Pohutu geyser, New Zealand

Pohutu geyser, New Zealand

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Credit: ZEPHYR/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Pohutu geyser, New Zealand. A geyser is a deep natural well in a geothermal rock fissure. The water lies in a large chamber at the well's base, and is heated by surrounding rocks until it is well over its normal boiling point. The normal boiling of the water is prevented by hydrostatic pressure. At a critical temperature, the superheated water spontaneously boils, resulting in the eruption of water vapour seen here. These eruptions repeat periodically. The Pohutu geyser, part of the geothermal area of Whakarewarewa, in Rotorua, on New Zealand's North Island, can erupt to a height of 30 metres, usually every hour.

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Keywords: 21st century, erupting, eruption, geological, geology, geothermal, geyser, hot spring, nature, new zealand, north island, physical geography, pohutu geyser, rotorua, steam, super-heated, water, water vapour, whakarewarewa

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