The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire eBook

Charles W. Morris
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 432 pages of information about The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire.

The only other geysers in this remarkable geyserland which we can spare room to notice are those known as the Giantess, the Beehive, and the Grand.  The Giantess sends a column of water to the height of 250 feet.  An eruption is usually divided into three periods—­two preliminary efforts and a final one, divided from each other by intervals of between one and two hours, while the intervals of discharge are very long.  Sometimes it does not play for several weeks.  The Beehive, which is 400 feet from the Giantess, gets its name from the peculiar beehive-like cone which it has formed.  The eruption is also almost unique.  It is heralded by a slight escape of steam, which is followed by a column of steam and water, shooting to the height of over 200 feet.  The column is somewhat fan-shaped, but it does not fall in rain, the spray being evaporated and carried off as steam—­if, indeed, there is not more steam than water in the column.  The duration of the discharge is between four and five minutes, and the interval between two eruptions from twenty-one to twenty-five hours.

The Grand is one of the most important in the Upper Geyser basin.  Yet, unlike the Grotto, the Giant, or the Old Faithful,—­so called from its frequent and regular eruptions—­it has no raised cone or crater, and a much less cavernous bowl than the Giantess and other geysers.  The column discharged ascends to the height of from eighty to two hundred feet, and the eruptions last from fifteen minutes to three-quarters of an hour, with intervals on an average of from seven to twenty hours.  This fountain is apparently very irregular in its action, though it is just possible that when the Yellowstone geysers have been more consecutively studied, it will be found that these seeming irregularities depend on the varying supplies of water at different times of the year.


The marvellous phenomena of the Yellowstone region are not confined to geyser action, hot springs of steady flow being, as above stated, exceedingly numerous.  Of these the most striking are those known as the Mammoth Hot Springs, whose waters find their way through underground passages, finally flowing from an opening as the “Boiling River,” which empties into the Gardiner River.

These springs are marvels of beauty.  Their terraced bowls, adorned with delicate fret-work, are among the finest specimens of Nature’s handiwork in the world, and the colored waters themselves are startling in their brilliancy.  Red, pink, black, canary, green, saffron, blue, chocolate, and all their intermediate gradations are found here in exquisite harmony.  The springs rise in terraces of various heights and widths, having intermingled with their delicate shades chalk-like cliffs, soft and crumbly, these latter being the remains of springs from which the life and beauty have departed.  The great spring is the largest in the country, the water flowing through

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The San Francisco calamity by earthquake and fire from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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