|Atop Mammoth Springs|
After our morning drive and the trek on the Northern Range Tour we returned to Mammoth Hot Springs hotel for a leisurely lunch. Next we headed towards Mammoth Hot Springs which is a short drive from the Hotel. Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine.Travertine is a form of limestone deposited by mineral springs. Travertine often has a fibrous or concentric appearance and exists in white, tan, and cream-colored varieties. It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate.
The hot water that feeds Mammoth comes from Norris Geyser Basin after traveling underground via a fault line that runs through limestone and roughly parallel to the Norris-to-Mammoth road. The limestone is the source of the calcium carbonate. The Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces are a popular feature in Yellowstone. They are sometimes referred to as the White Mountain. The step like terraces form as heated water moves along the morris Mammoth Fault. The hot water carries dissolved calcium and bi carbonate to the surface of the terraces where carbon di oxide escapes as gas and the carbonate combines with calcium to precipitate as travertine. Shallow circulation along this corridor allows Norris' superheated water to slightly cool before surfacing at Mammoth, generally at about 170 °F (80 °C).Algae living in the warm pools have tinted the travertine shades of brown, orange, red, and green.
|You can see the steam billowing in the air - above and below|