As the saying goes, “You never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.” One of the most reliable geysers near Old Faithful has broken, or taken a nap – or sprung a leak. We really don’t know for certain, but we do know Plume Geyser has been making noise, but not erupting for the past six days now. The last reported eruption was on August 1 at 11:21 AM – as seen on the streaming webcam.

Reports on the ground say that it can be heard grumbling away well below the surface….

In mid July (and possibly before and after then – I may have missed a report of it), Plume was heard grumbling well down below in the crater a few minutes prior to an eruption. The grumbling was a new addition to what at least this geyser enthusiast had experienced in the past. As in the photo above from 2010, it “normally” would just start with a rushing of water  a second or two before the first of multiple bursts from the eruption. This deep rumbling gurgle is different than before.

Does this mean Giantess will erupt soon?

With the lack of Plume’s regular appearance, we naturally pay closer attention and start to share more of what we know. Discussions have brought up a possible connection between pauses in Plume (2003 and 2004 saw some long ones) and eruptions in Giantess – and possible slow downs in Plume after a Giantess eruption. It would be wonderful to see Giantess again as she’s been quietly overflowing now since Sept 13, 2011.  We are always hopeful, aren’t we? And we look everywhere for connections and patterns – we’re wired that way.

So, I started to pull together the data I could easily find and started plunking it in a comparison layout.

I’m not seeing that connection. At least not with this data.

Well, I take that back – at times there seems to be a connection, but it’s not consistently there. So is it a connection or just a coincidence?

Maybe it needs a different set of criteria for the Plume eruptions to include – or more information on what was also happening in Giantess. Maybe I missed a few pieces of data – but here’s what I pieced together in the ‘for what it’s worth’ column. Take it and see if you can see something I might have missed.

Where did the thermal energy shift to?

The other question is where did Plume’s energy go? One comment seen said that at least one eruption of Depression Geyser seemed very strong. [edit: see the comments below about this] If I were in the Park, I’d probably be spending some time watching things on Geyser Hill for any changes. The change in Plume is an opportunity to keep looking for connections.

Plume Geyser’s Crater 30 June 2005 – soon after reactivating following a 13 day pause.

And I’ll continue to watch and wait for both Plume and Giantess – and wait for the data from the electronic monitors (data loggers) to be retrieved to see what we learn about this lack of eruptions from Plume.

PDF file of the data gathered on Giantess Geyser & Plume Geyser


Plume Geyser is located next to the lower boardwalk on Geyser Hill, just a bit up from and on the “Old Faithful side” of Beehive Geyser. On the streaming webcam it’s found on that corner of the boardwalk that sits just over the ‘left’ shoulder of Old Faithful Geyser.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email