Thursday, 24 December 2015

Geysers and Hot Springs

Geysers are fountains of hot water and superheated steam that may spout up to a height of 150 feet from the earth beneath. The phenomena are associated with a thermal or volcanic region in which the water below is being heated beyond boiling-point. The jet of water is usually emitted with an explosion, and is often triggered off by gases seeping out of the heated rocks. Almost all the world's geysers are confined to three major areas: Iceland, the Rotorua district of North Island, New Zealand and Yellowstone Park of U.S.A. The world's best known geyser is perhaps 'Old Faithful' in Yellowstone National park, Wyoming which erupts at regular intervals- every 63 minutes on the average.

Hot springs or thermal springs are more common, and may be found in any part of the earth where water sinks deep enough beneath the surface to be heated by the interior forces. The water rises to the surface without any explosion. Such springs contain dissolved minerals which may be of some medical value. Iceland has thousands of hot springs. Some of them have been harnessed to heat houses, swimming pools and for other domestic purposes. Hot springs and geysers have become tourist attractions e.g in Japan and Hawaii.

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