Geyser erupting in Geysir, Iceland

Geyser erupting in Geysir, Iceland

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Credit: TONY CRADDOCK/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Geyser erupting in Geysir, Iceland. 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 water is prevented from boiling by hydrostatic pressure, and then, at a critical temperature, the superheated water spontaneously boils, resulting in the eruption seen here. These eruptions repeat periodically. This region is the origin of the word geyser.

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