Controls on Geyser Periodicity

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Science  05 Nov 1993:
Vol. 262, Issue 5135, pp. 889-892
DOI: 10.1126/science.262.5135.889


Geyser eruption frequency is not constant over time and has been shown to vary with small (≤10–6) strains induced by seismic events, atmospheric loading, and Earth tides. The geyser system is approximated as a permeable conduit of intensely fractured rock surrounded by a less permeable rock matrix. Numerical simulation of this conceptual model yields a set of parameters that controls geyser existence and periodicity. Much of the responsiveness to remote seismicity and other small strains in the Earth can be explained in terms of variations in permeability and lateral recharge rates.