Mammoth Hot Springs

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Mammoth Hot Springs
Dead trees at Mammoth Hot Springs.jpg
Dead Trees at Mammoth Hot Springs
Location Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, Park County, Wyoming
Coordinates 44°58′01″N 110°42′44″W / 44.96694°N 110.71222°W / 44.96694; -110.71222 (Mammoth Hot Springs)Coordinates: 44°58′01″N 110°42′44″W / 44.96694°N 110.71222°W / 44.96694; -110.71222 (Mammoth Hot Springs)[1]
Elevation 6,735 feet (2,053 m)
Type Hot spring complex
MammothHotSprings.JPG
Map of area
Not to be confused with the Mammoth Site in Hot Springs, South Dakota

Mammoth Hot Springs is a large complex of hot springs on a hill of travertine in Yellowstone National Park adjacent to Fort Yellowstone and the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District.[2] It was created over thousands of years as hot water from the spring cooled and deposited calcium carbonate (over two tons flow into Mammoth each day in a solution). Although these springs lie outside the caldera boundary, their energy has been attributed to the same magmatic system that fuels other Yellowstone geothermal areas.

View of the terraces made of crystalized calcuim carbonate

The hot water that feeds Mammoth comes from Norris Geyser Basin after traveling underground via a fault line[3] that runs through limestone and roughly parallel to the Norris-to-Mammoth road. The limestone from rock formations along the fault is the source of the calcium carbonate.[4] Shallow circulation along this corridor allows Norris' superheated water to slightly cool before surfacing at Mammoth, generally at about 170 °F (80 °C). Algae living in the warm pools have tinted the travertine shades of brown, orange, red, and green.

Elk on travertine terraces, Mammoth Hot Springs

Thermal activity here is extensive both over time and distance. The thermal flows show much variability with some variations taking place over periods ranging from decades to days.[4] Terrace Mountain at Mammoth Hot Springs is the largest known carbonate-depositing spring in the world. The most famous feature at the springs is the Minerva Terrace, a series of travertine terraces. The terraces have been deposited by the spring over many years but, due to recent minor earthquake activity, the spring vent has shifted, rendering the terraces dry.

Mineral deposition, Mammoth Hot Springs
Travertine Terrace

The Mammoth Terraces extend all the way from the hillside, across the Parade Ground, and down to Boiling River. The Mammoth Hotel, as well as all of Fort Yellowstone, is built upon an old terrace formation known as Hotel Terrace. There was some concern when construction began in 1891 on the fort site that the hollow ground would not support the weight of the buildings. Several large sink holes (fenced off) can be seen out on the Parade Ground. This area has been thermally active for several thousand years.

The Mammoth area exhibits much evidence of glacial activity from the Pinedale Glaciation. The summit of Terrace Mountain is covered with glacial till, thereby dating the travertine formation there to earlier than the end of the Pinedale Glaciation. Several thermal kames, including Capitol Hill and Dude Hill, are major features of the Mammoth Village area. Ice-marginal stream beds are in evidence in the small, narrow valleys where Floating Island Lake and Phantom Lake are found. In Gardner Canyon one can see the old, sorted gravel bed of the Gardner River covered by unsorted glacial till.

Individually named thermal features[edit]

  • Angel Spring 1 [5]
  • Angel Spring 2 [6]
  • Angel Spring 3 [7]
  • Aphrodite Terrace [8]
  • Baby Terrace [9]
  • Bath Lake [10]
  • Blue Springs [11]
  • Canary Spring [12]
  • Cavern Terrace [13]
  • Ceder Tree Spring [14]
  • Cheops Mound [15]
  • Cleopatra Spring and Terrace [16]
  • Cupid Spring [17]
  • Dedolph Spring-a [18]
  • Dedolph Spring-b [19]
  • Dedolph Spring-c [20]
  • Devil's Kitchen Springs (The Sodas) [21]
  • Devils Thumb (Hot Spring)|Devils Thumb [22]
  • Fan Spring [23]
  • Fissure Ridge [24]
  • Glen Springs [25]
  • Highland Terrace [26]
  • Hymen Spring and Terrace [27]
  • Ladies' Lake [28]
  • Liberty Cap [29]
  • Little Burper [30]
  • Little Joker and spring [31]
  • Little Lucifer [32]
  • Main Spring(s) and Terrace [33]
  • Marble Terrace [34]
  • Minerva Spring and Terrace [35]
  • Mound Terrace [36]
  • Naid Spring [37]
  • Narrow Gauge Spring and Terrace [38]
  • New Blue Spring [39]
  • New Highland Terrace [40]
  • New Pallette Springs [41]
  • Opal Terrace and Spring [42] (across the highway from the rest of Mammoth Hot Springs)
  • Orange Spring Mound [43]
  • Painted Pool [44]
  • Palette Spring and Terrace [45]
  • Paperpicker Spring [46]
  • Poison Cave [47]
  • Poison Spring (Gaseous Hot Spring) [48]
  • Prospect Spring(s) [49]
  • Pulpit Terrace [50]
  • Rath Spring and Terrace [51]
  • Reservoir Springs [52]
  • River Styx-a [53]
  • River Styx-b [54]
  • Sidewalk Spring [55]
  • Soda Spring (Bargar-Allen & Day) [56]
  • Squirrel Springs and Squirrel Ridge [57]
  • Sulpher Pits [58]
  • Sulpher Spring [59]
  • Tangerine Spring [60]
  • The Buttress [61]
  • The Esplanade (Hot Spring)|The Esplanade [62]
  • The Grottos [63]
  • Trail Springs [64]
  • White Elephant Back Springs & Terrace [65]


See also[edit]


Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Mammoth Hot Springs". Geographic Names Information System, U.S. Geological Survey. 
  2. ^ "Mammoth Hot Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  3. ^ Sorey, M.L. 1991. summary and conclusions. In Effects of Potential Geothermal Development in the Corwin Springs Known Geothermal Resources Area, Montana, on the Thermal Features of Yellowstone National Park. M.L. Sorey, ed. U.S. Geological Survey Water-Resources Investigations Report 91-4052, p A1-A17.
  4. ^ a b Carr, B. B.; Jaworowski, C. and Heaslerm, H. P. (2010). "Mapping Change at Mammoth Hot Springs Using Aerial Photographs and Visual Observations". Yellowstone Science 18 (3): 15–22. Retrieved 19 March 2012. 
  5. ^ "Angel Spring 1". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  6. ^ "Angel Spring 2". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  7. ^ "Angel Spring 3". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  8. ^ "Aphrodite Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  9. ^ "Baby Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  10. ^ "Bath Lake". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  11. ^ "Blue Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  12. ^ "Canary Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  13. ^ "Cavern Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  14. ^ "Ceder Tree Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  15. ^ "Cheops Mound". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  16. ^ "Cleopatra Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  17. ^ "Cupid Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  18. ^ "Dedolph Spring-a". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  19. ^ "Dedolph Spring-b". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  20. ^ "Dedolph Spring-c". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  21. ^ "Devil's Kitchen Springs (The Sodas)". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  22. ^ "Devils Thumb". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  23. ^ "Fan Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  24. ^ "Fissure Ridge". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  25. ^ "Glen Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  26. ^ "Highland Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  27. ^ "Hymen Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  28. ^ "Ladies' Lake". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  29. ^ "Liberty Cap". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  30. ^ "Little Burper". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  31. ^ "Little Joker and spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  32. ^ "Little Lucifer". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  33. ^ "Main Spring(s) and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  34. ^ "Marble Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  35. ^ "Minerva Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  36. ^ "Mound Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  37. ^ "Naid Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  38. ^ "Narrow Gauge Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  39. ^ "New Blue Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  40. ^ "New Highland Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  41. ^ "New Pallette Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  42. ^ "Opal Terrace and Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  43. ^ "Orange Spring Mound". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  44. ^ "Painted Pool". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  45. ^ "Palette Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  46. ^ "Paperpicker Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  47. ^ "Poison Cave". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  48. ^ "Poison Spring (Gaseous Hot Spring)". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  49. ^ "Prospect Spring(s)". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  50. ^ "Pulpit Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  51. ^ "Rath Spring and Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  52. ^ "Reservoir Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  53. ^ "River Styx-a". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  54. ^ "River Styx-b". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  55. ^ "Sidewalk Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  56. ^ "Soda Spring (Bargar-Allen & Day)". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  57. ^ "Squirrel Springs and Squirrel Ridge". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  58. ^ "Sulpher Pits". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  59. ^ "Sulpher Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  60. ^ "Tangerine Spring". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  61. ^ "The Buttress". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  62. ^ "The Esplanade". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  63. ^ "The Grottos". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  64. ^ "Trail Springs". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University. 
  65. ^ "White Elephant Back Springs & Terrace". Yellowstone Geothermal Features Database. Montana State University.