The initial burst of an eruption of Grand Geyser on 22 Sept 2012 at roughly 1458.

Grand Geyser continues at it’s 5-6 hour hurried pace which I still find amazing.


With the eruptions coming more often, I’ve wondered if these first bursts are larger than I recall, or not. It does seem that there are fewer multiple burst eruptions happening than reports in other years, but in all honesty, I’ve not sat down and taken a closer look.


The entries over at Geyser Times may or may not have the extra information in there, and it’s in a code that most visitors to the Park know.


For example, on this eruption, it has in the notes, G1C.


Here’s the code breaker:

The first letter is either a G or a T which means either Grand started the eruption or Turban started the eruption.


The number is the number of bursts the eruption had.


There may be a * or a # after the number.


* means the second burst was long (more than 1 minute, 15 seconds)


# means the third burst (if there was one) was long (also more than 1 minute, 15 seconds)


The last letter is a Q or a C. That refers to the behavior by Turban and Vent Geysers after Grand’s eruption. These two will either Quit or Continue erupting.


It’s nice that most people use this code in the notes simply because it helps those who love to crunch the numbers and stats and where these specific data points come into play.


On our last trip into Yellowstone, we missed it numerous times simply because this pace for Grand Geyser hadn’t really sunk in for me. On this day, we were walking up to the Sawmill group – and my notes say we were at Churn Geyser – when the first burst happened. I was actually glad to be this far back. I had the 100-400mm lens on my camera with no time to switch to a wider lens, so I had it the widest it would go, and even then I still missed the very top of this burst while trying to keep the boardwalk in view. While taking it, I couldn’t help but think that this initial burst was a tall one and didn’t expect to see a second burst, and that was correct.


But what this photo does show is the ‘hole’ at the bottom of the water column in one section. At first I though it was a shadow, but rendering it with High Dynamic Range (HDR) software shows it’s seems to be just and empty space under the water column. Absolutely a stunning geyser no matter what.




Print Friendly, PDF & Email