Tuesday, October 5, 2010

YNP - Geothermal Wonderland

Old Faithful in late afternoon. This was my first time seeing her go live and in person.

Yellowstone National Park... what a place! I knew it was a geothermal area as much of the park sits on a massive caldera from an old supervolcano, however knowing and experiencing are two very different things. Seeing the geysers, smelling the sulfur, hearing the mud pots and feeling the heat from the steam made for an all encompassing experience indeed. I also enjoyed the surprising color mixed in the seemingly colorless dead zones around the geothermal sites. Below are a few photos and brief explanations for you. Click on the image for a larger file to view and thanks for stopping by.

A dead tree on the edge of Mammoth Hot Springs. In the distance you can see some yellow of a boiling pool. Certain colorful bacteria thrive in the scalding water.
A stream of hot water flows into the Mammoth Falls formation. Standing over this site on the boardwalk, you could feel the waves of heat rising from the water.
Close-up of the mineral and bacteria formations in the stream.
This is one of many geyser basins you will find in the park. Behind me in this shot are mud pots where the mud bubbles and boils... from a distance the sound reminded me of a dryer going with a pair of shoes in it.
Some close ups of the mud pots.

This stream from the hot springs area had green tendrils of something attached to branches and what not. I though the color and texture was cool.
This geyser was called the "Spasmodic Geyser" if I remember right. It never stopped gurgling for the 10 minutes I was checking it out.
I'm not sure the technical term for these pools, but I like to call them "blue holes" as the steaming water is a unique blue and the pools look very deep.
Some more colorful formations forming on the edge of the "blue hole" above.
I was able to see Old Faithful erupt twice as we stayed around the area to check out the museum and historic lodge in between eruptions. This shot below is the very end of the first eruption I witnessed.
The next two shots were taken in early evening with the sun going down behind the mountains. I really liked the dramatic lighting with the late sun only striking the top of the geyser. Old Faithful is a "must see" as far as I'm concerned. Very cool stuff.

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