Volcanic Springs

Geysers, Hot Springs,
Mud Pots, and Fumaroles

West Thumb Geyser Basin, Lower Group - page 2

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The Thumb Paintpots are located near the southern edge of Lower Group. Compared to Fountain Paint Pot and Artists' Paintpots they are more gorgeous in terms of color, but less active.

Thumb Paintpots, overview:

Thumb Paintpots Yellowstone

West Thumb Paintpots
Pastel colored mud cones are the characteristic features of Thumb Paintpots. If more sulfur would be present, the colors would turn into the common dark gray we know from the majority of all mud pots worldwide.

Thumb Paintpots, mud cones:

Thumb Paintpots Yellowstone

West Thumb Paintpots
There are also some hot pools within the paint pot area. The largest one is WTLGNN091 in center.

Hot pool WTLGNN091 in center of Thumb Paintpots:

Thumb Paintpots, hot pool WTLGNN091 Yellowstone

West Thumb Paintpots
In the north three further pools are to be found.

Hot pool WTLGNN080 north of Thumb Paintpots:

Thumb Paintpots, hot pool WTLGNN080 Yellowstone

The pools WTLGNN082 and WTLGNN081 show an exceptional composition of pastel blue and green.

Hot pools WTLGNN082 (rear) and WTLGNN081 (front) north of Thumb Paintpots:

Thumb Paintpots, hot pool WTLGNN082 and WTLGNN081 Yellowstone

Hot Pools near West Thumb Paintpots
A splashing mud pot appears in the south next to the boardwalk.

Mud pot WTLGNN085:

Mud Pot WTLGNN085 West Thumb Basin Yellowstone

At short distance southwest of Thumb Paintpots two stunning hot pools catch the eye: Seismograph Pool and Bluebell Pool.

Seismograph Pool:

Seismograph Pool Yellowstone

Seismograph Pool

Bluebell Pool:

Bluebell Pool Yellowstone

Bluebell Pool
Downslope of Seismograph Pool the trail descends to the lake shore. Passing the nearly always submerged Winter Spring on the right side the first noteworthy feature you come across is Lakeside Spring.

Lakeside Spring:

Lakeside Spring Yellowstone

Lakeside Spring
A few feet north of Lakeside Spring the slope is perforated by many tiny springs. Among them Venting Pool is the most prominent one. Every now and then some of the springs show weak spouting activity.

Venting Pool:

Venting Pool Yellowstone

Venting Pool Yellowstone
Then the boardwalk proceeds to Lakeshore Geyser. Usually this geyser is submerged. Unfortunately, it can not erupt if covered by water. But even at low water levels, when the cone is exposed, eruptions are very rare.

Lakeshore Geyser:

Lakeshore Geyser Yellowstone

Lakeshore Geyser
Next stop on the way north is Vandalized Pool. The name leads to the assumption that this pool must have been damaged by humans in the past. Vandalized Pool becomes flooded by the lake at very high water levels.

Vandalized Pool:

Vandalized Pool Yellowstone

Vandalized Pool Yellowstone
Diagonally across the boardwalk from Vandalized Pool Fishing Cone occupies the shore. Although it is a little bit more elevated than Lakeshore Geyser, it becomes quite often flooded by the lake. In the early 20th century Fishing Cone showed eruptions up to 12 m (40 feet) high, but nowadays activity is reduced to a weak splashing, if at all. Its clearly visible side vent was active the last time around 2009, as documented by geyser gazer Robin A. Reynolds-Haertle.

Fishing Cone:

Fishing Cone Yellowstone

Fishing Cone Yellowstone
A third dominant geyser cone on the lake shore is Big Cone. At best Big Cone shows some splashing, but even that is rare.

Big Cone:

Big Cone Yellowstone

Big Cone Yellowstone
On the other side of the boardwalk Little Cone can be observed. This one is not known for spouting activity.

Little Cone:

Little Cone Yellowstone

Little Cone Yellowstone
Last noteworthy feature along the lake shore is a small spring north of Little Cone which seems not to be listed in the RCN database.

Feature across the boardwalk from Big Cone:

West Thumb feature across the boardwalk from Big Cone Yellowstone

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