Shchel (crack) geyser is a small but peculiar one that's familiar to all of the Valley's visitors. It's located just a couple of meters from the lower observation deck and erupts every 30—33 minutes. Because of that, it's easy to take up close pictures of it from multiple angles several times during the tour. Eruption lasts around 1 minute; fountain height is 2—3 meters.
Geyser's vent is situated on a steep slope on Geyzernaya River's left bank and is shaped like a fracture with raised walls that are covered with geyserite incrustations. This unusual shape gave the geyser its name. The crack is about 1.8 meters long and 0.25 meters wide.
This is how Tatyana Ustinova described Shchel's eruption: "Between the eruptions geyser doesn't show any signs of life. Eruption starts at once, totally unexpectedly: all of a sudden muffled knocks are coming from the depth of the crack; you can hear still invisible splashes of water. In less than half a minute fountain skewed towards South—West shoots up from the crack with force, spraying down the slope at 50° angle; from the lower hole water runs down the slope in splashes. The height of the fountain is 2.5—3 meters. Eruption lasts for a minute and ends as abruptly as it started; water disappears, noise stops and only a little steam rises from the heated stones and a small puddle of hot water until it cools down". (T.I. Ustinova, “Kamchatka Geysers”, 1955).
After the 2007 landslide, the newly formed lake at its deepest level submerged Shchel geyser and it have ceased to function. Fortunately, this "clinical death" did not last long. Only 4 days after the landslide, Geyzernaya River broke the dam, lowering lake's water level down by 9 meters. After that Shchel geyser resumed functioning as usual.
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