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Observations for 2019 August 30


The string of Turban Delays before Grand eruptions continued. At least in the morning, Grand ended up erupting on the Delay, so it didn't matter much. We're also back into the mode where Sput D is frequent and West Triplet is only overflowing.

Mid afternoon the delay did matter. There was a storm to the north, but it looked like it was going to miss us, and it did. Then we had the Turban Delay, and it took three intervals before Grand felt like giving us a One Burst Eruption. Meanwhile a new storm developed, and by the start of the second Turban eruption after the Delay, the rain, along with a strong wind, had started. This weather continued until the end of the One Burst Grand eruption. So of course we got to return without having to deal with getting any wetter. The eruption itself was short, only ten minutes, and there was a distinctive slowdown at around the eight minute mark where Grand went into Big Sawmill mode. But the weather did clear out the benches. They were full as it started, and there may have been about a dozen people there for the end.

Went out for the early night eruption, as hadn't done that this trip. This time, finally, while the Turban intervals were long, there wasn't a Delay. There were quite a few people out for this eruption, as the cloudiness kept the air warmer. It felt more like mid-July, and I didn't need the cold weather gear. But as we were walking back past Castle, it started to sprinkle. This continued during the bike ride back to the cabin, by which time it had stopped.


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Observations for 2019 August 29


After a single long Rift eruption, it appears we are back to Sput D in control again. At the same time, it's beginning to seem like having a Turban Delay is a requirement before Grand can erupt.

The morning's eruption had two Delays, and Grand at least erupted on the second one. For the afternoon, there was only one Delay, and Grand erupted on the next Turban eruption. In that case, the interval after the Delay had a normal fill and Turban initiated the eruption.

The second eruption of the day also had a second burst. The first lasted about eight minutes, and the total duration was just over ten. A little disappointing, actually, as the pool drained almost immediately afterwards.

Spent a few hours at Fan & Mortar. While there were definite cycles in activity, they were weak. In both cases, River Vent came on, followed by some splashing in High an Gold Vents. Then everything shut off for several minutes, to be followed by a more progressive start. Angle Vent did shut down without a lot of blipping around at the end, so the cycles themselves didn't last that long.

Didn't make an attempt to go out for the early night Grand eruption, which turned out to be a good move. There was a thunderstorm with hail about then.


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Observations for 2019 August 28


It was a day to see One Burst Grand eruptions.

The first was at dawn. Castle was in late steam as I tied down my bike,. The wait started out foggy and the walkway slippery, and for the next hour it got progressively foggier and slipperier. I sort of saw Daisy erupt by seeing a column of steam in that general direction, above the fog. But the little breeze there was pushed the steam away from my view, so I was actually able to see Vent overflow before Turban initiated the eruption.

During the wait, there wasn't much activity from Sput D, only one eruption (and overflow from West Triplet) about an hour before Grand erupted. During and after Grand there was the usual heavy West Triplet overflow and weak Sput D eruption. But the West Triplet also had areas of roiling, as if it was trying to start bursting. I also saw a couple of quick, 30cm high boils on Churn as I was walking by.

So it didn't surprise me to find that a few hours later Rift was erupting. This was the first eruption of Rift since we arrived five days ago. At the same time, Sput D was continuously spitting away. I stuck around to catch the first Grand overflow, at a little over four hours after the previous eruption. From there it was a quick visit to Geyser Hill to check on Aurum and Beehive. I waited maybe a couple of minutes for Aurum, and then since Beehive was being watched, I headed back to Grand.

Rift was still erupting, but Sput D was a lot quieter. As the Rift eruption progressed, it eventually stopped completely. About an hour later, I noticed splashes from Percolator, the first activity there I've seen in quite a while. Normally Percolator is full and overflowing when it erupts, but this time it was empty, and the jets had that thin appearance as if they were coming from down deep. Over at West Triplet, it seemed steamier too, as if it was having one of its deep drain eruptions. (The crowd was too thick to attempt taking a look.)

Meanwhile, Turban had consecutive Delay intervals, with the One Burst Grand eruption one interval after the second Delay. It was about ten minutes after Grand ended that Rift finally quit, too, for a duration of well over three hours.

Came out for the sunset Grand to find West Triplet still drained. Nothing happened down there the whole time I waited for Grand to erupt. This time, at least, Grand erupted on the second Delay. That mean the crowd was still able to see the eruption. Another Turban interval and it would have been dark. The start itself was explosive, maybe 5 meters high, with no preliminary boops or boiling or other warning.


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Observations for 2019 August 27


As yesterday, we arrived at Norris at dawn. From early on it appeared that the activity in New Crater/Steamboat had picked up a little. As the morning progressed, there were surges about an hour apart. Finally, at around 10:40, there was a surge that couldn't be ignored, and it was followed up within moments by another, just as large. As in the other eruptions I've seen this year, there was an obvious change in behavior. There was activity stronger than anything seen up to that point, and it didn't diminish.

As soon as the eruption started I moved quickly up the mostly empty walkway to the bench. I wanted to get a height measurement, and this was the perfect time to do it. The only problem was that I had to look into the sun to get the readings, and a third hand to help shield the glare would have helped. In any case, the best measurements I got were 95% of the distance, which I measured on a satellite map as being 130 meters. That comes out to 123.5 meters, or 405ft. I'm pretty sure I saw some higher jets before I got out the clinometer. Even factoring in the uncertainties in my measurements, that eruption was well over 350 feet, and could have been as much as 450ft.

I took a video of my walk back, and the height was still obvious as I went back. It was only a few minutes later that north vent turned a dirty brown, and started chugging away like it was going to choke. This lasted quite a while, with water pouring off the hillside behind the vent into the vent and then down the runoff channel. It looked like we were going get a choke, but it never quite made it. But the behavior tended to confirm my contention that they are because of the water running back into the vent off the hillside.

This time the transition from water to steam was fairly easy to see and feel, at least from the vantage point of the lower platform.

I also went down to the bridge over the runoff, just to see how it compared to the last time I was there during an eruption. This time the boards were wet. I stood there, to take a video of the eruption looking up when I noticed that I was standing in water. I moved over to the side, and a small flood washed a bunch of peachpit sized rocks onto the walkway.

It wasn't until much later in the eruption that the wind shifted and we got a soaking. Got wetter trying to get into raingear which wasn't really needed after about five minutes. On the whole, this was one of the more powerful eruptions I've experienced. The pounding feeling against my body was especially strong around the time of the transition to steam.

Decided to take the opportunity to visit Porcelain Basin for the first time this century. It was as I remembered, and in other way completely different. There seems to be no mention of Ebony or Bear Den Geysers, while the flat on the east side and many more geysers and eruptive features than I remember. Took the trail to the Back Basin, and don't remember Minute Geyser looking like that.

When we arrived at Cistern, it was already below overflow, and there was a five dollar bill lying on the boardwalk. So I actually made a profit today.

From there it was back to the lower platform one last time. Where we saw three people making there way down through the trees behind the eruption. I made a radio report of this, then noticed a naturalist at the upper platform with his NPS radio out, and figured they were already repoerted. The three then cut over to get closer to the geyser at about then, when the naturalist yelled at them, then ran down the walkway to intercept them.

Of course I had to revisit the bridge at bottom again, where we found three people dejectely standing next to the naturalist. A bit later, as we were loading the truck and as I was taking the following photo, I noticed them being escorted out of the basin by a ranger with a gun. I sure do hope they got more than a reprimand.

As we were leaving the basin, I noticed a sign that hadn't been there when we arrived or when we made a plumbing run about an hour before the eruption. While it intention seems to be good, perhaps it would be better to have this up before the eruption? After all, the most likely time to get slimed in the parking lot is during the water phase.

So after our return to the Old Faithful area, there was time to unload (and dry out) all the stuff from the back of the truck. I headed out to Grand at about the five hour mark, only to see from the boardwalk by Castle that Beehive's Indicator was in eruption. With no radio call. So I had to make one. I also had to make some calls at the five and ten minute mark, as the indicator was a fairly long one. I waited around in the Sawmill Group for the eruption to finally start.

I finally made it to Grand just as Daisy erupted Grand was not particularly cooperative, at least until the end. I arrived to a series of Turban eruption intervals with short eruption durations. There was some activity from Sput D, but not with every interval, and it seemed not accompanied by any West Triplet overflow. So Grand was kind of stalled out, and the 7-1/2 hour interval was not because of any sort of delay. But when Grand finally did erupt, the first burst quit well before 8 minutes. Then Grand reverted to form, with a second burst lasted well over 2-1/2 minutes. It went into full "Big Sawmill" mode about a minute into the burst, with what seemed like pauses only to have a tall jet rocket out of the vent. But it was probably the last Turban eruption before sunset, so the lighting was ideal, especially for the start of the second burst.


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Observations for 2019 August 26


It was a day spent a Norris watching New Crater/Steamboat do little to nothing. Arrived at 06:30 and left at 19:20, and during that time I never saw anything I would consider as an impending eruption. The best we saw was near the end of the wait when I finally felt the need to at least pull the camera tripod out of the bag and attach the phone mount. Otherwise there was a good, strong minor every few hours, but none of them had any sort of vertical component. Also missing was the low rumbling, huffing and thumping that seems to be coming from the North Vent area.

The one amusing part of the day was right as we were leaving, when a couple of surfer dudes, wearing nothing but shorts and sandals, with a towel draped over the shoulders, asked where they could go swimming. The answer they got didn't thrill them, as they were told to try either Boiling River or the Firehole Canyon areas. Someone should have also pointed out to them that the last time someone tried to go "swimming" at Norris, they didn't make it out of the pool at all.


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Observations for 2019 August 25


Since I forget to take a look yesterday, this morning I stopped in to take a look at Giant's Platform. Nothing much changed there. I did seem some spits out of the frying pan behind the Southwest Vents, which themselves were noisy. But the water in front of Giant was probably from overnight sloshing in the vent, and Bijou tried but failed to have a pause.

At Grand, the Group is definitely in a mode where West Triplet is dormant. Before the morning's eruption, there was an eruption of Sput D, along with activity in Sputnik, Sput A, and Sput F2 shortly before the Turban eruption. Only the last time did West Triplet overflow, and that was with weak activity from Sput D. Then just before Grand's start, Sput D started again, strongly, along with West Triplet overflow, only to be drowned by Grand itself.

This was a nice two burst eruption, and was followed by the typical weak Sput D activity and strong West Triplet overflow. So it looks like the Grand Group has shifted to a mode it had for a during my previous visit back in July.

The afternoon eruption was similar. Sput D was active once a Turban interval, but it did skip one interval right after I arrived. The Grand eruption was a Turban Delay, and Sput D also delayed such that it started just before Turban finally started. Grand's pool looked poor at the start, but over the next one hundred seconds, it rose up and started having good waves. Sput D ended just as Grand started.

That eruption lasted less than ten minutes, and for about the last three really did live up to the "Big Sawmill" label. There was a strong wind at the time, but that shouldn't have been the reason for the small bursts and periods of not much more than boiling. Also, because it took so long for Grand to start after Turban, Vent started only one hundred seconds after Grand, which was to be expected. After the eruption, there was a weak eruption of Sput D, and strong overflow from West Triplet.


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Observations for 2019 August 24


A dull way to start another visit.

Started out with a One Burst Grand eruption. The weather kept changing from sort of warm and sunny to breezy and cool and overcast. At one point there was a full 22 degree parhelic arc circling the sun. It looks like Grand itself may have returned to the mode where Sput D is frequently active and West Triplet quiet. Did see one strong eruption of of the sput just before Grand erupted, and evidence of West Triplet overflowing without erupting during the Grand eruption. The eruption itself was on a delay, and the preceeding Turban interval was well over 22 minutes.

From there it was over to Grotto, where Spa was full and starting to boil. But got interrupted by Beehive's Indicator as we walked up on Crested Pool. Surprised there was no one over there waiting for it, so had to give out a radio call. The eruption itself was the first one I'd seen this year from the overlook across the river.

And so then finally made it to Spa. Over the next hour or so there were numerous bursts, some as high as 10 meters and lasting 10 seconds or so.

Finally, since the reports from Fountain were sparse, went out to see what would happen next. It turned out the interval was well over eight hours, but the duration was well under 32 minutes. While waiting for an hour for Fountain, did see lots of other activity, including Jet, Super Frying Pan, Twig, Kaleidoscope and some pool out there that had at least 6 vents erupting up to a couple of meters high.


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Aurum Geyser, 2019 August 03


Aurum Geyser, 2019 August 03. Video by H.Koenig

I was testing out an app I wrote which would add a timestamp to videos. Since my phone is old, the processor can't always keep up, so it drops frame and that causes some jerkiness. But I did get a full eruption, including the preliminaries.