Fluctuations in geyser activity caused by variations in Earth tidal forces, barometric pressure, and tectonic stresses


  • John S. Rinehart


Study of the eruptions of three geysers located in two regions of the United States shows clearly that the interval between eruptions of a geyser is strongly influenced by variations in gravity due to earth tidal forces, variations in barometric pressure, and the buildup and release of tectonic strains usually associated with earthquake activity. Barometric pressure and tidal forces, both of which vary periodically, induce corresponding periodic fluctuations in the interval between eruptions, both increasing barometric pressure and increasing variation in gravity shortening the interval. The aperiodic tectonic strains associated with earthquakes produce consistent and repeatable patterns of changes in eruption intervals.