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A Yellowstone Gallery: Mammoth Terraces


Above Yellowstone headquarters in Mammoth Hot Springs, we walked among the travertine terraces. They are not the broad shallow-water mirror of the sky of Grand Prismatic Pool, but water-built formations, the emphasis more vertical than horizontal.


From the Park Service website, "No human architect ever designed such intricate fountains as these. The water trickles over the edges from one to another, blending them together with the effect of a frozen waterfall.”

And, “Travertine terraces are formed from limestone. Thermal water rises through the limestone, carrying high amounts of the dissolved limestone (calcium carbonate). At the surface, carbon dioxide is released and calcium carbonate is deposited, forming travertine, the chalky white mineral forming the rock of travertine terraces. The formations resemble a cave turned inside out. Colorful stripes are formed by thermophiles, or heat-loving organisms.”



Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)



Next week, a Yellowstone finale, a collection of locations
not in previous weeks’ chapters, the places in between.


All chapters of PortMoresby's Yellowstone.




Find more of PortMoresby's contributions here.





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