Norris Geyser Basin

-- by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
, a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

The Norris Geyser Basin is the hottest geyser basin in the Yellowstone National Park and is located near the northwest edge of Yellowstone Caldera near Norris Junction and on the intersection of three major faults. The Norris-Mammoth Corridor is a fault that runs from Norris north through Mammoth to the Gardiner, Montana, area. The Hebgen Lake fault runs from northwest of West Yellowstone, Montana, to Norris. This fault experienced an earthquake in 1959 that measured 7.4 on the Richter scale (sources vary on exact magnitude between 7.1 and 7.8; see 1959 Yellowstone earthquake). Norris Geyser Basin is so hot and dynamic because these two faults intersect with the ring fracture zone that resulted from the creation of the Yellowstone Caldera of 640,000 years ago.The Basin consists of three main areas: Porcelain Basin, Back Basin, and One Hundred Springs Plain. Unlike most of other geyser basins in the park the waters from Norris are acidic rather than alkaline (for example, Echinus Geyser has a pH of ~3.5). The difference in pH allows for a different class of bacterial thermophiles to live at Norris, creating different color patterns in and around the Norris Basin waters.[Note adapted from Wikipedia]

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Monochrome Version.

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Monochrome Version. by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park. Monochrome Version., a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

This 37-foot (11-m) hot spring cone marks the northern portion of Mammoth Hot Springs, at the bottom of Lower Terraces. Liberty Cap was named in 1871 by the Hayden Survey party because of its marked resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution. Its unusual formation was created by a hot spring whose plumbing remained open and in one location for a long time. Its internal pressure was sufficient to raise the water to a great height, allowing mineral deposits to build continuously for perhaps hundreds of years. Today the cone is no longer active.

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
Liberty Cap, Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

This 37-foot (11-m) hot spring cone marks the northern portion of Mammoth Hot Springs, at the bottom of Lower Terraces. Liberty Cap was named in 1871 by the Hayden Survey party because of its marked resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution. Its unusual formation was created by a hot spring whose plumbing remained open and in one location for a long time. Its internal pressure was sufficient to raise the water to a great height, allowing mineral deposits to build continuously for perhaps hundreds of years. Today the cone is no longer active.

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy
Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, a photo by Somnath Mukherjee Photoghaphy on Flickr.

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. 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.The hot water that feeds Mammoth comes from Norris Geyser Basin after traveling underground via a fault line that runs through limestone and roughly parallel to the Norris-to-Mammoth road (the limestone is the source of the calcium carbonate). 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.[Note From Wikipedia]