Monday, August 3, 2009

My World: Biscuit Basin Yellowstone

Biscuit Basin is another thermal basin in Yellowstone. It is located about 3 miles north of Old Faithful on the Grand Loop Road. As with most of the thermal areas in Yellowstone, Biscuit Basin is made up of geysers, pools, and springs. Surrounding many of these features are unique colored bacteria that grow in the warm thermal waters.
The heart of Biscuit Basin is Sapphire Pool. Sapphire pool used to be surrounded by biscuit like rock formations, which is how Biscuit Basin got its name, however an earthquake in 1959 caused the pool to begin to erupt. It continued to erupt for several years cresting up to 150 feet in the air. These eruptions doubled the size of the pool and in the process destroyed the biscuits surrounding it. Eventually the eruptions subsided and it returned back to a pool.
Avaco Spring was named by the Hague Expedition back in the late 1800s. At that time it was just a simple spring but the earthquake of 1959 brought it to life. Today it is a fountain style geyser with 10 to 30 second eruptions every 1 to 20 minutes.
The Mustard Springs are actually a pair of springs that are tied to each other through subterranean tunnels. The two springs are similar in size and shape and both have mustard colored bacteria growing around their lining, which is how they get their name.
The Mustard Springs are separated by around 50 feet. Currently the East Mustard Spring, shown above, is in geyser status while the West Mustard Spring is a dry spring. This was not always true however, the West Mustard Spring used to be more active until a tremor in 1983 reversed this.
Shell Geyser is so named because of the rock formations in the lining that resemble the shell of a bivalve molluscs. Shell geyser is a small geyser that erupts at irregular intervals.
The largest geyser in the Biscuit Basin is the Jewel Geyser. It was originally named Soda Geyser by the Hayden Expedition, but was renamed in the early 1900s to Jewel Geyser because visitors believed that the rock formations in the lining resembled pearls.
Jewel Geyser erupts regularly every five to ten minutes. Eruptions typically last a minute or two and consists of one to five burst of water that rise 10-30 feet in the air. You can see one of these bursts pictured above.

16 comments:

Dirk said...

Wow! Looks like agreat area to visit, nice pictures

Martha Z said...

Beautiful, beautiful. As usual you do justice to one of my favorite places.

Marites said...

eerie but awesome! i would love to get to see them personally. my world is up too.

Babooshka said...

I don't about another world, but maybe another planet. Just unbelievable photography. I am so envious of the subjects you get to study.

madcobug said...

Great pictures and the stories to go with them. Well done. Helen

Sylvia K said...

Magnificent photos! And you do show Yellowstone so beautifully and, as I've told you before, all your shots bring back such great memories of that very incredible park!

Have a great week!

Sylvia

T.R. said...

Fantastic images! It does look like another world. And I have not seen this place in Yellowstone. It's definitely on the list now!

sweet bay said...

Love the photos and the commentary. I haven't been to Yellowstone but it remains one of my favorite places on Earth -- it's endlessly fascinating.

Arija said...

Wonderful phhtography and splendid captures of the various mobile shows. Beautiful coloured poold and the water falling back amd showing as a sparkling mound. Really great shots.

uncleawang said...

A fascinating post,enjoyed learning something new to-day,thanks for the tour:)
Have a nice day.

Jenn said...

Looks out of this world and nicely captured too. That sapphire pool must be a sight to behold. Enjoyed the tour.

Vamsee Modugula said...

Yellowstone is such a fascinating place. Thanks for sharing and giving us a chance to learn all these cool facts. Great pictures...love the first one.

Janet Creamer said...

Very cool! Nice pics!

Janie said...

The geysers are truly fascinating. We've been to Yellowstone many times. We always visit at least a few of the geysers. One year we hiked in to Heart Lake area with geysers all along the way.

Texas Travelers said...

Love your photos.
Yellowstone... my favorite National Park.

I don't know why you were not on my Nature blogroll sidebar. I fixed that.

Great site. I'll be back later and catch up.

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