The simmering ponds of Yellowstone’s thermal springs attract millions of visitors every year with their flamboyant colors. Their unique color composition makes them more thrilling for the spectators. But from where do they get this unique color.
According to the scientists, the Yellowstone’s thermal springs didn’t possess the same color many years ago as they have now. It was just a deep blue color pond many years before Yellowstone was developed as a national park in the year 1872, researchers said.
In present times, these thermal springs often take blue, green, red and yellow colors. They change color depending on when the visitors are observing them.
A group of researchers, under the leadership Montana State University professor Paul W. Nugent, conducted a study and found scientific evidence to support their claims that it’s the pollution that is responsible for the vibrant colors of thermal springs of Yellowstone.
The researchers used computer modeling to analyze what the magma-heated pools looked like earlier.
According to the scientists, the today’s color of the water is the direct consequence of pollution done majorly by the visiting tourists. They throw coins, rock, trash and other rubbish into the pool. With the passing time, the vents that tap into the superheated mantle of the Earth became partially choked. The blockages are responsible for reducing the temperature in the pools and altering the type of bacteria that could live in the water and result into changed color patterns.
The findings of the study were published in the journal Applied Optics.