Mud Volcano - Yellowstone National Park
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member Volcanoguy
N 44° 37.463 W 110° 26.066
12T E 544865 N 4941381
A history sign on the Mud Volcano Trail along the Grand Loop Road about 6 miles north of Lake Junction in Yellowstone National Park.
Waymark Code: WMDEW2
Location: Wyoming, United States
Date Posted: 01/05/2012
Published By:Groundspeak Premium Member muddawber
Views: 10

In 1870, explorers stood in awe as Mud Volcano spewed mud into the treetops, shaking the ground with each eruption. Two years later it was apool of bubbling, muddy water. Mud Volcano had blown itself apart!
In May 1871, Scribner’s Monthly published explorer N.P. Langford’s astonishing description of Mud Volcano. Artist Thomas Moran, although not present on the 1870 expedition, was commissioned to illustrate the article.
‘While returning by a new route to our camp, dull, thundering sounds, which General Washburn likened to frequent discharges of a distant mortar, broke upon our ears. We followed their direction, and found them to proceed from a mud volcano, which occupied the slope of a small hill, embowered in a grove of pines. Dense volumes of steam shot into the air with each report, through a crater thirty feet in diameter. The reports, though irregular, occurred as often as every five seconds, and could be distinctly heard half a mile. Each alternate report shook the ground a distance of two hundred yards or more, and the massive jets of vapor which accompanied them burst forth like the smoke of burning gunpowder.’ -- Nathaniel P. Langford, 1870
Sulphur is the Source
The Smell - Hydrogen sulfide gas rising from Yellowstone’s magma chamber causes the rotten-egg smell.
The Mud - Microorganisms, or thermophiles, use this gas as a source of energy, and then help turn the gas into sulfuric acid. Sulfuric acid breaks down the rock and soil into mud.
The Colors - Many of the colors you see are vast communities of thermophiles, but some of the yellow is pure sulphur.
When iron mixes with sulphur to form iron sulfide, gray and black swirls sometimes appear in the mud.”
Marker Name: Mud Volcano - Explosive Change

Marker Type: Rural Roadside

Addtional Information:

Group Responsible for Placement: National Park Service

Date Dedicated: Not listed

Marker Number: Not listed

Web link(s) for additional information: Not listed

Visit Instructions:
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