Clear and Cloudy Spring in Yellowstone National Park

June 09, 2008

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Provided by: JoEtta Abo
Summary author: JoEtta Abo

The top photo showing a clear thermal spring in Yellowstone National Park was taken July 27, 2006. Sometime between July 27 and August 6, when the bottom photo was snapped, this spring, which I call Pete's Pot, changed from a beautiful blue color to nearly the color of mud. It seems that a minor subterranean eruption in this still very seismically active area was sufficient to discolor the emerging spring water. A partially molten magma chamber beneath central Yellowstone is the heat source for one of the largest geothermal regions on Earth.