Geysers

Authors


Abstract

Bunsen, of burner fame, and his associate, Descloizeaux, made the first scientific studies of geysers during a journey to Iceland in 1846 [Bunsen, 1848; Descloizeaux, 1847). They did then what we do now with geysers: they analyzed their waters for chemicals; probed their depths with primitive but effective and reliable maximum temperature thermometers; observed circulation patterns within their reservoirs; listened to their gurglings and detonations as instabilities developed; described ejection patterns of the water thrown out during eruptions; and finally, developed a geyser theory that still stands today. Both were clever experimenters, careful analysts, and interesting writers. Gentlemen travelers, explorers, scientists, guides—a whole host of men have written about geysers and speculated on their behavior [Mackenzie, 1842; Langford, 1871; Hague, 1904; Fix, 1939; Vosburgh, 1940; Marler, 1964a; Haynes, 1966; Bonney and Bonney, 1970]. Much of this literature is purely descriptive, extolling the beauties of the geysers, describing their geological settings, their external forms and basins, and their activity.

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