Yellowstone National Park - Steam Vents, Mud Volcanoes, Volcanic Spring Pools


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Published: June 25th 2017
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Prismatic Spring PoolPrismatic Spring PoolPrismatic Spring Pool

Colours are due to different algae that can live in extremely hot water
The main area (30 by 40 mile) of Yellowstone sits over an old volcano (caldera). The magna chamber below is close to the surface (3-8 miles underground). Water from the mountains melting snow sinks below ground and through cracks in the rock feed the over 10,000 geysers, steam vents, volcanic hot springs and mud volcanoes. There are quite a few locations in the park to view them.

Hot Springs have boiling water that comes to the surface. Thermophiles micro organisms create the different colours of the hot springs. Colourless and yellow Thermophiles grow in the hottest water: orange, brown, and red Thermophiles thrive in cooler waters. The colourful grand prismatic spring is the world’s 3rd largest hot spring at more that 370ft across.



If the underground plumbing is restricted then a geyser is formed. Take away the water from a hot spring and you are left with steam and other gasses (like sulphur) forming a fumarole. They can make a roaring sound as the gas escapes.



Sulphur springs can be as acidic as a car battery and eat away at the rock to form mud.. A mud pot is a hot spring of bubbling water and clay. The hillsides here are strewn with trees cooked by steam creating a bizarre landscape.


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