In Wyoming, United States
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Julies Spot is found midway between Norris Basin and Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park. It has an elevation of approximately 7400 feet. Many fumaroles - vents or cracks in the ground from which steam escapes into the air.
Roaring Mountain is formed of rhyolite, a volcanic rock that contains 70-75% silica (SiO2). This mountain is a small area in a larger rhyolite ridge that occurs about 8 kilometers (5 miles) north of the present Yellowstone caldera. The rhyolite at Roaring Mountain formed from a volcanic eruption that occurred sometime during the Pinedale Glaciation (approximately 30,000 to 12,000 years ago).
Roaring Mountain occurs in one of the hottest parts of Yellowstone National Park. This might be because the magma is closer to the surface here than in other locations. It is estimated that the magma is 1.6 to 3.2 kilometers below the surface (one to two miles). As snow and rainwater percolates down through fractures in the rocks, the warmth from the magma heats it up. Hydrogen sulfide (H2S) gas from the magma dissolves in the water. The hot – now acidic - water rises back up to the surface. It dissolves the rhyolite rock, removing the minerals and leaving behind an aluminum-rich clay called kaolinite. The acidic water forms steaming fumaroles and runs off the mountain.
Chemotrophic organisms – those that use chemicals for a source of energy - can be found close to the vents. Vivid green photosynthesizing algae can be found further downstream in the highly acidic runoff. Photosynthesizing organisms, or phototrophs, utilize solar energy as their source of energy.
Sulfolobus acidocaldarius is a chemotropic archaea found at Roaring Mountain. Archaea are single-celled microorganisms that lack a nuclei. This particular organism was first found in Yellowstone National Park by Thomas D. Brock and colleagues in the late 1960’s. Sulfolobus acidocaldarius is colorless, in a spherical form with lobes. It likes high heat and sulfur. Its ideal temperature is Amid Roaring Mountain's steam and sulfur-rich gases microscopic organisms are hard at work. This barren slope inhospitable to humans , is the perfect home for Sulfolobus acidocaldarius. Billions upon billions of these thermophiles live here, wearing away the mountain.
BEFORE you may log and claim this earthcache as a find, you must first email us your answers to the following questions. Do NOT put your answers in your log posting!
1. What percent of the mountain is composed of "SiO2"?
2. How many people are in your party?
3 How close is the magma?
4.Take a picture with the mountain in the backgroud.
5. What happened to the "H2S" gas?
Sources Fritz, William J. Roadside Geology of the Yellowstone Country Missoula, Montana: Mountain Press Publishing Company 1985 Yellowstone Resources & Issues 2007. Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs, Wyoming 2007. Imtrepertation Signs in Yell NP
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Last Updated: on 10/22/2017 1:09:15 PM Pacific Daylight Time (8:09 PM GMT)
Coordinates are in the WGS84 datum