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Geysers of the World   

Geysers of Yellowstone   



  Vent Geyser
Feature Type: Geyser
Geyser/Spring Type: Cone geyser

Upper Geyser Basin
Grand and Castle Group

Poor Vent! If it was located almost anywhere in the world except exactly where it is, it would be considered a major, even spectacular geyser worthy of awe and wonderment and long entries in guidebooks. As it is, however, it's not merely dwarfed by neighboring Grand Geyser (with which it almost always erupts simultaneously) but frequently obscured outright by Grand's steam cloud. About the most notice it usually gets is a comment by Grand watchers along the lines of "oh, look at that little thing over there, is that part of Grand?" It deserves better.

Vent is a cone-type geyser that generally starts soon after the start of a Grand eruption, and plays nearly continuously for tens of minutes, continuing after Grand itself is finished. The water column is angled away from Grand and reaches heights as great as 70 feet early in the eruption, dropping to 30 or 40 feet for the duration of Grand's eruption and an hour or so after Grand stops. There can be breaks in this activity, followed by a "restart" that gets it going again, until finally the play stops. There have been occasional observations of Vent eruptions around the middle of a Grand interval. Vent has also been observed to start erupting one Turban interval _before_ Grand, but this behavior is rare.

What to look for:
"What to look for" is, in a word, Grand. Vent's small cone is to the left of Grand as seen from the boardwalk and the viewing benches for Grand, beyond the large pool containing Turban Geyser. About one to three minutes after the start of a Grand eruption, Vent will come alive with no obvious pre-play visible from the boardwalk. With a favorable wind or calm conditions, the onset of the eruption is obvious, but if the wind is blowing Grand's steam cloud toward Vent, it may be hard to see.

Click for a larger image

Vent Geyser at its strongest during an eruption of Grand Geyser. The steam in the lower right hand portion of the picture is from Grand. Normally, the steam from Grand obscures the view of Vent.


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