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Mineral deposits at edge of thermal pool

Mineral deposits at edge of thermal pool

E570/0090

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Credit

TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY TONY CRADDOCK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Hot spring. Mineral deposits at the edge of a geothermal pool or hot spring in a hydrothermal area. The white deposits are mainly calcite. Water superheated by underground geothermal activity dissolves many of the minerals from surrounding rocks. When the water escapes to the surface its power as a solvent is reduced and minerals are precipitated. Such chemical nutrients and the hot, anaerobic, aquatic environment allow many colourful primitive algae and bacteria to flourish. Some blue-green algae are able to tolerate temperatures of up to 165 Celsius. Photographed at Yellowstone National Park, USA.

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