sinter deposits once lined the edge of Sapphire's crater, and in the
1880s it received its name for the knobby formations. The 1959 earthquake
caused Sapphire to erupt, breaking and dislodging the formations. Biscuit
Basin is an isolated thermal group and is actually a part of the Upper
Biscuit Basin contains a small collection
of thermal features. Many, however, are small, gem-like encrusted pools
and geysers, including Silver Globe Spring, Sapphire, and Black Opal
pools, Jewel, Cauliflower, and Black Pearl geysers. The
Firehole River and a highway divide the basin. A smaller group, located
east of the river, contains mainly hot springs. Cauliflower Geyser is
the main feature of this group, and it is identified by the cauliflower
or biscuit-like sinter masses surrounding the crater.
Sapphire Pool dominates the main group
west of the river. The water of this pool, or spring, is crystal clear
with a Oriental blue sapphire tint. Other important features include
Shell Geyser, which has a golden-lined crater, and Jewel Geyser, known
for the shiny, beaded sinter around its vent.
Temperature 202°F Interval 2-3 minutes. Duration 20-45 seconds. Height
4-6 feet. This small geyser received its name for its rusty, red-colored
basin surrounding its funnel-shaped vent. Iron oxides are responsible
for staining the sinter. This thermal feature was dormant before the
1959 earthquake. Since then, except from 1964-1967, it has been an active
and frequent spouter. Its temperature is above the boiling point and
this may be one reason why it is a steady geyser. The eruptions are
spontaneous. Water splashes violently for the first ten seconds and
then declines gradually in activity. Fumaroles are present around Rusty,
but no known underground connection exists with any other thermal feature.
- 98 Minutes
~Telly Award Winner for Nature
Two years in the making
and just released, "The Wonders of Yellowstone" video
has been highly requested, produced in DVD format and is only available through YellowstoneNationalPark.com.
Take a complete tour of Yellowstone National Park as our Narrator
Cathy Coan, guides you to all the wonders of the park including
the geyser basins, wildlife, waterfalls and much more.
- Ships Priority Mail -
Info or Order Online
Temperature 200-202°F Dimensions 18x30 feet. Sapphire Pool, named
for its blue, crystal-clear water and for its resemblance to an Oriental
sapphire, was once a placid hot pool. It was not until after the 1959
earthquake that major eruptions occurred. For several years following
the earthquake powerful eruptions at two hour intervals reached 150
feet. The force of the eruptions caused the crater to double in size,
destroying the biscuit-like formations around its edge, and the crystal-clear
water became murky. By 1968 Sapphire ceased to function as a true geyser.
Today Sapphire still retains its crystal-clear, blue water, and still
violently boils and surges occasionally.
Temperature 199°F Interval 5-10 minutes. Duration 60-90 seconds.
Height 10-30 feet. Its name is descriptive of the pearl-like sinter
beads formed around the vent. Soda Geyser was the original name given
by the Hayden Expedition, but turn-of-the-century visitors changed the
name to Jewel Geyser. Jewel has frequent and regular eruptions. Before
an eruption the vent suddenly begins to fill with water and churns to
overflowing, triggering eruption. A burst or jet of water projects 15-30
feet high and collapses, followed by a quiet pause. An eruption consists
of a series of one to five separate bursts. Jewel does not appear to
have underground connections to other thermal features but may have
some connection with Sapphire Pool.
Temperature 200°F Interval 1.5 to several hours. Duration 20-90 seconds.
Height 5-8 feet. The golden sinter lining of the crater resembles
the shell of a bivalve, hence the name. Shell Geyser is very irregular
and the interval between eruptions changes from year to year. Before
an eruption, water in the crater begins to rise and may boil. Heavy
churning then occurs, setting off the first small, weak eruption. As
the eruptions subside water begins to lower and drain back into the
crater. No underground connections are known to exist with other thermal
Temperature 199°F Interval 1-18 minutes. Duration 10-30 seconds.
Height 10-20 feet. The Hague Party in the late 1880s named this
spring with a three-foot-diameter crater. It was not until after the
1959 earthquake that it became an active geyser. Since then it has been
a frequent spouter. The fountain-type geyser, located on a rise above
the other thermal features at Biscuit Basin, has occasional changes
in interval and duration. When an eruption occurs, waterjets in several
directions from a filled crater. There is a pause between bursts, but
the water continues to churn. As the eruption subsides, water drains
from the crater. There may be subterranean connections with the Silver
Temperature 172-198°F Interval 5-10 minutes. Duration 5 minutes.
Height 4-6 feet. Two springs, East Mustard and West Mustard springs,
make up this group. The springs, separated by 50 feet, are eight to
ten feet in diameter and resemble each other in shape and size. They
received their name for the mustard-colored lining of their craters.
Although past earthquakes have changed their status several times from
geysers to springs, both have erupted. West Mustard Spring was the most
active between 1961-1983. A tremor in 1983 reversed this and now East
Mustard Spring is a true geyser, and West Mustard is an inactive, apparently
dry, spring. The two springs have subterranean connections.