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  Mugwump Geyser
Feature Type: Geyser
Geyser/Spring Type: Fountain geyser

Basin
Upper Geyser Basin
Complex
Myriad Group

Mugwump Geyser, part of the Three Sisters group, has an interesting history. It was known as far back as 1884 for "brief but noisy eruptions" (Bryan) that reminded observers of the Mugwump movement important in that year's presidential election. It has been quiet or unreported most years since then, but in the summer of 2016, perhaps anticipating the year's tumultuous (that's the polite word) presidential election, it reactivated with a bang -- lots of bangs. Rocco Paperiello and others describe the eruptions, which last only seconds but can reach 30 feet in height, as producing a "firecracker" sound because of collapsing steam bubbles. Apparently similar noises earned it its name in 1884, as the political Mugwumps were viewed as making much noise without doing much of anything.

Our watery Mugwump, unlike the political ones, has had other active periods over the years, including 2003-2006 when it erupted on intervals averaging 18 minutes. Eruptions during the 2016 active period had a median interval of 21 minutes according to geysertimes.org, with intervals as short as 7 minutes being observed. Some of these eruptions featured 2 bursts, rather than the usual one-and-done, very brief eruptions more commonly seen.

The first observations of the 2017 open season, by Micah Kipple, indicate that Mugwump became dormant at some time over the winter, with orange bacteria growing in the crater. Stay tuned for further developments.

What to look for:
Eruptions are much too brief to give much notice that they're coming, but Rocco points out that Mugwump is typically seen in conjunction with little UNNG-MYR-1, which had a good year in 2016 with some substantial (10-foot range) eruptions. Keep an eye on this relatively obscure geyser when Mugwump is active.









Please note - this site is currently under constuction. Please visit for more information.  Last update 01-29-2017

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