SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SIMON FRASER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Mineral terrace in winter. View of a mineral terrace near a steaming geothermal spring. Snow is present in the foreground but the white material on the terraces is the mineral travertine. These terraces form at the outflow of deep, geothermal springs. The water is heated under pressure far underground, and dissolves large quantities of minerals in the surrounding rocks. As the water reaches the surface and cools, its power as a solvent is reduced, and minerals are deposited. This photograph was taken at the Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National Park, USA. Here, the accumulation of minerals on the terraces amounts to over two tonnes per day.
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