Beautiful Cleopatra Terrace, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Nat. Park. Wyo.
figureposted on 21.05.2019, 00:00 by No Author
CLEOPATRA TERRACE, MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS, YELLOWSTONE NAT. PARK. Following the pathway leading nearly N. across the incrustations from Hymen Terrace we come at a distance of about 750 ft. to the exquisite sculptures of Cleopatra Terrace, lifting pools of limpid blue water one above the other in shallow basins the semicircular sides of which seem carved in delicate fluting of alabaster and reddish brown stone. Over the lips of the basins the warm waters brim constantly, lending the sparkle of life to the hard surfaces beneath and steadily building the basins higher by the deposit of calcium carbonate, or travertine. What countless centuries have elapsed since the beginning of these activities of internal heat and percolating surface waters on Terrace Mountain may be imagined from the fact that the thickness of the beds of travertine beneath the springs is estimated at 300 ft. The brilliant and varied coloring which adds so much to the beauty of the terraces owes its existence to the presence of various species of thermal algae, low forms of minute plant life some of which are able to flourish at temperatures as high as 180° F. As the temperatures of the waters in the Mammoth Hot Springs are all below this, variously colored algae flourishing at different temperatures find dwelling places in different part of the same basins, lending infinite variety to the shadings, which run the gamut from rusty brown to pink, orange, yellow and green. On old terraces from which the water has withdrawn the colors quickly die out, leaving the mineral deposits themselves a dead, chalky white. (View looking N. Elev. 6,600 ft. Lat. 45° N.; Long. 111° W.)