Spasmodic Geyser Observations 23 April 2017

by | May 17, 2017 | Geyser Watch

It’s sometimes easiest to understand field notes by simply seeing how someone else keeps theirs. And since the Sawmill Group is acting differently this spring, I want to get my field notes out where others can see them for themselves. This way, if others decide to spend a bit of time observing, they might have a feel for what I saw on 23 April 2017 at Spasmodic Geyser. One report that’s come to me says someone thinks it’s less active now.

I walk with a notebook tucked in my back pocket with a pen. Currently using Write in the Rain products – I did get the tan notebook, but will opt for white next time. The tan is a bit too dark for my taste. Not enough contrast between the ink and paper. But I’m picky about my ink and paper. You also need an oil based ink to work on this paper – as water based inks are…well…water based. They won’t stick to paper designed to resist water and your words will just wash off the paper. With a bit of searching I found these pens that work well on this paper and aren’t too expensive.

Here are my observations from 23 April 2017 to give you an idea of what I currently notice. Once home, I type these up as soon as possible – ideally within a day or two, but realistically, it can be a week or more. The sooner I do this, the more I can fill in from memory accurately. This set was typed up the next day.

If you think you might have time to do some observations of Spasmodic, I would love to hear about what you see. I will be creating a page for Spasmodic soon and these types of observations will be available as a downloadable pdf file.

Main take-aways from the observations below:

  • Overflow started when the Main Center Vent (in the back) started, and overflow stopped after the Main Center Vent quit for the first time – it restarted briefly.
  • Water levels in Penta’s vents and “Dog Bone” and the Bubblers in Spasmodic were consistently the same throughout both cycles.
  • One splash (3-4 feet) from the Main Left Vent on each. No bursts were seen from the Main Right Vent – only bubbles occasionally.
  • Some of the jets from the Main Center Vent easily reached 10-15 feet. The bursts from the main Bubbler vent reached 6-7 feet.
  • Overflow from 1046 to 1113. Next cycle overflow from 1140 to 1201, but activity started before that and continued after. The time of complete calm was very brief.
  • One of the bubblers actually went into steam phase (caught part of that with a video). It also shows in the middle part of the video below – so it must have stopped and started at least twice.
  • I counted 15 bubblers.

23 April 2017

1005 | Spasmodic visibly active – near start from the looks of it from Castle. Will Boekel confirmed that as he walked up.
1008 | Arrived at Churn. Overflowing steadily, orange microbes in overflow channel. Microbes around the edge of the crater. Sending up steady light bubbles.
1008 | “Nifty Geyser” on. Never saw it ever stop anytime I was in the area this weekend.
1008 | No bubbles in Sawmill, water calm with microbes growing in the crater. Overflow channel showing signs of weathering.
1009 | Tardy Splash (just once to about 8″).
1011 | Crystal Spring bubbling, but the drain hole next to it is dry. Cycling weakly – that means that it’s not wobbling the water around (like Oval Pool can do) that creates slaps against the sinter and washes over occasionally into the drain hole next to it. (Does this drain hole have a name?) Yesterday I observed it like this and also later in the day where the drain hole was quite wet from more powerful sloshing. Cycles began with bubbles coming from the center.
1012-1030 | Took photos with the FLIR camera and cell phone. It appears the only heat showing in the area not associated with an existing thermal feature is in the area around “Nifty Geyser” – shared to Facebook a bit later on. A later check also showed a hot spot near Crystal Spring.
1030 |Bulger major D=5m
1035 | Quick check on West Triplet. Water level calm and sitting at about half full. Green Tea describes the color of the water perfectly.
1040 | Arrived to a calm Spasmodic – settled in for observations for the next cycle or two.


1041 | Back Right Vent start (right main vent – in the back, farthest from the boardwalk)
1042 | Bubbles seen in main left vent (did not capture a duration, but they did stop)
1044 | Center Left Vent spitting out tiny splashes (there are two center vents back there, this is the larger one to the left of the main one usually noted)
1045 | Bubbles again in Main Left Vent
1046 | Main Center Vent in the back start – also the start of overflow.
1047 | Swirling/bouncing water in Bubblers and “Dog Bone” filling.
1049 | Increase in both the Main Center Vent and Back Right Vent.
1050 | Pause from Back Right Vent for about 20 seconds before restarting.
1051 | First splash from Bubblers.
1052 | Bubblers increasing in surges then slowly steadied their pace.
1053 | Still only steady bubbles from the Main Left Vent, but they are increasing.
1056 | Penta also filling along with “Dog Bone” and Spasmodic’s Bubblers – the level in all seem the same.
1100 | One burst/splash from Main Left Vent – decent size of 3-4 feet.
1100 | Larger splashes from the Bubblers than I’ve seen. Some bursts reach 5 feet at least. The Back Right Vent pauses with these larger splashes from the Main Bubbler.
1106 | Bubbles starting to rise in the center of the Main Right Vent.
1107 | Main Center Vent quit. Bubblers slowing. Bubbles still rising from the Main Left Vent (do not recall or did not note any from the Main Right Vent).
1109 | Main Center Vent restart.
1110 | Main Center Vent stop.
1111 | Bubblers water levels lowering and splashing is slowing – “Dog Bone” and Penta also have lowering water levels.
1113 | Overflow stops.

NOTE: I think the easiest way to really check all of this is by the overflow start and stop, but I just took in everything for a first in depth observation.

1114 | Bubblers barely bubbling
1115 | Bubbles rising again from Main Right Vent. Back Right Vent continues, slowly weakening, but punctuated with larger bursts.
1122 | Back Right Vent continues to splash, but the water level has stabilized.
1129 | Longer pauses between big splashes from Back Right Vent. Bubbles still rising from Main Right Vent.
1133 | Back Right Vent picking up again. Water levels starting to rise.
1137 | 30-40 second pause in Back Right Vent.
1138 | Bubbles rising in Main Left Vent. Another 30-40 second pause in Back Right Vent.
1139 | Swirling/bouncing water in Bubblers.
1139 | Center Vents start (the left one started spitting just before the main one started)
1140 | Overflow start.
1141 | Increase in Main Center Vent. Pause in Back Right Vent. Bubbles continue in Main Left Vent.
1142 | 1st splash from Bubblers
1144 | Bubblers all get going.
1144 | Bursts from Center Back Vent reaching 10-15 feet.
1147 | “Dog Bone” pulsing in sync with Penta which was also pulsing, but not as obvious as “Dog Bone”. One bubble seen in “Dog Bone”.
1148 | “Dog Bone” full.
1148 | Main Center Vent had a burst/jet that reached 20 feet.
1150 | Dog Bone cycling slightly as well as Penta (up and down about 1/2 – 1 inch)
1153 | Bubbles continue to rise from Main Left Vent.
1153 | Another 20′ jet from the Main Center Vent.
1156 | “Dog Bone” just below the maximum level seen on this cycle which was maybe 1/2″ below the top of the area it has filled.
1157 | Decrease in activity from Bubblers. 15 Bubblers counted – two started a closer to the end of this cycle.
1159 | Main Center Vent quit.
1159 | One of the Bubblers changed to steam phase.
1201 | Overflow end.
1202 | Main Center Vent restart. Back Right Vent paused simultaneously.
1203 | Main Center Vent stop. Back Right Vent started simultaneously.
1205 | Main Center Vent weakly started, but Back Right Vent continued.
1205 | All but two Bubblers have quit – and the two continuing are very weak.
1207 | All activity stops.
1208 | Back Right Vent restart along with the main Bubbler vent – both quite weak.

Be Outside • Take Notes
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