Why Do Geysers Erupt? Plumbing!
Source: LBNL TABL
A scientific team led by ESD’s Michael Manga has gained striking new insights into the basic mechanics of geysers by placing surveillance cameras inside them and building a model of their plumbing. They show that the great regularity of a geyser’s eruptions is explained by kinks, or loops, in the geyser’s pipes, which trap steam.
Munoz-Saez, C., M. Manga, S. Hurwitz, M.L. Rudolph, A. Namiki, and C.-Y. Wang (2015), Dynamics within geyser conduits, and sensitivity to environmental perturbations: Insights from a periodic geyser in the El Tatio geyser field, Atacama Desert, Chile. Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research, 292, 41–55; DOI: 10.1016/j.jvolgeores.2015.01.002.