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Minerals and algae in hot spring in winter

Minerals and algae in hot spring in winter

E570/0107

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Credit

SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Morning Glory hot spring in winter. Minerals and blue-green algae (cyanobacteria) producing intense colours in a hot spring in a hydrothermal area. Clouds of steam are rising from the surface of the water. 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 C. Morning Glory pool is in Yellowstone National Park, USA.

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