Email: [email protected]
VISIT OUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Wilbur Hot Springs' "Fountain of Life Geyser" is unique among geysers. There are probably only about 1100 geysers in the known world and about half of those are in Yellowstone National Park. Of the remaining geysers, the majority are steam driven, which is not the case for the "Fountain of Life" Geyser at Wilbur. This bubbling, gurgling geyser is primarily driven by the release of CO2 from the sea floor meta‐sediment (serpentine) into the meteoric ground water, which is heated by magma which is in turn heated by the very slow movement of the Pacific plate sliding under the North American Plate in the subduction zone that is under the California Coastal Mountain Range. The heated water releases the CO2 in gaseous form eventually creating what are called Taylor Bubbles forming in the geyser shaft which forces the column of highly mineralized meteoric ground water up through the geyser vent roughly every 40 min. or so. In truth, it’s a bit more complicated than that, but you get the gist of it.
The geyser is made possible only by the uniqueness of the water at Wilbur. It would not work with other water in these conditions. The water at Wilbur is so heavily mineralized it more closely resembles what is called Connate water, which is water trapped in geological formations from the time of their formation, and not at all like Meteoric water, which is distributed by weather.
Anyway, suffice it to say, this geyser is a pretty unique occurrence, as is the water at Wilbur, and one uniqueness brings about the other.
Connate fluids in the Wilbur Springs area appear to be the oldest waters in the Clear Lake region (Fehn et al., 1992).