Excelsior Geyser

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Excelsior Geyser Crater
Excelsior Geyser, 1885.jpg
Eruption, 1888 by F. Jay Haynes
Name origin Hayden Survey, 1871
Location Midway Geyser Basin, Yellowstone National Park, Teton County, Wyoming
Coordinates 44°31′35″N 110°50′13″W / 44.526321°N 110.8368778°W / 44.526321; -110.8368778Coordinates: 44°31′35″N 110°50′13″W / 44.526321°N 110.8368778°W / 44.526321; -110.8368778[1]
Elevation 7,257 feet (2,212 m) [2]
Type Fountain-type Geyser
Eruption height Boil – 300 feet
Frequency When active, every 2 minutes to 5 hours
Duration When active, 1–3.5 minutes
Discharge 4,000–4,050 gallons per minute – when not erupting
Temperature 199 °F (93 °C) [3]

Excelsior Geyser Crater, formerly known as Excelsior Geyser, is a hot spring in the Midway Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park in the United States. Excelsior was named by the Hayden Geological Survey of 1871.[4] Possibly the only known photograph of Excelsior in full eruption was taken by Frank Jay Haynes in 1888.[5]

The Excelsior Geyser pool discharges 4,000 to 4,500 gallons (15,100–17,000 l)[6] of 199 °F (93 °C)[3] water per minute directly into the Firehole River. In the late 19th century (there was possibly some activity in 1901 too), it was an active geyser that erupted frequently. Most eruptions were about 100 feet high, although some exceeded 300 feet (91 m) in both height and width. It is believed that the powerful eruptions damaged its internal plumbing system, and it now boils as a productive hot spring most of the time.

In 1985, Excelsior returned to activity for a 46 hour period from September 14 to 16. These eruptions were relatively small at 30 feet (9.1 m) but a few were as much as 80 feet (24 m) tall and 100 feet wide. All of these eruptions lasted about 2 minutes at intervals of 5 to 66 minutes.[6]

In the mid first decade of the 21st century Excelsior did have violent boiling strong enough to be considered as eruptions, the boiling reached between 5 to 10 feet (1.5 to 3.0 m) and had a duration of seconds.


  1. ^ "Excelsior Geyser Crater". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  2. ^ "Excelsior Geyser Crater". Geographic Names Information System. United States Geological Survey. 
  3. ^ a b "Thermal Springs List for the United States". National Geophysical Data Center, NOAA. 
  4. ^ Bauer, Clyde Max (1937). The Story of Yellowstone Geysers. Saint Paul, MN: Jack Ellis Haynes. 
  5. ^ Tilden, Freeman (1964). Following the Frontier with F. Jay Haynes-Pioneer Photographer of the Old West. New York: Alfred A. Knopf. pp. 384–5. 
  6. ^ a b "Excelsior Geyser". Geyser Observation and Study Association (GOSA). 2006. 


Images of Excelsior Geyser
Postcard after F. Jay Haynes photo 
The pool and runoff from the Excelsior Geyser crater 
Excelsior Geyser crater 
Runoff into Firehole River 
Runoff into Firehole River