Wednesday, May 15, 2013

That's Right--Boiling Mud

I am incredibly fascinated by the geothermal features at Yellowstone.  They are just about unbelievable   Geysers shooting hot water and steam hundreds of feet into the air.  Clear and colorful pools of water which look rather tropical and seemingly out of place in these mountains.  Earth that is steaming and bubbling in every direction.  But, of all these geothermal wonders perhaps the most bizarre is the boiling mud.  Yeah, seriously, boiling mud!
This photo (of a mud bubble exploding) and the video below are from the Artist's Paintpot Trail.
Here is the description from the Yellowstone National Park website:
"Mudpots are acidic features with a limited water supply. Some microorganisms use hydrogen sulfide, which rises from deep within the earth, as an energy source. They help convert the gas to sulfuric acid, which breaks down rock into clay. Various gases escape through the wet clay mud, causing it to bubble. Mudpot consistency and activity vary with the seasons and precipitation. The sights, sounds, and smells of areas like Artist and Fountain paint pots and Mud Volcano make these curious features some of the most memorable in the park."
This photo shows the Blue Mud Steam Vent in the Norris Geyser Basin - Back Basin Trail, as does the video below.
What an spectacular, amazing world this is.

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