USGS - science for a changing world

Geology of National Parks, 3D and Photographic Tours

Yellowstone National Park
Upper Geyser Basin

Mammoth Hot Springs is famous for its travertine terraces. Travertine is deposited in the Mammoth Hot Springs area (in contrast to siliceous sinter in the geyser basins to the south). A thick sequence of sedimentary rocks (mostly limestone and dolostone formations of Paleozoic age) underlie the landscape in the area (USGS, 1972). The travertine is forming at the expense of carbonate rocks dissolving underground in the surrounding mountainsides.


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