2022 · Days of The Week · Places · Travel Tuesday · USA · Wyoming

Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces In Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 2010

Once Kevin, the girls, and I crossed the state border back into Wyoming, our next destination was the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces. There are some interesting facts about the springs:

At Yellowstone each year, the rain and melted snow seep into the earth. Cold, to begin with, the water is quickly warmed by heat radiating from a partially molten magma chamber deep underground, the remnant of a cataclysmic volcanic explosion that occurred 600,000 years ago.

After moving through this underwater “plumbing” system, the hot water rises up through a system of small fissures. Here it also interacts with hot gases charged with carbon dioxide rising up from the magma chamber. As some carbon dioxide is dissolved in hot water, a weak, carbonic acid solution is formed.

In the Mammoth area, the hot, acidic solution dissolves large quantities of limestone on its way up through the rock layers to the hot springs on the surface. Above ground and exposed to the air, some of the carbon dioxides escape from the solution. Without it, the dissolved limestone can’t remain in the solution, so it reforms into a solid mineral. This white, chalky mineral is deposited as the travertine that forms the terraces.

Mammoth Hot Springs Looks Like an Inside-Out Cave

… to be continued …

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