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Flaming Geyser

A view of the non-impressive Flaming Geyser in Flaming Geyser State Park near Black Diamond, Washington.  According to the nearby sign:


On October 4, 1911 Eugene Lawson drilled a hole for the purpose of discovering coal.  At about 390 feet he found a seam of clean coal 6.5 feet thick.  Gas started coming out as he drilled past 900 feet.  The hole is 1403 feet deep and 6 inches wide.  The gas was used to feed the burners on three boilers to run the drilling equipment.  During drilling saltwater was also spewing from the hole.  There is still a 40 foot bed of dirty coal that has not been tapped.

On October 11, 1922 Mr. Lawson returned and observed the gas "bubbling furiously".  He ignited the gas and it burned freely with a flame from 5 inches to three feet in height.  The flame was a clear yellow with a reddish cast.

On April 9, 1927 the air temperature was 54 degrees F and the water temperature in the Flaming Geyser was 58.5 degrees F.  The basin at that time was 6 feet in diameter and the flame would occasionally leap up to 15 feet in height.

There was a period of time when the flame burned regularly at about 6 to 8 feet.  Time and the use of some dynamite on the hole in the 1930s has taken a toll on the geyser.

The flame burned significantly higher before the 1960's and was featured on "Ripley's Believe It or Not."

The Flaming Geyser of today is but a remnant of what it once was.  Experiments in recent years have determed that the gas is 89% pure methane and that salt water continues to come to the surface.

The flame itself has gone out since about 2016.

Copyright: William L
Type: Spherical
Resolution: 13200x6600
Taken: 05/08/2018
Uploaded: 07/08/2018
Updated: 06/01/2019


Tags: flaming geyser; state park; washington; enumclaw; black diamond; green river; methane; cristy creek
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