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DrCharbonneau

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Reply with quote  #1 
http://www.wyojones.com/oldfaith.htm

It would seem nobody knows. It's possible it is relatively new.

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DrCharbonneau

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AGING A GEYSER

US Dept. of the Interior said:

Hot springs and geysers are always changing due to many factors, making it difficult to calculate the age of a single hydrothermal feature.

Basing a geyser’s age on the size of its cone is inaccurate. Sinter usually forms at a rate of less than 1 inch (2.5 cm) per 100 years, but there are places in Yellowstone where the deposition rate is much greater. Also, a geyser may become dormant for a number of years and stop depositing sinter altogether or, conversely, experience a period of very frequent eruptions with exceptionally heavy deposition. The best that can be said is that a geyser with a large cone is probably quite old.


that said, judging by the most recent nearby eruption of lava -called the Mallard Lake dome- -the geyser is < 150,000 years old. scroll down to Figure C. at this link to see a map of yellowstone's eruptive history.

An Overview of Yellowstone Geologic History

The above is not my writing or search, although it offers some opinion. I see this as the best guess in that it is less than 150,000 years old.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. :P Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
DrCharbonneau

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The 2nd link has some good information, but it also has typos...


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DrCharbonneau

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I think you’ve gotten confused by all the information in the various linked-to articles [member authoring above] provided, Dr. C.

The “less that 150,000 years” appears to me to answer a more general question about the age of the various geysers in the present day Yellowstone. Page 2 of “aging a geyser” provides a more specific answer to your question:


The results indicate that Old Faithful has only been active as a hot spring for approximately 750 years. Its life as a geyser has not lasted longer than 300 years. However, Old Faithful sits on deposits of much older sinter that were formed by a previous spring in the same place.

and gives a very brief, vague summary, but no references (which I hope will increase everyone's appreciation of hypography's rule concerning references), to how this was determined.

I get the impression that, because geysers and hot springs depend on underground water supplies that can suddenly change when these water paths are changed by earthquakes and other events, the lifetime of a particular geyser is typically on the order of hundreds, rather than tens of thousands, or years.

According to the above reference and various encyclopedia (such as its wikipedia article and information webpages, the current status of Old Faithful as the single big feature not very connected to others, is, geologically, a new one. From a roughly estimated 1250 AD to 1700, the area was a hot spring with many vents, but eventually settled down to only one “big hole”, with its famously regular period of eruption. This period has varied considerably since people have been measuring it: prior to an earthquake in 1959, it rarely exceeded 65 min. After another one in 1983, its average period has increased to its current values of around clustered around 65 and 91 min. At least in 1997, when this article was written, it was seasonally dependent, becoming longer in summer.

The above is from another forum and another member. He caught a detail I didn't, still this confirms one piece of the puzzle.


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The universe is a hairball. It was created by Fritz the Cat. :P Einstein said the universe was like a plate of spaghetti. Still, you don't want to know what transpired between him and Elsa to bring about that idea.
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