Yellowstone National Park’s Prismatic Pool

May 09, 2013


Photographer: Marco Zante
Summary Authors: Marco Zante; Jim Foster

The photo above shows the brightly colored Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. The red and yellow colors of the pool in the foreground Yellowstone2acontrast sharply with the azure blue color in the mid-ground and with the greens and tans of the slope in the background. Red and yellow colors are caused by pigmented bacteria and thermophiles (heat-loving algae) inhabiting the hot spring. Specific colors of the thermophiles correspond to a particular temperature range of the naturally heated springs – temperatures are 160 F (70 C) at the spring’s source. Colors are also a result of the ratio of chlorophyll to carotenoids – red/orange is observed during summer but typically, dark green is favored during the colder months. The inset photo shows a close up of a thermophile colony. Photos taken on August 5, 2012.

Photo Details: Top - Camera Model: Canon EOS 1100D; Lens: EF-S18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS II; Focal Length: 23mm; Aperture: f/11.0; Exposure Time: 0.0063 s (1/160); ISO equiv: 100; Software: Adobe Photoshop CS6 (Windows). Inset - same except: Focal Length: 55mm; Aperture: f/10.0; Exposure Time: 0.0040 s (1/250); ISO equiv: 100.