Alabaster Cascades of Minerva Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Nat. Park, Wyo., The
figureposted on 21.05.2019, 00:00 by No Author
ALABASTER CASCADES OF MINERVA TERRACE, MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS. Not more than 500 or 600 ft. from Cleopatra Terrace, about E. of the latter and a little farther down the slope of the hill, we come to Minerva Terrace. As we see it before us, almost entire at this distance, there are revealed beyond it to the N. W. the rugged slopes of Sepulcher Mountain (Alt. 9,400 ft.) which in that direction walls the valley of the Gardiner River. From this point of view it is easy to observe how the lime deposits for ages have been brought up from the subterranean strata by the springs and slowly distributed over the surface until mounds hundres of feet thick have been built up. In the exquisitely chiseled, living terraces of Minerva the process is actually going on, creating fairy-like balconies, basins and bowls of alabaster such as no human sculptor could emulate. Close to our left we see a terrace falling into decay after the creative waters have withdrawn from it. And in the distance are whole hillsides and ridges of disintegrated carbonate of lime which once formed the body of such terraces as Minerva is today. It is quite certain that at one time the thermal activity in the entire region of Yellowstone Park was much greater than it is today and that the surface deposits were formed far more rapidly. Nevertheless such changes occur so slowly, measured in years, that no appreciable decline in activity has been noticeable since the region has been known to white men nor probably will there be such a decline for many decades to come. (View looking N. Elev. 6,500 ft. Lat. 45° N.; Long. 111° W.).