Mammoth Hot Springs is a huge complex of travertine platforms and geothermal springs. Multi-colored multi-level terraces created by travertine streaks, streams of hot water flowing over them and swirling steam – all this makes the local landscape look like an alien one.
The water temperature in the reservoirs is 170°F (80°C) (underground above). The springs are outside the Yellowstone caldera, but they are fed by the same magma system. Scientists do not exclude that directly below them is their own small source of volcanic heat. Hot water enters the Mammoth Springs through underground geological faults from the Norris Basin.
The recognizable landscape of this area was formed by travertine deposits. The center is the Orange, or Orange, mountain, on its top and walls there are holes from which hot water flows. The complex consists of several travertine terraces with their own names: Main, Lower, Canary, Opal, Angel, Minerva, Jupiter, “The back of a white elephant”, “A stream similar to the artist’s palette”, etc.
In some places, the water murmurs in cascades, in some places it dries up and exposes a travertine terrace, in other places it overflows and falls down into a large multi-colored lake. The shade of water is determined by algae.
The landscape around the Mammoth Springs is changing as a result of high geothermal activity. Earthquakes are frequent here, and sometimes part of the terraces dries up, and after a few years water flows over them again. Forming terraces, travertine “sucks in” and envelops grass stalks and entire trees. So every year you can admire new views here.