The Fly Geyser is a small geothermal geyser located in Washoe County, Nevada, about 20 miles (32 km) north of Gerlach.
Fly Geyser is located near the edge of Fly Reservoir in the Hualapai Geothermal Flats and is approximately 5 feet (1.5 m) high by 12 feet (3.7 m) wide, counting the mound on which it sits.
In June 2016, the non-profit Burning Man Project purchased 3,800 acres (1,500 ha) of Fly Ranch, including the geyser, for $6.5 million.
In May 2018 The Burning Man Project began offering limited public access to the property. The geyser is accessible via a dirt road that leads to a parking lot.
There is a small fee to visit, and visitors are asked to follow Leave No Trace principles while on the property. The money raised by Walking for Dollars is used to aid Fly Ranch and the Friends organization.
Fly Geyser Location
Origin Of This Unique Geyser
Originally the first Geyser was formed in 1916 when a well was drilled seeking water for irrigation.
Upon realizing that they have hit a geothermal geyser the it was abandoned, and a 10–12-foot (3.0–3.7 m) calcium carbonate cone formed.
Again in 1964 a second well was drilled near the site by a geothermal energy company looking for viable geothermal source to produce energy.
As the water was not enough to produce energy they closed the well and abandoned the project.
The cap failed and formed the Geyser you see today. The silica and calcium carbonate dissolved in the water are responsible for the cones you see at the Geyser.
The Geyser gets is rich vibrant colors from the abundant presence of thermophilic algae which flourishes in this hot and moist environment.
These algae are able to live in temperatures above 120 °C. The spectrum of the colors give an indication of the temperature of the Geyser.
As the algae that are able to live at a certain temperature have a different color the red ones are able to live at the coolest places that are around 55°C, the orange around 65°C, yellow at around 74°C and blue at around 87°C
Fly Geyser Facts
- The area around Fly Geyser was originally known as Ward’s Hot Springs.
- Fly Ranch is home to dozens of naturally occurring hot springs
- The mounds that have built up around the springs are called travertine mounds built up of calcium carbonate deposit known as travertine.
- The Fly Geyser did not occur naturally it was drilled in , 1964 by a geothermal energy company which abandoned it and failed to seal it properly.
- Burning Man Bought Fly Ranch for $6.5M
- Originally Fly Geyser was owned by the Bright Holland Co before the Burning Man organization.
- The Great Basin’s crust thinned over time, allowing pressure and heat to rise up from below. The hot springs are the consequence of the Great Basin’s erosion, which allows pressure and heat to rise up through the earth’s surface where it is then released.