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Geysers - the phenomena

The natural phenomena geyser can be described as an erupting hot spring that shoots boiling water up towards the sky. In this text we are focusing on the once that are located in Iceland as well as mentioning the geysers that are located around the world.

The most famous place to explore geysers in Iceland, is within the area Geysir, located in the southwestern area of Iceland. Usually you visit this as a part of the Golden Circle route, also containing Thingvellir national park and Gullfoss waterfall. The reason it is called a circle is because it is a circle that can easily be driven by a normal bus or a car. If you would like to get there, directly from Reykjavik, it takes about 1,5 hours to drive.


Geysir - a volcanic zone

The area Geysir has a base temperature of around 250*C. What causes this geothermal energy is the Mid-Atlantic ridge that cuts Iceland into two parts. You can clearly see this ridge in Thingvellir, where you literally can walk or snorkle between the Eurasian and the North American continent plate. You can also see it underneath the Bridge Between Two Continents in Sandvik near Blue Lagoon. These two parts are drafting away from each other at a rate of 2 cm a year creating geothermal areas with high and low temperature, depending on the nature of the geothermal system. Areas located in the high temperature, like Geysir, are volcanic areas where geysers, volcanoes, or other geothermal phenomenas, can be explored.


The Great Geysir

One of the geysers that Geysir is best known for is the Great Geysir. The Great Geysir is the oldest geyser in the area, even though it is not known when it exactly was created. Some believes it was created in the end of the 13th century when a series of strong earthquakes, accompanied by devastating eruption of the volcano Mt. Hekla hit the geothermal area where the Great Geysir is located. When is suddenly ceased to spout in 1916 it became a dominant natural. After only coming to alive once after that, its repose was regularly disturbed by tons of carbolic sope powder in order to tickle it to spout. This did not help and it stayed asleep until its last eruption in year 2000. But even though there has not been loads of occasions of eruptions, is has made its statement by being a spectacular geyser with the ability to shoot superheated water 80 metres up into the air. This is one the reason geysers are called geysers today, as the English word "geyser" is derived from the Icelandic word “geysir".



Strokkur - the most active geyser

In the Geysir area there are a lot of other smaller hot springs. The last many years it has been Strokkur travellers, from all around the world, has been coming to visit. That makes this geyser a part of the most famous attractions in Iceland. Every 8-10 minute there is an eruption, were boiling water shoots 35 metres high. This makes Strokkur, not only spectacular, but also very reliable. You are almost guaranteed to see this it erupt soonly after arriving the area.


Geysers around the world

Four interesting geysers around the world is Steamboat, Old Faithful, Puhutu geyser. Steamboat is the talles currently-active geyser in the world, located in Yellowstone National park in USA. This geyser has not erupted since 1985 and can now be described as a hot spring. But if it erupts, which is a possibility, it can erupt up to 120 metres. Old Faithful is also located in in the Yellowstone National park in the USA. This is a smaller geyser than Steamboat, with 25-55 metres high eruptions approximately every 91 minutes. Last but not least we have the Puhutu geyser located in New Zealand. This is the smallest geyser of the mentioned, with an eruptions of only a few metres high and an interval of 20-50 minutes.


As we can see Strokkur is not as tall as Steamboat or Old Faithful, but wins by being the most reliable one. That is why this visitor-friendly geyser is so popular and highly recommended from visitors all around the world.




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