With the interest last year in measuring geyser eruption heights, I thought it might be useful to repost this. I managed to extract the text out of a file with an obsolete format. The year on the file is 1986 and I think it was something that ran in one of the earliest issues of The Sput that T.Scott Bryan put out.
Despite the number of years since, and the number of changes to the boardwalks, more than a few of these markers can still be found if one knows where to look. The washer is usually gone, but the nail or screw remains. There are also a few markers I noticed that aren't on this list, and don't seem to be associated with any obvious, nearby geyser. I think a project for next summer will be to see how many I can still find and recover.
We usually measured baselines at night. We'd let Rick Hutchinson and the Protectives (as they were known then) know we were out and about, and then spend a few hours surveying. Sam Martinez did most of the work at the vent for most features, as he'd done it before and knew the better approaches for geysers like Castle. On 1986 August 19, a bunch of us went out to Shoshone Basin for the day. That evening, we did the markers in and around Daisy and Splendid. As we finished, Sam wanted to go out and place markers in the Giant Group, too. I was tired by then, and suggested there wasn't much point, as they'd probably all be stolen before we ever got to use them. The next day, Giant erupted, the first time seen by gazers since 1978. That night, we went out and placed the markers. Since I saw the start of Giant, I got to be the one holding the tape over the vent. Twelve hours after an eruption, at a time when you know it can't possibly erupt, that is still a bit of a thrilling and scary place.
I also have a copy of a video Paul Strasser made of baselines for New Crater/Steamboat being measured in 1991. On it, they determine that the southwest corner of the lower platform is about 110ft from the South Vent.
Over the past few years, a number of height baselines have been surveyed in the geyser basins by Sam Martinez, with the assistance of several other geyser gazers. Each baseline is marked with a metal disk about 1 inch in diameter impressed with the geyser's name, basin, and its distance.
While placed primarily for measuring and studying geyser heights, they can be useful for the casual observer. Just remember that at a 45° angle the height equals the distance, and you can get a feel for how high the eruption really is. The distances were chosen so that the measured angles would be between 30° and 45° in most cases. The other primary criterion was that the markers must be accessable to everyone. All markers (except Round’s) are located on legally accessable pathways, boardwalks or roads.
Baselines of 100' or less are directly determined with a tape measure from directly over the geyser's vent. Those greater than 100' were determined with an intermediate point located halfway (when possible). When a geyser's water column is sharply angled (for example: Daisy, Vent or Riverside), the baseline is measured from the point directly below the point of greatest height for a typical eruption.
All of the markers currently placed and maintained are listed in the table, along with the distance and a short description of the location. Sometimes these markers have disappeared, probably as a strange souvenir. Please report any disappearances to Sam or myself.
|Aurum||50||South on boardwalk|
|50||North on boardwalk across from Beach|
|Beehive||200||Northwest on boardwalk, near Depression|
|200||East on boardwalk, between Plume and Anemone|
|≈275||South on boardwalk corner across river *|
|Castle||200||South on asphalt trail east of first tree|
|100||North on boardwalk, 6th railing upright|
|Clepsydra||100||Southeast on boardwalk near Spasm|
|100||Southeast on boardwalk near Jelly|
|Daisy||200||Southwest on asphalt, near bridge over runoff channel|
|100||West on boardwalk, beside Splendid|
|100||North on boardwalk †|
|Fan & Mortar||100||Large rock east of asphalt and benches|
|Fountain||100||South on boardwalk near Jet|
|100||Southwest on boardwalk near Spasm|
|Giant||200||South on boardwalk|
|200||North on boardwalk, behind trees|
|Giantess||200||Northwest on boardwalk, northwest of Pump|
|222||South on boardwalk, beside Anemone|
|≈260||Northwest on boardwalk beside Infant|
|Grand||200||South on asphalt beside trail junction near Belgian|
|200||Northwest on boardwalk, south of unnamed gray pool|
|≈110||West on boardwalk beside prediction sign *|
|Great Fountain||200||East on asphalt, across from prediction sign, at end of painted line|
|200||Northeast on road between 3rd and 4th culverts|
|Grotto Fountain||100||Southwest on cement block east of walkway|
|Lion||100||Northeast on boardwalk, near North Goggle and boardwalk junction|
|100||Southeast on boardwalk|
|Mastiff||100||West on short boardwalk over Daisy's runoff channel|
|Morning||200||Southeast on boardwalk just west of stairs|
|200||Southwest on boardwalk east of Jelly|
|Oblong||150||On northeast bridge abutment|
|130||Northwest on boardwalk|
|Penta||50||Southwest on boardwalk, near trail junction|
|50||North on boardwalk, beside Oval|
|Pink Cone||50||Northeast on asphalt|
|50||Southwest on asphalt|
|Plume||50||East on boardwalk between markers for Beehive and Giantess|
|50||West on boardwalk over Plume runoff channel|
|Rocket||100||Southwest on asphalt, south of junction with boardwalk|
|100||Northwest on asphalt, west of Grotto Fountain|
|Sawmill||50||Southeast on boardwalk, near Tardy|
|50||West on boardwalk, near Churn|
|Spa||50||North on asphalt, on small trail loop|
|50||SW on asphalt|
|Splendid||200||Southeast on asphalt, near benches south of Bonita|
|200||South on boardwalk, near west end|
|200||West on boardwalk, at sharp bend to south|
|200||Northeast on boardwalk †|
|Vent||100||West on boardwalk over Grand's main runoff channel|
|100||Northwest on boardwalk|
|White Dome||100||On boardwalk near asphalt|
|100||South on boardwalk|
|110||On asphalt at end of parking area|
* Estimated, no marker actually placed.
† These two markers are about 20' apart.