall
Tara Ramroop
Erin Sprout
Jeff Hunt
Diane Boudreau
Hilary Costa
Illustrators
Mary Crooks, National Geographic Society
Tim Gunther
Editors
Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing, Emdash Editing
Kara West
Educator Reviewer
Nancy Wynne
Producer
National Geographic Society
other
Last Updated

May 20, 2022

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