Sunday, January 22, 2012

The steam geyser of Lake Pyramid's Needles area

The tufa structures of the Needles Rocks area at the north end of Lake Pyramid in Nevada make a fascinating landscape for hiking and hanging around. Between the shoreline and the tufa mounds is a steam geyser, spraying hot water over 25 feet high. The hot water is running down into the lake and green plants can be seen thriving and bending in the flow of warm water.

While relaxing at the geyser fountain, enjoying its splashing sound and the sun-light reflections in the falling water droplets, one's thought may go back in time and imagine (diving) this place during the days of Lake Lahontan: instead of ejecting into the air, the hot and calcium-rich water would have mixed with the lake water and initiated chemical reactions causing calcium carbonate (CaCO3) precipitation and tufa formation.

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