A Gallery of Geyser Feild Formations (Part II)

Fumarole - A hot spring that boils off all its water before the water reaches the surface is called a fumarole, or steam vent. Small amounts of hydrogen sulfide often gives the steam a "rotten egg" smell.
Terraced Hot Spring - These springs on a hill at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park have created a series of terraces because of calcium carbonate that was dissolved into the water while it was hot and deposited as the liquid cooled at the edge of the spring. The high level calcium makes it impossible for most vegetation to live on the terraces.- (Photo by Tasma3197 licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported license.)
Mud Pot - If a fumarole emerges under surface water the hydrogen sulfide in the steam is oxidized in the water both by chemical reactions and bacteria to make sulfuric acid. The sulfuric acid dissolves the nearby rock making wet, muddy clay. As the steam bursts through the clay, the bubbling action of the mud pot is created. Depending on the amount of surface water available, mud pots can change in consistency with the season. This picture is of the Mud Volcano at Yellowstone National Park. Though less active in recent years it was known to throw mud a hundred feet in the 19th century.
Old Faithful of the Napa Valley - Not all geysers are in Yellowstone. This geyser is located in Northern California in the Napa Valley near Calistoga. It erupts on an average of every 30 minutes for about 3 to 4 minutes, shooting a stream of water about 60 feet into the air. The geyser is not on public land, but is a privately-held tourist attraction.
Old Faithful of the Napa Valley's Unfortunate Companion - This hot spring was capped in the 1800's to provide hot water to heat a house. Around the world geysers are in danger of disappearing due to vandalism and an increase of geothermal power plants. People throwing objects into a geyser can block its plumbing, killing it. Geothermal power plants built too close to geysers can steal their water supply, starving them. We need to plan for the protection of geysers if we want future generations to enjoy them.

Return to Gallery of Geysers Part I

Copyright Lee Krystek 2001-12. All Rights Reserved.


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