Spinning through Bright Lights

Plume Geyser in the Upper Geyser Basin of Yellowstone erupts with a high fountain of boiling water and steam. As it passes through the vent in the ground, the water is set into rotation at high speed. This unique moment is frozen in time and backlit by the sun, creating pure magic.
Geysers are intermittent hot springs that regularly or irregularly erupt jets of hot water and steam. The plumbing system of geysers is usually constricted deep underground. The percolating ground-water is heated up to 400°F (200°C) by the magma chamber at shallow depths of several 1000 feet. Steam is created under conditions that prevent free circulation. The confined steam builds up pressure in the plumbing system until it attains enough force to be ejected through a vent at the surface. The eruption cycle depends on the supply of groundwater, a watertight plumbing system, heat supply by the magma chamber, and earthquake activity. Thermal activity can change significantly or even stop after earthquakes.
The anvils of summer thunderstorms contain enormous amounts of ice crystals. They occur in the form of ice needles, plates or hollow cylinders. In the high atmosphere, the anvils drift with the strong current in wind direction. If the conditions are right, the resulting thin cirrus ice clouds show iridescent colors. These are visible directly above the upper left part of the geyser fountain.

August 2008
Canon 20D, Canon EF-S 10-22 mm, f/16, 1 sec, ISO 100, tripod
Yellowstone Gallery » Spinning through Bright Lights