Volcanic Springs

Geysers, Hot Springs,
Mud Pots, and Fumaroles

Upper Geyser Basin, Giant Group

Northwest of Chromatic Pool the trail crosses Firehole River and enters the Giant Group. Immediately beyond the bridge Inkwell Spring occupies the riverbank. It consists of several single features, which are weak perpetual spouters at best. Responsible for the name are dark colors along the runoff channels, originating in the deposition of black iron minerals.

Inkwell Spring (roll mouse over to display closeup):

Inkwell Spring Yellowstone

Inkwell Spring Yellowstone
On the other side of the trail Oblong Geyser is embedded in a large sinter shield. Unfortunately, that makes it only marginally visible, if not erupting. Oblongs intervals are quite erratic between 3 hours and half a day.

Oblong Geyser:

Oblong Geyser Yellowstone

Oblong Geyser

Oblong Geyser erupting:

Oblong Geyser Yellowstone

Oblong Geyser
Only from a distance the Purple Pools can be spotted on the east side across the river. The best position is from the trail and the observation platform in front of Giant Geyser. All three of them are connected to Giant Geyser subterranean. Especially South Purple Pool, the largest of the three, is capable of powerful eruptions.

Purple Pools, South Purple Pool on the right hand side:

Purple Pools Yellowstone

Purple Pools Yellowstone
Giant Geyser owns one of the most impressive cones of all known geysers. It is 3.5 m (12 feet) tall, the diameter inside is 1.8 m (6 feet). As capital as its cone are also its eruptions. Jetting water up to 75 m (250 feet) makes it currently the second tallest geyser of the world. Unfortunately, Giant Geyser is very irregularly active, meaning something between one time per week and years of dormancy. Its eruptions are prefigured by so-called "hot periods", during which the water level in Mastiff Geyser's bowl rises and small vents in front of Giant, the "Platform Vents", become active. However, not every hot period triggers an eruption of Giant.

Giant Geyser:

Giant Geyser Yellowstone

Giant Geyser
Several further geysers are located on Giant's sinter platform. The crater north of Giant belongs to Mastiff Geyser. After Giant it is the second tallest geyser on the platform, with eruption heights of up to 9 m (30 feet). This happens almost exclusively during the "hot periods", otherwise it only shows weak splashing, hardly surpassing the rim.

Mastiff Geyser, rear vent splashing:

Mastiff Geyser Yellowstone

Mastiff Geyser Yellowstone
On the north side of the platform Bijou and Catfish Geysers show up in close vicinity. Bijou Geyser is almost constantly spouting up to 5 m (15 feet) high.

Bijou Geyser (left, erupting) and Catfish Geyser:

Bijou Geyser and Catfish Geyser Yellowstone

Bijou Geyser and Catfish Geyser Yellowstone
Catfish Geyser is frequently boiling but also capable of erupting to the same height as Bijou.

Minor eruption of Catfish Geyser:

Bijou Geyser and Catfish Geyser Yellowstone

Bijou Geyser and Catfish Geyser Yelowstone
On the other (south) side of Giant's cone Turtle Geyser sits at the edge of the platform. Although some larger eruptions are known from the past, it usually splashes only up to 1 m (3 feet) high during the hot periods.

Turtle Geyser:

Turtle Geyser Yellowstone

Turtle Geyser Yelowstone
The northernmost feature of the Giant Group is called "The GIP". GIP is the abbreviation of "Giant's Indicator Pool". The GIP indicates hot periods of the Giant Complex by a rising water level even if it is located at some distance near the boardwalk to Grotto Geyser.

The GIP:

The GIP Yellowstone

The GIP Yelowstone

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