Hot springs in Yellowstone grow by a process of drowningMarch 17th, 2008 - 4:18 pm ICT by admin
London, March 17 (ANI): Scientists have built a computer model that suggests the terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, US, grow by a process of drowning.
According to a report in New Scientist, John Veysey and Nigel Goldenfeld at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, built the computer model.
Geothermal ponds and terraces like those at Mammoth Hot Springs are built up when calcium carbonate-rich spring water depressurises and cools.
Carbon dioxide bubbles appear, which trigger the deposition of a mineral called travertine in layers that can grow as quickly as 5 millimetres per day.
Some suggest that heat-loving microbes in the water influence the shapes of the resulting terraced ponds, but Veysey and Goldenfeld said that a number of purely physical processes are responsible.
The pair suspected that one of the primary processes governing the sizes and shapes of the ponds was a process of drowning.
The lips on the edge of some terraces grow faster than others due to variable water flow. This means faster-growing ponds will drown the adjacent slower-growing ones.
Using such observations, the researchers built a computer model that predicted how the terraces at Mammoth Hot Springs would grow.
Over two years, the prediction matched the appearance and distribution of pond shapes at the springs. (ANI)
Tags: calcium carbonate, carbon dioxide, computer model, deposition, john veysey, london march, mammoth hot springs, march 17, microbes, millimetres, new scientist, nigel goldenfeld, physical processes, ponds, rich spring, spring water, terraces, university of illinois urbana, water flow, yellowstone national park