Photographer's Note

On our last trip to Northern California we wanted to visit places which did not see before while living in CA for 2-3 years. As you know from my previous upload we have spent some time in the Wine Country. We have stayed in Calistoga which is roughly at the end of the Napa Valley. Calistoga is famous for its hot springs and spas so after a tour of a winery and the wine tasting in beautiful Castello di Amorosa we have tried the mud bath in one of the numerous spas in this area. Next morning we have started with a visit of the geyser Old Faithful. In spite of what we have heard the geyser performed every 5 minutes and not every half an hour.

The Old Faithful Geyser of California is one of three geysers in the world with the designation "old faithful." These are the geysers that perform at regular intervals. A geyser exists only where conditions are right. These conditions include a natural deep subterranean supply of water, a source of heat and a series of fissures, fractures and cavities that provide a path to the surface of the earth. Surrounding rock formations must be strong enough to maintain continual onslaughts of the intense pressure of steam and water explosions.
Water for the Old Faithful Geyser of California comes from an underground river. When this water flows over the hot molten magma deep in the earth, it boils and expands and is collected in large cavities. Under tremendous pressure from the heat, and assisted by a constriction of the passage upward, the superheated water is forced through the fissures and fractures and erupts with an outpouring of steam followed by a fulmination of hot dancing water.
Under normal conditions, the water, the heat and the underground structure all remain constant and for this reason Old Faithful erupts regularly. Conditions which cause deviations from the normal pattern seem to relate to earthquakes. The Old Faithful Geyser of California is proving itself a predictor of quakes.
From two days to two weeks prior to an earthquake, the Old Faithful Geyser of California gives warning by delaying its regular performance from the average thirty minutes to a longer interval. During this prolonged interval, it may send up "splits," small eruptions to no more than two or three feet in height, every few minutes. Finally, after the long delay, a 60-foot column of water and steam shoots upward.

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Additional Photos by Mariusz Kamionka (mkamionka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7495 W: 106 N: 19629] (75139)
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