On the Formation at Mammoth Hot Springs, Looking S.W. to Mound Terrace, Yellowstone Park, U.S.A.
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 by No Author
The Mammoth Hot Springs formation is the most remarkable of the kind in the world. The springs are continually changing their position, some becoming extinct and new ones being formed; new terraces are being formed from year to year while old ones lose their beauty, yet in this formation there are over a dozen beautiful terraces and forty or fifty hot springs. The formation covers an area of about 170 acres. The water from the spring shown here rises on a small terrace to the right and empties into the hole shown only a few feet from the source. This is the case with almost all of the springs; the water enters the ground soon after leaving it, and flows some two miles underground to Gardiner River. Dr. Hayden, who made the first reliable survey of the Park in 1871, describes this formation thus: "The wonderful transparency of the water surpasses anything of the kind I have ever seen in any other portion of the world. The sky, with the smallest cloud that flits across it, is reflected in its limpid depths, and the ultramarine colors, more vivid than the sea, are greatly heightened by the constant, gentle vibrations. One can look down into the clear depths and see with perfect distinctness the minutest ornament on the inner sides of the basin; and the exquisite beauty fo the coloring and the infinite variety of form baffle any attempt to portray them either with pen or brush. And then too, around the borders of the springs, especially those of rather low temperature, and on the sides and bottoms of the numerous little channels of the streams that flow into these springs, there is a strking variety of the most vivid colors. I can only compare them to our most brilliant aniline dyes - various shades of red, from the brightest scarlet to a bright rose tint, also yellow from deep sulphur, through all the shades of light cream color. There are also various shades of green from the peculiar vegetation.