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This Earthcache is easily accessed off Highway 395, just on the north edge of the town of Lakeview, Oregon. You can access the geyser by pulling into Hunter's Hot Springs & Resort off HWY 395. There is a large parking area right next to the coords and can be easily visited by everyone! You can also view the geyser from Geyser View Lane just north of the coords. Information best gathered by pulling into resort. No fee to enter resort.
geyser (gi-zer) is a spring characterized by intermittent discharge of water ejected turbulently and accompanied by a vapour phase (steam). The word geyser comes from Geysir, the name of an erupting spring at Haukadalur, Iceland; that name, in turn, comes from the Icelandic verb geysa, "to gush", the verb itself from Old Norse..
Geysers are temporary geological features. The life span of a geyser is, at the most, only a few thousand years. Geysers are generally associated with volcanic areas. As the water boils, the resultant pressure forces a superheated column of steam and water to the surface through the geyser's internal plumbing. The formation of geysers specifically requires the combination of three geologic conditions that are usually found in volcanic terrain.
INTENSE HEAT - The heat needed for geyser formation comes from magma that needs to be near the surface of the earth. The fact that they need heat much higher than normally found near the earth's surface is the reason they are associated with volcanoes or volcanic areas. The pressures encountered at the areas where the water is heated makes the boiling point of the water much higher than at normal atmospheric pressures.
WATER - The water that is ejected from a geyser must travel underground through deep, pressurized fissures in the earth's crust.
A PLUMBING SYSTEM - In order for the heated water to form a geyser, a plumbing system is required. This includes a reservoir to hold the water while it is being heated. Geysers are generally aligned along faults. The plumbing system is made up of a system of fractures, fissures, porous spaces and sometimes cavities. Constrictions in the system are essential to the building up of pressure before an eruption. Ultimately, the temperatures near the bottom of the geyser rise to a point where boiling begins; steam bubbles rise to the top of the column. As they burst through the geyser's vent, some water overflows or splashes out, reducing the weight of the column and thus the pressure on the water underneath. With this release of pressure, the superheated water flashes into steam, boiling violently throughout the column. The resulting froth of expanding steam and hot water then sprays out of the geyser hole.
ERUPTIONS - Geyser activity, like all hot spring activity, is caused by surface water gradually seeping down through the ground until it meets rock heated by magma. The geothermally heated water then rises back toward the surface by convection through porous and fractured rocks. Geysers differ from non-eruptive hot springs in their subterranean structure; many consist of a small vent at the surface connected to one or more narrow tubes that lead to underground reservoirs of water. As the geyser fills, the water at the top of the column cools off, but because of the narrowness of the channel, convective cooling of the water in the reservoir is impossible. The cooler water above presses down on the hotter water beneath, not unlike the lid of a pressure cooker, allowing the water in the reservoir to become superheated, i.e. to remain liquid at temperatures well above the standard-pressure boiling point. The rocks in the nearby region produce a material called geyserite. Geyserite—mostly silicon dioxide, is dissolved from the rocks and gets deposited on the walls of the geyser's plumbing system and on the surface. The deposits make the channels carrying the water up to the surface pressure-tight. This allows the pressure to be carried all the way to the top and not be leaked out into the loose gravel or soil that are normally under the geyser fields.
Eventually the water remaining in the geyser cools back to below the boiling point and the eruption ends; heated groundwater begins seeping back into the reservoir, and the whole cycle begins again. The duration of eruptions and time between successive eruptions vary greatly from geyser to geyser; Strokkur in Iceland erupts for a few seconds every few minutes, while Grand Geyser in the United States erupts for up to 10 minutes every 8–12 hours.
The Lakeview geyser is not the traditional geyser that you might think about when you imagine Old Faithful in Yellowstone National Park. It works exactly the same….but was not born that way. Eastern Oregon is know for it’s volcanic activity. The nearby Cascades are part of the Ring of Fire, with volcanoes throughout. Magma runs very close to the earth’s surface in this part of Oregon. In Oregon’s history magma has reached the surface and caused great flows of lava. Continued magma activity below the surface has caused parts of Oregon to bulge, natural hot springs and in this case an active geyser.
Let’s talk about the birth of this geyser. In the 1920’s the residents of Lake County were attempting to drill a water well. They did not get very far….they only drilled about 25 feet before they hit a geothermal pocket. The very first eruption of the Lakeview geyser took place. It did not stop at just one. Ever since this attempt at tapping into the earth’s vast reservoirs of water…a geyser was born. The eruptions here have been fairly consistent and pretty exciting. Though not the traditionally born geyser it remains the west’s only active geyser and a not very well known secret little gem in Southeastern Oregon. When standing near the geyser and the eruption begins you can feel the power of this great planet beneath your feet..
To log this Earthcache you must meet the requirements listed below. Please email me the answers to the following questions. Do not post answers in your log. Failure to meet these basic requirements will result in log deletion.
1. What is the name of this geyser located just north of Lakeview?
2. Recently the geyser had not erupted from about June, 2009 to Feb, 2011 and periodically stops throughout the year....what phenomenon would you suspect is causing this?
3. If for some reason it is erupting while you are there....share the intervals and estimate the heighth of the witnessed eruption.
4. What is the elevation of the posted coords?
5. Lastly take a picture of you and your GPSr standing in front of the geyser. (optional) No armchair caching please.
(No hints available.)
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Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum