"Tea Kettle" boiling hot from Mother Earth's hidden fire--Yellowstone Park, U.S.A., The
figureposted on 01.01.1904, 00:00 authored by No Author
You are near the northern limits of the district known as the Upper Geyser Basin. The Mammoth Hot Springs are about fifty miles away at the north (left). You are facing now towards the Lake, about twenty miles away at the east. This point where you stand now is on a plateau seven thousand feet above sea-level, and the rocks of which the plateau is formed, are, so geologists say, of volcanic origin-matter long ago thrown up in a molten state, from the fiery interior of the earth. It is easy to believe it, for here, before your very eyes, are evidences that the hidden fires are not yet all cooled down! The rock formation directly underfoot is what they call sinter or geyserite-a kind of non-crystalline silica, once held in solution by the boiling waters of the spring, but now forming a crust where it has been deposited where the over-flowing waters evaporated. The geyserite is yellowish and brownish; those waters, bubbling and steaming in the basin, are intensely hot and so are most of the smaller pools formed from the drip and overflow. Of course water boils here before reaching 212 degree, for the elevation of the plateau-nearly equivalent to that of Mt. Washington-lessens the atmospheric pressure; but, even so, the boiling water has a temperature of 198 degree or over. It takes a beautiful blue color from microscopic water plants that thrive in the perpetual heat. Forest-growth like that just ahead covers 84% of the entire Park area, and bears, deer, foxes and all sorts of wild creatures live here, protected by rigorous laws from hunters and trappers. From Notes of Travel, No.13, copyright, 1904, by Underwood & Underwood.