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Geysers of the World   

Geysers of Yellowstone   



  Three Crater Geyser
Feature Type: Geyser
Geyser/Spring Type: Fountain geyser

Upper Geyser Basin
Myriad Group

This is another member of the Three Sisters Group, in most years the most active member of that group. Rocco Paperiello, in his report on "Unusual Geyser Activity in Yellowstone in 2016" in the February 2017 Sput, notes that the 2016 activity of this feature seemed to consist of roughly 5-minute eruptions (one is almost tempted to call them "series") during which brief individual bursts might reach 5 to 15 feet, or might only make waves across the spring. These recur on intervals "usually in the 15 to 45 minute range" (Paperiello).

Interestingly, neither the third nor the fourth edition of Bryan's "The Geysers of Yellowstone," in so many ways THE reference materials for the park's geysers, mention this microstructure in the 5-minute eruptions/cycles. The fourth edition notes that most eruptions are "just a few seconds long," consistent with the individual bursts, while the third edition (which also points out that this feature was the original bearer of the name "Mugwump," now given to another geyser at Three Sisters) simply mentions eruptions "every few minutes." It is unclear whether there has been a change in the behavior, or whether these are just different ways of looking at the same geyser. The phenomenon of sharp reports from steam explosions is mentioned in all three sources.

Not to be confused with Three Crater *Spring*, a feature in the backcountry Shoshone Geyser Basin.

What to look for:
Three Crater is one of the most distant Three Sisters geysers from the road (the access road to the Old Faithful Inn), and foot access to the Myriad Group is illegal. Between this inaccessibility and the short-lived individual eruptions, we have no information on what indications might exist that it's getting ready to erupt. Any observations about its behavior on a 5-minute-long eruptive period would be valued.

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

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