Rimstone Dams at the El Tatio Geyser Field

October 01, 2019

El Tatio Geysers Rimstone Dams (Rick Scott)

Photographer: Rick Scott 
Summary Author: Rick Scott

I photographed these rimstone dams at the vent of one of the many geysers in the El Tatio Geyser Field in Chile. The dams form by the precipitation of minerals in the water that's splashing and spraying out of the geyser. Opaline silica, referred to as sinter, is the primary mineral at El Tatio. The sinters build up along the edge of the pools, causing them to increase their depth over time. Because the geysers at El Tatio are generally not explosive like the ones in Yellowstone National Park, it's possible to get very close to the vents and watch the water splash onto the nearby surface where the rimstone dams form. Photo taken on July 5, 2019.

Photo Details: Canon PowerShot G1 X camera; lens focal length 15.1 mm; 1/200 sec. exposure; f/8; ISO 100; raw mode.