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Steamboat Geyser

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Steamboat geyser is a constantly erupting cone-type geyser located in the Norris Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park. Geysers occur when magma heats the water and gases are trapped under the ground. When enough pressure builds the steam and boiling water escapes through cracks in the earth and shoot up past the surface. Cone geysers erupt first in a column of water than in a steam phase. Steamboat's water phase lasts between 3 and 20 minutes with a steam phase up to 24 hours. Steamboat is the world's tallest active geyser. Its significant eruptions shoot water more than 300 feet (91 m). Following a large discharge the cistern will drain and then eventually refill. Steamboat's minor eruptions are most common and reach 6-40 feet (2–12 m) and last 1–4 minutes. Intervals may be as short as 2–5 minutes. The higher and longer minor eruptions often excite viewers because a significant explosion seems imminent with water expelling from the larger north vent and its smaller counterpart. Usually, the geyser quickly calms down again. Be advised that when Steamboat Geyser erupts, dissolved minerals in the spray can damage glass and paint on your vehicle.