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Cleopatra Terrace and its mirror-like pools--Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.

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posted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
You are facing about northwest; the hotel and the fort are down at the right beyond your present range of view. At your right and around behind you are other terraces as interesting in their way as this one; they are all formed in essentially the same way, by the accumulations of mineral stuff (limestone) held in solution in the waters that boil up from the hidden springs, and left here as the drip evaporated. You can see very plainly how the basins of these pools (themselves formed of the volcanic limestone or travertiine) have their lips and sides all crusted over with the steadily increasing deposit. it takes on a variety of colors; right here there is a good deal of rusty brown; in some places it is pink, orange, yellow, green and blue. The water is a brilliant blue, not merely from reflecting the sky, but owing to the growth of curious forms of water plants (algae) that spring into existence in baths whose temperature is as high as 150 degree or more. Century after century and age after age these terraces have been slowly building; as the mineral stuff deposited by the waters accumulates, building these sculptured and buttressed walls, the waters keep rising to overflow the rising walls. The travertine deposits here are over 300 feet deep. Fortunately for the country, the United States government reserved all this Park territory by act of Congress in 1872 and strict regulations (made effective by stationing two troops of U. S. cavalry here) absolutely protect these beautiful places from damage by vandals. Nobody whosoever would be allowed to chip "souvenirs" from these terraces. The sights here are for the enjoyment of everybody and may not be spoiled by any individual. From Notes of Travel, No. 13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.

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